Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is Death the End? Experiments Suggest You Create Time

I'm sure you believe all that you say.

I just read a fascinating book by Steven Pinker called The Blank Slate. Pinker described some of the things we know about how the physical brain creates consciousness. One of the fascinating experiments he described was where people have the connection between their left and right brains severed. Since the different sides are responsible for things like speech, vision, etc. you would get amazing results. E.g. show someone two different bits of info, one to the left and one to the right and ask them the question and they will answer one way verbally and another if asked to point.

Now, I already knew about these experiments but the fascinating thing I didn't know was that when confronted with these inconsistencies people would make up complex rationalizations that they absolutely believed to be true.

"when a subject's right hemisphere is shown the command walk she will walk out of the room. When the left hemisphere is asked why she did that rather then say 'I don't know' or 'no reason' she'll invent some plausible reason 'to get a coke'"

To me this demonstrates the amazing ability humans have to invent rationalizations and to spontaneously believe and remember what fits in with our needs and preconceptions.
About Death
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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