Welcome to our website! We hope
you will be led by this website to fresh and radical
perspectives on nature, science, and technology.
What’s The Latest?
The plastic gene, light and darkness, the late Henri Bortoft, and the
relation between plants and thinking — all this and plenty of news from
the Institute fill the pages of the Spring issue of In Context,
which is now
Step outside the feverish, religiously tinged debates over evolution, and
you may discover a remarkable fact: the conventional theory, as understood
by all sides, is almost completely hollow at its core. Read
Genes and the
Central Fallacy of Evolutionary Theory, which is the latest
article to appear in our online “What Do Organisms Mean?”
You will find there a summary of the main article, excerpts from it, and
several new, supportive articles.
Interested in taking a course? Be sure to check out our
Topics range from the “divine proportion” to evolution to the four
How effective are Nature Institute courses? We’ve studied the matter
based on a survey and interviews. You can now read the
results of our analysis.
Please Visit our Calendar of Events
to learn about 2013 events.
Effects of Genetic Manipulation
This Nature Institute project documents over 80 cases of
unintended and unpredictable effects of genetic engineering on organisms
and the environment. Our nontarget.org website makes important scientific
research about unintended effects accessible to the broader public. It
provides crucial information needed for an informed debate concerning
genetic engineering in agriculture and genetically modified food.
Summer Course in Switzerland.
The Research Institute of the Natural Science Section at the Goetheanum in
Dornach, Switzerland, will offer a course entitled “Experiencing
Wholeness”. Held July 29 – August 10 both at the Goetheanum and in
the alpine valley of the Lötschen, Switzerland, the course will be
conducted in the English language. Check
the course brochure for further information. The
brocure begins with this statement: “Goethe's way of science complements
the approach of the academic sciences and aspires to integrate aesthetic
and artistic elements into the process of knowing”.
Unlearn everything you once knew about genes!
It hasn't hit the public consciousness yet, but the “epigenetic
revolution” — along with much else coming from the world’s molecular
biology labs —
is radically transforming scientists’ thinking about genes and their
relation to the organism as a whole. It makes much more sense, researchers
have been discovering, to say that the whole organism is in charge of its
genes, than to put it the other way around. For an in-depth survey of the
stunningly rapid developments in our understanding of molecular biology,
see the continuing series of articles by Stephen L. Talbott entitled,
What Do Organisms Mean?
Toward a Biology Worthy of Life. Steve’s more recent contributions to
the series tackle some of the central controversies surrounding evolution.
|What Does it Mean to be a Sloth? This article by Craig Holdrege paints a vivid picture of the sloth — a remarkable animal that expresses slowness in so many of its characteristics and even slows down processes in the rain forest in which it lives. Originally published in 1998, this article, can now be read in revised form on our website. Enjoy getting to know this remarkable creature. And maybe it will even help you slow down in our hectic times! Click here.
A Book from Nature Institute Staff
"Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott's analysis of genetic engineering is the smartest, most original, and most compelling I have seen anywhere, in journalism or academia." (Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma)
Published by the University Press of Kentucky, Beyond Biotechnology: The
Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering is in the Press' "Culture of
the Land" series, whose editorial advisors include Wendell Berry,
Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Vandana Shiva, and others. As Sheldon Krimsky
(Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University)
describes the book, "The authors offer a refreshing style of
scientific interpretation and have brought the discussion of the issues
to a new level by making excellent use of current scientific findings
that disclose how genes operate in vivo and by drawing on bioethical
To find out more about this book or to order it, click here.
The Work of Martin Wagenschein:
The Nature Institute is translating some of the writings of the German
science educator and physicist Martin Wagenschein. To read about
Wagenschein and to access the translations we have done so far,
How Shall We Live?
The way we experience ourselves in the world - our habits of perception
and the relation between our sense of Self and sense of the Other - are
decisively important for everything from the achievement of a truly
adequate science to the restoration of social health to the establishment
of an environmentally responsible ethics. Human progress in all fields
depends upon how we engage the phenomena around us. This is why the book
Being on Earth: Practice In Tending the Appearances,
a full-text, online document, is so important. Written by physicist Georg
Maier, the late philosopher Ronald Brady, and the late physicist Stephen
Edelglass, it explores what it means for us to be on earth as knowers, as
participants in earth's various ecological settings, and in company with
one another. The book breaks down the barriers between fact and value,
between science and aesthetics.
Being on Earth is now also available as a 196-page softcover
paperback from Logos Verlag in Berlin. The price is 40.5 euros
(approximately 63 US dollars).
You can order the book over the internet by
A thought-provoking publication
Giraffe's Long Neck: From Evolutionary Fable
to Whole Organism
by Craig Holdrege
A fresh look at the giraffe and evolution.
To find out more about this book, click
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