Time Writer M. Lemonick"s Mind-Body Error

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Time magazine carried an article called "Your Mind, Your Body" in its February 17, 2003, edition. It was suggested that the Cartesian separation of mind and body no longer applied, and that psychologists and neurologists were now agreed that mind and body were interconnected. The claims in this article, written by Michael L. Lemonick, consist of nothing but deceptions. All Lemonick does is to set out his own materialist fantasies, though he is unable to offer a shred of scientific evidence to back them up.

Time magazine carried an article called "Your Mind, Your Body" in its February 17, 2003, edition. It was suggested that the Cartesian separation of mind and body no longer applied, and that psychologists and neurologists were now agreed that mind and body were interconnected. The claims in this article, written by Michael L. Lemonick, consist of nothing but deceptions. All Lemonick does is to set out his own materialist fantasies, though he is unable to offer a shred of scientific evidence to back them up.

Lemonick maintains that the thoughts and emotions which colour our reality are the result of complicated electrochemical effects taking place within and among the nerve cells. As evidence for these claims, he suggests that the feelings of low self-esteem and self-hatred, which appear in schizophrenia and depression, have nothing to do with reality but consist of faults in the electrochemical system in the brain.

Lemonick"s interpretation, which makes the mind and body one, is nothing more than a dogmatic claim lacking any kind of scientific and rational foundation. Even today the materialists" mind-body dilemma has not been solved. In other words, the question of how consciousness (the state of a person"s having knowledge of, understanding, thinking about, interpreting and feeling his surroundings and himself) could have come about in a piece of flesh such as the brain has not yet been resolved.

According to materialists, consciousness is the result of electro-chemical reactions in the brain. In other words, consciousness comes about with the chemical and electron exchanges between the cells which make up the tissue of the brain. The fact is, however, that there is no scientific foundation for this claim. Not even the most highly advanced MR brain scans have been able to establish where consciousness is located in the brain, nor which chain of brain functions comprise it. All the scientific research carried out throughout the 20th century in order to explain the phenomenon of consciousness shows that consciousness has no material base.

Such a conclusion is inevitable. Matter has no ability or essence within itself that could give rise to consciousness. All things considered, the brain cells that are believed to be the source of consciousness consist of nothing but unconscious atoms. How is it that grey, damp piece of flesh made up by such atoms able to create the very different characters of billions of different people? How do carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms know how to arrange our bodies and emotions?

In fact, consciousness is an extraordinary property, and one that cannot be explained in terms of matter. Consciousness is literally a miracle.

Julian Huxley, an evolutionist who spent years trying to establish a materialist foundation for consciousness, admits his failure in these terms:

How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of initiating nerve tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin, where Aladdin rubbed his lamp…(1)

Of course brain damage can affect behaviour. The chemicals people take can affect their characters. The symptoms of schizophrenia or depression can be observed in the brain. That is because the soul, the true origin of consciousness, extends to the material world via the brain. However, saying that the chemistry of the brain influences behaviour and that psychological diseases can be observed in the brain, is not sufficient to resolve the mind-body dilemma. Colin McGinn, author of the book The Problem of Consciousness, makes the following confession on the subject:

We have been trying for a long time to solve the mind-body problem. It has stubbornly resisted our best efforts. The mystery persists. I think the time has come to admit candidly that we cannot resolve the mystery. (2)

 

Conclusion

The claim made in Time magazine expresses nothing more than Lemonick"s own personal and ideological fantasies. For Lemonick and the other materialists, the mind-body problem is incapable of solution.

 

 


1- The Problem of Consciousness, Colin McGinn, Athenaum Press Ltd, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, 1991, sf. 1
2- Colin McGinn, "Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?" Mind, 98 (1989), s. 349

2003-02-17 00:00:00

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