Descartes Was Not A Neuroscientist

Calling mind-brain dualism “so 1641,” Bethany Brookshire worries that the backlash against bad neuroscience reporting has turned into a backlash against neuroscience itself:

Skepticism would encourage us to “question everything”, and as a proud skeptic myself, I agree. But it’s one thing to question, to ask for details of method and context, and another to use the name of “neuroskepticism” to dismiss neuroscience all together. David Brooks, for example, seems to want to use the neuroskepticism to go all the way back to “the brain is not the mind.”

She elaborates:

The media used to overhype neuroscience, and now they overhype neuroskepticism. After all, who doesn’t love to watch a fight? But don’t throw out the brain with the bathwater. Here’s the thing: There is bad neuroscience, because there is bad science, period. Not because there really is mind–brain dualism … Not because everyone who writes about neuroscience spoonfeeds simplistic interpretations twisted to fit a narrative. There is bad neuroscience, just like there is good neuroscience, because we the people are the ones who do the science.

More Dish on neuroscience here, here, and here.