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His instinct, Seamus Heaney says in one film, was to find and stand by underdogs as power in society shifted. He also found his way into a eugenics society in , and before then dabbled with the fascist Blueshirt movement. Only in later drafts did he find a streak of lightning to open the poem:. Elsewhere software developed by the British Library allows visitors to page through digitized manuscripts.

Kerr said. And there is eloquence too in the older media, in the static dignity of oil paintings, or even in an understated line or two on a display card. She kissed him on the lips for the first time in , then immediately confessed the truth about the affair and the children she had told the world were adopted. Their friendship survived her regular refusals to marry him, but he was devastated after she took another nationalist, Major John MacBride, for her husband.

When that marriage went bad, Yeats comforted her. They apparently were physically intimate near the end of , but she ended it a few months later. In , at 51 and still a bachelor, he consulted an astrologist, then turned again to Gonne with an offer of marriage. She declined. She too said no. Besides being barking mad, everyone in this circle, it seems, could paint. Callaghan said, gazing at a portrait of Iseult by Maud. Yeats eventually married Georgina Hyde Lees he called her George in , when she was 25 and he was They had two children. At last, his Maud obsession seemed to ebb, nearly 30 years after they first met.

His love life remained a tangle. He charged ahead with a dizzying series of affairs, and on his death in January , both his wife and his last lover stood vigil at his bed. Until nearly the end of his days he and Gonne kept an eye on each other. Almost from the beginning she had been a figure of memory. It is to be a bond of the spirit only.

When her letter arrived, he would learn they were not quite synchronized. Yeats knew it well. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. The opening of each poem commands silence: When you are old and gray and full of sleep And nodding by the fire, take down this book.

Ongoing research into the structure and function of the brain has suggested some possibilities — but as Fig. Ordinarily, all signals are accompanied by noise, but if noise does not affect your religion, think how it has corrupted the other religions! The Scriptures of Krishna, Moses, Paul, and Muhamad — whose followers have been known to wage wars of annihilation against eachother — cannot all report the divine message correctly, or they wouldn't fight.

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Everything we have to work with is hearsay, even if we hear it ourselves. Faith — which we too often substitute for critical analysis — is a poor substitute for the long-lost community certainty, independent of intermediates such as priests and scripture , that characterized religion when it worked. A little-recognized ability of an omnipotent god is that it automatically has done whatever it wishes to do. It cannot, because of this, want anything. The true believer who announces that god wants him — or you — to do this or that, is an indication of non-omnipotent godship or a badly confused worshipper.

Since true believers in this condition are abundant, we need to examine what little is known about the cause of their muddlement. Neurophysiol 4 : At the core is the old reptilian brain stem. Each layer has a different structure, and retains a certain autonomy. Panic is the reptilian brain taking control, as when a parachutist claws through jacket and muscle and bares his left ribs, hunting for the D-ring release on his right side. Falling in love is a task for the limbos, not necessarily with more success than the parachutist. Philosophy happens in the prefrontal lobe of the neocortex — with the same chance of success.


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Figure 1. Biol Cybernet 73 : — It keeps us alive during a vegetative coma, handles aggression and repetitive behavior, and runs involuntary responses. It is inflexible, paranoid, obsessive, compulsive, ritualistic, prejudiced, and cannot learn from mistakes. Its rituals were the original way that individuals interacted, as in the stereotyped courtship behavior of birds. It cares not a whit for Coyotl, and would be irrelevant to religion except that it very much likes ritual. The cerebellum seems to store kinetic memory, such as bicycle balancing and the fingering of a piano concerto.

The reptilian brain would run a minimalist and unpleasant human culture, and there are people who still seem to see the world in reptilian terms, but even if velociraptors could open doors, the Chicxulub impactor put an end to the direct development of such a culture. Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences — Academic Press, Salt Lake City.

The mammalian limbos is a jumble of specialized structures named as often for appearance as for function, since functions are still poorly understood. This is seen in Fig. The limbos is preverbal and communicates with signals. Those sent to the body travel by hormones and autonomic nerves. Those sent to people include body language, facial expression, inarticulate sounds, and pheromones. Cats and seals have signalaries of about signals, lacking syntax and grammar, conveying emotions, simple commands, and survival information.

Limbic truth is sometimes instinctive, as in retaliation to pain. Sometimes it is learned by observing parents, as in the formation of prejudices. And sometimes it is simply mysterious, as in our choice of mates. A clue to choice of mates is the little studied genetic sexual attraction which results when family members separated early meet later in life. The attraction may be intergenerational, and occurs even if the relationship is intellectually understood. The instinctive incest ban between near relatives is formed by growing up together before age 6.

Limbic truth is biochemical, and as unconcerned with logic as a cat. What it is not is a careful analyzer of facts. The limbos matters to us because it is the seat of Instinct-1, the alpha-male dominance of social animals. It seeks pleasure, avoids pain, and nuances the reptilian responses to produce haute cuisine, feuds and friendship, suspicion, mother love, pair bonding, infatuation, and romance. Its endocrine signals affect the body physiologically. Adrenaline is the master signal for explosive action, whether fighting or fleeing.

Neural growth factor is important for the formation of new synapses; PEA phenylethylamine seems responsible for a lot of the effect; oxytocin the biochemical of trust and dopamine figure importantly but transiently 3 years is a long time. We are just as irrational in our choice of group myth as we are in matters of romance. Short-term limbic messengers persist until they are cleared from the bloodstream. Grief is a derived emotion, as the limbos grew subtle with time. Once, orgasm ensured propagation of the species. But brain complexity takes time to develop and young mammals require long parental care.

Natural selection taught the limbos mother love. Two parents increase the chance of survival. The limbos learned pair bonding. Grief is a by-product of these needs — as are long-term memory and pattern recognition. The first thing a newborn seal pup and mother do is bark at eachother. All seals sound alike to us, but after this imprinting ritual, mother and pup can identify eachothers' voices in a din that can be heard miles offshore of the nursery. Being attuned to one's limbos is highly regarded, but it does not confer bragging rights.

Anything our limbos can do, an elephant's can do better. The limbos learns by example and experience, but only with great difficulty by deliberate intention. It is much harder to unlearn something limbic than to learn it: the old saw has it that it takes a minute to meet some one special, an hour to appreciate her qualities, a day to fall in love — and a lifetime to forget. The problem is one of definition.

Recognizing that women are more likely to be compassionate than men, the Dalai Lama has pointed out that his successor might well be a woman. Nevertheless, personal experience suggests that there are mental disciplines which can, in an hour or two of sufficient stress, induce limbic effects that, however desperately desired at the time, are ultimately undesirable and apparently irreversible. There seems to be no way to induce desirable effects so easily. Anyone serious about rewiring an emotional response might do well to find a Buddhist advisor.

The still dominant model of archaeology … states essentially that all significant cognitive, cultural and intellectual evolution occurred in the last half of the Late Pleistocene, i. This is incompatible with the record, which shows that there was a continuous enlargement of the brain throughout hominin evolution, accelerating in the last two million years of this process to the point of yielding a grotesquely outsized organ. No explanation of the past that [fails to take] this into adequate consideration can be considered biologically viable or plausible.

A true novelty in nature, its major growth Fig. The correlation between brain size and intelligence is 0. On these grounds, perhaps we should welcome climate destabilization, since it seems likely to decimate the population, perhaps selectively. Despite Bednarik's epigraphic focus on continuity of development, intelligence itself is not necessarily a linear function of complexity.

Just as with technology, interactions may result in exponential change. The development of Prometheus from thief in Proto-Indo-European myth to trouble-maker in Hesiod to creator of humans in Plato deserves more attention than I have so far found. The wiring of the frontal lobe is not completed for 30 years. Recognizing the consequences of this, if not the process, ancient Egypt, Judaism, and Rome under Lex Pappia set the age of adulthood at 30 years.

This late completion seems to be demanded by reproduction, which has a higher evolutionary priority than clear thinking. We seldom fall in love when we approach mate selection analytically; it helps if we are blind to possible deficiencies in potential mates. It appears that by the time we are 30, we have, statistically, raised enough children to relax the reproductive necessity, and can devote our later years to other priorities.

If this leads to dissolution of the family, the children may suffer psychological damage, but as long as they reproduce in turn, evolution does not care about their problems. Despite the manifold abilities of the frontal lobe, Egas Moniz was Nobel laureate Medicine for prefrontal lobotomy. As simplified by Walter Freeman, one slid an icepick upward along the nasal side of the eyeball and swung the pick right and left, treating patients a day for criminal tendencies, homosexuality, and childhood misbehavior. We celebrate this by using their spelling, rather than the French. Drugs like Prozac have replaced the icepick, possibly more reversibly.

The direction of influence between layers of the brain is primarily outward. To curtail bacteria, the reptilian brain can induce a fever in minutes, but it takes years for a yogi to learn to alter his body temperature by sending cortical signals inward. Similarly, it is difficult to influence the limbos with rational arguments. Try persuading your teen-age daughter that her boy friend is unsuitable, or a creationist that evolution is a biological fact. In the other direction, it is easy to distract cortical logic with irrelevant limbic input. Show a man a sexy woman and his ability to make rational decisions decreases.

Yet because limbic responses kept our ancestors alive, we trust them below the level of conscious thought. Mother love supersedes rational decisions in moments of crisis. Politicians and cats devote their attention to the unconscious decisions of our limbos. An unqualified presidential candidate avoids cortical debates — while spending millions to persuade you you'd like to have a beer with him.

How much does mental laziness contribute to limbic dominance? If we remove the prefrontal cortex of a primate, it tends to swap goal-directed behavior for inappropriate stimulus-induced behavior. The classical human case is the railroad worker Phineas Gage, who lost his left eye to a tamping rod that entered the cheek and exited through the central hairline.

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In short, one does not need to use much of his frontal-lobe cortex to survive, although it is useful for moderating social behavior. It is essential for judgement, decision making, and planning complex cognitive behavior — operations that seem superfluous to, for instance, deniers of climate change. Infancy is an experimental research program, a rational process directed and propelled by the child and aimed at understanding the world. Science is a kind of institutionalized childhood that continues the process, using abilities that evolved to be used by babies.

Young Earth Creationists YECs provide a clear example of how limbic thinking gets us into trouble, while cortical thinking shows us a way out. It took Pat 15 years to create a laboratory and a procedure sufficiently free of contamination to read the clock. One did not enter his Cal Tech lab carrying lead-rich Pyrex testtubes!

When he was done, he said that the minerals in 5 meteorites had crystallized 4. He added that leaded gasoline had so polluted the earth's surface that we all carried 10 times the lead burden that we were adapted to. The answer, 50 years later, is Fig. And not just stupider, but criminally so.

Childhood lead poisoning correlates with crime waves around the world, and with US abortion, arrest, incarceration, unwed teen pregnancy, SAT scores, and mental retardation rates, and implicitly, with racial IQ differences. The end result of Patterson's work has been the belated removal of a lot of lead from our environment — and in Germany, no more lead-amalgam fillings in childrens' teeth.

Had Dr Patterson listened to the garbled story that some read into Coyotl's prophets, none of these good things would have happened. There are, perhaps, 2 morals to this story. Reading the story Coyotl recorded in the natural world is difficult and subtle, requiring study, perception, and probably an IQ above The second is that we are now so numerous that it is easy for us to alter the global environment without noticing. If you elect to read Coyotl's record, you should start preparing about the time you learn to read books.

It generally takes 20 dedicated years before you can make a contribution. In compensation, there is no occupation more rewarding, more exciting, more attuned to the universe, more fun, or more likely to leave a better world for your children and our fellow passengers on Spaceship Earth.

Be warned, though, for as Bruce Sterling put it in Distraction ,. The tricky thing about the notion of g is that it pretends to be a biological quality that is measurable and heritable, while it is actually strongly determined by cultural priorities. It is — to simplify it somewhat — the most dangerous of all things: a meme masquerading as a gene.

Hamilton Narrow Roads of Gene Land. A single, Gaussian-distributed variable [ g ] uniquely determines the dense rank order of performance on large-scale standardized exams. The variable completely accounts for group differences in test performance. Accessed Brain-science agrees that it would be less politically awkward if the tests were biased, but IQ continues to correlate with other estimates of intelligence, so perhaps this is something that we will have to learn to live with.

The bees and ice caps we can blame on Instinct-1 rather than IQ, for self-centered greed is found in all peoples at all economic and intelligence levels, and we have been remiss in removing it from the gene pool. Aspects of g that cannot be measured without serious instrumentation are nerve conduction speed, and glucose utilization. I am about to say that the average IQ of H. However, there are caveats. Some seem to believe that individual differences of 0. Gould was sure it didn't exist, excoriating Herrnstein and Murray for claiming otherwise,but he was attacking year-old methods and ignoring improved techniques.

The place where differences matter is in the tail at the high end. Here, a small increment in mean IQ makes a large difference in relative numbers. Nevertheless, in individual cases, small differences are irrelevant. Some quick examples:. High-school advisers had tried to shunt him into vocational school, where he might learn a trade.

He didn't shunt — and he and I fought for the top spot in chemistry for 2 years, without deciding the issue. My chum was a late bloomer in other words, IQ is not immutable. He joked that he learned slowly but never forgot anything — and dated only women named Pat. He had a perfectly fine Pat in attendance when I knew him, so his system worked — whatever it was in reality. Ten years later he was publishing on enzymatic signal transduction across biomembranes, so his system worked there too, and his CV concentrated on an important problem is more impressive than mine scatttered all over the place.

Yet any Faculty Senate meeting will disabuse you of a relation between IQ and practicality. I don't recall a single Senate resolution that had any discernible effect. This may be a biased example.

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We sent the short straw to the Senate meetings. Early attempts to amalgamate the schools were resisted by both student bodies, each knowing itself superior. In practical terms, Harvard men had 5—7 years more experience in the art of seduction. I wondered, once, why the chattering classes whose interests cover the range of the soap opera didn't get tagged with a Syndrome of their own.

Low IQ is not necessarily an impediment to contributing to society. High IQ does not guarantee intelligent real-world decisions. Still, the ascendancy of humans is the result of intelligence. Our mean IQ is arbitrary it might have been different , but not accidental it was needed for our children to survive. We had to be smarter than our predators, and once we were, we incidentally took over the world. Initially, it took 8 or more children to maintain the population.

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As a guess, half died in the arms race between pathogens and our immune system, and of the others, all but 2 died under strong selection for intelligence, before reproducing. As late as the census, the median and modal number of children in New South Wales was Translation, dropping the circumlocutions of popoco : our brains were still growing when we left Africa. If you take African-Americans and whites with identical IQ scores … and measure their performance in various subtests for intelligence, black children often score better in … tests of short-term memory and recall …, while whites often score better in … tests of visuospatial and perceptual changes.

In other words, the way an IQ test is configured profoundly affects the way different racial groups, and their gene variants, perform on it: alter the weights and balances within the same test, and you alter the measure of intelligence. We need to know how rapidly IQ can change. Table 1. The fold range of the rate of increase, from 0. The Ashkenazi increment to a mean appears too fast to be anything but strong selection for the high tail of the normal curve which means that the low tail either did not breed or was defined not to be real Ashkenazi. Biosocial Science 38 5 : — The green curve at in Fig.

Note the disproportionate increase in the colored bands for upward shifts of the mean. However, if the Ashkenazis were selected from a population with a mean of , rather than evolving to , their numbers would not follow a normal distribution and might be much narrower than shown. The increase now slowing is comparable to increases in height and brain weight. Again, what probably happened is that the distribution was narrowed by truncation of the low end. Neither of the above cases is relevant to the Ice Age, which lasted long enough for mutation in addition to selection of existing alleles to exert its influence.

Even so, 1. The selection would be for whatever increased viability — specifically, one suspects, for ingenuity in dealing with difficult environmental challenges, and for altruism that helped the local group survive. Aldous Huxley and Classical Greeks before him noted that human progress depends on genius. Without people from the colored bands of Fig. Progress — soap, books, electric motors to replace slavery, Macadamized roads to replace mud — depends on exceptional individuals.

It helps to remember that there are dozens of human qualities with similar distributions, and that half of us are below normal on each of them. IQ in the s with ethics in the 30s e. The curves marked 67 and 81 in Fig. The long leftward tail on the Ashkenazi curve is probably not real and their distribution is not Gaussian, but the curve is representative of what we should be trying to reach. The vertical characterizations at the right are Flynn's. An optimistic view of the near future suggests that if upcoming challenges could lead to further increase at the rate of the Flynn effect possibly raising the mean of the survivors to , we might outlast the century.

The pessimist thinks about the background rate compared to the rate of evolution, recalls disappearance of the Ionians, and notes that loss is probable in times of stress. Simple demographics is working against the Flynn effect today. It is relatively easy for environmental factors to decrease IQ: violence in the home of 5-year-olds will knock off 8 points. But ways to increase IQ have been as hard to find as the Flynn effect is hard to explain.

The traditional approach the one that worked with predators and ice ages is to let the stupid kill themselves. Click for update. It remains easier for intelligence to increase the rule of law, democracy, and political liberty, than for any such measures to increase group intelligence. In short, the popoco claim that culture freed the human race from the pressures of natural selection is mistaken: The rapid pace of change since the Neolithic accelerated evolution to adapt to the changes, with the result that cultures facing the most rapid external change have experienced the most rapid evolution.

Wishful thinking has so clouded this issue that it is useful to emphasize the utility of IQ tests. The best of them — and they have undergone a century of selection — also measure such diverse abilities as. Results by economists, concerned only with finding mathematical relations between available numbers, and blind to color and politics, generate graphs of data like Fig. I suggest Table 1. I found this graph much later, which seems to supports that estimate.

This represents very rapid recent evolution. Thus the apparent racial correlation in Fig. Malnutrition, civil war, tropical diseases, all reduce brain development. I suspect that school time spent in rote learning of incomprehensible material also has a negative effect on IQ. One of the problems is that Things Take Time. The single most helpful tool to improve the functioning IQ of a child is intelligent parents.

Progress in IQ increase is thus a generational process, rather than something that will show much effect from short-term political efforts. The result is that the population operates well below its most intelligent level when life is easy. The result is pathetic. In April , the US Army announced that it was likely to run short of petroleum by , and in May cost-cutting by British Petroleum flooded the Gulf of Mexico with escaping oil.

Why didn't they warn us? Why is this greedy oil company drilling with unsafe techniques? M King Hubbert told us in that world oil production would peak shortly after CE. Earth day in set the stage for reduction of energy use and employment of alternative sources. Everything we needed to know was public knowledge — and we let those who profitted from the status quo maintain it.

This was not lack of brain-power, but reluctance to apply it to changing the situation. Corporate media and purchased politicians have failed here, so forget them. We have been living with a collective IQ of 75 out of unconcern for what was happening around us — but we can do better. Investigative journalism, discouraged by the corporate owners of main-stream media, survives on the web: find it. Think about worst-case scenarios.

Plan ahead. Most of the problems considered in this book are the result of disputes between the exploratory, investigative cortex, and the cocksure, conservative limbos. Disputes call for a method of evaluating solutions. How do we decide that an answer is true?

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The limbos and the cortex are orthogonal on this point. They interact only minimally, and they employ the very different criteria of Fig. A tenet held on faith that conflicts with data and logic will be adjudged false by scientists. Data-supported logical argument that conflicts with dogma will be adjudged false by True Believers.

William G. Each side holds that the other ignores axiomatic facts. The two modes have acquired many names, including mythos and logos , story and system, coeur and raison , and they have been discussed by philosophers since philosophy was invented. Pascal made much of them, attributing the difficulty of persuading limbic thinkers by logic to the weakness of reason and the sureness of limbic knowledge. It would be good not to assume that it is equally adroit in all areas. The hardware of individual brains tends to be dominated by one or the other of these arrows, and to have difficulty responding to the other.

Note that the colored text suggests the evolutionary function of the 2 arrows, indicating that they are not oppositional but complementary, and both are needed for full functionality. Logic is a cortical process although it can be used to defend a limbic position, which is the art of casuistry.

My favorite example comes from Creationist Denis Bonnette. The ancestral kingdom Protoctista contains organisms which are neither plant nor animal. They photosynthesize and they also consume other organisms. Animals are more closely related to fungi than to plants. If we insist on literalism, let us at least be literal! The author of Genesis knew about twins: if he meant twins, he should have said so.

Why not just accept Gen ? We process data using the least possible energy, so response will be limbic whenever we let it. Many people fall between the extremes of Fig. In general, as the brain matures and adult cortical connections are completed, one's arrow swings toward the north. Max Weber observed that the directions between the arrows of Fig. Given particular axioms, anything can be defended as rational. Following tradition takes as little energy as using the limbos and may occasionally work better than cortical planning.

An example is the Buddhist temples of Bali, which regulated water flow to rice paddies in an apparently arbitrary manner that let paddies sit dry and idle at times. What they got without letting the paddies dry allowed pests to grow faster than the rice, so that a bad year would produce no crop at all. The system had been based on observation and experiment to produce the maximum dependable crop, this rationale had been forgotten over the centuries, and the tradition was perpetuated because it worked.

Every exhibit is fake or misinterpretation, but some are cleverly animatronic. Influenced by Jurassic Park , its theme-park designer admitted velociraptors to Noah's Ark — on the basis of no Biblical support — and then claimed that they were vegetarian before the Fall of Man. Why speed was needed to capture plants, how peg-teeth dealt with vegetation, and what sickle claws were for, do not interest the limbos, which can only differentiate positions by their emotional affect.

The Museum sells creationist books that — ominously — visiting school teachers buy in quantity with their own money. The aftermath of the election suggests that this number has been rising. Limbic stories may be true in 2 important symbolic ways. A common property of persistent limbic stories is that they cannot be verified, and this must once have served a useful purpose. A deeper benefit is that limbic stories supply meaning unavailable to the cortex.

Meaning and non-verifiability seem like strange bedfellows. Yet the connection between them, and the evolutionary value of limbic stories, are vital to understanding religion, and we will explore the connection below. Confusion over the realms of utility of cortical and limbic thinking is at the root of a lot of our troubles. I will take as an axiom that actions speak louder than words, and that this is also true of Coyotl's activities.

The political ignorance of the American voter is one of the best documented data in political science. How much do we actually need to do? How close to the truth must we stay? How much can we chip away at checks and balances? It is easier to confirm an existing idea, than to evaluate a contradictory one fairly. This is part of the appeal of pseudoscience: Random events that reinforce a belief are remembered; events that do not disappear into background noise. It may be fossil behavior left over from the Middle Paleolithic, when we learned everything we needed from our parents before adolescence.

True Believers often pride themselves on maintaining their belief in the face of contradictory evidence: this is as good a definition of insanity as we have. The survival of such traits through the Neolithic is a consequence of human empathy and a resulting reluctance to let people die of incorrect beliefs.


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  7. We can watch confirmation bias in action with brain-imaging tools. Show a True Believer that his belief is wrong, and he may suffer brief cognitive dissonance, but it will not be resolved by rational analysis. MRI images of his brain while he is reading material which contradicts his beliefs does not show activity in reasoning areas, but in emotional and conflict-resolution circuits.

    His brain looks for a way to deny the cognitive dissonance in accordance with his prior belief. A possible pre-Siberian route would be along the Atlantic ice. Many of the academic responses are embarrassing in their use of scholarly apparatus to support waffling. Superficially, one might think that rational assessment of the real world would be strongly selected for — but Homo erectus spread across the Old World without much cortex, and we did not need much more to take it away from him.

    The evolutionary biologist perforce concludes that maintenance of existing belief in the face of contradictory evidence was a viability advantage in the Paleolithic, so that the ignorant faithful left more children than the thinking sceptic. This implies that the tribe provided protection from environmental dangers, so that it was more important to belong than to be correct. Ostracism was tantamount to a death sentence. This had 2 important evolutionary consequences.

    The last 2 categories are social niceties in my lexicon. Click to test your own results. The other feature is that Gibbon's Gambit — the ability to change irrational beliefs on demand in a ritual switch — is that beliefs primarily religious beliefs have minimal effect on the real world. Beliefs primarily affected survival only through human interactions e.

    The ultimate significance of this evolutionary quirk is that one's religion has no direct effect on the real world. Indirect effects — by behavioral modification — are important. A reported alternative is to belong to. A corollary of confirmation bias is confirmation trust: if someone tells you what you want to hear, you tend to trust him — and to believe the other things he tells you. Considering the consensual censorship of important stories Ch. This should inspire an urge to correct the situation. Trash your TVs? Support PBS?

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    Keep media sock puppets out of the FCC! The type example is the Florida election, when Bush cousin John Ellis at Fox News organized a false pre-emptive announcement of a Bush victory. After hearing that lie from their trusted source, Republicans including the Supreme Court apparently perceived Al Gore as a sore loser when he asked for a recount. All recount variants show that Gore had won. By design or coincidence, the elderly are as susceptible to Fox News as teenagers are to religious cults. I am well out of the TV loop, but it seems to me that there should be a market for a device that blocks specific TV programs.

    If you care for your parents, find one and install it! Since confirmation bias suggests that the ever popular TV debates between Christian creationists and evolutionists are counterproductive, I propose a possibly fairer, and certainly more interesting, debate. Despite the excitement of cutting-edge research, the many branches of science have a generally consilient view of the cosmos.

    To level the debating field, let us ask a Catholic, a Baptist, a Mormon, a Jew, a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Scientologist for instance to agree on a similarly consilient supernaturlist version, which can then be compared with the naturalistic scientific view. We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society.

    The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated. Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. Not all brain research of interest to our government is ethical or benevolent. Funding for university brain research may have dried up at this time, but research went on apace behind closed doors. I suspect that much more is known about the effects of neurochemicals than is publicly available.

    What follows may be but the barest sketch. Neurotheology is the intersection of brain research and religious studies. It's first concern is the classical mind—body question: How can mere organic matter — the stuff that frogs are made of — be all that underpins the abilities of the human mind? Unfortunately, this raises more problems than it answers. One is mechanistic: how might matter and soul might interact? The other is existential: how might one demonstrate the existence of the soul? Replacing one hard question by 2 is hardly a forward step.

    To make a long story short, let me posit that every advance in hardware, software, and computer science makes it more likely that we will find that the mind—body problem was a false dichotomy. The properties of the brain emerge from complexity in ways that cannot be predicted,and are understandable only in retrospect. Since dualist theoneurology in which theo- explains neurology has led nowhere in the last millennium, we are left with neuro- to explain theology.

    What properties of the brain led us to the idea of an invisible world, more important than our obvious quotidian home, populated by powerful beings, and operating under strange laws? We take as a working hypothesis that neurotheology is an aspect of brain wiring and brain chemistry. The relevant agents are specialized architecture differences in microscopic components and their arrangement, implying different behavior , and the neurochemistry of synapses.

    Several hundred neurotransmitters and neuromodulators are known. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry a signal across the synaptic gap, to be destroyed immediately thereafter.