- Chapter Sixteen ... in which we ask a new question, 'What is man?' We focus on the fact that man is the only species that possesses mind — the capacity for thought and self-knowledge. Atheism must interpret mind as the inconsequential by-product of electrical activity in the brain, but we'll see how this leads to an epistemological abyss — the conclusion that all thought is meaningless.
- We examine the burgeoning field of evolutionary1 psychology which traces all human behaviour to genetic predestination and eliminates moral responsibility. It's not a pretty sight. Are our brains no more than computers made of meat?
- Fortunately, we conclude that mind is more than meat; that it 'rides’ on the physical organ we call the brain in much the same way that the genetic code 'rides' on the chemical structure of DNA. This is exactly what we would expect on the hypothesis of God — for God has a mind without a body and man is made in his image.
- New words?2
- Dualism: The idea that mind and matter (specifically the brain) are distinct and separate realities.
- Epistemological: Relating to knowledge or thought.
- Monism: The idea that mind is nothing more than the brain at work.
- p-n junction: A kind of on-off switch that is basic to the operation of a computer chip.
- PET imaging: Positron Emission Tomography imaging. A medical scanning technique that produces 3D pictures of functional processes in the body.
- Reductionism: The view that everything can be explained in terms of naturalistic cause and effect.
- Vitalism: The idea that living things are imbued with a non-material 'life-force’.
Footnote 2: I note these (as given by the author), not for the usefulness of the definitions, but as an indication of the topics under discussion, and of the low level of education presumed of the reader.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
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