The soul is a result of your consciousness neurons

So says a Fox news story:

I always wondered about the Alzheimer’s patients(see the article) that slowly lose their self. Does the soul trickle out little by little as well?

OK, I’ll bite.

Does self-awareness=soul?

IOW, does it follow that “cogito, ergo soul?”


No, you have to have feelings for puppies, kittens and babies as well.

I thought you just had to listen to Soul Train.

Sentience is both a curse and a blessing! Animals, for instance, are not aware of their impending demise, no matter the circumstances! On the other hand, as sentient beings, we are not only aware of our own mortality, we are aware of the mortality of all other creatures. A tiny burden, maybe?

I like to think I’m self-aware. But I also like to think that I don’t have a soul. If I did, it would cough. :slight_smile:

Just how sentient would dogs be, if we say humans are an arbitrary 100 sentience units?

Does anyone have any evidence to either confirm or deny this?

Just the cautionary note that post hoc is not necessarily propter hoc. It’d take a more thoroughgoing Berkelian idealist than anybody on this board to suggest that the “higher” faculties do not have physiological/neurological analogs as vehicles for their operation. Demonstrating that a neuron cluster functions as the seat of consciousness does not prove anything negative regarding the nature of that consciousness. It does present interesting problems for those who assert the immortality of the soul or the reality of astral projection, and such. But the ability to leap to conclusions such as the thread title is not the exclusive property of any one group of thinkers.

Lets say you have to have a leg amputated. I’ve never had that happen to me, but I can imagine that it would feel like you’re not whole anymore, like there’s a part of you missing. I don’t think of consciousness as being a specific part of the body, no matter how essential to some function those specific neurons might be. It sort of gives me an image of a little green man inhabiting those neurons saying “Oh, auxiallary unit 1 gone, gotta switch to alternate”. True, the mind may be the most intellegent part of the body, but there are very stupid people and nobody says that they don’t have a soul.

I just love the idea that science NEVER says anything about religion. I have heard that in the earth is flat thread so much I wanna puke. Gosh, maybe, just maybe, science tries to disprove religion? Hmm? Whadda ya think?

Sheesh maneesh!

Science has its head stuck so far up its own ass, it can’t see the light of day!

Polycarp, Descartes got around the problem, don’t ya think?

By the way the Hebrew word there are transliterating is incorrect. Soul actually means breath, they are refering to spirit, but hey if they don’t know enough to print such foolishness, how could they know the difference!

For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes.

Science can only disprove those things espoused by a religion which are testable. A decent religion knows where to draw its boundaries, by making its only “sacred truths” be things that cannot be disproven, e.g. an afterlife, reincarnation, souls, the existence of God, etc…

tracer, I’d say the question of souls and an afterlife are eminently testable. The difficulty comes in trying to share one’s research results!

“Come on, Phonics Monkey–drum!”

I think the an assumption the article has is that if these neurons are actually responsible for consiousness/self-awareness then there is no need for anything else you would call a ‘soul’. What would it do?

Hmmm…the evidence “cited” in that rather curory article is slim indeed to make claims about “finding the seat of consciousness”. I would be interested in seeing a more complete treatment of these studies, if anyone knows of a journal article or juried paper. Otherwise, I think much more analysis needs to be done before we use this particular cluster of neurons as the “final answer” in th econsciousness debate.

Side issue – The readings I have done (admittedly a couple of years out-ofodate now) tended to support ideas that consciousness and self-identity/awareness are distinct and separate elements of cognition. Setting aside for the moment possible questions of methodology and analysis with these studies, which of those elements do people think are actually being addressed?

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

tracer and pldennison: Tracer, very good post and a lot of precise thinking about the subject. I would agree 100%.

Phil, I think differently and will be showing how matters of religion and science are interrelated in my next couple of posts in the Eartg is Flat thread…still working on it.

For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes.

Torment you, of course.

Professor Allman:
Allman’s book Evolving Brains is being published this week by Scientific American Library/W.H. Freeman. The book will be available in bookstores in time for Christmas.

The newsstory journal article was not indexed yet

The book is unavailable but read the reviews at amazon:
[]Brain book

Just a regular link, then:

The brain book, discussing much earlier development, not including the consciousness neurons