At Least He is Honest

When we hear the giddy almost embarrassing announcements that “science” is getting close to solving the “problem” of consciousness, it is nice to read a more honest assessment.

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1 Response to At Least He is Honest

  1. Burk Braun says:

    Nice post… I think there are very good reasons to disagree with the good professor, however.

    He woefully underestimates our degree of ignorance about the origins of the universe and similar problems. Why does energy take the form of electrons? We have no real idea.

    In contrast, while consciousness is not understood fully, it is a very finite problem, as he mentions. The magic is all confined to our heads, and our technology has been pretty slow, really, in gaining access in useful ways to the micro-circuitry and rapid-fire goings on within.

    Still, we know a huge amount already- we can change people's thoughts by several physical interventions, and we know what makes the mechanism work in many respects. Things like strokes are constantly giving us discrete slices of what the brain is doing. In particular, this is telling us that consciousness is a graded and distributed phenomenon. It certainly isn't his mythical “nucleus”.

    Making this out to be the biggest problem around is pure parochialism on his part. Understandable for sure, and perhaps inspiring for some of his listeners and ra-ra for his field, but quite wrong in the overall scheme of things.

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