Letters from the November 10, 2007, issue of Science News | Science News



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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the November 10, 2007, issue of Science News

1:32am, November 5, 2007

Thinking it through

Bjorn Merker says that "the tacit consensus concerning the cerebral cortex as the 'organ of consciousness' ... may in fact be seriously in error" ("Consciousness in the Raw," SN: 9/15/07, p. 170). But the real tacit consensus is that the cerebral cortex is the organ of conceptual consciousness, of thinking and reasoning, and that is not challenged by studies that identify the brain stem as orchestrating the basis of awareness. Awareness per se isn't the same thing as conceptual awareness.

Tibor R. Machan
Silverado, Calif.

Merker argues that basic forms of thinking and reasoning occur in primary consciousness.—B. Bower

Pride and privilege

Other than people with HIV or AIDS, the prime model for a group overrepresented among those taking the option of physician-assisted suicide ("No Slippery

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