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Thursday, January 17, 2008

"What Have You Changed Your Mind About?" pt. 3

I continue comments on Edge's "World Question" issue, which question is the same as my title. See the first part of this series, which gives some explanation, and the second part.

The first essay on this page of the issue is by Rodney Brooks, who questions the use of computational metaphors to explain the nervous system.

On the same page, Robert Trivers asks:
"And consider one of the great mysteries of mental biology. The human brain consumes about 20% of resting metabolic rate come rain or shine, whether depressed or happy, asleep or awake. Why? And why is the brain so quick to die when deprived of this energy?"
He doesn't know, of course.

Ken Ford used to think that science was practically free of unethical behavior, but has changed his mind, based, he says, on the evidence. He writes:
We do need to teach ethics as essential to the conduct of science, and we need to teach the simple lesson that in science crime doesn't pay. But above all, we need to demonstrate by example that the highest ethical standards should, and often do, come naturally.

I have found this publication to be fertile ground for thought, and expect to continue with this series.

Thanks for reading.

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