We have another, excellent learn-from-Bruce meeting this week. Our resident neurologist will lecture on what science knows about the human consciousness. How close is science to knowing whether our self-awareness/sentience is an epiphenomenon of the physical structures and functioning of our brains? Is there any room left for an incorporeal, human consciousness, either divinely-created or in some other way non-physical?
To most of us secular types, the answer is clear: Anything we don’t know about the human mind we someday will know. Everything that exists in our consciousness has a physical analog, evolving naturally. Evolution invented us and then we invented “us.” Many religious people seethe at this POV, considering it arrogant and, at most, unprovable. Hopefully, Bruce can help us seculars better understand what it is we’re so damned sure about.
I – whoever and whatever that is – am really looking forward to this one. Below are a few inks of general interest googled by me. I will add in any readings Bruce suggests later this weekend.
There is a small chance I won’t be there again. But, again, not for lack of interest.
SUGGESTED BACKGROUND READING –
- Theories of how the brain works.
- The “hard problem” of consciousness.
- Higher order theories of consciousness.
- Optogenetics: Controlling the brain with light (5- minute video).
- A problem: Are the results of neuroscientific studies unreliable?
- Behavioral neuroscience (Wiki explains what it is).
From me (they just seemed a little easier)
Next Week: Nuclear Negotiating with Iran.