When everything is the same except the one thing that matters most, we can be sure we are onto a real difference.
Dr. Ali seems to take both sides of the question.
In short, he argues that it’s no surprise that cutting the brain in half has no effect on abstract thought, and then he argues that delicate complexity and interconnection is essential for abstract thought. Dr. Ali is debating Dr. Ali.
Abstract thought is qualitatively different from concrete thought. To understand this, consider a chiliagon. A chiliagon is a closed regular polygon with 1000 sides. It is very simple to understand abstractly. However, it cannot be imagined concretely
Human cloning: It can’t happen vs. It can but wouldn’t matter much.
Egnor: Novella refutes himself. He first asserts that everything he knows is an illusion. Then he insists that his illusions have slapped him in the face with reality.
Actually, the researchers are not so dumb when you consider that looking for chance events attracts the grants. Little else would.
Michael Egnor: This study is consistent with the work of Wilder Penfield, who showed that higher-level abstract thought did not seem to arise from the brain in a material way.
Materialism enables irrational ideas about ourselves to compete with rational ones on an equal basis. It won’t work
Could Shallit be replaced by even the most talented and methodical of counting ravens?
A light-hearted look by neurosurgeon Michael Egnor at what would happen if we really thought that unreason is better than reason.
Readers may remember philosopher Justin Smith, who thinks that we can understand life better if we “give up the idea of rationality as nature’s last remaining exception.” Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor weighs in, responding point by point to the essay, for example: Material states of the brain can, of course, influence our power of reason—an ounce […]
It really is quite funny. And physicists should stick to physics.
He notes: Coyne rants that Staddon’s essay should never have been published. In other words, he responds to the observation that atheism is censoriously thuggish by… being a censorious thug.
A computer is not—in and of itself—smarter than a pile of tinkertoys, philosopher Ed Feser argues