TED Conversations

Arjuna Nagendran

Doctor,

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Is it feasible or desirable to ever completely understand the human brain?

We are gradually increasing our minute knowledge of the human brain, how it works, how it responds and changes. However, we still know very little of how it truly works and the depth of functions it enacts.

Will we ever get there? And is it really something that is going to benefit us or are we likely to do more harm than good?

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  • Sep 23 2012: Yes and sure.

    But the brain is a subject of immense complexity. Its full function may never enter the realm of common knowledge, but with the fullness of understanding, we may finally come to end debates* on the nature of consciousness, mind-body dualism, etc.

    *even though those things can already be readily inferred with a good deal of evidence and keen reasoning by those well studied in its function and composition.

    But I suspect it'll be a while before that knowledge is as readily accepted as the spherical nature of this planet, or its rotation around the sun... just like evolution, despite its age and considerably massive weight of evidence, is been rejected by many across the world not for its veracity but for its implications.

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