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TagFrancis Crick on consciousness

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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 ›

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Researchers: The Brain’s Claustrum Acts as a Router for Thoughts

Francis Crick thought the claustrum might be the “seat of consciousness,” an inherently materialist concept. The researchers think he was wrong.

Remember Francis Crick (1916–2004) and The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994)?: “You, your joys and sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will are, in fact, no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: ‘You’re nothing but a pack of neurons’.” Crick focused on the brain region known as the claustrum as closely tied to consciousness. According to University of Maryland medical researchers, he thought of it as the “seat of consciousness.” Now, the very concept of a “seat of consciousness” assumes that consciousness is a material thing that needs a seat. In other words, consciousness must be found specifically in one place and not Read More ›