ABC Radio’s All in the Mind sees the return of long-time presenter Natasha Mitchell with an interview with philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett on a scientific approach to understanding religion.
Dennett is tackled on some of the issues raised in his recent book Breaking the Spell (ISBN 0713997893) and particularly on his reliance on the controversial theory of memes to back up his arguments:
Mitchell: Many would argue that the idea of memes is a seductive idea, others would say, ‘pseudo-scientific wordplay Dan Dennett, this is no more scientific than religion’.
Dennett: Memetics has not been turned into a science yet and it may not be turned into a science, except insofar as we come to understand that if you’re going to do a scientific study of culture you have to keep the space open for cultural themes to change without being changed deliberately by anybody.
Regardless of your views on any of Dennett’s points, he is always an engaging speaker and well worth listening to.
Link to audio and transcript of All in the Mind.