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TagAstonishing Hypothesis (book)

Cells under a microscope. Cell division. Cellular Therapy. 3d illustration on a dark background

Cognitive Cells? A Newer Challenge to Neo-Darwinism

The origin of self-referential cognition is unknown, say a trio of researchers who call it “biology’s most profound enigma”

In September 1957, Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Francis Crick (1916–2004) announced the “Central Dogma” in biology, at a symposium at Oxford University. The dogma is currently given in the Biology Dictionary thus: “genetic information flows primarily from nucleic acids in the form of DNA and RNA to functional proteins during the process of gene expression.” This view that genes rule underpins mainstream assumptions about how traits are inherited; from there, it governs accepted assumptions about evolution. So the ground on which Darwin’s modern defenders stand, propounding the only true history of life, is narrow but it is firm. Sir Francis Crick is perhaps better known to laypeople for his 1994 book, The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for Soul, which he Read More ›

Psychology or invent conception. Brain function model.

How Much of Neuroscience Is an Unwitting Hoax?

Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein saw that much materialist neuroscience was neither true, nor false, just nonsense

In 1996, NYU physics professor Alan Sokal published an article in a journal of postmodern cultural studies. The article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” was a hoax. Sokal simply assembled more or less meaningless phrases about cultural theory and quantum physics in a grammatically correct but meaningless manuscript. He revealed the hoax a few weeks later in a magazine. The hoax ignited a storm of controversy and, in the view of many, revealed the essential sham at the core of postmodern philosophy. What Sokal (pictured) was doing, whether he knew it or not, was invoking philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s salient critique of philosophy and science, which is that much of our discourse is language games. By Read More ›