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GOD: new evidence

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Is Consciousness a Side Effect?

(Beyond Ourselves #09)

Previous: Is Consciousness a Performance?      Next: Giving chips a 'Brain Scan'

Many people today think that consciousness is just a ‘side-effect’ of what is going on in our brains – the only things that are really there are the atoms and molecules and chemical reactions.

Brain scientists often make the sweeping claim that we can now understand how consciousness emerges from brain activity – at least in principle. But nothing could be further from the truth!  Although what we know is growing every day, there is still a huge amount that we do not understand about how the brain works, and about the relationship between the brain and consciousness. 

The claims that are being made in this area are greatly exaggerated.  In reality, we are nowhere near being able to understand what consciousness is, or how it works.

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‘Clearly there are religious implications whenever you start to discuss the origins of the Universe. There must be religious overtones. But I think most scientists prefer to shy away from the religious side of it.’- Professor Stephen Hawking