m.kirkcaldie at removethis.unsw.edu.au
Sat Oct 16 21:26:40 EST 2004
In article <73+1ikCOsPcBFwrM at longley.demon.co.uk>,
David Longley <David at longley.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> The extent of the
> mythology created by "the decade of the brain" and its funding over the
> past decade is both staggering and worrying. "Cognitive neuroscience"
> (which isn't a soft-science but pseudo-science for reasons I've tried to
> explain elsewhere) is metaphysics and is having pernicious consequences
> through shaping public policies in areas where it has absolutely nothing
> to contribute (e.g education) over traditional, more conservative
> practices. Market forces are more likely to drive out conservative,
> realistic scientific practices as the latter are far less popular,
> "promising" and "comprehensible" to the majority. The problem is wider
> than science of course.
Those words give me a chill of recognition - after all, who needs to do
the expensive work of *understanding* anything, if we can look at a
pretty picture and pretend we know?
My wife works in speech pathology and has often come away from
"professional development" sessions, open-mouthed at the kind of rubbish
being pushed because "brain research" says it's true. Her colleagues
have been a little suspicious of her when she actually seeks out
evidence before forming an opinion.
Maybe it's time for a revival of vitalism.
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