“Old Myths, New Bottles: Contribution to GTI Forum Big History and Great Transition.”

Sideris, Lisa | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Sideris, Lisa. “Old Myths, New Bottles: Contribution to GTI Forum Big History and Great Transition.” Great Transition Initiative (May 2023). https://greattransition.org/gti-forum/big-history-sideris.

In Western intellectual and religious history, the drive to locate unity in dizzying diversity has resurfaced again and again. The dream of oneness animated Platonic philosophy, Christian monotheism, Enlightenment positivism, and—closer to our time—grand syntheses in biology, to name a few watershed moments.1 Unifying stories are also, often, origin stories. That the world presents to us a uniform structure suggests a unity in its first cause. God’s oneness ratifies a belief that the coherence of all knowledge reflects God’s creation and governance of lawlike nature. Thus, belief in an underlying unity, even when promoted as a secular project, puts us in the realm of something like religion. Big History is no exception. (From the article)

This short piece by former Rachel Carson Center fellow Lisa Sideris is a contribution to the Great Transition Initiative’s forum Big History and Great Transition.

2023 Lisa Sideris

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