Cancer Research, Prayer, and St. Jude

P.Z. Myers recently posted at Pharyngula a plea for more funding for cancer research. His sister-in-law (mother of three kids) died tragically from melanoma several years ago, and Myers asked Pharyngula readers to support cancer research more vigorously. It’s a sentiment with which we all agree. Yet Myers used this tragedy to denigrate religious faith. Noting his subsequent conversation with a pediatric oncologist in which he learned about the progress that has been made in the treatment of childhood cancer, Myers claimed: How does she [the oncologist] do that [successfully treat some children’s cancers]? With science. She sent me a whole stack of references on the amazing progress that has been made over the last several decades, thanks to clinical Read More ›

The Hard and Easy Problems in the Mind-Brain Question

In the debate between dualists and materialists over the relationship between the mind and the brain, materialists often invoke neuroscience to buttress their assertion that the brain causes the mind entirely, without need for an immaterial mind or soul. Indeed neuroscience has demonstrated many examples of correlation between physical brain processes and mind states. Do examples of correlation between brain states and mind states genuinely provide evidence for the materialist claim that mind states are merely brain states? The wild claims of neuroscientists, such as the astonishing claim by atheist Yale neurologist Steven Novella that “the materialist hypothesis– that the brain causes consciousness — has made a number of predictions, and every single prediction has been validated,” suggest that some Read More ›

Missing Links: What Happened to Dr. Steven Novella’s Blog Posts?

Dr. Steven Novella and I have been engaged in a vigorous blog debate (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, , and here,) about the mind/brain problem and about intelligent design. Dr. Novella, who presents himself as a pro-science ‘skeptic’ (he’s president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society), is a passionate Darwinist and materialist. He blogs often on Darwinism, materialism, and “denialism” in science. Monday morning I checked Dr. Novella’s blog. I noticed that several (at least four) of his recent controversial blog posts were missing. The links are here, here, here, and here. I checked more closely– using my own previous links to the posts– and the posts (#165, #189, #260, and #283) were gone, without a Read More ›

My Denialism and Dr. Stephen Novella’s Latest Fumble on the Mind-Brain Problem

“Denialist” has become the slur du-jour of materialists. Dr. Stephen Novella, ardent acceptist, takes me to task for denying the truth of his personal materialist ideology of mind-brain causation. He believes that the brain causes the mind entirely, without remainder. I believe that the brain causes the mind partly, with remainder. He’s a materialist, I’m a dualist. That makes Dr. Novella angry: Dr. Egnor must be tired of always being wrong – or at least he would be if he had the insight and intellectual honesty to see how persistently wrong he is. Alas, so far he has not demonstrated such insight. I have been engaged in an ongoing blog debate with Dr. Michael Egnor, who writes for the propaganda Read More ›

Viewing Neuroscience through Materialist Glasses

Dr. Steven Novella, the dogmatic materialist neurologist at Yale who has insisted that “…every single prediction [of the strict materialist understanding of the brain] has been validated” by science, has found even more scientific evidence for his personal ideology. Dr. Novella recently noted a report in Nature Neuroscience about fMRI correlates of decision-making in the brain. In the report, “Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain” authors Chun Siong Soon and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany show that brain activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortex may precede conscious decision-making by as much as ten seconds before a decision is consciously made. Each subject was asked to push a button with either the right hand Read More ›