Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Neuroscience as the Answer to God

Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the youtube video "The Moon, the Tides and why Neil De Grasse Tyson is Colbert's God" implies that neuroscience is the frontier of science that will answer the deepest questions about humanity, who we are, why we do what we do, etc.

He proposes an experiment where a person is shown a painting while simultaneously having their brain stimulated in the "painting liking" areas. His intuition is that the result of the experiment would be the person liking the painting. He then goes on to state that such a result "will tell us that all emotion is simply what gets stimulated in your brain and what does not. All belief systems that are not evidence based would be triggered by simply what gets triggered in your brain and what does not. And so that is all I think in the future of neuroscience." (6:29)

I have seen this sort of thinking in other famous atheist books, interviews, and debates. It is reductionist (as the interviewer pointed out but failed to defend) not only in that it sees humans as nothing more than brains, and THAT reduces the scope of our inquiry (and thus potential discovery) to cause and effect alone. This approach, while potentially fruitful in results, will at the same time undermine the value of those results by failing to include other areas of inquiry in their interpretation. This leads to a point about interdisciplinary illiteracy. Fields publish their results, but largely it is only those within that field who study it. There is a great need for interdisciplinary literacy and synergy.

Tyson's proposed experiment of stimulating the brain to make me like a painting is similar to experiments where stimulating the brain causes spiritual experiences. If, for example, the brain is the physical biological organ that gives rise to the nonphysical psychological mind, then the two are directly connected. There is a cause and effect relationship. But does it go both ways? Does the nonphysical mind "interface" with the nonphysical spirit? Is this what a spiritual experience is? Does the spirit effect the consciousness?

If my brain can be stimulated to make me like a painting, does that mean that my liking it is counterfeit? Or is it a real liking, but one I had no choice in?

The fact that there is stimulation that can be done to the brain to induce spiritual experiences is not evidence that the spiritual experiences are created by the stimulation. Rather, it is evidence that the brain can and does interface with the spirit through the mind. Stimulate the consciousness, and you stimulate the mind/spirit interface.

The Apostle Paul asked "who knows the mind of a man but the spirit (pneuma) of a man in him?"

I wonder?

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