Dr. Steven Novela believes that the brain (matter) entirely explains the mind. I challenge him to answer the question raised by this thought problem: Imagine a tutor who specializes in teaching children about color. He’s a materialist, named…Steve. He knows all that is known about color. He knows the physics, the optics, the chemistry, the neurobiology, everything. A family retains him to teach their child, a prodigy, all that can be known about color.
[Editor’s Note: For a full and comprehensive review and response to Edward Humes’ book, Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, and the Battle for America’s Soul, please see A Partisan Affair: A Response to Edward Humes’ Inaccurate History of Kitzmiller v. Dover and Intelligent Design, “Monkey Girl.] For someone who boasts a Pulitzer Prize (for a work other than Monkey Girl) and claims to be objective and neutral journalist, Edward Humes’ book Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul is an incredibly partisan and inaccurate portrayal of the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial. At many points it simply parrots Darwinist talking points and retells many of their patently false urban legends about the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, leaving out Read More ›
Steven Novella has a recent post on SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Like many of us, Dr. Novella is fascinated by the prospect of finding evidence for intelligent alien life in outer space. Dr. Novella: I am a strong supporter of SETI – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. To me this is a fascinating scientific endeavor with a potentially huge payoff… Dr. Novella defends SETI against the claims by some that it is not real science:
In Part 1, I showed how Ken Miller misrepresented Michael Behe’s arguments about the irreducibility of the blood-clotting cascade to Judge Jones during the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, such that Judge Jones wrongly ruled that “scientists in peer-reviewed publications have refuted Professor Behe’s predication about the alleged irreducible complexity of the blood-clotting cascade.” To briefly recap, Miller told Judge Jones that Behe’s discussion of the blood-clotting cascade in Darwin’s Black Box was “essentially identical” to the discussion of the blood-clotting cascade in Of Pandas and People, implying that any critiques of Pandas also applied to Behe. But unlike Pandas, Behe explicitly did not argue that all of the components of the blood-clotting cascade were required for it to function properly. Read More ›
Dr. Steven Novella is a Yale neurologist with whom I have been having a blog debate about the mind-brain question. Dr. Novella asserts that neuroscience has proven the strict materialistic understanding of the mind — that the mind is caused entirely by the brain, and reducible entirely to it — is true. I disagree. Although the mind and brain correlate to a high degree, the mind is ontologically irreducible to the brain. I believe that some form of dualism is necessary for a satisfactory explanation of the mind. I have written several posts about qualia, which is the subjective nature of sensory experiences, such the experience of the color red, or the smell of coffee, or the ‘hurt’ of pain. Read More ›