Archive for December, 2013

Those with experience are never at the mercy of those with theory – equally those with convictions vs. those with opinions.


Theaters want to ditch the rating system. Money & “homosexual art” the primary drivers for increasingly ignored “no children allowed” NC-17 movie ratings. Another step towards a deeper societal depravity. Details in the audio.

20131211-215529.jpg – The Briefing 11-08-13. Listen to full audio here.

Listen below for a balanced, good & reasonable analysis of the hyper-public figure known as Mandela. Who was he really?

20131210-220545.jpg – The Briefing 12-06-13. Listen to full audio here.


The “connectome maps” reveal the differences between the male brain (seen in blue) and the female brain (orange)

Check out the audio for the 1-minute summary.

Men and women’s brains are ‘wired differently’
3 December 2013
Men and women’s brains are connected in different ways which may explain why the sexes excel at certain tasks, say researchers.

A US team at the University of Pennsylvania scanned the brains of nearly 1,000 men, women, boys and girls and found striking differences.

In females, the pathways criss-crossed between left and right.

These differences might explain why men, in general, tend to be better at learning and performing a single task, like cycling or navigating, whereas women are more equipped for multitasking, say the researchers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The same volunteers were asked to perform a series of cognitive tests, and the results appeared to support this notion. In the study, women scored well on attention, word and face memory, and social cognition, while men performed better on spatial processing and sensori-motor speed.

Study author Dr Ruben Gur said: “It’s quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are. – Source – The Briefing 12-04-13. Listen to full audio here.

Can pain suffered be different for animals vs. humans? Does self-awareness play a role in how pain is perceived? Listen to the audio for a brief summary. The text below lays it out in more detail.

Extract: Your friend asks, “How could an animal not be aware of their suffering if they’re yelping/screaming out of pain?” Brain studies supply the remarkable answer…

In his book Nature Red in Tooth and Claw, Michael Murray explains on the basis of neurological studies that there is an ascending three-fold hierarchy of pain awareness in nature:

Level 3: Awareness that one is oneself in pain
Level 2: Mental states of pain
Level 1: Aversive reaction to noxious stimuli

Organisms which are not sentient, that is, have no mental life, display at most Level 1 reactions. Insects, worms, and other invertebrates react to noxious stimuli but lack the neurological capacity to feel pain. Their avoidance behavior obviously has a selective advantage in the struggle for survival and so is built into them by natural selection. The experience of pain is thus not necessary for an organism to exhibit aversive behavior to contact that may be injurious. Thus when your friend asks, “If you beat an animal, wouldn’t it try to avoid the source of pain so that way ‘it’ wouldn’t suffer? Isn’t that a form of ‘self-awareness?’,” you can see that such aversive behavior doesn’t even imply second order pain awareness, much less third order awareness. Avoidance behavior doesn’t require pain awareness, and the neurological capacities of primitive organisms aren’t sufficient to support Level 2 mental states.

Level 2 awareness arrives on the scene with the vertebrates. Their nervous systems are sufficiently developed to have associated with certain brain states mental states of pain. So when we see an animal like a dog, cat, or horse thrashing about or screaming when injured, it is irresistible to ascribe to them second order mental states of pain. It is this experience of animal pain that forms the basis of the objection to God’s goodness from animal suffering. But notice that an experience of Level 2 pain awareness does not imply a Level 3 awareness. Indeed, the biological evidence indicates that very few animals have an awareness that they are themselves in pain.