November 2, 2011

Neuroscience And Darwinism Rule! - "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Says Knowledgeable Briton, Raymond Tallis

A knowledgeable curmudgeon, Raymond Tallis, pokes neuroscience and Darwinism in their respective, metaphorical eyes.  See Raymond Tallis Takes Out the 'Neurotrash' by Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 9, 2011.  Perhaps both endeavors need such doses of skepticism and critique to help curb the public's and some scientists' enthusiasm (and worry) that these current paradigms that dominate the scientific study of our species can and will explain it all.

Seems to me there's something in all this about our species' apparent insecurity with the incomplete and provisional nature of science on the one had; and yet on the other a counter-current fear that science will expose our precious selves and take our individual uniqueness and privacy away.

Many of us who reject the absolute truth of the Abrahamic religions regarding the nature of the Universe and Humankind, really would like to see secular science keep trying to explain it all.  I am one though as I have written elsewhere on this blog, scientific knowledge will never be complete.  Maybe science will eventually explain a significantly greater portion of the "All" than it can at present.  But not so fast, says atheist Tallis. 

I welcome Tallis' critique as a dose of needed humility for secularists at large, and as a cautionary antidote for the possible emergence of scientific absolutism.  His criticism is good for the growth of scientific knowledge.

Tallis' recently published book might be worth a read:  Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis, and the Misrepresentation of Humanity


Decoding the Brain's Cacophany, Profiles in Science - Michael S. Gazzaniga, by Benedict Carey, The New York Times, Science, October 31, 2011

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