New Yorkers always tell us not to bother with Long Island anyway

If I never go to Long Island then I never have to worry about some unfortunate accident bringing me or someone I love under the knife of neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, who is a professor of neurosurgery and paediatrics at State University New York (Stony Brook), and who apparently doesn’t accept that the mind arises from the physiological properties of the brain.

Lest someone accuse me of oversimplifying Egnor’s dumbarsery with my summary above, I can’t see any other way to describe his argument: he’s reifying “altruism” as a concrete concept separate from observable altruistic actions taken by a thinking being, and then arguing that if we can’t point to the place in the brain where altruism is situated then something magical happens and then the creationists win. This essentially comes down to arguing that mind is entirely separate from our physical bodies and not actually dependent upon the physiology of the brain.

Yeah, I’d so want him cutting into my grey matter. Not.

I don’t understand how someone like this functions without collapsing under the weight of the cognitive dissonance they have to studiously ignore as they go about their professional day.

More Egnorance at the Panda’s Thumb.



Categories: medicine, religion, skepticism

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4 replies

  1. Well an aspect of cognitive dissonance is ignoring any evidence to the contrary. It is an amazing feat. 😉
    I’ve been following the Egnor follies for a while. If he is the best the IDers can marshal then why bother?
    I’m more impressed by Behe at the moment. His new book has mounted an argument against evolution that features a host of flawed premises. Even better is the claim that malaria was “designed.” The theological ramifications of this are going to have the ID crowd tied in rhetorical knots for ages.

  2. I just wonder at the energy it must require to avoid examining the clash between such obviously contradictory worldviews. It must be so stressful.

  3. The answer is the Hippocampus. I saw this on a “Catalyst” show.
    Circumstantial evidence is suggestive, since the Hippocampus is near the Pineal Gland, that Descartes reckoned was the go, although I do not know if this was after he was experimenting on dogs or before.
    The best thing would be; grab someone supernumerary like an a Afghani, get three lads from an outer suburban pub to hold
    h(er)im down and whack a knitting needle up h(er)is nostril or down a spare lughole.
    If (s)he gets nasty, you’ll notice from the change how close you got to h(er)is altruism, or “A” spot!

  4. The hippocampus and the pineal gland undoubtedly process and influence much complex human behaviour respectively, but that doesn’t mean altruistic behaviours can be pinpointed so narrowly.
    Also, try and find a less offensive analogy next time, eh?

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