About Sentience and Sapience.
About this website.
This website is the product of my career teaching about psychology and related fields, and researching scientific methods that facilitate the understanding of others across cultures. The site presents phenomenological and scientific findings in psychology and closely related fields, and then either:
— presents a theory or conjecture about how such findings might help us anticipate a feature (or limitation) to the various types of consciousness that might be present in the universe; or
— describes how such findings might reveal the ways in which our own human psychologies may influence or limit our ability to identify and understand sentient non-human lifeforms.
My goal is to introduce readers to the many and varied concepts and practices of scientific psychology in an interesting and potentially insightful way, which at the same time promotes a basic framework for future research into understanding sensing and thinking non-human lifeforms.
I do my best to represent the accepted science in a given area, and then carefully think through the extension to potential non-human lifeforms based on known scientific facts. From time-to-time, however, you may disagree with me. That's absolutely fine by me. If it turns out I'm wrong, and you're right, then the conversation improves the science in a way I hadn't anticipated; and that's great.
About its author.
My name is Tim Lower. I have a PhD in Cross-Cultural Research Psychology, and an MA in Existential-Phenomenological Therapeutic Psychology. I have held faculty appointments at several universities and colleges in Alaska and Washington State, among them being formerly the Chair of Psychology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Over the course of my 20 years as a faculty member, I taught a variety of courses in psychology and related fields in undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs. Outside of my time in higher education, I spent a number of years providing therapeutic services and developing human service programs in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
I currently host TheNEWPhenomenologists radio show and podcast, on which some of the entries from this website are highlighted in its Advice for our robot descendants segment. Others and I also operate an automated natural language analysis software program called Raven's Eye, and provide professional consultation through Worldview Consulting.
About the images used on this site.
All images used on this site are those publicly available by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). All of these images are copyrighted by NASA and its affiliated researchers and research organizations. Use of these images does not imply endorsement by NASA, its affiliates, or their employees. The homepage image is Chaos at the Heart of Orion, while the image on this page is The Spider Nebula, both images are used by courtesy of NASA.