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Writings

Is Science Hitting a Wall?

Economists show increased research efforts are yielding decreasing returns.

Was I wrong about "The End of Science"?

Horgan reconsiders his thesis for a new edition of his controversial book.

Mind-Body Problems: Science, Subjectivity and Who We Really Are

A radical new meta-solution to the deepest, oldest mystery.

Dear "Skeptics," Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More

Horgan accuses self-appointed skeptics of going after easy targets.

War Is Our Most Urgent Problem. Let's Solve It

"Cross-check" (Scientific American blog), August 12, 2014.

The Drones Come Home

Drones may soon become ubiquitous in U.S. skies. National Geographic, 2013.

The Consciousness Conundrum

The wetware that gives rise to consciousness is far too complex to be replicated in a computer anytime soon. IEEE Spectrum, June 2008.

The Templeton Foundation: A Skeptic's Take

An essay that considers whether it is ethical for an agnostic to accept money from the Templeton Foundation, which seeks to reconcile science and religion.

The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips

An account of the pioneering research on brain implants in humans and other animals by Jose Delgado and others, Scientific American, October 2005.

The Myth of Mind Control: Will Anyone Ever Decode the Human Brain?

Explores whether scientists will ever have complete understanding of and control over the brain's neural code. Discover, October 2004.

Peyote on the Brain

Investigation of peyote use in Native American Church. Discover, February 2003.

Selected Articles, 1986-Present

An annotated list of articles, reviews, and essays written over the past two decades for Scientific American, The New York Times, Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, Slate, and other magazines and newspapers.

MYSTICISM

Why I Gave Up On Zen

Horgan describes his trials and tribulations in a Zen class taught by a Japanese-American woman in his hometown.

The Psychedelic Sorcerer

A breakfast conversation in Basel, Switzerland, with the anthropologist Christian Ratsch.

The Anti-Gurus

Horgan talks to the authors of The Guru Papers about the dangers of cults, gurus, and spiritual authority.

A Modern Catholic Mystic

John Horgan visits the reclusive Benedictine monk Brother David Stendl-Rast, a former teacher at Esalen and leader in the effort to establish a Catholic dialogue with Buddhism, at a monastery in western New York.

Beyond Belief

John Horgan describes meeting Stephen Batchelor, author of The Faith to Doubt and Buddhism Without Beliefs.

The Myth of the Totally Enlightened Guru

John Horgan describes his meeting with the guru Andrew Cohen, founder of the journal What Is Enlightenment? and advocate of the myth of the totally enlightened guru. This article includes brief digressions on Yogi Bhajan, popularizer of kundalini yoga, and Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu.