Thursday, January 22, 2009

Audio: Interview with Denyse O'Leary on new discoveries in human consciousness

At Skeptiko: "Science at the tipping point", I did an interview in which I was not tipsy at all.

Guest: Christian science writer, and author of The Spiritual Brain, Denyse
, on the compatibility of Christian doctrine to new discoveries in
human consciousness. Download MP3 (47:18min, 22MB)
One point, just to clarify: I am the co-author of The Spiritual Brain. Université de Montréal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard is the lead author of the book.

I greatly enjoyed discussing issues in neuroscience and spirituality with Alex.

I did get the sense that Alex wanted to push me beyond my comfort level where the science is concerned.

I am a person of conservative temperament, and think that science is best and safest when rooted in bedrock realities, wherever possible. That way, if things go wrong, fewer people, animals, or environments are hurt and there is less mess to clean up ...

The following has nothing to do with issues Alex and I discussed (for which there will be a transcript in a few weeks), it is just a comment in general:

One reason people like me get spooked by certainties based on science is the early twentieth century craze for eugenics, and where that led ...

Eugenics sounded like good science at the time, but some said then - and I agree - let's not be hasty in deciding who should not exist.

We really do not know who should exist and who shouldn't.

For one thing, we would need to know the future in detail - and the future in detail is precisely what we humans never know.

Who should exist? Well, if ever there was a case for God to decide, that's the case. So let's assume that everyone who now exists should exist - because they do. And let's do the best we can for everyone who does exist.

I am not usually a fan of dogmatic certainty, but I do make exceptions. Especially in this case. I am quite convinced that we should accepteveryone who exists and not bother with eugenics.