A child raised on a desert island, alone, without social interaction, without language, and thus lacking empathy, is still a sentient being.
There is no reality of consciousness independent of the effects of various vehicles of content on subsequent action (and hence, of course, on memory).
Some cultural phenomena bear a striking resemblance to the cells of cell biology, actively preserving themselves in their social environments, finding the nutrients they need and fending off the causes of their dissolution.
As every scuba diver knows, panic is your worst enemy: when it hits, your mind starts to thrash and you are likely to do something really stupid and self-destructive.
We adore babies because they’re so cute. And, of course, we are amused by jokes because they are funny. This is all backwards. It is. And Darwin shows us why.
Some of the greatest, most revolutionary advances in science have been given their initial expression in attractively modest terms, with no fanfare.
The problem is that no ethical system has ever achieved consensus. Ethical systems are completely unlike mathematics or science. This is a source of concern.
I don’t think the 9/11 attacks taught us anything we didn’t already know about religion. It has long been obvious – even to the deeply religious – that religious fanaticism is an extremely dangerous deranger of otherwise sane and goodhearted people.
I think many people are terribly afraid of being demoted by the Darwinian scheme from the role of authors and creators in their own right into being just places where things happen in the universe.
The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain anymore so it eats it!