February 15, 2016

EP. 109 — Mind-Melting Theories About Consciousness and Your Soul

Where Western medicine ends is often the place where eye-rolling begins. Just the mere mention of alternative medicine brings up imagery of snake-oil salesmen, chakras and crystals. But in the modern world, we’re so devoted to the materialistic side of science–the stuff that can only be measured and doled out in pill form–we forget how much we don’t know about how the human body works.

Don’t get us wrong, Western medicine is great! We can heal bones, prescribe medications and implant devices that can make the deaf hear again. But when it comes to dealing with dementia, autism, strokes, or anything inside the brain, we might as well be in the middle ages. How can we help a child locked inside his own mind when we barely understand what the mind is? How can we ethically take a comatose person off life support when your best guess for the definition of consciousness is as good as ours?

Jack O’Brien is joined in-studio this week by David Huntsberger, host of the now-defunct podcast Professor Blastoff, for a very heady conversation about consciousness, the brain, the mind, and searching for therapies at the edge of Western medicine.

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