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The Nature of Nature — sticky

THE NATURE OF NATURE is now finally out and widely available. If you haven’t bought it yet, let me suggest Amazon.com, which is selling it for $17.94, which is an incredible deal for a 7″x10″ 1000-page book with, for most of us, no tax and no shipping charge (it costs over $10 to ship this Read More…

Intelligent Design Neuroscience

Neuroscience: Morality for neurons

(My latest MercatorNet column reviews an  attempt to refound morality on a  materialist basis: Commonsense notions of the mind must be abandoned in favor of a purely brain-based approach because we are our neurons: Churchland is partial to a theory that morality originates in the oxytocin-vasopressin network in mammals. One outcome is stunners like this: Read More…

Neuroscience

Brain chemistry: Human vs. chimp

“Evolution of cognition might be down to brain chemistry”, Andy Coghlan reports, (New Scientist, 28 March 2011): Philipp Khaitovich of the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai, China, and colleagues analysed brain tissue from deceased humans, chimpanzees and rhesus macaques to study the concentrations of 100 chemicals linked with metabolism. In the human prefrontal Read More…

Neuroscience

The trouble with settled science is that, left to itself, it can settle like cement

In “New Insight Into the Brain’s Ability to Reorganize Itself” (ScienceDaily, Mar. 19, 2011), we learn “It’s amazing how the brain is capable of reorganizing itself in this manner,” says Murphy, co-senior author of the study and researcher at U-M’s Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. “Right now, we’re still figuring out exactly how the brain Read More…

Mind Neuroscience

Interview with Dutch journalist: On trolls, free will, the self, and nakedness

Here’s an introduction to Henk Rijkers’ review/profile/interview with me about The Spiritual Brain (Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary) in a Dutch Catholic newspaper. The book covers the failure of materialism to fulfil its promises and offers a look at a non-materialist approach to neuroscience, hence the controversy. Update: Here’s the complete text. You’ll need Google Read More…

Evolutionary psychology Neuroscience

Coffee!! Neuroscientists, your moral and intellectual superiors, explain love

Here, courtesy Thomas Lewis: Answer on NeuroscienceIs there a standard for distinguishing one type of love from another? As one of the authors of “A General Theory of Love,” I’ll take a stab at it. From the perspective of neuroscience, there are 3 basic forces that attract and bind people to one another. Each one Read More…

Darwinism Evolutionary psychology Neuroscience

Neuroscientist Raymond Tallis’s “I’m fed-up with neuro- and evo psycho- fads” is catching on …

First Things first thunkit? No, but is among the first to catch on. I see where, at their “First Thoughts,” blog, Joe Carter has picked up on Raymond Tallis’ outing of “Darwinitis”of the mind, in New Statesman. Tallis’s punctures into the balloons of neuro-this and neuro-that and “evolutionary psychology” resulted in interesting comments. It also Read More…

Darwinism Neuroscience

Neuroscience: New Statesman on “Darwinitis” of the brain

Raymond Tallis, nearly thirty years in clinical neuroscience, diagnoses the problem here (“A mind of one’s own”, 24 February 2011): The republic of letters is in thrall to an unprecedented scientism. The word is out that human consciousness – from the most elementary tingle of sensation to the most sophisticated sense of self – is Read More…

Mind Neuroscience

But I thought that thought was thought to be just the random buzz of neurons …

Scientists Steer Car With the Power of Thought ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2011) — You need to keep your thoughts from wandering, if you drive using the new technology from the AutoNOMOS innovation labs of Freie Universität Berlin. The computer scientists have developed a system making it possible to steer a car with your thoughts. Using Read More…

Neuroscience

Neuroscience: Further to the dangers of heeding negative expert opinion uncritically …

Earlier, I had mentioned the problem created by negative expert opinion, when dealing with children who are missing all or parts of their brain. A friend kindly sent me this in response, from one of the Cambridge Journals. Note the line in the abstract below, “The relative rarity of manifest consciousness in congenitally decorticate children Read More…