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“Inside our skull is more than just a brain”

Neuromania: On the limits of brain science
In “Neuroscience: The Mind Inside Our Skull,” (Science 20 July 2012), Ricardo Basso Garcia reviews Paolo Legrenzi and Carlo Umiltà’s Neuromania: On the Limits of Brain Science , and seems surprisingly sympathetic:

In the authors’ reading, the brain has become the system of reference in explanations of human mind and behavior, relegating to the background an alternative approach that emphasized the social and cultural aspects of the human mind. A word of caution: The important issue is not a matter of which perspective should prevail but that many decisions regarding human life depend on how society defines the mind-body relationship. If only one aspect appears in the foreground, there may be drastic differences when dealing with thorny topics such as abortion and euthanasia. Answers to the complex questions raised by technological and scientific progress toward controlling life and death depend on ethical and ideological choices. To think about such issues from a strictly biological point of view may be misleading—after all, inside our skull there is more than just a brain.

Astonishing that such words would appear in a regular issue schmience journal – but maybe it isn’t that any more. Wait and see.

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5 Responses to “Inside our skull is more than just a brain”

  1. As a YEC creationist i would insist our brain is unrelated to our soul .
    jesus was God and his brain was not relevant to his intellect.
    The brain is just a middleman between our soul and the physical world.
    I think the brain greatly also holds the memory. the memory, being of the physical world and not our soul, easily fails in function and interferes with our thinking.
    Yet our true thinking is unrelated to the brain.

  2. Robert,

    “jesus was God and his brain was not relevant to his intellect.” This is claim based upon what? And his muscles and legs were not relevant to his walking speed. Or whatsoever his physical appearance is nor relevant to whatever he performed. That would lead to denial of Incarnation.

    And as we don’t have chances to observe his brain, the claim is not backed by anything except some opinion. Also Jesus was not only God he was Man, and it is pretty good scientific fact, that there is some correlation between brain and Intellect, so I don’t see why we can’t say that Jesus had very well established brain in his scull.

  3. I would like to present a really simple argument and see what everyone else thinks.

    1. Our brain occupies a finite amount of volume and has a finite energy. In my understanding of quantum mechanics, this implies that the brain has only a finite number of states. It may have a very large number of possible states, but it is a finite number of states.

    2. The mind can think of an infinite (AFAIK an uncountable infinity ( i.e. > aleph-nought )) number of statements. This is because my mind is not restricted to what is real. My mind can also think about untrue things, or maybe true things.

    Since there is no way of mapping the infinite set of possible thoughts of the mind to the finite number of brain states possible, the mind != brain. QED.

    Please note that I don’t think animals have this freedom. I do indeed think that animals can project into the future.

    Example, my dog can project that if he is chasing me and I go around the garage, that I have to come out on the other side of the garage ( because the dog has taken that route before ). Therefore my dog stops chasing me and waits at the other side of the garage for me to come out.

    But animals can only project real results. They can not project the impossible or the improbable.

    Any comments?

  4. 4

    Shazard.
    No. Jesus is God and proved it. He did not need or was restricted by his brain.
    It was a ordinary brain and so the brain is unrelated to intellect unless Jesus is a special case.
    We will think as we do now in the afterlife.
    Our brain is simply a middleman between us and the natural world.
    Our memory is of the natural world and is the origin for all intellectual problems.

  5. 5

    JDH
    So your saying the mind is greater then our brain?
    I agree. Only I would say our soul is what thinks and is meshed to the brain/body.
    I think thats how I can respond to you.

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