The Human Mystery
-12 %

The Human Mystery

The GIFFORD Lectures University of Edinburgh 1977-1978
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J. C. Eccles
427 g
235x155x15 mm

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Lecture 1 The Theme of Natural Theology: How the Challenge Will Be Met.- Synopsis and Introduction.- 1.1 Sherrington's Gifford Lectures.- 1.2 Subsequent Contributions on the General Theme of Sherrington's Lectures.- 1.3 Development of the Theme for the Present Lectures.- 1.4 Philosophical Basis of the Present Lectures.- Lecture 2 Origin and Evolution of the Universe.- Synopsis and Introduction.- 2.1 The Big Bang.- 2.2 Formation of Galaxies and Life Histories ofStars.- 2.3 Cooking of the Elements.- 2.4 Galaxies in Space.- 2.5 Future of the Universe and Gravitational Collapse.- 2.6 The Question of Genesis.- Lecture 3 Planetary System and Planet Earth.- Synopsis.- 3.1 The Solar System.- 3.1.1 Origin and Evolution.- 3.1.2 Chemical Composition of the Planets.- 3.2 Frequency of Planetary Systems.- 3.3 Fitness of Other Planets for Supporting Life.- 3.4 Conclusions.- Lecture 4 Origin of Life and Biological Evolution.- Synopsis.- 4.1 What is Known to Have Happened: The Fossil Record.- 4.2 Explantations of Fossil Records by Evolutionary Theories.- 4.2.1 Prebiotic Organic Chemistry.- 4.2.2 Steps in the Building of Proteins and Nucleic Acids.- 4.2.3 The Living Cell.- 4.2.4 Biological Evolution.- 4.2.5 Evolution and Environment.- 4.3 General Considerations.- 4.4 Extraterrestrial Life?.- Lecture 5 Human Evolution: The Story of Cerebral Development.- Synopsis and Introduction.- 5.1 What is Known to Have Happened: The Fossil Record.- 5.2 Evaluation of Human Cerebral Development.- 5.2.1 Allowance for Body Weight.- 5.2.2 Progression Indices of Cerebral Components.- 5.2.3 Qualitative Comparison.- 5.3 Selection Pressures and the Pre-Eminence of Linguistic Development.- 5.4 Theory of Biological Evolution.- Lecture 6 Cultural Evolution With Language and Values: The Human Person.- Synopsis.- 6.1 The World of Culture (World 3).- 6.2 Evolution of Culture.- 6.2.1 The Paleolithic and Mesolithic Ages.- 6.2.2 The Neolithic Age.- 6.2.3 The Rise of Cities and the Flowering of Culture.- 6.2.4 Sumerian Technology.- 6.2.5 Sumerian Literature.- 6.3 Cultural Evolution and World 3.- 6.4 World 2: The World of Self-Consciousness.- 6.5 Relationship of Biological Evolution to Cultural Evolution.- 6.6 Values - Altruism.- 6.7 The Future for Biological and Cultural Evolution.- Lecture 7 From the General to the Particular: The Creation of a Self.- Synopsis and Introduction.- 7.1 Building of the Structure.- 7.2 Development of the Functional Performance of the Human Brain.- 7.2.1 Learning of Motor Control.- 7.2.2 Participation Learning.- 7.3 Participation in Culture: The Influence ofWorld3.- 7.3.1 Learning of Language.- 7.3.2 Effect of Deprivation of World 3 Inputs.- 7.4 Interaction of Worlds 2 and 3 in the Creation of the Self.- Lecture 8 Structure of the Neocortex: Conscious Perception.- Synopsis.- 8.1 Structure of the Neocortex.- 8.1.1 General Anatomical Features.- 8.1.2 Columnar Arrangement and Modular Concept of the Cerebral Cortex.- Modules Defined by Association and Callosal Fibres.- Specific Afferent Fibres from the Thalamus.- Cortical Inhibition.- 8.1.3 Summary on Cortical Modules.- 8.2 Conscious Perception.- 8.2.1 Cutaneous Perception (Somaethesis).- 8.2.2 Visual Perception.- 8.2.3 The Perceived Visual Image.- 8.2.4 Auditory Perception.- 8.2.5 Olfactory Perception.- 8.2.6 Pain.- 8.2.7 Emotional Colouring of Conscious Perceptions.- 8.2.8 Summary of Conscious Perception.- Lecture 9 Learning and Memory.- Synopsis and Introduction.- 9.1 Structural and Functional Changes Possibly Related to Memory.- 9.2 Role of the Self-Conscious Mind in Short-Term Memory.- 9.3 Neural Pathways Concerned in Laying Down Long-Term Memories.- 9.3.1 Loss of Long-Term Memory.- 9.3.2 Neural Pathways Concerned in Laying Down Long-Term Memories.- 9.3.3 Storage of Memories.- 9.4 Memory Retrieval.- 9.5 Duration of Memories.- 9.6 Retrograde Amnesia.- 9.7 Conclusions.- Lecture 10 The Mind-Brain Problem: Experimental Evidence and Hypothesis.- Synopsis and Introduction
Under the terms of the endowment by Lord Gifford, the Gifford Lectures have been an annual event in the University of Edin burgh since 1887, and also in three other Scottish universities. According to the will of Lord Gifford they were set up " ... to promote and diffuse the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of that term - in other words, the knowledge of God". The assignment is for ten lectures, and I delivered them from 20 February, to 13 March, 1978. I chose the theme of the Human Mystery because I believe that it is vitally important to emphasize the great mysteries that confront us when, as scientists, we try to understand the natural world including ourselves. There has been a regrettable tendency of many scientists to claim that science is so powerful and all pervasive that in the not too distant future it will provide an explantation in principle of all phenomena in the world of nature including man, even of human consciousness in all its manifesta tions. When that is accomplished scientific materialism will then be in the position of being an unchallengable dogma accounting for all experience.