Does Brain Equal Behavior?


Kathy Sawyer

This article summarizes a recent discussion between neuroscientist Anthony Samuel-Lamantia and neuroethicist Paul Root Wolpe. The central focus of the discussion is whether human behaviour is hard wired through our genes or if there is some autonomy to human behaviour. In other words, does free will exist and to what extent is morality and ethics due to our biological makeup?

The discussion highlights that answers to these questions are not quite as clear as one might hope. Both agree that there is certainly considerable correlation between behaviour and genetics but there is also acknowledgement that other contextual factors, including behavioural choices also play a key role. As the field of neuroscience continues to make significant advances on subjects such as these, it is important for all of us to consider the implications of scientific discovery while also being mindful of other sources of knowledge as well.

What sources of encouragement do find through seeing discussions like these take place?

Wolfe mentions in the article that humans are more than brains. What is the significance of this point as it relates to the Christian faith?

Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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