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Tag: Neuroscience

Chemistry, Not Character, and Why Is No One Suing Ohio Over This?

Chemistry, Not Character, and Why Is No One Suing Ohio Over This?

Driving on I-75 in Cincinnati the other day I passed a billboard telling people with a gambling problem, “It’s not your character, it’s your chemistry.” The web link on the billboard took me to a site put up by the state of Ohio that leads after a couple clicks to the same slogan. And the Freedom from Religion Foundation hasn’t sued the state for it. This saying isn’t unique to Ohio or specific only to gambling. Christian pastor Rick Warren…

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Jerry Coyne, Neuroscience, and Research Methods 101

Jerry Coyne, Neuroscience, and Research Methods 101

Dr. Jerry Coyne, atheistic biologist and blogger, thinks it’s surprising some people still believe in dualistic free will. To add to V.J. Torley’s excellent extended response to his post on Uncommon Descent, I want to focus on this question of Coyne’s. “In fact, when you think about more abstract things, like God or faith, parts of the brain light up in brain scans. Why should they if such notions are immaterial?” My answer: why shouldn’t they? What does he think…

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Mental Exhaustion: If It’s Not Physical Then What Is It?

Mental Exhaustion: If It’s Not Physical Then What Is It?

I'll bet you thought that if you were mentally exhausted it was because of all the energy your brain just expended. Turns out it's probably not so; rather, what you believe makes it so. From Scientific American: Unlike physical exercise, mental workouts probably do not demand significantly more energy than usual. Believing we have drained our brains, however, may be enough to induce weariness. Let me place this in context. Atheistic materialism is committed to the theory that everything about…

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I didn’t know it hurt till they put my head in a scanner

I didn’t know it hurt till they put my head in a scanner

To be filed under the heading, “Neuroscience News Flash: Rejection Is Painful” The regions of the brain that respond to physical pain overlap with those that react to social rejection, according to a study that used brain imaging on people involved in romantic breakups. “These results give new meaning to the idea that rejection ‘hurts.’” [From PsycPORT Article] I just love the way neuroscience adds to our insights. No, check that sarcasm. I think there’s a lot to be gained…

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The Will to Power–Is “Free Will” All in Your Head?: Scientific American

The Will to Power–Is “Free Will” All in Your Head?: Scientific American

This from Scientific American raises interesting questions regarding knowledge: The Will to Power–Is “Free Will” All in Your Head? The author, Christof Koch, apparently wants to balance philosophical questions with scientific ones. I appreciate his trying—but he doesn’t succeed. Not even if we ignore the oddly inappropriate allusion to Nietzsche in the title (for which Koch may not be responsible, as titles are often written by editors instead). His topic is the perceptual effects experienced by patients during brain surgery….

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“Spirituality: Is it all in your head?”

“Spirituality: Is it all in your head?”

Neurotheology strikes again, this time in an article that begins, Jan. 4–Having a spiritual experience may be all in your head — or at least part of it. A group of University of Missouri researchers recently completed a study that claims a particular area of the brain is linked to spirituality. At the risk of over-simplifying the matter, here’s what’s wrong with studies like this one. First, correlation does not equal causation. Knowing what part of the brain is involved…

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“Evolution News & Views: My “Neuroscience Denial”?”

“Evolution News & Views: My “Neuroscience Denial”?”

Some of you have been watching the exchange between Dr. Steven Novella and Dr. Michael Egnor on neuroscience and mind. The most recent installments are here (Dr. Egnor’s), responding to this from Dr. Novella. Dr. Egnor writes in summary to his post, I’ll get back to Dr. Novella’s specific arguments in my ensuing posts, but Dr. Novella’s invocation of “neuroscience denialism” leaves me dumbfounded. He’s right. Dr. Novella is playing rhetorical games. This time it’s almost pathetically transparent. Why, oh…

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Dualism Dueling With Science?

Dualism Dueling With Science?

There is a lively debate going on regarding two views of the mind: dualist vs. materialist. Last month’s New Scientist article, “Creationists Declare War Over the Brain,” prompted responses from several quarters, including one of my own. Dr. Steven Novella wrote a two-part response (Part One, Part Two), taking the opportunity especially to make swipes at Michael Egnor of the Discovery Institute who has written on the topic more than once. Drs. Egnor and Novella are both physicians, Egnor a…

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