Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Skeptic’s Review of The Spiritual Brain

Doug Mesner writes asking me to respond to a review of The Spiritual Brain which he published in Skeptic Magazine, and he has now helpfully made the review available on line. He writes,
The book distresses me in that I see in it an early Creationist assault on the Cognitive Sciences, and the formation of the false scientific arguments that may be brought to the stem cell debate in years to come.
Mesner sounds like a male Amanda Gefter. (Hey, I am all for equal opportunity, so that's fine with me.)

He wants a free exchange of views, but sadly, one thing that is not free is my time just now, so I must decline.

I am not sure why he references the stem cell debate, but if people like Gefter and Mesner are entitled to private definitions of creationism, I guess they can apply their definitions and worries to the stem cell debate, wind energy, or the assignment of parking spaces in municipally owned garages - or anything else they want to.

Having almost finished Alva Noe’s thoughtful Out of Our Heads Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness and having read Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself, I would say that the skepticism (= materialism) espoused by Mesner is dead in the water and electrification of the corpse by a long discussion will not help. Things have just moved on.

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