Richard L. Thompson Lecture Series

The Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies will inaugurate an ongoing lecture series based on the books of Richard L. Thompson (Sadaputa dasa, 1947-2008) with a hybrid (online/in-person) event at the BIHS Headquarters in Gainesville, FL, on February 4, 2023 (Sadaputa’s birthday!), 11 AM to 1 PM EST. Special guest speakers will include Hridayananda das Goswami, Jayadvaita Swami, and Badrinarayan Swami. The public is welcome to attend in person or via Zoom (see links below).

Six of Thompson’s books will be covered chapter by chapter with a lecture summarizing the contents and highlighting the chapter’s essential messages, followed by a discussion session. The series will begin with an introduction to his first book, Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation Into the Nature of Consciousness and Form (1981), by BIHS Director Brahmatirtha dasa. In this publication, Thompson discusses how the mechanistic theories dominating modern science have difficulty explaining phenomena like consciousness, complex biological form, and inspiration, and how these disparate phenomena could be unified through engaging the non-mechanistic analytical paradigms offered in the Bhagavad-gita.

This work makes a sober, thorough, carefully reasoned, and well-documented case that the prevailing theories of physics and biology have grave shortcomings which can be traced to their reliance on an underlying mechanistic framework. Dr. Thompson shows how physics is incapable of dealing with the phenomenon of consciousness and how biology is unable to account for the existence of complex living forms. Arguing that valid scientific theory does not have to be mechanistic, Thompson outlines a nonmechanistic science that would complement mechanistic science and round out the human quest for understanding.

Attendance

To attend in person and join us for a sumptuous prasadam buffet (1pm) at the BIHS Headquarters (224 NE 10th Ave, Gainesville, FL), please reserve your spot by contacting Prishni (prishni108@gmail.com) no later than January 22, 2023. 

To receive timely reminders and up-to-date information about the online lectures, please sign up here.

Zoom Info

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88307659311?pwd=WVI4Tk9HeFFTcElJQldtc2c4NEUyQT09
Meeting ID: 883 0765 9311 Passcode: 0204

Schedule for Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science

All dates are 2023
February 4     Importance of Sadaputa’s books, MNS Introduction – Bob Cohen (Brahmatirtha)
February 18 Ch 1. Searching Past the Mechanics of Perception – Purushottam Goel (Parama Karuna)
March 4 Ch 2. Thinking Machines and Psychophysical Parallelism – Partha Biswas (Parama Rupa)
March 18 Ch 3. Dialogue on Consciousness and the Quantum – Vasyl Semenov (Dvija Govinda)
April 1 Ch 4. Karl Popper on the Mind-Body Problem – A Review – Prishni Sutton
April 15 Ch 5. Information Theory and the Self-organization of Matter – Vasyl Semenov (Dvija Govinda)
April 29 Ch 6. Chance and the Unity of Nature – Krishna Narasimhan (Narasimhadeva)
May 13 Ch 7. On Inspiration – Christopher Beetle (Krishna Kripa das)
May 27 Ch 8. The Doctrine of Evolution – S.E. Kreitzer (Sthita-dhi-muni)
June 10 Ch 9. The Epistemology of Transcendental Consciousness – Christina Kelly and Tomas Chapaprieta (Tamra)

Upcoming

Five more of Thompson’s books will be included in the Lecture Series, in chronological order:

  • Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy (1989)
  • Parallels [Alien Identities]: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena (1993)
  • Mysteries of the Sacred Universe: The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana (2000)
  • Maya: The World As Virtual Reality (2003)
  • God & Science: Divine Causation and the Laws of Nature (2004)