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DNA Pioneer locates 'cells of our soul'


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#1    Kira

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 03:33 PM

                                                  DNA pioneer locates ‘cells of our soul’

THE joint discoverer of DNA’s double helix has published research that explains away the soul and attributes human consciousness to a set of neurones in the brain.
Francis Crick claims he and his co-researchers have found the group of cells responsible for generating consciousness and an individual’s “sense of self”.
The announcement, in the science journal Nature Neuroscience, comes amid the build-up to next month’s 50th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of the double helix by Crick and James Watson, for which they won a Nobel prize.

Their discovery, that the blueprint for life and evolution lay in a simple molecule, is still seen as a threat to religion by groups such as creationists.

If proven, Crick’s new claim would represent another big triumph for science over religion. The apparent inability of science to explain where humans get their sense of self-awareness has long been used by religious leaders as evidence of an eternal soul.

For Crick it would also represent the culmination of years of research into consciousness, much of which has been targeted on disproving the notion of a soul. In earlier research he once said: “The scientific belief is that our minds — the behaviour of our brains — can be explained entirely by the interactions of nerve cells.”

Crick’s new research indicates he has proved his case. The paper is based on years of experimentation including studies of patients with brain injuries, tests on animals and psychological research. Some of the most valuable data came from the therapeutic use of tiny probes put into the brains of people suffering from epilepsy to assess their seizures.

The paper describes how different parts of the brain mesh together to generate consciousness. It adds: “For the first time we have a coherent scheme for the neural correlates of consciousness in philosophical, psychological and neural terms.

“Actual consciousness may be expressed by only a small set of neurons, in particular those that project from the back of the cortex to parts of the frontal cortex.”

Christof Koch, professor of neuroscience at California Institute of Technology, who co-authored Crick’s latest research, said: “It is clear that consciousness arises from biochemical reactions within the brain.”

Some see Crick’s attack on the soul as part of a wider attempt by scientists to undermine the fundamental beliefs of most major religions.

The Rev Michael Reiss, professor of science education at the University of London, who is both a priest and a scientist, said Crick had only discovered the neuronal components of consciousness.

“It is like saying that a cathedral is a pile of stones and glass,” he said. “It is true, but too simplistic and it misses the point.”

However, Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University, supported Crick’s belief that consciousness arises from biochemical reactions.

He said: “Science and religion conflict because they both try to explain the physical world, but most religions suggest there is some grand intention — and there is no evidence for that. Religion is an untestable hypothesis.”

Baroness Susan Greenfield, a pharmacology professor who is director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, said it was important for scientists to show respect for other beliefs even when they disagreed with them. “Among some researchers science is becoming the new religion,” she said. “That is a silly attitude.”

Crick, who at 86 will discover the truth of his theories sooner than most other scientists, has said that one day all humanity will come to accept that the concept of souls and the promise of eternal life were a deception — just as they now accept that the Earth is not flat.

                                                  

Edited by Celticwitch_00, 10 March 2003 - 05:42 AM.

We do what we do because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.

#2    Halo_Jones

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 03:39 PM

                                                  Could'nt get the full article up. But wouldn't that be really sad, if just a group of cells are responsible for our uniquie personalities?? unsure.gif                                                  


#3    Kismit

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 11:46 PM

                                                  I couldn't link to it either Kc .
Apparently because I'm over sea's I have to pay a subscription fee of 39.99 pounds , thats roughly $120.00 NZ and My Scottish heritage just wont let me do that wink.gif .
Although the story sounds facinating  Celtic.

BTW  I'm sure most people on the board have huge groups of reaaly big personality cells . laugh.gif

Then I wonder in a few years will we be capable of offering personality transplants or alterations ? Just a thought .                                                  


#4    SpaceyKC

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 01:15 AM

                                                  

        Something very psychic is going on here, Kismit!  You replied after
         Halo and I thought I had posted that I couldn't see the article
          either (but apparently I didn't).   huh.gif
       Wow,  can you tell what I'm thinking of writing on the next post?  laugh.gif                                                  


#5    Kismit

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 08:03 AM

                                                  Hmmmm I'm seeing the number 4 Does it mean anything ? laugh.gif  laugh.gif Very funny KC , a phsycic told me I'd be really good one day. biggrin.gif


Thanx Celtic for the full post .
   Just to add to the thread I can't see how Cricks could believe he had found the soul when he may justhave discovered a temporary storage bank for it . If those cells are what make up our personalities/souls, then where does the actuall spark that starts life come from ?                                                  


#6    SpaceyKC

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 12:33 PM

                                                  
             'A triumph for science over religion',  like it's a great
    achievement.   huh.gif   I like to think they could live amicably
     side by side.
                And I might not be understanding this theory but,
       it seems like our personalities would be so much more alike
        if this was true (but that's just me)  smile.gif
                Anyway, great article CW, thanks!

                Hmmm,  Kismit,  I see great plans in the future
          4 you ~ how's that?   laugh.gif                                                    

"Science may have found a cure for most evils;  but it has
         found no remedy for the worst of them all --- the apathy of human beings."
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#7    Homer

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 02:07 PM

                                                  
QUOTE (SpaceyKC @ Mar 10 2003, 07:33 AM)
I like to think they could live amicably
    side by side.
               

I agree KC,

I don't think this proves anything. Perhaps these cells are as Kismit suggests, and they are for storage or something. Maybe they were created by the creator for the purpose Mr. Crick suggests, indicating what KC said, that they live together.

It was a fascinating article CW smile.gif                                                  

אַ֭תָּה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׁעִ֑י

#8    Halo_Jones

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 02:10 PM

                                                  I'm with you on this KC, Why do they celabrate getting one over on Religion?
Very Sad.
It would be good if after Cricks dies a psychic (can never spell it) makes contact with him!!! biggrin.gif


Love the new avatar CW BTW  wink.gif                                                  


#9    Bizarro

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 03:00 PM

                                                  
QUOTE
“It is like saying that a cathedral is a pile of stones and glass,” he said. “It is true, but too simplistic and it misses the point.”


i agree with this statement wholeheartedly  smile.gif                                                  

if there was a meteor,
adrift amongst space,
set about on a collision course
not with Earth, but my face...
i wonder if id even know,
at what time i might,
be passed off like an old style
and by the meteor be smite?

- me, 1997

#10    Kismit

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 08:52 PM

                                                   A friend of mine and I where discussing the implications of personality transplants .

Just Imagine if we could isolate the cells that cause Violent behaviour in people we could just , alter that specific part of the brain pattern in people and save a fortune in Jail/gaol costs and taxes. Not to mention if I had the technology to play god and alter peoples personalities I could take over the world . salook.gif


  Pretty scary really isn't it .                                                  


#11    snuffypuffer

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 10:26 PM

                                                  Crick was trying to disprove the existence of a soul for 50 odd years, and he finally finds a clump of neurons he believes is the mainframe for all of our personalities?  What a coinkadink!  I'm agreeing with dschwartz on the statement that our soul is more than just a clump of neurons firing off synapses at random.  So we now know where the storage battery is, anybody wonder why we have one?                                                    

Nothing to see here.

#12    Guest_Mike the Science Guy_*

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 02:59 AM

                                                  Well, i can see that the all of the replies to this topic has originated in a common boundary. All of them seem to suggest that souls are much to important, much to complex a subject to be represented by a group of neurons. But lets go deeper within the midst of the topic. Lets discover its origin. Such a preception of a concept, as complex to interperet as this one will leave us filled with different opinions, so lets keep in mind that both science and religion represents the idea of ones own opinion.

“It is like saying that a cathedral is a pile of stones and glass,” he said. “It is true, but too simplistic and it misses the point.”
    This quote, i see that many of you tend to agree with such a quoth. And to me, it means of something to myself. It represents such an idea that such studies have only proven to be primitive, and have not yet grabbed the entire story, but unfortunately i beleive that we may be nearing it. Such simplicity brought forth in Crick's idea has driven many readers away from his theory, but lets lok at it will we. One's self consciousness is something we truly fear to loose, death is something we all dread. A lack of one's sense of self can mean terror instilled within the hearts of many. When one looses his pressence of consciousness periodically, in an uncoscious state, it makes me wonder, in the idea that a soul is the origin of self consciousness, what happens when one is knocked uncosncious. Is this where science plays into religion? Is it merely the soul resting, or is it that the group of neurons projecting one's sense of self are intact for a brief moment. Such an idea is debatable, and can be preceived in many different ways. As i have also noticed one idea brought forth saying that one would think, that if such an idea of neuronic self conscious origins would be proven correct, wouldn't more personalities be less different than others, the reader queried, wouldn't our personalities be more alike, considering that it would be just a randomly manipulated genetic feature. Well in reply to this, i think that it would be very possible to come to the very same conclusion in which we have reached today. Yes, i do think that if these neurones were to produce one's sense of self one's personalities could be varied to such a degree that no two human beings in the world are quite the same. You see, science has such a vastness, and such size that there is really no telling on how big of numbers are in existence of such things. The concept of origin may not be able to yet be preceived by man's "primitive" mind. Perhaps such quantum numbers prove to be unpreceivable by man? To man, there may be no end to an origination. Elements being made up of molecules, molecules, particles, and cells, all that being made up of Atoms, Atoms being made up of sub Atomic particles (Protons,Neutrons,Electrons) and ect.... the list may never end. Scientists, even now hesitate in the idea that the origination of matter digs much, much deeper than that of Atoms. While yes, Atoms are the basic building block, but does it end there? Where do Sub Atomic Particles originate from? Where does the material that make them originate from? Does such a list ever end? Perhaps the laws of the universe are not restricted to such simple limitations in which numbers have brought forth. Mathematics is the fundamentals of the universe? If so, can you explain how such a thing can be possible when such a vast quantity of numbers exists within the vicinity of the space time continuim? Perhaps Methamtics is? Such an idea is debatable, just as everything else is. Just think of the endless amounts of possibilites. And here go back to the subject of death, yes thats the subject which you rather not discuss. Tell me, if neurones do project one's sense of self, what happens when you die? Such a concept has proven to be unpreceivable to humanity. Often the human race has ventured into the wonders of death. Does life end at death, or is eternal life a reality? Perhaps eternal life is but figmented preceptions of reality interpereted through a dream like concept? Can death really be the end? Can someone honestly say that death is simply the end, that one cannot preceive such an idea because there is nothing to preceive at that point? Many questions pretaining to the subject shadow over me. But i am glad i took the time to hopefully, enlighten you, and make you dig alittle deeper within yourself, and nudge your brain to farther limitations. And let me think a bit myself. Do i dare think that without eternal life death is the end, such a concept is frightening. Search throught the article and the origin of it may lead to religion VS Science, but dig alittle deeper and you'll feel that frightening feeling. It is scary, it isn't a walk in the park. If a soul does not exist than one's hopes and dreams of an afterlife may crumble down to amount to nothing. So if you dare think about that, such a terror filled subject, such horror resides within it, then be prepared to feel befuddled and confused, and yet scared at the same time.                                                  


#13    snuffypuffer

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 03:40 AM

                                                  I personally believe in reincarnation.  Makes the most sense, after all, wouldn't heavewn get boring after awhile, and wouldn't one get used to hell?  This is based on the idea that all the matter and energy that's ever been here is here, it can't be destroyed or made not to exist, it has to go somewhere.  Scientific fact.  Backing up religion, go figure.  And all this talk about the afterlife being scary, if you've been a real jerkoff, you're obviously hoping there's nothing after this. If you don't exist, you don't care.  Hell con't be a nice place.                                                  

Nothing to see here.




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