Re: Definition please

From: Dace (
Date: Wed Dec 05 2001 - 20:23:10 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: Definition please"

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    Subject: Re: Definition please
    Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 12:23:10 -0800
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    > > Ted said-
    > > The idea that memory
    > > is contained in the brain is simply not a scientific assertion.
    > It'll have to do until such time as memory is located in that
    > pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.
    > - Wade

    What exactly does the standard theory *do*? It certaintly doesn't tell us
    anything solid. It might be true-- seems like it would have to be-- but
    it's not as if we actually know. How would we recognize a "memory" in the
    brain if we saw one? Moreover, how would we recognize its absence? In the
    sense that it's neither verifiable nor falsifiable, it fails to qualify as a
    scientific theory.

    What's striking about mechano-determinism is its randomness. Why would the
    brain work the same way a computer works? There's just no particular reason
    why it should be so. We might also ask why the "Savior" should be a guy
    named Christ who lived 2000 years ago? Why should the "Resurrection" come
    after 3 days? Why not give Him a week? It all just seems off the top of
    someone's head, yet people believe it-- literally-- as if it were the secret
    of eternal life. Can't be explained logically, so there must be a memetic
    reason. Somehow this particular meme caught on, and now it selfishly
    perpetuates itself in our self-contained realm of abstraction.

    "Neo-Darwinian" dogma is a faithful recapitulation of the ancient religious
    impulse. First of all, it's so patently false. Weismannian theory has as
    much in common with Darwinian evolution as capitalist, militarist America
    has with Jesus. Secondly, though it lacks any reason or sense, its
    adherents are as fixed in their belief as the most fervent apostle.
    Thirdly, it encourages a feeling of security while simultaneously playing on
    our narcissism. That a living thing is essentially a mechanism confirms our
    sense that all things revolve around us. All of life is made in our image.
    The operating plan of the organism is but a poor imitation of human
    technologic. Yes, Rover is a machine, but a flawed, hairy, and ultimately
    self-destructive machine. Along with this, mechano-determinism comforts us
    with the "knowledge" that everything is subject to our rational analysis and
    control. All things are transparent to us, that we may build the City of
    Science, i.e. the "New Jerusalem," as the early scientists called it.

    Science has yet to get clear of the afterbirth that accompanied its delivery
    some four centuries ago in Christian Europe.


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