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David Barash on the Hardest Problem in Science

imageInteresting article by David Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Hard problem in the following paragraph refers to consciousness:

I write this as an utter and absolute, dyed-in-the-wool, scientifically oriented, hard-headed, empirically insistent, atheistically committed materialist, altogether certain that matter and energy rule the world, not mystical abracadabra. But I still can’t get any purchase on this “hard problem,” the very label being a notable understatement.

Cogito ergo sum may well be the most famous phrase in Western thought, yet I am convinced that Descartes’ renowned dualism is nonsense, that mind arises from nothing more nor less than the actions of the brain. I am also nearly as confident that some day, we’ll understand how. But in the meanwhile, I can’t help appreciating Ambrose Bierce’s reformulation: cogito cogito ergo cogito sum—“I think I think therefore I think I am,” which Bierce noted might actually be as close to truth as philosophers, at least, have ever gotten.

He should try out the image on the Shroud of Turin. Full article: The Hardest Problem in Science? – Brainstorm – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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