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  The Scientific Worldview


Beyond Newton and Einstein: Understanding the Universal Mechanism of Evolution

Author: Borchardt, Glenn, Ph.D.

Review Date: FEBRUARY 01, 2007
Publisher: iUniverse Publisher's Choice (411 pp.)
Price (paperback): $26.95
Publication Date: December 14, 2006 [2007]
ISBN (paperback): 978-0-595-83773-1
Category: AUTHORS
Classification: NONFICTION

Borchardt presents the case for the scientific worldview of “univironmental determinism,” a consideration of the microcosmic-macrocosmic interaction.

What determines events? Why do things happen the way they do? These are the questions the author seeks to answer. You are looking with only one eye, he cautions, if you concentrate on systems at the expense of the environment, or muddle with nature vs. nurture, mind vs. brain. It is the interplay between the microcosm (a specified portion of the universe) and the macrocosmic (everything outside the particular microcosm) that best explains the what, why and how of things. Borchardt is a scientist operating in the realm of determinism, most comfortable with knowledge based on experience. But he also appreciates that there are fundamental assumptions underlying our philosophies that are not fully testable, so choices must be made. Underlying the concept of “univironmental determinism” are materialism, causality, uncertainty, inseparability, conservation, complementarity, irreversibility, infinity, relativism and interconnection—ten interrelated assumptions that contrast with indeterminism, or effects without causes. Some of Borchardt’s particulars are not as universal as he implies—for instance, “all our planning is motivated by the desire to minimize human effort”—but his expansive application of the scientific method, and the artful manner in which he situates narrowly focused work (such as genetics) within broader theories (such as univironmental evolution) is intriguing.

Dense, but a stimulating mix of philosophy and science.

[Note that the reviewer missed a major point of the book in the first part of the last sentence. Univironmental determinism concludes that “all our planning is motivated by the desire to minimize human effort" by including both the microcosm (the individual) and the macrocosm (the environment) in the analysis. The well-known Principle of Least Effort, like Newton's First Law of Motion, assumes that microcosms, like Newton's inertial objects, cannot, by themselves, increase their motion beyond that which they already possess. That also would be a violation of Conservation, the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter and the motion of matter neither can be created nor destroyed. Thus, whenever human effort does not appear to be minimized, one can be sure that important factors have been ignored. I may not take the shortest path to the store because my brain contains the idea (matter in motion) that some extra exercise is good for me.]


A revolutionary reexamination of longstanding conceptual assumptions, May 8, 2007

Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews

Written by Glenn Borchardt, Ph.D. (Director of the Progressive Science Institute, Berkeley, California), The Scientific Worldview: Beyond Newton and Einstein is more of a philosophy text than a science text. Questioning the twentieth century "scientific worldview" systems philosophy, which focuses too heavily upon systems and too little upon the influence of environments, "The Scientific Worldview" instead advances a system of "univironmental determinism" - a mechanism of evolution (not just Darwinian evolution, but all aspects of evolution) based on the fundamental axiom that whatever happens to something results from the infinite variety of matter in motion within and without. The ultimate logical extrapolation of the system is the predicate that the universe had no beginning and will have no end. The Scientific Worldview is most readily understandable by intermediate to advanced students and scholars of philosophy, though novice and lay readers willing to apply serious thought and study will be able to follow the complex tenets discussed. A revolutionary reexamination of longstanding conceptual assumptions about the base nature of life, the universe, and everything.

John Burroughs

Highly recommended for anyone interested in science, philosophy, or theology, May 22, 2007
By (Madison, WI United States) - See all my reviews

This is an intriguing, if not somewhat heady book. Even when the consequences of Glenn Borchardt's conclusions proved beyond my grasp I found his arguments leading to them clear, concise and convincing. Every work of nonfiction contains a promise to the reader--often implied rather than expressed directly. In this case it is something the author himself experienced when studying behaviorism. He discovered what he would call "the univironment" (that it is neither the system itself nor the environment itself that determines events but rather their acting together as a totality). He says, "I would never look at anything in the same way again." And that is what this book on the philosophic foundations of science attempts to do for us.

He states, "To put science and philosophy back on track, I propose a reopening of the debate between science and religion, which I present here as the struggle between determinism and indeterminism." Why does that matter? For one thing the universe is in turmoil. There's hostility between rich and poor nations, disease ravages parts of the world, global warming is a threat to us all--practically speaking, a belief in cause and effect demands we be accountable for the results of our actions. But neither social issues nor specific religious dictums are the concerns of this book. Science is. Science (usually in the deterministic camp) has always had built-in biases. That's why we need to reexamine its basic assumptions. Indeterminists, by the way, (Plato, Descartes to a certain extent and the philosophy of William James, to name a few non-religious examples) believe all things are finite and therefore depend for their existence upon something other than themselves. They traditionally are champions of free will. Determinists emphasize infinity and the that matter and the motion of matter neither can be created nor destroyed (making the big bang theory, go pssssssssst).

Yes, this is the kind of book that when you are reading one page you find yourself going back to revisit what you just read a page or two before (there are fifty pages of bibliography, appendices and notes). But the presentation is well organized and like any really good teacher--Borchardt is the Director of the Progressive Science institute in Berkeley, CA--the author tells us what we will learn before we begin, what we are learning as we progress forward and what we have learned after we are done. His conclusion: univironmental determinism, which posits that every process is evolutionary. It comes with a rather Faustian corollary, that just because we have consciousness, and appear to be a favored species, does not mean that we could exist without interacting fully with the rest of the universe or that we can do things contrary to laws of nature.

At first Borchardt seems a bit too center-stage, but realize, besides stimulating his audience, he is reaching for the greatness of a Darwin or Freud. And the scope of this work is mind-boggling. If I may make an analogy about understanding based on what he says concerning causality: Some people believe we can know everything, some believe we are not capable of really knowing anything; most of us feel the pursuit of knowledge is endless, but we can grasp part of what we need to know because "amidst infinite possibilities practical success is attainable by reducing the possibilities to those having most significant impact on the problem at hand. Causality consciously assumes that failure in prediction at some point is inevitable, and always requires a search for additional or more appropriate material causes for its correction."

I particularly enjoyed the long chapter on the assumptions of science. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in science, philosophy or theology. By the time you finish it you will never regard any of those big three the same way again.


  Puts science in its Place, July 5, 2007

By  David de Hilster (Long Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews

So many people try too hard to put things into boxes that are too extreme - either too much the status quo, or throwing away the baby with the bathwater. The first hint that this book takes a common sense road down the middle is that the author says that a theory of everything is impossible and says why. That is not a barrier for science going forward, but it is a prerequisite.

If you are into common sense science, looking at history and studying the past, and trying to see where science is and should go, then this is the book for you. I didn't expect this grand of a philosophy to come from Glenn Borchardt but here it is. It is an accumulation of 30 years of a journey in science of someone that has put it all together in philosophical principles and guidelines for the next century.

I have studied physics and astronomy for the last 13 years and never found a book that put science in its place so well. I have collected a trail of ideas and thoughts and philosophies over the years that I could never piece together. This book does this and then some.

If you have been questioning the "lostness" of today's science with wormholes, big bangs, black holes, relativity disappointments, and light and gravity and motion without reason, then you can find some answers here.

I didn't read this as the next theory in science. It is THE philosophy for science for the 21st century. This book should be the philosophy book for science student for the next generation and it leaves the door wide open for the next experimentalists to make sure they keep on track and not find the slippery slopes of 20th century science.

A big big surprise!


5.0 out of 5 stars The Scientific Worldview: Beyond Newton and Einstein, June 15, 2009
By  Duncan Shaw (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews

This book presents an incisive analysis of the theoretical physics of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein and others. The writer, Dr. Glenn Borchardt, is a scientific philosopher. He has honed his analytical skills in the demanding discipline of earth science, including the development and preparations of earthquake protection measures in California. His approach to theoretical physics is clear-eyed and practical.

The book looks at the mechanics of the universe, both on a macrocosmic scale and on a microcosmic scale. Dr. Borchardt's keen sense of reality and of logic lead him - and the reader - to a deep understanding of the universe and how the various parts thereof act upon each other. He sets out basic truths about what occurs around us, from the smallest particles to the largest of cosmic structures. He draws a clear line between things that are real and things which we delude ourselves into believing are real.

The book tackles difficult subjects, including the big bang theory, the existence of a universe-filling substance called ether, the cause of gravity and whether the universe is infinite. Dr. Borchardt's propositions are well researched and documented.

The book is well written and eminently readable.


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