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Independent Thinking

Michael Egnor on Whether People in Comas Can Think

If you’re in a coma, can you still think? Some fascinating neuroscience research sheds light on the brain function of those in comas. Robert J. Marks and Dr. Michael Egnor discuss comas, brain function, and types of thought. Show Notes 00:29 | Introducing Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook 00:58 Read More ›

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The Mind Is the Opposite of a Computer

Matthew Cobb, a materialist, only scratches the surface when he explains why your brain is not a computer

Mental activity always has meaning—every thought is about something. Computation, by contrast, always lacks meaning in itself. A word processing program doesn’t care about the opinion that you’re expressing when you use it. In fact, what makes computation so useful is that it doesn’t have its own meaning. Because the mind always has meaning and computation never does, the mind is the opposite of computation.

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Why Pioneer Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield Said the Mind Is More Than the Brain

He gave three lines of reasoning, based on brain surgery on over a thousand patients

Michael Egnor points out that Penfield offered three lines of evidence: His inability to stimulate intellectual thought during brain operations, the inability of seizures to cause intellectual thought, and his inability to stimulate the will. … So he concluded that the intellect and the will are not from the brain. Which is precisely what Aristotle said.

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Michael Egnor: Is There Evidence for a Soul?

From the perspective of a brain surgeon, is there evidence for a soul? Is there evidence for a spirit? Robert J. Marks discusses neuroscience, brain surgery, the soul, and the spirit with Dr. Michael Egnor. Show Notes 00:46 | Introducing Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook 01:18 | Non-overlapping magisteria Read More ›

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Photo by mrjn Photography

Why the Mind Cannot Just Emerge from the Brain

The mind cannot emerge from the brain if the two have no qualities in common

In his continuing discussion with Robert J. Marks, Michael Egnor argues that emergence of the mind from the brain is not possible because no properties of the mind have any overlap with the properties of brain. Thought and matter are not similar in any way. Matter has extension in space and mass; thoughts have no extension in space and no mass.

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Michael Egnor: Is Your Brain the Same as Your Mind?

Is the mind an emergent property of the brain? Or is there something else going on? Robert J. Marks discusses the different theories of the mind — including materialism, panpsychism, and dualism — with Dr. Michael Egnor. Show Notes 00:37 | Introducing Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook 01:32 | Read More ›

Photo by Bret Kavanaugh

Yes, Split Brains Are Weird, But Not the Way You Think

Scientists who dismiss consciousness and free will ignore the fact that the higher faculties of the mind cannot be split even by splitting the brain in half

Patients after split-brain surgery are not split people. They feel the same, act the same, and think the same, for all intents and purposes. Materialists like Jerry Coyne focus on subtle differences and distort the big picture.

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Walter Bradley: Biblical Accounts of Near-Death Experiences

Near-death experiences often include a look at a person’s impact on the lives of others and a meeting with an otherworldly figure. Do religious texts like the Bible talk about near-death experiences? Robert J. Marks discusses near-death experiences with Dr. Walter Bradley. Show Notes 00:26 | Introducing Dr. Walter Bradley, Emeritus Distinguished Professor at Baylor University 00:37 | John Burke’s Read More ›

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Walter Bradley: Don’t Go Towards the Light?

Can near-death experiences shed light on the mind/body problem? Robert J. Marks discusses near-death experiences and the mind/body problem with Dr. Walter Bradley. Show Notes 01:25 | Introducing Dr. Walter Bradley, Emeritus Distinguished Professor at Baylor University 01:55 | Definition of a near-death experience 03:36 | Near-death experiences and the mind/body problem 05:20 | A blind woman sees 07:50 | Read More ›

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Walter Bradley: Is Your Body an Instrument of Your Mind?

Are we simply matter and chemical reactions or are our minds separate from our bodies? Robert J. Marks discusses the mind/body problem with Dr. Walter Bradley. Show Notes 00:34 | Introducing Dr. Walter Bradley, Emeritus Distinguished Professor at Baylor University 01:01 | Beliefs and objectivity 04:00 | A priori assumptions 04:36 | What is the mind/body problem? 05:45 | The Read More ›

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Different types of computers and storage

Is the Human Mind a Computer?

As a software engineer, I'd say we need to be clear what the question is before answering it

Once we understand clearly what a computer is, we will see why consciousness is not a form of computation.

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Science Points To An Immaterial Mind

If one did not start with a materialist bias, materialism would not be invoked as an explanation for a whole range of experiments in neuroscience

There may indeed be material explanations (at least from the perspective of neuroscience) but the simplest and most convincing explanation for the results of many experiments is that abstract thought is an immaterial power, not a material power, of the mind.

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How the Injured Brain Heals Itself

Our Amazing Neuroplasticity

You get a paper cut and over time your body heals it. The brain can also both adapt and heal itself. How can we facilitate this healing in patients with brain challenges? We address that question today on Mind Matters. Show Notes 01:15 | Introduction 02:25 | Brain Healing and Repair 04:50 | Neuroplasticity 06:00 | Nature of Addiction 07:45 Read More ›