A new book published by Dr. Gregory Sandstrom of the European Humanities University (EHU) on the topic of human choice and social action aims to overcome ongoing arguments between proponents of evolutionism, creationism, and "intelligent design" theory. In Dr. Sandstrom’s view, by focusing on human choices and actions in the realm of the social sciences and humanities, topics that are not often addressed by protagonists in the three camps can be safely discussed.
Human Extension: An Alternative to Evolutionism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design is the first book by Dr. Sandstrom, who was educated in Canada, the Netherlands, and Russia. He currently works in Lithuania at EHU with a fellowship from the Lithuanian Research Council.
Dr. Sandstrom has been studying the topics of evolution and “human extension” for over a decade, collecting evidence, conducting interviews, and engaging with experts from a range of scientific and scholarly fields. He says his experiences at the leading center for the sociology of science in Russia, where he shared office space with evolutionary biologists and theorists, helped him assess the various meanings of evolution, creation, and intelligent design, offering a new way forward.
With a Foreword by Dr. Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair for Social Epistemology and witness for the defense in the 2005 “Dover” court case on teaching evolution, this book offers what Fuller calls an “alternative world of intelligent design”.
“Dr. Sandstrom has an important methodological framework that could be used in developing mathematical models in sociology. He emphasizes the fact that some concepts, e.g. evolution, that in principle have been successfully applied in the biological sciences, cannot possibly be extrapolated to sociology. He argues that one of the important differences between biological and sociological processes is that the latter almost by definition involve human choice. This very fact establishes a profound difference between the two disciplines and I believe identifying human ‘extensions’ represents a solid framework to build upon. The book is not only clearly and well written, but can also promote a much needed discussion about the notion of change in the human-social sciences.” – Dr. Pablo Padilla of the Autonomous National University of Mexico’s Institute for Applied Mathematics and Systems.
Human extension offers an alternative way to understand creation, evolution and intelligent design. Instead of speaking about ‘design in nature,’ Sandstrom investigates the human (anthropogenic) impact on nature, society and culture, which includes ideas like design, planning, purpose, goal-setting and (sustainable) development. The book presents an unlikely but nevertheless thoughtful opportunity for reconciliation between opposing groups in the ‘culture war’ between science and theology/worldview.