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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Neutrality in science?: Apparently not when it counts

At Canada's Christian Community Online, I tell the tale of the Dalai Lama who - having forwarded neuroscience by asking his monks to allow their brains to be scanned while they meditated - became a target of bigotry by politically or ideologically motivated neuroscientists.

Some neuroscientists seized the opportunity to study an unusual mental state that monks study many years to achieve. The Lama, in turn, was interested in the discovery that the monks show more gamma wave activity (associated with perception and consciousness) than people who have little experience with meditation (which suggests that the monks may actually be doing something rather than merely fooling themselves).

In any event, the research results were written up in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (November 2004). Subsequently, the Lama was invited to lecture at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C., on November 12, 2005, on the subject of "Dialogues Between Neuroscience and Society."

Then the outraged responses kicked in. Most revealing.
If you like this blog, check out my award-winning book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

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