He tells the story of how a gifted scientist lost a debate with a Darwinist—a debate he should have won:
Owen made a common mistake among those of us who fight the materialist and Darwinist view of man — he accepted materialist premises and thus lost the debate on materialist grounds…
Owen was unwise to base his claim of human exceptionalism — a claim completely vindicated by science and by everyday experience — on the physical differences between apes and men. It is the mental differences which distinguish us. Apes make no claim to ape exceptionalism — they make no claims at all. What distinguishes apes from men is not their brains. I could use ape brains to teach human neuroanatomy to my medical students. Although ape brains do differ somewhat from human brains in cortical anatomy, it is the similarity between the brains of apes and men, rather than the differences, that provides striking evidence of human exceptionalism.Michael Egnor, “How not to debate materialists” at Mind Matters News
Further reading: Michael Egnor on
reason: The real reason why only human beings speak: Language is a tool for abstract thinking—a necessary tool for abstraction—and humans are the only animals who think abstractly
free will: How Libet’s free will research is misrepresented: Sometimes, says Michael Egnor, misrepresentation may be deliberate because Libet’s work doesn’t support a materialist perspective.
the soul: What is the difference between “soul” and “spirit”? Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor explains the subtle distinction between the meaning of the two, often confused, terms