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Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul Paperback – July 1, 1995
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Carl Sagan Author of Cosmos The Astonishing Hypothesis is a fascinating argument that consciousness and what has long been called the soul are now accessible to scientific investigation.
Sheryl Stolberg Los Angeles Times Skewering philosophy and religion in a book that is supposed to be about the study of the brain might be awkward for other scientists. But Crick pulls it off, and incorporates the nitty-gritty of science to boot.
Matthew Belmonte The Washington Times Crick's new book is a well-constructed and comprehensive overview of visual neuroscience for the lay reader....[The] book's questions and conjectures are incisive and provocative.
About the Author
Francis Crick is the British physicist and biochemist who collaborated with James D. Watson in the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, for which they received the Nobel Prize in 1962. He is the author of What Mad Pursuit, Life Itself, and Molecules and Men. Dr. Crick lectures widely all over the world to both professional and lay audiences, and is a Distinguished Research Professor at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.
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But Crick does not analyze what he's trying to define. There are gaps in the logic of trying to find the soul, eg, why would an individual family NEED religion in the beginning? We NEED food shelter and clothing, fuel, transportation, and health care, but only a social system needs rules for conduct.
In a scientific sense, a society would be chaos if it adopted no rules. Those that didn't have rules would be in conflict, many would die and society would learn to abide by certain rules. They might write them down so others could follow, but they didn't need religion to do that.
For example, why did we not develop rules against killing off all of a species of animal? Why not rules against cutting down the last tree, when deserts were the consequence over and over?
So the question is, why did Crick leave out many things? I think the answer is his peers were professors of sociology, psychology, etc.
He wants to define the boundary between religion and science, where in reality, science is a process of discovery and religion is based on the things people have come to believe without scientific explanation.
There is a great quantity of interesting data in the book, but I didn't find where soul is, neither did I find where mind is.
I didn't expect to.
Imagine someone trying to *guess* how your PC works inside--NOT POSSIBLE TO EVEN COME CLOSE TO A REAL ANSWER. However, Crick does dance around the target with his many various guesses about how the brain works, but doesn't know it, and so never lands an arrow on the target at all...at least not in 1994. This book would have been returned had it been much more than $10. Books written about outdated technnology should be removed from the shelves...unless you're a history buff.