Neuroscience a target for fundamentalism?

A letter in today’s Nature from neuroscientist Kenneth Kosik makes an interesting point about the possible theological implications of neuroscience and suggests that it may become a new battleground in the ongoing tussles between scientific theory and religious fundamentalism:

The argument over evolution versus intelligent design, discussed in your News story “Day of judgement for intelligent design”, is a relatively small-stakes theological issue compared with the potential eruption in neuroscience over the material nature of the mind.

Siding with evolution does not really pose a serious problem for many deeply religious people, because one can easily accept evolution without doubting the existence of a non-material being. On the other hand, the truly radical and still maturing view in the neuroscience community that the mind is entirely the product of the brain presents the ultimate challenge to nearly all religions.

Link to full text of letter.

One Comment

  1. Posted January 15, 2006 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    The battle is already engaged. As I pointed out on 12/19 on my blog, the very first page of Patricia Churchland’s textbook, Brain-Wise, says:
    “The weight of evidence now implies that it is the brain, rather than some nonphysical stuff, that feels, thinks, and decides. That means there is no soul to fall in love. We do fall in love, certainly, and passion is as real as it ever was. The difference is that now we understand those important feelings to be events happening in the physical brain. It means that there is no soul to spend its postmortem eternity blissful in Heaven or miserable in Hell.”

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