My work with neurofeedback, consciousness research, and aesthetics requires new ways to understand the mind that are more responsive to the data than are described by materialist and reductionist metaphors.
As a method of inquiry into phenomena, and therefore human experience, the scientific method has demonstrated itself to be a most powerful instrument. It is a methodology not a system of belief.
One does not “believe in science”. Yet, many people practice science – and profess a belief in it – as if it produces final and absolute truth. That would be counterproductive, as scientific thinking is a form of skeptical inquiry, which proceeds by hypothesis, experiment, and theory. Gaining knowledge about phenomena and experience is an ongoing process. The truths it produces are tentative, incomplete – they are working hypotheses, only.
The views of Rupert Sheldrake can illuminate this discussion. In this video, he discusses what happens to science when it is treated as a kind of religious belief system, how this holds us back from coming to terms with new data, and the need for a new rebirth of open-mindedness.
Note: This video and Sheldrake’s views invariably stir controversy. The reaction to his TED talk and this video has been quite extensive:
For now, the entire video is here. However, it may be pulled at any time. The controversy continues.