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Consciousness: Neuroscientist David Eagleman sort of starts to get the picture

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Eagleman is a “rock star” neuroscientist, and author of Incognito.

From Nigel Farndale, “The brain: a user’s guide” (Telegraph, April 24, 2012

Eagleman calls himself neither religious nor atheist, I should point out, but a Possibilian, a denomination of his own invention, that, like the book, has attracted a cult following. “The idea with Possibilians is that we don’t know what is going on here. It is a big, strange, lovely cosmos and if there’s one thing that is clear it’s that our ignorance of it is too vast to commit to atheism, and at the same time we know too much to commit to a particular religion.”

If we get closer to understanding the human brain, will it help us understand the universe, I ask, not feeling entirely confident that my question makes any sense. “Boy, that seems right,” he says. (Phew). “What’s happening in brain science at the moment is as exciting as the discoveries that are being made about the cosmos. Inner space and outer space. Maybe consciousness is a new kind of force, in the way electricity or magnetism is. It might be that, as we explore the brain, we come to an understanding of consciousness as being a separate property.”

Well, that’s a start. Given that all the nonsense attempts to explain consciousness in a materialist way, it’s nice to hear that someone we didn’t expect to is blundering in the right direction.

Perhaps we will be spared another useless theory of consciousness that ignores the main point: It is a real but immaterial property.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allan at Brains on Purpose


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