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The Human Sentience Project
We are Astronomy Theatre @AstronomyPlays
Same Mission, and Some New Interests
When we organized ourselves in 2014, we decided to focus on this central question:
"What is so special about the way humans think?"
As an anthropologist/biologist and astronomer/priest, we were both curious about the answers to this question. We decided that The Human Sentience Project would be multidisciplinary in addressing fundamental questions at the intersection of Science, Art, and Religion. We saw that these human capacities were in some ways similar, but their similarities eluded us, at first. One of our first publications, on Matrix Thinking, addressed one of the similarities, and the paper continues to guide much of our work.
Today, after five years of publishing our models on the origins of religious and moral capacities - using traditional archaeology, the new cognitive archaeology, genomics, neuroscience, psychology (especially cognitive science) - we find our focus changing and sharpening:
First, we are becoming interested in network neuroscience to help us answer questions about higher cognitive traits, including, we believe, religious capacity.
Second, we are writing and publishing increasingly on Futures Research topics, including Mars, space exploration and settlement, artificial intelligence, and robotics. In work with new co-authors, we have also become interested in bio-enhancements to aid space exploration.
Our New Goals still derive from the original Mission of the Human Sentience Project to ask Questions at the Borderlines of Science, Art, and Religion.
The Project looks for answers in anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and both primate and human genomics. We frequently find interesting intersections with astrobiology, philosophy, and theology, and we remain interested in the evolutionary origins of religious capacity in the human species.
Continuing and New Goals
Development of new formats and innovative approaches for education of youth, adults, and the public.
Public Speaking on the Evolution of Human Cognition, Astronomy, and Anthropology topics.
Public Education on the Science/Religion Dialogue, with a focus on reconciliation.
Research and Analysis on the origins of religious and moral capacities.
Futures Research on Mars colonization, and interplanetary settlement.
Human attitudes toward Artificial Intelligence and Bio-Enhancements.