From Cells to Souls—and Beyond/What About the Soul

As I was writing this review, I saw the headline “DNA Scientist Francis Crick Dies.” The distinguished codiscoverer of DNA challenged not only religious people and their notion of the soul, but everyone else as well when he argued in The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” This type of harsh reductionism is one reason some theologians resolutely avoid any encounter with scientists. However, scientists and theologians alike must wonder if Crick is correct. Many have weighed in on this discussion, and it appears that Crick may be partially so.


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