Answers for Aristotle: Science and Philosophy - Meeting 2 Part 2









Join us to discuss Massimo Pigliucci's latest book.
Please read Part II, up to page 156, and be prepared to share your ideas and insights triggered by the reading.

See reviews at Amazon.


Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to get your bearings and feel settled in, as we will begin at 7pm. Dinner, snacks, dessert, and drinks will be available.

Since we have room for only 8, if you RSVP and don't show, you may have deprived someone who would have come had there been room.

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  • Gary F.

    Another tidbit of clarification is that the term "reptilian brain" makes it sound like we evolved from reptiles and part of our brains are similar to reptile brains because of that ancestry. However, an ancient common ancestor called the "amniote" (vertebrates that can lay eggs on land) diverged into synapsids and sauropsids; mammals evolved from synapsids and reptiles from sauropsids. So we did not evolve from reptiles.

    July 21, 2013

  • Gary F.

    Also we should note that the triune brain theory that we have three parts of the brain that evolved one after the other, the so-called reptilian brain, the limbic system, and the neocortex is highly controversial. For example Steven Pinker says, “One problem for the triune theory is that the forces of evolution do not just heap layers on an unchanged foundation.” Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux pointed out that anatomists have shown that “so-called primitive creatures do in fact have areas that meet the structural and functional criteria of neocortex…As a result of these discoveries, it is no longer possible to say that some parts of the mammalian cortex were older than other parts….” Some neuroscientists argue that the whole idea of a limbic system is obsolete. For example, it was supposed to be the emotional center of the brain with the neocortex handling cognition, but damage to part of the limbic system was found to result in severe cognitive deficits.

    July 14, 2013

    • Katherine B.

      I have only a vague idea of how the brain works. My idea, perhaps very wrong, is of neural paths originally created and then re-activated (electified?) during brain activity. Sort of an on-off thing. I guess the synapses would be part of the neural transmission.

      July 19, 2013

    • Katherine B.

      What goes on at the genetic level in terms of the brain must be quite different than the neural activity. That's all I have for now on that.

      July 19, 2013

  • Gary F.

    Excellent group led very ably by Gui. However, I need to correct one point: The procedure to separate the two hemispheres of the brain is called a corpus callosotomy and is quite different from a lobotomy which involves cutting away most of the connections to the prefrontal cortex. Lobotomies are no longer performed as they could leave a patient permanently incapacitated and generally result in greatly reduced cognitive function. The benefits of corpus callosotomies have greatly outweighed the relatively minor side effects and the procedure is still performed throughout the world today.

    July 14, 2013

  • Katherine B.

    Meeting was really good. Participants gave summary of material. Leader led the discussions and there were many including intensive explorations of concepts. I learned a lot and was very satisfied with the reconciling of our diverse input into the conversations.

    July 11, 2013

  • Gui

    Peter Boghossian wrote "Bogus, Bunk, and B.S." a 2 page review of "50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True" by Guy P. Harrison.
    The points made are relevant to our topic for this meeting, so please have a look.

    July 10, 2013

  • Katherine B.

    See you then. Epistemology I believe. My name and picture appears sometimes but not always. What's up with the Aristotle:Science and Philosophy website? I sure am confused. Best to you and all others.

    July 6, 2013

  • Katherine B.

    I'm looking forward to another thought-provoking discussion.

    June 29, 2013

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