On the Origin of Consciousness
An Exploration through the Lens of the Christian Conception of God and Creation
By: Scott D. G. Ventureyra
Have you ever thought about how self-consciousness (self-awareness) originated in the universe?
Understanding consciousness is one of the toughest “nuts to crack.” In recent years, scientists and philosophers have attempted to provide an answer to this mystery. The reason for this is simply because it cannot be confined to solely a materialistic interpretation of the world. Some scientific materialists have suggested that consciousness is merely an illusion in order to insulate their worldviews. Yet, consciousness is the most fundamental thing we know, even more so than the external world since we require it to perceive or think about anything. Without it, reasoning would be impossible.
Dr. Scott Ventureyra, in this ground-breaking book, explores the idea of the Christian God and Creation in order to tackle this most difficult question. He demonstrates that theology has something significant to offer in reflection of how consciousness originated in the universe. He also makes a modest claim that the Christian conception of God and Creation provide a plausible account for the origin of self-consciousness. He integrates philosophy, theology, and science in an innovative way to embark on this exploration.
Dr. Scott D. G. Ventureyra completed his PhD in theology at Carleton University/Dominican University College in Ottawa.
Author's Website: www.scottventureyra.com and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Endorsements & Reviews
“With the revival of natural theology in the last few decades, there has been an outbreak of fresh, rigorous arguments for God’s existence. In turn, this has raised afresh new issues about the relationship between Christian philosophy and theology with science. Interestingly, little attention has been given to questions about the origin of consciousness, especially self-awareness. But that is no longer the case. In On the Origin of Consciousness, Dr. Ventureyra has produced a stunning book, based on wide and careful research, that brings the resources of a philosophically informed theology to bear on showing that such a theology explains the origin of consciousness better than do the natural sciences. Along the way, Ventureyra treats us to a rich study in metaphysics, systematic and natural theology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. I am enthusiastic about this book and highly recommend it.”
—JP Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“Sometimes you read a book where you disagree with just about everything the author claims—starting with the dedication! And yet . . . You learn and you rethink. I feel exactly that way about Scott Ventureyra’s On the Origin of Consciousness. I intend that as high praise.”
—Michael Ruse, Florida State University
“Consciousness can become less mysterious when we see our universe as created by God. Scott Ventureyra helps to prove it by this very wide-ranging and interesting book.”
—John Leslie, University of Guelph
“Dr. Ventureyra's book, On the Origin of Consciousness, is surely the most complete and most thoroughly researched treatment of the subject from a theological standpoint. Readers may not agree with all of the author's conclusions, but they will be deeply impressed with the comprehensiveness of his discussions of this very difficult philosophical-theological question. There is no doubt that a study of On the Origin of Consciousness will stimulate further intellectual labour on a subject of critical importance.”
—John Warwick Montgomery, University of Bedfordshire
“Ventureyra’s On the Origin of Consciousness is not only a very good read; it provides a fertile primer for grasping the metaphysical significance of consciousness. But it is the careful examination of the origins of consciousness through the prism of contemporary scientific, philosophical and theological contexts that gives this enquiry resonance. Ventureyra offers readers in philosophical theology, epistemology of theology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science a model study of how to think about the origins of consciousness—conscientiously.”
—Robert M. Berchman, Director General and Academic Fellow, Foro di Studi Avanzati, Gaetano Massa, Roma
“A refreshingly robust defence of the contributions of theology and scripture to understanding consciousness that also deftly handles scientific and philosophical aspects. The clear position developed and the trajectories for future research that are traced will be important for the future theology and science debate.”
—David Grumett, University of Edinburgh
“On the Origin of Consciousness presents a Christian theological understanding of consciousness. In developing his argument, Scott Ventureyra provides a comprehensive overview of different models for the interaction between faith and science, and he describes the role philosophy plays in guiding the integration. What makes the book unique is his insightful interactions with the work of such intelligent design researchers as Bill Dembski and myself. He identifies the concept of information as not only central in the discussion of the origin and development of life but also in understanding consciousness’ origin and operation. Ventureyra’s approach is both compelling and practical. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in how theology can help guide scientific research on consciousness and in the topic in general.”
—Stephen C. Meyer, best-selling author of Darwin’s DoubtDoubt