Neuroscience has discredited the pseudoscience of phrenology, so popular amongst the Victorians to explain how areas of the brain influenced human behaviour. In many ways it was the precursor of neuroscience, influencing the progression away from philosophy and religion being the drivers of human conduct, to the more modern interpretations of neurological function. Even so, I like some of the oddities that the practice of phrenology came up with. The intuitive reasoning sometimes has correlation with how we do think and act, and that isn’t an endorsement, just an observation! Thousands of Victorians consulted the practising phrenologists for advice on life changing events such as marriage or business difficulties much in the same way as today we look towards dubious sciences to give us answers. The massive growth in alternative ideologies identifies the same need for humans to look for understanding and meaning, and taking it from wherever seems meaningful to them.
Today phrenology is outdated and unfashionable, but that didn’t make it unhelpful to the believers at the time. What are we investing our energies and time in today that tomorrow will appear as ignorant of real understanding?
Image from Wikipedia, for more information on the fascinating model of phrenology go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology
I like the idea of ‘Eventuality’, of there being a location for curiosity. The need or desire to be informed. I think we all need more of that.