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Symbioses Can Transcend Particularisms: A Memoir of Friendship with Ralph Wendell Burhoe

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Abstract:

Ralph Burho's paradigmatic scientific innovation is the extension of the concept of symbiosis to coadapted human genotypes and “culturetypes,” centered on religion. Civilization also requires a coexistent secular arena, where religion's nearness may help prevent our natural synergistic instrumentalizations of each other from degrading to losses of respect for one another as responsible free agents. The mixed messages in the Bible's diverse stories help to preserve a richness of choices in memory as we navigate history. We science-and-religion theorists should expand our cademic base to include economics, politics, literature, and other areas, while emulating Ralph's wise and good-humored ways of drawing us together and affecting our lives.

Keywords: Christian theology; God of history; Jewish theology; Ralph Wendell Burhoe; agency; altruism; civilization; coadaptation; culturetype; economics; freedom; genotype; hostility; instrumentalize; nature/nurture; neuroscience; psychology; reductionism; secularism; selfishness; symbiosis; synergy; values

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0591-2385.00180

Affiliations: Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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