Advisory Memorial Board

James N. Gardner, B.A. (Yale Scholar of the House), J.D.

James N. Gardner, B.A. (Yale Scholar of the House), J.D. is a widely published complexity theorist whose book Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory of Evolution : Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe has received praise from many top scientists.
Lord Martin Rees, UK Astronomer Royal, author of Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future In This Century — On Earth and Beyond and winner of the 2001 Gruber Prize in Cosmology says Biocosm is

A fascinating and poetic synthesis of current ideas on the emergence of our biofriendly cosmos and its destiny. James Gardner’s Selfish Biocosm hypothesis envisions a novel perspective on humankind’s role in the universe.

Paul Davies, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Australian Center for Astrobiology, author of How to Build a Time Machine, The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life, The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature’s Creative Ability to Order the Universe, and other popular science books says

James Gardner tackles the biggest of the Big Questions head on: Why is the universe bio-friendly? This stunning fact cannot be shrugged aside as an incidental quirk of nature, but deserves a deep and satisfying explanation. Gardner skillfully interweaves some of the most provocative ideas at the forefront of science to outline a possible explanation — and how extraordinary his explanation turns out to be!

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute says

James Gardner carefully reviews all the best ideas on how to understand the cosmos’s apparent biological imperative and then puts forth a new, and strikingly dramatic, suggestion of his own, one that makes use of the exciting field of complexity science. He is well qualified to do this, with training in theoretical biology and philosophy, and an impressive trail of published, scholarly work in complexity theory. His arguments are lucid, and his prose is elegant and engaging. But what will most strike the reader of this book is the fact that Gardner is not going after small fish. The subject he is wrestling with is as large, as important, as they come: What is the purpose of our universe and the life it has spawned? He tells us how the fact that the universe was ‘made for life’ can be ultimately understood by science and need not forever be the domain of theology or metaphysics.
Ever since Newton, scientists have tried to understand existence by discovering its underlying rules. The result has been a massive edifice of natural law, and biology has been seen as a consequence of the universe’s construction, rather than an instigator. Only on Earth’s surface, where life has molded the seas, the continents, and even the atmosphere, is biology thought to have had an important role in shaping physical conditions — the so-called Gaia hypothesis. But Gardner has taken Gaia to its furthest conceivable magnitude: extending the role and influence of life to the stars and beyond.
There is little doubt that his ideas will change yours.

Jim’s peer-reviewed articles and scientific papers have appeared in prestigious scientific journals, including Complexity (the journal of the Santa Fe Institute), Acta Astronautica (the journal of the International Academy of Astronautics), and the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. He has also written popular articles for Wired magazine, Nature Biotechnology, The Wall Street Journal, and World Link (the magazine of the World Economic Forum).
He is a graduate of Yale College and the Yale Law School. As an undergraduate at Yale, he studied philosophy and theoretical biology and was named, on the basis of academic accomplishment, a Scholar of the House. His Scholar of the House thesis examined the coevolution of form and content in 20th Century existential philosophy and was based in part on a series of personal interviews he conducted of Jean-Paul Sartre in Paris. At Yale College, Gardner served as Feature Editor of Yale Scientific Magazine and drama critic for the Yale Daily News. During this period, he also authored front page and editorial page feature stories for The Wall Street Journal.
At Yale Law School, Jim served as Article Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Potter Stewart on the United States Supreme Court during the 1975 October Term. Following his Supreme Court clerkship, He moved to Oregon and was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 1978. During his tenure as an Oregon State Senator, he was consistently rated as the outstanding member of the Senate in surveys conducted by The Oregonian newspaper.
In addition to his scientific pursuits, Jim serves a partner in a flourishing law and government affairs firm which he cofounded with his wife Lynda Nelson Gardner. His clients include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Microsoft, Hertz, Avis, Kraft, Abbott Labs, and the Association of American Publishers. He also serves as chief freelance reviewer of popular science books for The Sunday Oregonian.
His latest book is The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos.