If we were in the middle of an information revolution, how would you know?
Intelligent spine? Intelligent design? It’s getting to the point that everything in the system of life is intelligent except the system itself—which is supposed to have come about randomly. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Notice that the neurons aren’t being called “junk neurons,” as in the exploded concept of vast libraries of “junk DNA.” Quite the contrary, they are given the somewhat glamorous cachet of “dark” neurons, as in “dark matter.” Perhaps something has been learned from the collapse of the concept of “junk DNA.”
Pediatric neurosurgeon Michael Egnor : Fetuses not only experience pain but experience it more intensely than do adults: “Much of pro-abortion advocacy is science denial—the deliberate misrepresentation of science to advance an ideological agenda. Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, wrote a misleading essay on that theme in the New York Times, […]
Because science writers need simple sound bites and catch phrases: Dennett’s integration of popular evolution theory into his work appeals to many science writers, as this snippet from a BBC news item shows: From an evolutionary perspective, our ability to think is no different from our ability to digest, says Dennett. Both these biological activities can […]
Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor offers this definition by way of explaining that there is one sense in which consciousness IS an illusion: We are not aware of our consciousness; only of its objects. I believe that the most satisfactory definition of consciousness is the intentional power of the mind — the ability of thought to be “about” […]
It is much easier to talk about the mind as a “meat robot” than about the reality, especially these days, when a Twitter putdown or TED talk is all you need by way of an argument. Few will bother to seek out someone who knows why it’s absolute nonsense.
AI help, not hype: Did you read about the flap they had to cut out of a volunteer’s skull?
Could be unique to humans: It turns out we humans may have an extra type of thinky bit that isn’t found in other primates. A previously unknown brain structure was identified while scientists carefully imaged parts of the human brain for an upcoming atlas on brain anatomy. Neuroscientist George Paxinos and his team at Neuroscience […]
A philosopher claims that neuroscience has proven thoughts do not exist. Eric Holloway looks at the neuroscience and examines the claim: There is a problem with this sort of reasoning. One could make the same argument about computer code, as follows: There is no code. It’s all just assembly language. Or, there is no assembly, it’s all […]
As pop neuroscientist Anil Seth claims in a TED talk? What the brain “is” depends on how you study it. We live in a mechanical age, so we study it as a machine. But our method of study determines what we learn. Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg noted perceptively that “…what we observe […]
Recently, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor offered a parable about whether machines really learn. The tale features a book that “learned” to fall open at the right places. Computer scientist Jeffrey Shallit responded, claiming that machines really CAN learn!, and Dr. Egnor responded to him, pointing out that a baseball glove can “learn” the game if adjustment […]
But maybe it doesn’t matter. For example, as British Psychological Society’s Research Digest’s editor, Christian Jarrett, tells it, Educational neuromyths include the idea that we learn more effectively when taught via our preferred “learning style”, such as auditory or visual or kinesthetic … the claim that we use only 10 per cent of our brains; […]
These findings don’t show that reptiles are secretly smart. They mainly deepen the mystery of the human mind, which traverses regions unknown to any of them without the brain being that much different.
No, really. Here’s what they say in 2018 about the placebo effect (you start to get better when you think you are getting better): “OUR minds aren’t passive observers simply observing reality as it is; our minds actually change reality. The reality we experience tomorrow is partly the product of the mindsets we hold today.” […]