Humanity’s role in nature. Are we more than just a problem? A conversation with Rupert Sheldrake

An audio version of this conversation is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds.

Environmental degradation caused by technological progress is in the news almost everyday. So can any sense be made of an ancient intuition that human beings are not just part of nature but have a distinctive and positive role to play in nature?

In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss issues from the significance of consciousness to cosmic emergence in order to explore a vision of humanity in nature that goes well beyond our life being the meaningless byproduct of random processes.

Humanity contributes to the diversification and beautification of the natural world, even as monocrops undermine that enrichment, too. Alternatively, religious traditions add a layer of meaning to natural processes that science alone can’t provide, from expressing divine creativity to returning that blessing in the praising of God. Panpsychism, strong emergence and Charles Darwin’s appreciation of the excessiveness of nature are other themes in the conversation, making a case for humanity’s place as participant in the remarkable abundance that surrounds us.

For more conversations between Rupert and Mark see and