11 Another thing about neuroscience

But the propositions which can be derived from a belief in the brain as seat of consciousness and knowledge are so contradictory that it should be noted that those from the hard sciences need feel no embarrassment in dissociating their own work from this field.

The Orthodox Church is known to insist to catechumens that the Church has no quarrel with science. That is, a scientist will find, in his own time, an approach to God. As an instance of the lower quality of evidence which is required in the neuroscientific field: the ground proposition of this science is that all perception, consciousness, and experience travels through the brain before it is provided to a human subject to act upon it, to think, etc.

That is, the world in itself is not knowable because the world is filtered by a brain. It is for this reason that the neuroscientist can say, with satisfaction, that perceptions can be misguided or wrong by conditions prevailing in the brain. Or, more correctly, perceptions are always conditional on the status of the brain, and nothing is true about what we experience as ‘the world’.

Fine, so we have thrown aside any chance of really knowing the world or the truth. Effectively, we can believe in nothing. I myself understand this position to be the classic nihilistic position of science. However, this renders science itself something conditional and only apparently truthful in its findings. And worst of all, at which point did the establishment allow that, while everything we see or think is conditional, the study of the brain is not a problem, and the conclusions of neuroscience can be trusted?

It is not the attitude of nihilism which I find intrinsically offensive, but this set of contradictory standards, rendering all knowledge problematic, except for the knowledge put about by neuroscientifics. The dishonestly here grinds on those of us with a truly open mind about things.

Distrusting the world because it all passes through the brain misses out that the physical brain is also in the world.

Design Jason Powell, 2020.