The Supra-Intelligent Design
Reviewed By: Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans.

“The Supra-Intelligent Design” is a new book by The Society for the Alignment of Religion. It presents complex, comprehensive, and compelling arguments for the union of religion and science as the next stage in the evolution of religion (or “meta-religion”). The book introduces a fully science-aligned religious philosophy – “Reflexive Emanation Panendeism” (REP) – that explains the architecture of nature as essential to fulfilling an existential aim that physical reality must achieve. To paraphrase, the book presents thoughtful and detailed reasoning for the idea that REP (or something similar) will eventually replace theism because it explains the nature of an “actual” God.

“The Supra-Intelligent Design” begins with the observation that theism (e.g., Christianity, Islam, Judaism) is receding in the developed western world, due in large part to an increasingly ubiquitous scientific-technological worldview. This worldview, the author argues, does not allow for complete or accurate theistic conceptualizations. Therefore, specific and intentional religious education is necessary, though it’s often at great odds with what we know of as science. According to the author, “the science aligned and religious worldviews are so far apart that it is clear to most that the models that underpin them cannot both reflect reality.”

The book moves on, however, to ponder whether or not there is a form of religion that can actually be truly compatible with science. In order to understand if there is, the book argues that the principle abstractions of physics should be central to its assertions, and, more specifically, that we should focus on the concepts of symmetry and quantization, both of which lie at the heart of nature’s architecture. The book presents the argument that if reality is a coherent, cohesive whole, then a (really existing) metaphysical realm–the principle domain of religion–must explain why symmetry and quantization are fundamental themes of nature.

“The Supra-Intelligent Design” urges the reader to expand upon the concept of consciousness as the key discernible phenomenon of the metaphysical realm. Based on this, we can hypothesize that the physical and metaphysical realms are truly connected (in the sense of the possibility of the union of science and religion) and that the primacy of symmetry as an architectural theme should continue across the physical-metaphysical boundary into consciousness. The author claims that symmetry’s centrality in consciousness has strong implications, including that nature has an embedded existential aim.

The ideas discussed in “The Supra-Intelligent Design” are intellectually rigorous and thought provoking. The scientific material presented is heuristic, but detailed, covering little understood aspects of a variety of physics models. The discussion includes a succinct comparative analysis of the tenets of REP with the fundaments of the Abrahamic, Indian, and Taoic religions. Also of interest: a detailed explanation of how the farthest reaches of advanced states of meditative focus and extreme experiences of consciousness expansion are similar.

In summary, “The Supra-Intelligent Design” is ideal for the serious reader interested in an intense intellectual exploration of the sometime-conflicted union between religion and science. The Society for the Alignment of Religion and Science takes head on the big ideas of our universe, examining them from new perspectives and angles. It argues for a reconceptualization of theism that is fully aligned with science and presents REP as a model for the future of religion. This book is intellectually stimulating and cerebrally provocative, tackling the deepest concepts that have fascinated philosophers and scientists for many centuries. For readers whose curiosity about the intersection between science and religion runs deep and whose interests in pondering big ideas are receptive to unique perspectives, this book is highly recommended!