Edinburgh University was the host venue for the latest invitee, Professor Michael Gazzaniga from California, to the prestigious Gifford series of lectures held at the four ancient Scottish universities. The lecture series has the purported intent of contributing to the advancement of philosophical and theological thought: 'natural theology', whatever in hell that means.
It's remarkable how a formal academic gathering in the imposing high-ceilinged Playfair Library with a couple hundred respectful erudite scholars can affect one's perspicacity - even for someone as avowedly hostile to the orthodox academic model as myself. It was only some time later that the extraordinary shallowness of the enterprise became apparent.
Psychologist Professor Gazzaniga wibbled and wobbled his way through his first two talks (Free: The Science Of Mind Constraining Matter), barely able to read aloud the unbelievably lightweight nonsense typed out in front of him. This was all accompanied by an inconsequentially superficial PowerPoint presentation replete with grade school spelling/punctuation mistakes and the inevitable moments of malfunctioning multimedia. If he wasn't inefficiently employing Dawkins' trademark rhetorical device of the absurdist example to prove highly contentious points, Gazzaniga was tossing around terms such as 'mind' and 'thoughts' and 'consciousness' and 'experience' and 'morality' with such inebriatedly undefined abandon that you wondered how on earth he even managed to gain a degree, let alone a coveted invitation to the Gifford Lectures.
However, it was the brief post-lecture Q&As that really found him out. The audience's questions were mostly insightful and pertinent to the topic, yet when Gazzaniga didn't freeze up completely, he invariably chose to misinterpret their focus through brazenly inaccurate rewording; a tried and trusted mechanism by teachers to avoid having to admit to not having an answer, thus preserving the vanity of their given social status as founts of knowledge.
It enrages you even more to consider the plight and gratuitous suffering of the thousands of research animals at the bloodsoaked hands of 'scientists' like Gazzaniga and company. I won't make this worse by relaying some of the nonsensical experiments alluded to - suffice to say that we humans are apparently so special and so unique because the other animals can't play the fucking piano.