Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Buddha on the Brain

This month's Wired Magazine has an interesting article about meditation, neuroscience, and the Dalai Lama. It can be found here. A lot of it is similar material that was covered in the Washington Post article that I mentioned back in November, but there are some other interesting details. I did have a couple of problems with the articlee, however. The article seems to imply mixing Buddhism and science is a bad thing, but I think it misses (or glosses over) one of the points which the Dalai Lama and (Buddhism in general) makes - if something doesn't agree with observations, then it shouldn't be believed. You shouldn't believe something just because the Dalai Lama (or someone else important) said it. As for the professor (at the end of the article) making a point that being on stage with the Dalai Lama was one of the most wonderful moments of his life, I wouldn't agree with the author's apparant implication that this means the professor willl have a biased view towards his scientific inqueries. Would someone have made as big a deal if the professor had made the comment about sharing the stage with a renowned scientist such as Albert Einstein (were he alive)? I could easily see someone having a similar feeling of respect or admiration for such a figure and making a similar comment, yet the media wouldn't then use it to highlight how someone will be biased in their scientific studies because of it.