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Monday, March 12, 2007

Today at the Mindful Hack, O’Leary’s blog on neuroscience issues

I probably can't blog here till tomorrow so for new stuff go to Mindful Hack or to specific links below:

1. Brain cells release information more widely than thought

Well, anyone who has listened to someone thinking out loud about who to vote for or where to seat people at a critical dinner party will have likely heard an approximate simulacrum of the chaos. But, that aside, if the information in the brain is really released in waves (?) and not simply at the synapses, then many materialist theories may be due for a revision.

2. Why soldiers pray

"Like those who came before and after him, Col. Barnes saw the worst of human nature in a war zone. But in the selflessness of his brothers and sisters in arms, he also witnessed the best."

The diminishing plausibility of materialism is more easily understood when we consider that this sort of behaviour, by no means rare, is regarded as the "problem" of altruism.

3. Ignorance is diss? As a member of the Canadian Science Writers' Association AND the Word Guild (a Christian writers' organization), I get to see the conflict between materialism and non-materialism from several different views. What strikes me most forcibly, from reading the militant materialist atheists' work, is that they are commonly fundamentally ignorant of what they seek to debunk and - it gets better - they parade ignorance as some kind of virtue.

4. Discussing materialism and naturalism, Ralph Dumain takes aim at one-way-only skeptics (the sort of people who call themselves "skeptics", but it only ever goes in one direction).

5. The Spiritual Brain finally has a subtitle: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul.

"Well, after some consultation, a subtitle has been decided on: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul. I don't think the search 'bots have picked it up yet at Amazon, but when they do, that's what they are supposed to pick up. The thesis is controversial enough, I think ...."

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