June 16, 2009

The Evolution of the Soul

Psychologist Paul Bloom studies babies to understand how we think about complex topics like morality and religion.

David Goldenberg

Psychologists who study advanced human cognition—the "mind" part of the brain—need to be able to develop simple, repeatable experiments that chip away at the incredibly thick wall surrounding our understanding of our beliefs and consciousness. Paul Bloom runs the Mind and Development Lab at Yale University, where he comes up with elegant ways to ask infants and toddlers how they perceive themselves and the world around them. Bloom, age 45, is also one of the few scientists who is able to take those mounds of studies, synthesize them into general theories about how our mind works, and present them cogently to the general population through popular magazine articles and books like Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human.

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Article by David Goldenberg

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