Susan Blackmore: Truth is better than illusion

Dr Susan Blackmore is a freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Truth is better than illusion, and science has found ways to find out how the universe works, how we can interact with it, and what is likely to happen next. Other claims to find the truth are mostly fatuous - religious claims that cannot be tested, or claim that “faith” is better than doubt, prevent people from using their natural curiosity to find out how things really are.


  1. Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    shes a one of a kind person

  2. Posted January 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Susan is a pioneering scientific thinker, and a fearless one at that. For those interested, I did an interview with her not long ago that can be found here:

  3. Roger Payne
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Susan Blackmore: what "meme" dictated the multi-coloured hair?

    If Dawkins's theory is supposed to be "true", then he is a replicator and copyist of ideas (Darwin) which in themselves have no reality. If Susan Blackmore takes up this "meme", why does it have any reality either? Why does Darwin and his neo Darwinists?Since she dismisses all mystical religious, philosphical ideas as illusion, we are supposed to be mere meme machine replicators, why does her idea have any value either? Why, too, is she in the privileged position of being able to declare the ultimate truth, or non-truth (it is only a meme, of course) and thus declare all previous history, all philosphers, all psychologists, all cultures, all art, all visionaries, all mystics, everyone else, as past illusion, now clafrifed and neatly packaged by meme theories and Dawkins, which seems to be what she is doing? Can she not see that anything anyone says comes via and out of the human psyche, as Jung pointed out (no doubt for her Jung is a deluded idiot)? Dawkins tells us a lot about Dawkins and his "religious" drive to dismiss religion, which has a fanatic drive to it, like religious believers. Has she observed on TV his barely controlled anger?Similarly, Sue Blackmore tells us a lot about herself, (and her hair), but little about life, creation, or realities. Can she explain why there is a universe at all, how genes came into existence, why they did, out of what, why evolution happened, what drove it, for what purpose there is anything at all? Can she tell us what consciousness is (yes,she says there isn't any). Can she look at billions of nebulae uniamginably remote from planet earth, sand truly believe that what she says about things is "true"? How does she know? Does she really know what Zen is? Or is it Sue Blackmore Zen? Just a meme? Maybe she just gets hung up on the word "God",like Dawkins, since it comes with so much theological baggage. Eckhart said we must get away from God - to God. I find it hard to see why, if her theories were "fact", why we shoulod take anything she says seriously at all. Maybe she is a replicator? All sound and fury, signifying nothing? Maybe she couldlook at James le Fanu's new book, "Why us?" and his demolition of Darwin from a scientific point of view, which many scientists already se is lacking in its core. Does she also lack poetic imagination? Virgin births, resurrections, sone of God, and so on - both Dawkins and churches make the same mistake, they are mirror images of one another. Mythic truth, imagination, are not historical "fact". A poet can see why virgin births speak another language. Dawkins and the Pope look into a two way mirror. each sees his own shadow.

  4. Posted July 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Roger Payne,

    For a naturalistic theory of consciousness, please read the book "Consciousness Explained" by Daniel Dennett. Those ideas that Blackmore has that are true are valuable because they are true. A meme is just an idea that has some analogies to genes.

    Why is there something rather than nothing? This is because if we assume that there exists something called "nothing", we have a contradiction, so the only available answer left is that there has to exist something, rather than nothing, because "nothing" existing is a contradiction. We can also ask the creationist "why is there god (and this particular god rather than another), rather than nothing?".

    Can you look at billions of nebulae unimaginably remote from our planet and really hold that they where created out of nothing (how can something come out of nothing?) for just six thousand years ago?

    If evolution is untrue, why do we see an convergence of independently discovered phylogenies from areas such as biochemistry, paleontology, molecular biology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology and literally hundreds of individual science areas with millions of scientists working with it every day?

    We know why evolution happened and what drove it -- unintelligent physical processes, such as natural selection.

  5. Steve
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 12:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    On reading Ten Zen Questions ~
    If conciousness is an illusion.
    Who is the illusion for?

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