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Friday, October 31, 2008

6 Scare their pants back on again and send them out to raise hell about stuff they know nothing about

Once readers have settled into a "conspiracy" mode, as per Amanda Gefter's hit piece in New Scientist, they can swallow the most extraordinary displays of foolishness without curiosity.

Have a look at this comment from Andy Clark, professor of logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh, UK on the non-materialist approach to neuroscience:
"This is an especially nasty mind-virus because it piggybacks on some otherwise reasonable thoughts and worries. Proponents make such potentially reasonable points as 'Oh look, we can change our brains just by changing our minds,' but then leap to the claim that mind must be distinct and not materially based. That doesn't follow at all. There's nothing odd about minds changing brains if mental states are brain states: that's just brains changing brains."
Amanda Gefter advises us that Prof Clark's view is "the voice of mainstream academia." Is it indeed? Wittering about a "mind-virus"? No wonder materialist theory is in trouble.

Gefter ends by rallying her readers for a "big pre-emptive push" to educate the public about the brain. Does that mean more hit pieces?

In a letter to various notables, accompanying a copy of the hard cover edition of The Spiritual Brain, Mario Beauregard and I said
Today, non-materialist neuroscience is thriving, despite the limitations imposed by widespread misunderstanding and, in a few cases, hostility. Readers are urged to approach all the questions and evidence presented in this book with an open mind. This is a time for exploration, not dogma.
At the time, it hadn't occurred to either of us that dogma would be supplemented by dark tales of conspiracy. But maybe that is a typical end state for a failing dogma.

Anyway, it's Hallowe'en, right?

Return to: Is THIS your best shot? A response to New Scientist's recent hit piece on non-materialist neuroscientists

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