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   Way back in the 1940s Jerome Kagan performed a classic study on personality in which he formed a core concept that rooted at least part of the mind in biology.  This was an incredible breakthrough in understanding that certain perceptions and reactions can be rooted in inherited traits.  What Dr. Kagan did was observe a bunch of children as eight month old infants. Read the rest of this entry »


Joseph Smith taught that

A very material difference [exists] between the body and the spirit; the body is supposed to be organized matter, and the spirit, by many, is thought to be immaterial, without substance. With this latter statement we should beg leave to differ, and state the spirit is a substance; that it is material, but that it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body; that it existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection, be again united with it

Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith. p207

As you may have guessed by now, one of my pastimes is comtemplating what exactly the spirit is, and what its relationship is with the mind and body.   It is an endlessly fascinating subject for me.  The idea of spirit as matter makes sense to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Our technology has caused us to radically redefine our concept of death. The advent of the mechanical ventilator greatly prolonged our ability to preserve vital functions in comatose patients. We now have a arsenal of drugs that maintain the function of very sick hearts. In fact, we now have machines that can actually pump blood and oxygenate it on their own, called extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation. It is often used in babies with severe lung disease.

Death has historically, and continues legally, to be defined as the presence of the heartbeat. This technology presents a unique challenge to this idea. Technically, it we use a heart/lung machine during an open heart operation, we are operating on a dead patient. Thus the surgeon, legally if not in actuality, is raising the dead with the operation. Is this playing God, or was the patient really dead A legal rethinking of the matter was inevitable. Read the rest of this entry »

I posted before about how I see a clear difference between brain and mind. Today I want to explore the difference between mind and spirit. There are those in the Scientific field who would disagree and are endeavoring to explain away consciousness, and spirituality as a pure brain physical phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry »

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