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TagMichael Egnor

Mind Burst

Could Consciousness Have Evolved?

Michael Egnor takes a hard look at the evidence in this classic podcast episode.

On a classic episode of ID the Future, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor interviews Bernardo Kastrup, a philosopher with a background in computer engineering, about consciousness, evolution, and intelligent design. Did consciousness evolve? What does the evidence suggest? And how do materialists deal with the seemingly immaterial reality that is consciousness?  Enjoy this guest episode from Mind Matters, a podcast of Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence. Dig Deeper Cross-posted at Evolution News.

Artificial General Intelligence Humanoid Robots Human Robot Interaction in Business People having Job Interview Interviewing Candidates Businessmen Company Office AI Threat Replacing Manpower

Debunking the Hype of Artificial General Intelligence

In this episode, host Michael Egnor speaks with Dr. William Dembski, a senior fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, about his essay titled “Artificial General Intelligence as an Idol for Destruction.” Dembski argues that the belief in the imminent arrival of artificial general intelligence (AGI) is unachievable and destructive. He points out that while AI has made Read More ›

Woman on a futuristic fantasy backdrop. Portrait with selective focus and copy space

The Primacy of Information Over Matter

In this episode, host Michael Egnor continues a conversation with Dr. William Dembski, a senior fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, about the relationship between the mind and the body. Dembski argues that if information is considered fundamental rather than matter, it dissolves the mind-body problem. He suggests that information is not constrained by the speed of Read More ›

Mystical Awakening, Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, The Mind-Body Connection

William Dembski on Information and the Mind-Body Relationship

On this episode, host Michael Egnor speaks with Bill Dembski about the concept of information and its role in understanding the mind-body relationship. Dembski explains that information is a verb, representing the narrowing of possibilities and the constraining of contingency. He discusses how information can be understood in different contexts and how it relates to concepts such as meaning and communication. Read More ›

An individual journeys up the stairway to heaven, transcending mortality and entering the afterlife. Ascending through celestial clouds. Generative AI

Evaluating Popular Theories of the Mind-Brain Relationship

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the most common mind-brain theories? On today’s episode, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor concludes his conversation with Dr. Angus Menuge about the mind-brain relationship and the popular dualistic theories of Cartesian dualism and Thomistic dualism. Cartesian dualism posits that the mind and body are fundamentally different substances, with the mind being immaterial and the body Read More ›

Adult and child hands holding encephalography brain paper cutout, Epilepsy and alzheimer awareness, seizure disorder, mental health concept

From Physicalism to Idealism: Challenging Assumptions about Reality

Can the mind be understood independently of physical matter? On today’s episode, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor continues his conversation with Dr. Angus Menuge, Chair of Philosophy at Concordia University, about his book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science. They discuss various models of the mind-brain problem, including idealism, which posits that matter does not exist and that Read More ›

Young woman with worried stressed face.

Exploring the Mind-Brain Relationship and Challenging Materialism

Can the mind be explained in purely physical terms? Or is it something else entirely? In this interview, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor kicks off a three-part discussion with Dr. Angus Menuge about his book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science. The book brings together contributors from various academic disciplines to challenge the dominant materialist paradigm in the Read More ›

Charting Consciousness.

Can Roger Penrose Explain Consciousness Through Physics?

The Nobel Laureate physicist makes clear that he only wants a theory of human consciousness if the explanation comes down to physics
Perhaps the reason no theory of consciousness works is simply that the mind does not arise from molecules so theories of how that happens can’t work. Read More ›
Synaps with neurons in the background, neurotransmitters in synaptic junction, information transmission in the brain

Neuroscience Has Never Provided Much Evidence for Materialism

In a chapter of the new book, Minding the Brain, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor points out that many great neuroscientists were non-materialists
Great neuroscientists weren’t dualists in spite of the evidence but because of it. Their research really did not support a materialist view of the mind. Read More ›
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How Could Human Consciousness “Evolve”?

Human consciousness entails a unique human ability to think abstractly .
According to Darwinian “science,” things changed, survivors survived, and the human ability to think abstractly materialized out of thin air. Read More ›
Choosing the High Road or Low Road

Modern Neuroscience Does NOT Disprove Free Will

In a chapter of Minding the Brain (2023), Cristi L. S. Cooper looks at the current state of neuroscience research on free will
In a chapter of Minding the Brain (2023), Cristi L. S. Cooper looks at the current state of neuroscience research on free will Read More ›
the human soul flies to the kingdom of heaven. Generative Ai.

Body & Soul: Joshua Farris and The Creation of Self

How does the body contribute to the soul? On today’s episode, host Michael Egnor and theologian Dr. Joshua Farris discuss the implications of a neo-Cartesian understanding of the human soul on divisive cultural issues such as transgenderism and abortion. Farris, author of the recent book The Creation of Self: A Case for the Soul, argues that the body supplies certain controls and Read More ›

Luminous person. Individuality

What Makes Humans Unique? 

What makes humans unique compared to the rest of the natural world? Can strict materialists answer that question? In today’s podcast episode, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor speaks with Dr. Joshua Farris on the idea that human beings are made in God’s image, the mystery of consciousness, and panpsychism. Additional Resources

Businessman in split personality concept. High quality photo

Split Mind: The Strangest Theory in Neuroscience?

The idea that we might all have separate, undetected consciousnesses in each half of our brain supports materialism but there’s little evidence for it
he subtle abnormalities displayed by patients whose brains were split in half revealed an uncomfortable truth: The mind is a unity. Read More ›
statue of descartes

Was Descartes Right About the Mind?

In which a neurosurgeon and anthropologist discuss the nature of the mind
Podcast featuring a provocative conversation between Stony Brook neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and Dr. Joshua Farris, who specializes in theological anthropology. Read More ›
A low angle view of a statue of Rene Descartes against the historic building exterior, showcasing its intricate architecture and craftsmanship.

Discussing the Cartesian Error

What impact did the ideas of the philosopher René Descartes have on our modern conception of the mind/body problem? In today’s episode, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor digs deeper into his conversation with Dr. Joshua Farris, discussing Thomistic dualism, materialistic explanations for consciousness, and the inevitability of metaphysics.  Additional Resources

The doctor checks up x-ray film of the brain by ct scan brain at the patient's room hospital. Doctor radiologists looking at x-ray images

It’s Becoming Clearer That the Mind Is Not the Brain

The “science of consciousness” not only has no workable materialist theory but it’s unclear what such a theory should look like or explain

Not surprisingly, given that philosopher David Chalmers won the famous wager with neuroscientist Christof Koch last month, the topic of consciousness has been in the news a lot. In 25 years of research, no one has found a specific consciousness circuit, spot, wave, or whatever in the brain. Consciousness is still the “Hard Problem of Consciousness.” At Vox, Oshan Jarow, a writer who knows the field, tells us that the bet has been renewed for another 25 years and offers an interpretation of why scientists haven’t “cracked” consciousness so far: “we still lack a definitive, falsifiable explanation. We even lack consensus on whether one may ever exist.” Eventually, in this view, the field might coalesce around a unified theory and Read More ›

Luxury perfume bottles at a fragrance scent presentation at the event at night

How Can a Woman Missing Her Olfactory Bulbs Still Smell?

The brain’s plasticity intrigues and puzzles researcher, and it also raises a larger issue

Even since neuroscientists started imaging the brain, they’ve been turning up cases where people are missing brain parts we would expect them to need in order to do something — but they are doing that very thing anyway. One example, written up in LiveScience in 2019, concerns women who are missing their olfactory bulbs (illustrated) but can still smell: Researchers have discovered a small group of people that seem to defy medical science: They can smell despite lacking “olfactory bulbs,” the region in the front of the brain that processes information about smells from the nose. It’s not clear how they are able to do this, but the findings suggest that the human brain may have a greater ability to Read More ›

Two Scientists in the Brain Research Laboratory work on a Project, Using Personal Computer with MRI Scans Show Brain Anomalies. Neuroscientists at Work.

Neuroscience, the Mind, and Theism

What can modern neuroscience teach us about the immaterial mind? Can we ever know anything for certain? In this episode, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor talks with anthropologist Dr. Joshua Farris. They discuss the brain, Descartes, and the theological implications of the various philosophies of mind.  Additional Resources

The complexity of digital ethics background. generative AI

The Philosopher Wins: There’s No Consciousness Spot in the Brain

After a 25-year search, dualist philosopher David Chalmers won the bet with neuroscientist Christof Koch

Back in 1998, premier neuroscientist Christof Koch had wagered philosopher of mind David Chalmers a case of fine wine that within the next twenty-five years, a specific “signature of consciousness” would be found in the brain. In 2018, Swedish journalist Per Snaprud reminded the world of that fact at New Scientist. With five years to run, a countdown of sorts began. Snaprud’s article was titled “Consciousness: How we’re solving a mystery bigger than our minds,” telling readers that “we’re uncovering clues.” The five years are up and who won? Mariana Lenharo reports at Nature, “Both scientists agreed publicly on 23 June, at the annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC) in New York City, that Read More ›