Be prepared for a new view of consciousness, life, and evolution. Our newest author, Ben Callif, takes a scientific and speculative stab at upsetting our view of biology the way quantum physics changed our understanding of physics.
Genetics is the study of genes. Memetics is the study of memes. And organumics, a coinage of Callif's, is the study of organa (organum, singular), a proposed taxonomic unit to cover any organized unit that undergoes natural selection, that evolves. Learn more when his book, Organumics: An Epigenetic Re-Framing of Consciousness, Life, and Evolution comes out later this year. In the meantime, meet Ben:
Ben L. Callif is a Milwaukee-based philosopher, scientist, YouTube educator at The Paradox Perspective, and owner of eightstep me coaching and consulting. His efforts seek to align a scientific paradigm that is cold, calculating, and logically coherent, with a sense of purpose that is visceral, mysterious, and emotionally fulfilling. His published research covers rhythmic memory in circadian biology and genetic engineering to enhance nerve regeneration. Organumics is his first book. He next plans to write about the interface between individual and group identity and how this interaction relates to the emergence of consciousness and responsibility.
Callif has been spellbound by the paradoxes of consciousness for as long as he can remember. His overactive intellect was occupied through his formative years by questions like “Why am I me and not you?” and “What makes a person do what they do?” He spent his school days chasing these lines of inquiry rather than participating in class. He spent his nights in the library reading about topics like quantum physics and ethics instead of doing his homework. By the time he was in high school his grades were suffering; he was a classic example of “failure through boredom.”
Thanks to the compassion of his parents and a few supportive teachers, he dropped out of high school to homeschool himself. He used his academic freedom to dive into the depths of philosophy and psychology and achieved his first Bachelor of Science degree at 18 years old. After a brief stint in a Clinical Psychology graduate program, he realized that he was too introverted to deal with people all day, and he decided to approach the problem of consciousness from a more scientific angle. He went back and got another Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, then got accepted into a Neuroscience PhD program.
Halfway through his PhD, Callif’s grandmother fell ill with the rare and incurable Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Her death changed everything for him—it was like he had opened his eyes for the first time. In life, she was everything that he wasn’t, and he was suddenly aware of how incomplete he had been up to that point. He left his PhD program with a Master of Science degree and over the course of 6 months gave over 1,000 Lyft rides while he built a neuroholistic life coaching business. He honed his interpersonal skills, practiced his intuition, and balanced his overly developed intellect with empathy. For the first time, he saw the paradox of consciousness as an opportunity rather than a problem. Organumics is his way of integrating years of philosophical and scientific exploration with his recent personal experience.