Neuroscience

Uncommon Descent Contest Question 16: Are materialist atheists smarter than other types of believers? – winner announced

The title question here riffed off a study that claimed to prove such a point. I must also have been thinking of the “Brights” movement of materialist atheists. The winner here is Barb at 2, who needs to provide me with a postal address at which she may receive a copy of The Spiritual Brain. Read More…

Neuroscience Popular culture

Neuroscience and popular culture: How much are journalists to blame for pop science culture?

Don’t blame journalists, says Jonah Lehrer here on the reporting of science. He makes some excellent points: Scientists are almost never subjected to critical coverage in the mainstream media. Quick: name the last newspaper or magazine article that dared to criticize or skeptically analyze a piece of published research. If you had trouble thinking of Read More…

Climate change Neuroscience

How much attention should we pay to pundit predictions?

Maybe not so much. Jonah Lehrer, contributing editor at Wired, and blogger at The Frontal Cortex writes, In the early 1980s, Philip Tetlock at UC Berkeley picked two hundred and eighty-four people who made their living “commenting or offering advice on political and economic trends” and began asking them to make predictions about future events. Read More…

Neuroscience

Neuroscience: My latest MercatorNet story: Brain scans and neurotrash

It’s the ultimate branding strategy. Just slap “neuro” before a word and the goofiest speculation becomes respectable science.” Here: Unfortunately, neurotrash may not always be harmless nonsense in marketing departments about what color of car people choose. Increasingly, in the form of neurolaw, it is catching on in the legal profession, in the same way Read More…

Neuroscience

Coffee! Neuroscience: Do you really need a refrigerator when you have this?

I found this chilling: Abstract: This paper questions criminal law’s strong presumption of free will. Part I assesses the ways in which environment, nurture, and society influence human action. Part II briefly surveys studies from the fields of genetics and neuroscience which call into question strong assumptions of free will and suggest explanations for propensities Read More…

Neuroscience

Neuroskepticism – a breath of fresh air from New Humanist – and maybe more legal safety too?

Neuroscience is, unfortunately, increasingly taken over by what I often describe as neurobullshipping. You know, neuroeconomics,, neurolaw … It basically amounts to determining which regions of the brains of carefully chosen subjects light up when certain propositions are introduced. Relief at last! Here, at New Humanist, Raymond Tallis rallies the neuroskeptics (“Neurotrash”, Volume 124, Issue Read More…

Darwinism Human evolution Neuroscience Philosophy Psychology Science

Freud down, Darwin next?

Sigmund Freud had immeasurable impact on modern culture.  Along with Marx and Darwin, he was one of the great modern thinkers, whose “science” of psychology and treatment, psychoanalysis, defined modern concepts of human nature for generations.  His theories (based largely on Darwinism) brought new words into popular vocabulary–id, ego, super-ego, the unconscious.  His ideas influenced Read More…