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In his new book Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness , Nicholas Humphrey, a distinguished evolutionary psychologist and philosopher, claims to have solved two fairly large intellectual conundrums. One is something of a technical matter, about which you may have thought little or not at all, unless you happen to be a philosopher. This is the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness. The problem is how an entity which is apparently immaterial like the human consciousness – it exists, but you can’t locate it, much less measure it – can have arisen from something purely physical, like the arrangement of cells that make up the human body.
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From Robert Lawrence Kuhn , host and creator of Closer To Truth : I am haunted by consciousness: the great mystery of inner awareness, seemingly so commonplace, truly so astounding. When science finally finishes the puzzle of the universe, the riddle of consciousness, many believe, will remain largely unsolved. I search for consciousness. Where to find it?
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The young women had survived the car crash, after a fashion. In the five months since parts of her brain had been crushed, she could open her eyes but didn't respond to sights, sounds or jabs. In the jargon of neurology, she was judged to be in a persistent vegetative state. In crueler everyday language, she was a vegetable. So picture the astonishment of British and Belgian scientists as they scanned her brain using a kind of MRI that detects blood flow to active parts of the brain.