Darwin Skeptics Separate Mind From Gray Matter
Debate focuses on whether the brain and mind function in tandem
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2009 6:24 PM CST
A century and a half after Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution, some still doubt its ability to explain the emergence of human beings and other forms of life.   (AP Photo/The Granger Collection)
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(Newser) – To undermine Darwinian theories about the emergence of life, skeptics have a new weapon in mind: the brain, NPR reports. They’re challenging the notion that a cluster of cells could produce such high-level mental processes as consciousness and free will. “It doesn’t hang together,” says one neurosurgeon, who argues that an intelligent designer created the brain and molded the universe.

But a Yale neurologist insists that the mind evolves along with the brain, which “can do things that can plausibly cause consciousness and self-awareness, so the argument really just falls on its face,” he explains. Not so, says the neurosurgeon, who argues that near-death experiences point to a mind that functions independent of the physical brain.