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Bingecast: Michael Egnor on the Human Brain

In this Bingecast episode, Dr. Robert J. Marks and Dr. Michael Egnor explore the human brain and its relationship to the mind. Is the mind an emergent property of the brain? Is there neurological evidence for the soul? What have brain experiments taught us about free will and the human person? Can you still think in a coma?

Show Notes

  • 00:00:39 | Introducing Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook
  • 00:01:47 | The mind vs. the soul
  • 00:03:59 | The self-refuting theory of eliminative materialism
  • 00:06:33 | A reasonably good explanation that fits the facts
  • 00:08:24 | A materialist perspective of the mind
  • 00:10:19 | The idea of emergence
  • 00:11:49 | The wetness of water
  • 00:13:42 | Qualia – the way things feel
  • 00:14:23 | Two problems of explaining consciousness
  • 00:15:07 | Panpsychism
  • 00:18:00 | Dualist theories of the mind
  • 00:18:42 | Cartesian dualism
  • 00:20:10 | Hylomorphism
  • 00:21:31 | Comparing theories of the mind
  • 00:25:47 | The emerging field of neuroscience and its effect on theories of the mind
  • 00:28:59 | Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA)
  • 00:29:37 | Is there a soul?
  • 00:30:23 | The soul vs. the spirit
  • 00:32:04 | Wilder Penfield on the soul and the spirit
  • 00:33:27 | Open brain operations
  • 00:35:58 | Penfield’s first line of reasoning for dualism
  • 00:37:36 | Penfield’s second line of reasoning
  • 00:38:55 | Penfield’s third line of reasoning
  • 00:42:57 | Free will vs. predestination
  • 00:43:42 | The research of Benjamin Libet
  • 00:48:51 | Overcoming addictions
  • 00:49:54 | Rewiring your brain
  • 00:51:06 | Hebb’s Law
  • 00:51:52 | Misrepresenting Libet’s experiments
  • 00:53:36 | Reproducing Libet’s experiments
  • 00:56:14 | The research of Roger Sperry
  • 00:58:19 | Corpus callosotomy vs. frontal lobotomy
  • 01:00:52 | What happens when you split the brain?
  • 01:02:16 | Perceptual vs. intellectual abnormalities
  • 01:06:27 | Possibilities of other brain connections
  • 01:08:29 | How do the mind and the brain work together?
  • 01:09:27 | The materialist approach to Sperry’s results
  • 01:10:17 | Can you still think in a coma?
  • 01:12:09 | The research of Adrian Owens on comas
  • 01:17:50 | Detecting abstract thought in coma patients
  • 01:23:30 | Ways of assessing brain function
  • 01:24:36 | Implications on the treatment of humans in comas
  • 01:25:55 | The case of Terri Schiavo

Additional Resources


Bingecast: Michael Egnor on the Human Brain