human brain

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Just discovered an interview by Third Way magazine of a Professor John Carey who appears to be a religious agnostic. Here are some excerpts that caught my fancy:

I also think that the notion that science, or logic, is capable of something you might say is truth is itself quite questionable. I mean, the human brain, the scientists tell us, is a piece of meat with electric impulses going through it. Now, why should that piece of meat have some connection with something called ‘truth’? You know? I don’t see why they’re so sure about it. It seems to me the whole business is so uncertain that their dogmatic certainty seems extraordinary.


And aggression – well, obviously, aggression is, alas, what you don’t want.
There’s another thing about the human brain from that point of view – going back to Richard Dawkins. He often talks about awe, doesn’t he? About how you don’t need religion because science gives you awe and wonder – as if religion only gives you awe and won­der! But awe and wonder, it seems to me, are simply traceable to the deficiencies of the human brain as it has dev­eloped over the millennia. What it’s developed to do is to, well, solve simple physical problems – make stone axes and so on. And if you look at subatomic particles and think how awesome they are – well, they’re only awesome because we’re completely unable to deal with them. What Dawkins calls ‘awe’ is actually ignorance. I don’t see anything particularly wonderful about it.

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Is it that mind-blowing? Depends on where you are I guess. Here in western Maine it’s a pretty normal spring. Lotsa cool rainy days with some sun, that kinda thing.

The flies (black) are out in force now. It’s hard to just stand still without a swarm building up around you. But yesterday I went for a quick walk through the woods around our property across the street and managed to avoid being bitten. That’s because I kept going.

Oh, I haven’t been doing much blogging of late, or even worse, visited anyone else’s blog. I’ve been distracted by a lot of other things. But I did change the heading picture — got rid of those porcupines and added my old Spring has Sprung header, with a new title about what Spring has Sprung means heah in Maine.

Oh, and I just added a neat colored twitter badge. But is twitter starting to loose its popularity now, just as I get interested in it?

Yesterday I found a great tutorial on the brain, the human brain. (I’m trying to find out how it works before I lose too many more neurons.) It’s a great informal lecture series in about 50 or so YouTubes by a guy by the name of Walid Aziz. And there is this wonderful psychedelic music in the background that really helps. It’s amazing in fact. I did the first 19 of them, not that I absorbed it all.

Today we’re having another Growth Group meeting over at the Bridgton library. The purpose is to plan how to increase attendance and church membership at the First Universalist Church of Norway Maine of which Cynthia and I are members. One thing we want to do is think of another name for Growth Group because it’s too easily slurred into Grope Group, and that’s NOT what it is.

Other than that I still enjoy singing in Heather Pierson’s choir at the church, enjoy the challenge of being the church treasurer, still have difficulties sleeping, still watching videos on the Science Network, but not doing as much blogging or reading other people’s blogs as much as I used to. Can’t do everything.

Maybe I’m going through a phase.

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