Christopher Langan

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Christopher Langan : biography

c. 1952 –

In 2004, Langan moved with his wife Gina (née LoSasso), a clinical neuropsychologist, to northern Missouri, where he owns and operates a horse ranch.Preston, Ray (November 15, 2006). On January 25, 2008, Langan was a contestant on NBC’s 1 vs. 100, where he won $250,000.

In 1999 Langan and his wife, Gina LoSasso, formed a non-profit corporation called the "Mega Foundation" to "create and implement programs that aid in the development of extremely gifted individuals and their ideas." In addition to his writings at the Foundation, Langan’s media exposure at the end of the 1990s invariably included some discussion of his "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe" (often referred to by Langan as "CTMU"), and he was reported by Popular Science in 2001 to be writing a book about his work called Design for a Universe. He has been quoted as saying that "you cannot describe the universe completely with any accuracy unless you’re willing to admit that it’s both physical and mental in nature" and that his CTMU "explains the connection between mind and reality, therefore the presence of cognition and universe in the same phrase". He calls his proposal "a true ‘Theory of Everything’, a cross between John Archibald Wheeler’s ‘Participatory Universe’ and Stephen Hawking’s ‘Imaginary Time’ theory of cosmology." In conjunction with his ideas, Langan has claimed that "you can prove the existence of God, the soul and an afterlife, using mathematics."

Langan is a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID), a professional society which promotes intelligent design, and has published a paper on his CTMU in the society’s online journal Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design in 2002.Langan, Christopher M. (2002). . Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design 1.2-1.3 Later that year, he presented a lecture on his CTMU at ISCID’s Research and Progress in Intelligent Design (RAPID) conference. In 2004, Langan contributed a chapter to Uncommon Dissent, a collection of essays that question evolution and promote intelligent design, edited by ISCID cofounder and leading intelligent design proponent William Dembski.Langan, Christopher M. (2004). . In Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing, Wm. Dembski, Ed., Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Asked about creationism, Langan has said: I believe in the theory of evolution, but I believe as well in the allegorical truth of creation theory. In other words, I believe that evolution, including the principle of natural selection, is one of the tools used by God to create mankind. Mankind is then a participant in the creation of the universe itself, so that we have a closed loop. I believe that there is a level on which science and religious metaphor are mutually compatible.

Langan explains on his website that he believes "since Biblical accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in light of scientific evidence also given to us by God". He explains

In explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God. This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists. This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human. 

Langan has said elsewhere that he does not belong to any religious denomination, explaining that he "can’t afford to let [his] logical approach to theology be prejudiced by religious dogma." He calls himself "a respecter of all faiths, among peoples everywhere."

He was profiled in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success,

where Gladwell looks at the reasons behind why Langan was unable to flourish in a university environment. Gladwell writes that although Langan "read deeply in philosophy, mathematics, and physics" as he worked on the CTMU, "without academic credentials, he despairs of ever getting published in a scholarly journal".Gladwell 2008, p. 95. Gladwell's profile of Langan mainly portrayed him as an example of an individual who failed to realize his potential in part because of poor social skills resulting from, in Gladwell's speculation, being raised in poverty.