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Mitchell Diamond Presents: The Problem with Consciousness

Are humans (even atheists) rational creatures? 

Why do people vote against their own best interests?

Why do they imagine and worship non-material, non-empirical phantasms? 

How effective and accurate is human higher-order consciousness, the cognitive features that (theoretically) differentiate us from other animals? 

Science has some answers, but the implications are decidedly uncomfortable. When the objective evidence conflicts with beliefs, when your pre-frontal cortex (PFC) disagrees with your amygdala, what do you do? Let's use our PFCs and amygdalas to discuss and evaluate the science investigating the functions of our PFCs and amygdalas.

Feel free to arrive early and have dinner at the restaurant. The presentation and Q&A should be about an hour (starting at 7pm) then mingle with your fellow atheists after the meeting.

Look for us in the back banquet room

See you there!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Those of you who enjoyed Mitch's wonderful presentation might enjoy the brain special talks hosted by Neil Tyson, the neuroscientist/acress on Big Bang Theory, and comedians:

    * http://www.startalkradio.net/show/startalk-live-big-brains-at-bam-part-1/
    * http://www.startalkradio.net/show/startalk-live-big-brains-at-bam-part-2/
    * http://www.startalkradio.net/show/startalk-live-big-brains-at-bam-part-3/

    And, unrelated to Tyson, but super wonderful:
    * http://brainsciencepodcast.com/ (Brain Science Podcast) This is awesome!

    August 22, 2014

    • Mitchell D.

      The interview of Brenda Milner I played was from brain science podcast episode #49.

      August 22, 2014

  • Kennita

    How do I know that my cognitive biases didn't predispose me to unconsciously evaluate the talk positively? ;-)

    2 · August 21, 2014

    • Mitchell D.

      You don't. They did, and I'll take it.

      2 · August 22, 2014

    • Scot

      Ah, and there's the doff-of-the-hat to free will ... which is the consciousness's last desperate grasp for the illusion of control.

      August 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here's an article on consciousness that is related to my wild speculation that our brain is connected to the quantum world, which is connected to the multiverse:

    - http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/08/the-quantum-effect-of-anaesthesia-a-new-theory-of-consciousness/

    August 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Mitch did a great job presenting a complex topic. Well done!

    3 · August 21, 2014

    • Scot

      I also want to commend Mitch for taking a fantastically complicated, multi-dimensional topic and making it approachable and interesting. Well done, Mitch.

      2 · August 21, 2014

  • Rich D.

    It was interesting.

    August 21, 2014

  • Tim

    Excellent presentation. Really enjoyed the meeting this week as always. Looking forward to Barry Lynn. Keep em coming Brian and Scott!

    1 · August 21, 2014

  • Diane

    Great talk. It was a lot to pack into the brief time, and it was very kind of Mitchell to stay so long answering questions and listening to opinions. I'm looking forward to his next presentation.

    August 21, 2014

  • Larry G.

    Fine presentation. Mitchell has a great voice for this kind of thing, and the presence to carry it off. I hadn't realized that most of my life I've been unconscious! ;^)

    1 · August 21, 2014

  • Invisible Pink U.

    I counted 57 tonight. Excellent turnout!!!

    3 · August 20, 2014

  • Udai M.

    Hey folks,
    if it is not much to ask
    can i carpool with someone who lives in North San Jose ?

    i can take the bus but i will need 1:30 min to reach also this will be my first meeting, so it would be nice to go with somebody how have attended before Thanks

    August 19, 2014

  • Lyn C

    Sorry to miss this, but I'm very sick. Have fun everyone! *hug*

    August 19, 2014

  • Larry G.

    I always wanted to know if my Private First Class and my amygdala would agree. ;^)

    August 18, 2014

  • Tim

    I've been battling my own consciousness for many years, with only short lived bouts of unconsciousness to mark my progress. Really looking forward to this one.

    1 · June 11, 2014

  • Jim L.

    This looks like a great presentation. Really looking forward to it.

    1 · June 10, 2014

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