I have on occasion twitted ultra-Darwinists and early-universe cosmologists for being seduced by the flashbulbs and footlights into amorphous public vaporings upon matters of which they know not. But their shticks are mostly harmless. More concerning are ongoing attempts by neuroscientists to degrade what is left of human morality, accountability, and free-will. One such husband-wife buffoon-team is frowned at here. Their antics are at least largely confined to academia. But some of the sepsis is leaching into the popular press:
The legal system needs an infusion of neuroscience. It needs to turn away from an ancient notion of how people should behave to understand better how they do behave.
I won’t pause to polemicize, but merely note:
=> The question of how people should behave falls within the province of the Law, and of theology.
=> The question of how people actually do behave, and misbehave, falls within the province of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and market research. (Oh, and soap operas.)
Or, in the words of a respected philosopher-scientist:
Something has gone terribly wrong. It is a confusion of explanation with exculpation.
-- Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate (2002), p. 179
(The connection is, however, foreshadowed in our very language: “You have some explaining to do !”)
Neuroscience is welcome to attempt to annex the behavioral sciences, which are already in a fairly sorry state. But keep your mitts off law and morality, you lab-coated apes.