If human intelligence is an accidental outcropping of the animal world, a sufficiently diligent researcher may expect to find the same intelligence in many other animals. But, so the argument runs, we are too prejudiced to see it.
Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, who knows some details about the brain, responds: What is most remarkable about these patients is that after the surgery they are unaffected in everyday life, except for the diminished seizures.
In 2012, Italian theoretical biologist Marcello Barbieri resigned as editor of the journal Biosemiotics because he felt that research in this area had become unscientific.
Can you imagine that years ago? But the fact is, materialists are out of ideas about consciousness and don’t know where to go.
Most people (including experts) tend to have a one-level view of causation. That is, they have a static idea of what the subject matter is, and then they look to see how the pieces bounce around within that static structure. That more or less works for physics. It totally fails everywhere else.
In an age when objectivity is becoming science’s enemy in the United States and massive corruption is a norm in its former science competitor Russia, scientists can still make a virtue out of being true to Darwin. Wherever that lands them.
But first, wait a minute.We do not really know what consciousness is. That is true whether or not “our intelligence and our experiences are ineluctable consequences of the natural causal powers of our brain, rather than any supernatural ones.” as Christof Koch claims.
So did Coyne not give Goff the right of reply? Apparently, he would need a beaker of antacid to read the guy’s book…
Prediction: The Darwinists will knuckle to the post-facts, post-objectivity rampage, leaving the non-Darwinists to defend science. This is your monkey brain on survival of the fittest: They will persecute Darwinians who speak out.
In general, National Geographic dances to Jerry Coyne’s tune where evolution is concerned and the decline he reports, if real, has continued during that same period. The only thing we really know is that the internet has drop kicked almost all magazines.
Perhaps we will morph into a civilization where a turtle with some human cells is legally human and therefore has security of the person but vast swathes of humanity are not. If you vote for people who think that’s cool, at least you will get something you voted for. Happy New Year.
At Mind Matters News: A major consequence of the advance of modern neuroscience is that we now “know” so much less than we used to. But what we do know points us in promising research directions.
The idea that we can upload our brains to computers to avoid death shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between types of thinking.
Michaael Egnor: There is no doubt that consciousness is a fundamental property of animal and human existence. As philosopher Philip Goff notes, a philosophy that cannot plausibly account for it cannot be correct.
If Alpert’s speculation pans out, naturalism could end up with a religion where God is an unprincipled Narcissist. Cool.