Heliocentrism and Neurocentrism

by Charles Lyell on December 9, 2013

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.”  – Arthur Schopenhauer

While writing about the similarities between heliocentrim (an astronomical model about planets revolving around a sun) and my behavioral model (about behaviors revolving around neurotransmitters) I Googled neurocentrism. Clicking on the top link brought me to an article titled Distinguishing Brain From Mind. In the article, author Sally Satel wrote, “But the excitement to explore the brain has spawned a new fixation that my colleague Scott Lilienfeld and I call neurocentrism — the view that human behavior can be best explained by looking solely or primarily at the brain.”

A few searches later I learned that Satel and colleague are either mediocre plagiarists or lazy researchers because they were neither first nor the only to use neurocentrism. One book, Reclaiming Cognition (copyrighted in 1999), included a near identical definition. Like Satel and Lilienfeld, the book’s authors employed neurocentrism to facilitate the dismissal of people (like me) who believe all behavior can be explained neurologically.

I’d like to thank Ms. Satel and Mr. Lilienfeld for helping me realize I’m a staunch neurocentrist, for providing new insights into neurocritics’ brains, and for not registering Neurocentrism.com.

Since neurocentrism is in the public domain, I decided to adopt my new favorite word and define it as “the view that human behavior revolves around maintaining dopamine flow.”

Why I like neurocentrism

Heliocentrism and neurocentrism have a lot in common. Both are paradigm changing observations that remained unnoticed for millennia. When visionaries took aim at targets nobody else could see, their efforts were ignored by the masses (whose inability to grasp the obvious threatened their dopamine flow), then attacked by self-deceptive critics (who, like Satel and Lilienfeld, didn’t want to understand they were more interested in protecting jobs, titles, status and dopamine flow than honesty, integrity, or facts). Though neither model can be disproved, both required technological breakthroughs to verify what was observable to anyone willing to temporarily rise above the unconscious need to maintain dopamine flow.

Heliocentrism took decades to go from poppycock to heresy to common knowledge because it threatened dopamine flow by turning an upside-down world right-side up. Neurocentrism might take a decade or more to gain widespread acceptance because it threatens dopamine flow by turning an inside-out world outside in.

Like it or not, believe it or not, accept it or not, the earth revolves around the sun and everything everyone does “out there” revolves around triggering chemicals “in” our brains. Examples include scaling mountains, amassing fortunes, earning degrees, shooting heroin, and writing books or articles to advance or attack neurocentrism.

In a nutshell…

Like heliocentrism, neurocentrism corrects a deceptive paradigm by destroying entrenched beliefs passed down from ignorant ancestors. Additionally, neurocentrism explains how all man-made problems, wars, prejudices, crises, pollution, belief systems, status symbols, and opposition to heliocentrism and neurocentrism are actually about maintaining dopamine flow.

Neurocentrism challenges the deception that the money, power, and status addicts destroying environments, economies, and lives are doing what they’re doing for rational reasons with a simple observation — incredibly dangerous addicts are wreaking havoc to trigger the same neurotransmitter that keeps less dangerous addicts snorting, shooting, puffing, chugging, betting, and gorging.

No sane society would allow junkies, addicted to dopamine-triggering heroin, to decide our species’ fate. Yet far more dangerous addicts, desperately triggering the same neurotransmitter with money, power, and status, continue to get away with wholesale murder, while pretending their addictions are normal, acceptable, and even admirable behaviors.

Imagine that! Out-of-control addicts stealing control of the species so they can indulge selfish addictive needs.

What an epitaph: A species that named itself wise yet self-destructed because maintaining dopamine flow was more important than figuring out that the only thing anyone cared about was triggering dopamine squirts in our primitive brains.



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