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Bernard Baars
Scientific consciousness fan
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I'm sorry to see Psychologia, a good journal, publish an obviously dreadful piece of trash. There is no "center of religiousness" in the brain. There are multiple network nodes, ahd the VM PfC has so many different functions that nailing it down to religious belief is wild speculation. In addition, of course, the "evidence" is correlational, but the title makes a causal claim. The fact that editors and reviewers went along with this manuscript will discredit them in the minds of real scientists, a major career danger as long as cognitive neuroscience remains a healthy discipline. The timing of the piece at a time of major poitical instability and daily expressions of hatred is particularly unfortunately.
What we know scientifically is the various aspect of religiousness have been a major cultural universal among Homo sapiens sapiens at least since the African Exodus, about 50,000 years ago, and long before that, according to the archeological record. Major cultural universals don't just arise because people fall on their heads. They have many survival and reproductive functions, at many levels of complexity.
It is impossible to overstate what a terrible piece of pseudoscience this is. It should be withdrawn by the authors, or rejected by the relevant professional organizations. It is methodologically incompetent, and the timing and misleading title suggest it is nothing but a piece of political propaganda. This kind of "research" can only discredit the journal and the authors, and it should do so. I like the journal, but they've earned a black mark they will never be able to clean up --- unless they publish a retraction.
Corrupt science is a very, very bad sign, for many reasons, because good science protects us from waves of popular irrationality. If this kind of falsehood is supported by NIH or NSF, we know that those agencies have been tainted also.
I am very sorry to see this. I do not know the authors, but the journal has been excellent in the past. But all it takes is one rotten apple, and this one is rotten to the core.

New MBSCI Facebook post: What the science tells us about Beethoven's deafness. 

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Writing comment on Jerath, R et al (2015) A unified 3D default space consciousness model... Frontiers, 2017

Well, I guess that's how I can learn to avoid it, too1

Hi Brad - I'm just waiting for my optometrist, and wasting time. Found you on G+, which is a very strange neighborhood for me. I'm trying to learn.

Say hello to Manny when you see him!


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Hi Brad --- you were going to send me the details you needed... Just a reminder.

Happy Holidays. 

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