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a collection of written work
by David Snoke
Many people who think about world views are aware of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism and its influence on modern Western culture. The main element of this philosophy that usually draws attention is the artificial separation of the mind and body (see, for example, Nancy Pearcey's excellent book, Total Truth.) This can lead to both an overvaluing of intellect and also wallowing in bodily pleasure, as the body is seen as irrelevant.
But there is another aspect of Gnosticism that has attracted less attention. This aspect gives the name of the philosophy itself, the "gnosis." It is the idea of secret knowledge that makes sense of the world, the "real truth" that others don't know. A great part of the appeal of Gnosticism is being one of the "cognoscenti", those who know something others don't. C.S. Lewis talked of this as the appeal of the "inner ring", or as we would say in the US, the "inner circle." The spirit of Gnosticism is to feel above your neighbor because you know something important that he doesn't.
One of the sources of tension in our modern polarization is the fact that progressivism is, almost by definition and certainly in practice, monocultural. Although the term "multicultural" is often used, the world view of modern progressivism entails a single aim, that is, a single culture toward which all other cultures must progress.
David is a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He received his bachelors degree in physics from Cornell University and his PhD in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has worked for The Aerospace Corporation and was a visiting scientist and Fellow at the Max Planck Institute. His experimental and theoretical research has focused on fundamental quantum mechanical processes in semiconductor optics, i.e. phase transitions of electrons and holes. Two main thrusts have been Bose-Einstein condensation of excitons and polaritons. He has also had minor efforts in numerical biology, and has published on the topic of the interaction of science and theology.