Neuroscience & Mind Icon Neuroscience & Mind

Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor on the Mind and the Brain

David Klinghoffer

Michael Egnor

A derivative myth of materialism and Darwinism holds that the mind and the brain are one and the same. Consciousness is an illusion. So is free will. Chemicals in the brain make our decisions for us.

It has to be so, of course, if material stuff is all there is. The Darwinian picture of reality has no place in it for spirit. In this, though, it runs up against both science and philosophy. Describing his own experiences in the operating room, neurosurgeon and Evolution News contributor Michael Egnor explains in a fascinating ID the Future conversation with biologist Ray Bohlin. Dr. Egnor concludes by proposing, as an alternative, Thomistic dualism. Listen to the podcast here.

An amusing and elementary point Egnor and Bohlin discuss is that when strict materialists argue against the mind as an independent entity, they are caught in a trap of their own devising. They make an assertion that they insist is true. Yet according to their own way of thinking, all assertions, all reason, all thinking is no more than chemical reactions.

The problem is that chemical reaction can’t be true, or false. They just are. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a materialist respond to this basic challenge. Care to try?

Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara III, U.S. Air Force.