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Secrets of the Mind: A Tale of Discovery and Mistaken Identity

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How can we reconcile Shakespeare's account of human behavior and that of modern brain science? That's the central question addressed by the noted Glasgow chemist A.G. Cairns-Smith in this provocative, witty, and highly accessible discussion of conscious awareness, free will, and science. Written in a conversational style, Secrets of the Mind is not only a splendid introdu How can we reconcile Shakespeare's account of human behavior and that of modern brain science? That's the central question addressed by the noted Glasgow chemist A.G. Cairns-Smith in this provocative, witty, and highly accessible discussion of conscious awareness, free will, and science. Written in a conversational style, Secrets of the Mind is not only a splendid introduction for the general reader to the central questions of consciousness and brain science, but a contribution to answering some of them. In the author's view, our feelings and sensations are not simply alternative descriptions of neural events but have themselves evolved and have physical effects in the brain as well as physical causes. In Secrets of the Mind we arrive at a vision of the world as it may come to be seen by a future science. Sand, sea water, air, and the atoms from which such materials are made are now well understood by science. These elements of our world, physicists and chemists tell us, are different forms of quantum energy. But what of our personal feelings, our sensations and emotions? Science tells us that these too must be forms of quantum energy if they evolved. But science is only beginning to explain how.


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How can we reconcile Shakespeare's account of human behavior and that of modern brain science? That's the central question addressed by the noted Glasgow chemist A.G. Cairns-Smith in this provocative, witty, and highly accessible discussion of conscious awareness, free will, and science. Written in a conversational style, Secrets of the Mind is not only a splendid introdu How can we reconcile Shakespeare's account of human behavior and that of modern brain science? That's the central question addressed by the noted Glasgow chemist A.G. Cairns-Smith in this provocative, witty, and highly accessible discussion of conscious awareness, free will, and science. Written in a conversational style, Secrets of the Mind is not only a splendid introduction for the general reader to the central questions of consciousness and brain science, but a contribution to answering some of them. In the author's view, our feelings and sensations are not simply alternative descriptions of neural events but have themselves evolved and have physical effects in the brain as well as physical causes. In Secrets of the Mind we arrive at a vision of the world as it may come to be seen by a future science. Sand, sea water, air, and the atoms from which such materials are made are now well understood by science. These elements of our world, physicists and chemists tell us, are different forms of quantum energy. But what of our personal feelings, our sensations and emotions? Science tells us that these too must be forms of quantum energy if they evolved. But science is only beginning to explain how.

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