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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No Ghosts in the Brain

Here is a podcast of PZ Myers' lecture to Minnesota Atheists.

Also available via Google Video: Part 1, and Part 2.

Yes, that's me doing the introduction.

Shimmies to Pharyngula.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous 386sx said...

Hey who is that doing the intro. Hey...

August 15, 2007 8:53 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Yepper, it's me.

August 15, 2007 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Missouri said...

Neurons and calculus…it seems you are still searching for some special answer in both and I understand how you can say “There’s something weird about e raised to the power of x being its own slop,” but I think you’re looking too deeply for some key to the universe. Although as you told me, you often find answers by looking for other answers, and in dreams, but be careful about dreaming of mathematics.

Ready for more calc conversation? You seem a bit distracted. It’s cool if you are but I got concerned. And after that thread with Heddle at AtBC I promise not to call you a Christian anymore! :)

August 16, 2007 11:06 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Let's wait on that, okay? Thanks.

August 16, 2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

I am reminded about my first time as the narrator introducing the the "Atheist Talk" show in the early 90's. I was really nervous and even though it seemed like a very easy thing to do, I kept stumbling. It took a few takes to get it right. Me, who had been in numerous plays having difficulty with a simple announcement.

You did just fine - too bad there is only a little snippet of video of you in the file.

August 16, 2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Early 90's...too early for podcasts, I suppose?

I have been in plays, too - though not for a long time.

But hell, even Elvis had his moments.

August 16, 2007 12:40 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

Outstanding introduction, Kristine! Myers, however, should really endeavor to learn the basic fundamental concepts of dualism before he sets out to refute it.

August 17, 2007 1:50 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Why thank you, Crandaddy! But what do you mean by the (uh-oh, here she goes again) "basic fundamental concepts of dualism"? Obviously, I'm not getting it.

I never finished that book on brain function because I got lost.

Calculus is on hold.

Life has interferred with blogging, with eating, with sleeping, with thinking, and with feeling.

PZ doesn't know this but he has done more than just introduced me to MN Atheists - if you think a flagellum is irreducibly complex you should see my emotions right now - not saying more at this point.

Sometimes (mostly, really), answers come with time, and one cannot rush them.

August 17, 2007 2:15 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

I don't mean to imply anything like that. I'm just saying that if Myers' goal was to refute dualism (which apparently it was), then he did a horrible job. No educated dualist would claim that there are angels who stimulate synapses or that there is some "soul" region of the brain, and they would probably agree very well with all of his scientific claims about the brain.

Myers, knowingly or not, simply tore down a very obvious and flagrant strawman. It would be akin to a creationist attempting to refute his evolutionist position by arguing that insects don't spontaneously generate from sterile mud, so evolution is false. It really is that laughable.

August 17, 2007 7:39 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Okay doke, but what is dualism, then? (I feel stupid asking this.) I just thought it was: there is matter and there is spirit. What else is it? The soul? Is the soul in the mind according to dualism?

That's what I thought it was, but I'm not a philosopher.

I think PZ was being somewhat facetious about ghosts and angels.

August 17, 2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

It's like the dualism of the "heart" and the "head" - both are the head, really. ;-)

(Matters of the "heart" are obsessing me lately.)

August 17, 2007 7:57 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

Cognito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am).

If nothing else, Descartes showed us that a conscious being might be fooled and mistaken about anything and everything except for the fact that he--a conscious being who experiences--exists. You might call this a soul if you like. I prefer to call it a person. Whatever it's called, I can be sure that at least one of these things exists--namely myself.

Dualism is an attempt to explain the phenomena of persons and experiences and their relation to the physical. Dualism comes in two species: property and substance. Property dualism is basically the nonreductive physicalist approach to mental events. According to this view, there is only one physical substance but two distinct types of properties--physical and mental--the latter of which cannot be understood in terms of the former. It is irreducible to physical properties.

When most people speak of dualism, however, they refer to substance dualism. Substance dualism holds that there are two distinct types of substances. There is physical substance, and there is mental substance in the form of persons who have experiences. The substance dualist holds that minds occupy a category of being distinct from that of physical substance.

August 18, 2007 12:25 PM  
Blogger Don Sheffler said...

Crandaddy - I haven't gone to PZ's blog to check but if you haven't already, you might want to bring this up with him, eh?

August 20, 2007 5:13 PM  
Anonymous J-Dog said...

Crandaddy - When are you going to convince DaveScot / Dembski to allow dissenting opinions over at UD?

You seem like a smart guy -how can you support DaveScot running off anybody that disagrees with him and the official party line - RIP Peter Olaffson for example?

Conversely, you could always visit us at ATBC... we are always looking for IDers that are not total ass hats or mind-numbingly stooopid.

Yeah. I know. I sympathize with you dude, it makes for a distressingly small set, but hey, what you going to do?

PS: Mea Culpa Kristine! Sorry to steal the band-width, but you know what we're dealing with at UD, so this is about the only forum to actually interact with a live IDer.

August 21, 2007 9:37 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, I have no background in philosophy so I take my Descartes a la carte. I have a fondness for Kirkegaard's earlier writing, though.

there is only one physical substance but two distinct types of properties--physical and mental--the latter of which cannot be understood in terms of the former.

Interesting.

When most people speak of dualism, however, they refer to substance dualism. Substance dualism holds that there are two distinct types of substances.

Ahhhhh! Yes, I'm doing that too.

I doubt that PZ is interested in philosophy.

so this is about the only forum to actually interact with a live IDer.

Some little doggie could start a blog, ya know. (And you could too, Crandaddy.) ;-)

August 21, 2007 11:37 PM  

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