It’s not everyday you get to meet someone like Rutgers professor Julien Musolino. In our age of specialization, Julien is part of a small (but growing!) cadre of thinkers whose interests aren’t bound by their field-specific technical training. The shelves in his office are adorned with books ranging in topic from neuroscience to language acquisition, from labor politics to philosophy (which is a good ‘ideological turing test’ one AS author argues). There are literally hundreds of books in that office, and after talking to Julien for a few minutes one gets the impression that he’s got a few hundred more stored in his soul.
Whoops–not soul! Not soul! I meant brain–he’s got a few hundred more stored in his brain! Agh, haven’t I learned anything from talking to him? The soul doesn’t exist! What kind of aspiring scientist am I to be talking about things that don’t (and can’t) possibly exist?
According to Julien’s upcoming book, The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain From Letting Go of Our Soul Belief, I wouldn’t be a very good one! In the book, which comes out in January, and can be pre-ordered in the link, he argues that the existence of the soul is a testable hypothesis – one that’s failed time and time again to hold up against the weight of scientific evidence. But in addition to these two points, he also encourages us not to fret, because the nonexistence of the soul is no reason to be sad. In fact, quite the opposite!
I don’t want to give away all the juicy details, so to hear more about The Soul Fallacy, and the ideas developed in it, you can watch my interview with Prof. Musolino below.
Leo Kozachkov (Staff Writer, Rutgers University) Leo Kozachkov is an undergraduate at Rutgers University, studying physics and mathematics. He is currently working as an Aresty Research Assistant under Professor Thomas V. Papathomas. He enjoys writing, drawing, creating/playing music, going on long walks with his beloved dog, and reading/hoarding books. His grandest hopes are to discover a new physical law, have a mathematical theorem feature his last name, and to write many books.