Neuroscience

Far too many people imagine that neuroscience is incompatible with the Jesus Story. It isn't. However, the metaphysical framework of many of its practitioners is 1
Certainly many leading neuroscientists believe that all reality -- including human experience -- is reducible to fundamental physics. But this is a philosophical assumption rather than a scientific conclusion. And while this assumption has been effective in every other area of inquiry, there is something about the human condition that resists such a reduction. The problem was described brilliantly by C.S.Lewis in The Abolition of Man :

But as soon as we take the final step of reducing our own species to the level of Nature, the whole process is stultified.... It is in Man’s power to treat himself as a mere ‘natural object’ and his own judgments of value as raw material for scientific manipulation to alter at will....The real objection [to this] is that it if man choose to treat himself as raw material, raw material he will be.... Man’s conquest of Nature turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be Nature’s conquest of Man.


​​Of course, if we follow the logic of "terminal reductionism," we should be able to construct human experience -- thought, rationality, even consciousness -- from inanimate building blocks.

This exercise, which is sometimes called "strong artificial intelligence (AI)" has had an interesting history of broken promises, including the Loebner Prize 2  (an attempt to motivate the famous Turing Test 3  for machine intelligence) and the Cyc Project 4

John Searle famously attributed these failures to the barrier between syntax and semantics in his Chinese Room thought experiment 5 . Similarly, David Chalmers talks about "the hard problem of consciousness. 6 " Both represent challenges to the possibility of strong AI and hence the reducibility of human experience. Perhaps Emerson Pugh was on to something when he said:

"If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn't."