Neuroscience looks at courage

In the March edition of Scientific American, Gary Stix will explain

The Neuroscience of True Grit When tragedy strikes, most of us ultimately rebound surprisingly well. Where does such resilience come from?

Scientific American New Issue Alert here.

Prediction: Reading this will tell us a laudable amount of neuroscience and a little about true grit.

The latter is difficult to quantify because it is, if you like, a psychological wave function.

What caused the Romanian rebellion against Ceaucescu to spread from street to street, after decades of the iron rod? What caused the Montgomery bus boycott, after decades of passive acceptance of segregation? What causes an abuse victim to finally have "had enough" and start fighting back?

Multiple causes, to be sure, and they can be grouped into many valid types, but there is no one, attributable cause. "I've/we've had enough of this" is in fact a focal point of many forces.

The neuroscience is sure to be absorbing and fun, but we will also be hearing from dim bulbs who think they have found a Final Cause. And can the True Grit gene be far behind? Or an "evolutionary psychology" explanation for true grit? I hear the book agents in the distance already …

Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

One thought on “Neuroscience looks at courage

  1. It would be nice if one and a while Ms O’Leary had something positive to say about science (and despite her dismissal of the mainstream scientific movement, there is much good being done).
    It seems that her writing mostly consists of pointing to some scientific article and sneering at it. I learn nothing from this, and certainly she does nothing to further the science of ID (unless one assumes that the content of ID is nothing but anti-evolution). I find her cynical and snarky style (very uninspiring and unedifying.enough with all the pop colloquialisms – the readers here are not all 14 year olds!), For a science writer she sure doesn’t like science!
    She doesn’t like Darwin – we get it! Why not write about something she likes that we can learn from – perhaps suggestions for how ID needs to move forward. Or about new research or ideas in the ID movement. For somebody who is one of the main spokespersons on ID I learn nothing new from her about ID. It’s just one boring polemic after another. And after a while you realize she really doesn’t have anything interesting to say.

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