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Purposeful UniverseJanuary 17, 20231 min read

What Does It Mean to Be Human?

The Soul, Consciousness, and Language From a Scientific and Philosophical Perspective

Does science support either a theistic or a materialistic view of the human person? Does consciousness present a problem for science?

In the video below Joseph Miller, The Purposeful Universe project lead, discusses the four levels of consciousness and how scientific discoveries about language and human self-consciousness play into the theism/materialism debate in his talk entitled ”In Search of an Adequate Anthropology: What Can Science and Psychology Tell Us About Ourselves?” Mr. Miller’s talk was part of the Science and Faith Lecture Series at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Topics in this video:

Theism to Materialism

Why did almost everyone believe in God in A.D. 1500, and why is it so difficult to believe in God in the 2000s? 

Epicycles and Paradigm Shift

When a new scientific discovery radically redefines a previously conventional belief, there is a crisis. Some experts try to hold on to their firmly held beliefs that are being disproved by the new discovery, and a paradigm shift is required to make the new discovery widely accepted as the new normal.

The Soul as a Model Revolution

Human souls and consciousness are topics that create a crisis for materialism.

Mind Versus Brain and the Four Levels of Consciousness

How is consciousness defined and understood?

Artificial Intelligence

How is human consciousness different from artificial intelligence? Could artificial intelligence ever match or surpass human consciousness?

Animal Intelligence

How is human intelligence different from animal intelligence?

Human Intelligence

What is unique about human intelligence and consciousness? How are language, consciousness, and rationality connected?

The Five Transcendental Desires

Humans have five innate desires for perfect truth, beauty, goodness, love, and being/home. Why is this?

Near Death Experiences

What are near death experiences and what do they indicate about human life?


Purposeful Universe

The Purposeful Universe seeks to explore and present, through award winning videos, the abundant order in nature that funnels biological systems toward increasing levels of complexity and sophistication—suggesting that human life is the purposeful outcome of a complex, ordered system.