29 February 2008

Skeptic-‘Woo’ wars: left vs right brain?

The 21st century has seen the return of right brain thinking after left brain dominance during the 20th.  Sceptics call this the age of endarkment.  Is it the opportunity to do joined up thinking?

 Left Brain, Right Brain by Dan Eden :

“There appear to be two modes of thinking, verbal and nonverbal, represented rather separately in left and right hemispheres respectively and that our education system, as well as science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere.

-Roger Sperry (1973)”
“The chart below will help illustrate the characteristics which are known to reside on each side of our brains.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies



uses feeling
“big picture” oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

Our personality can be thought of as a result of the degree to which these left and right brains interact, or, in some cases, do not interact. It is a simplification to identify “left brain” types who are very analytical and orderly. We likewise certainly know of the artistic, unpredictability and creativity of “right brain” types. But each of us draws upon specific sides of our brain for a variety of daily functions, depending on such things as our age, education and life experiences. The choices of which brain is in control of which situations is what forges our personalities and determines our character.

Experiments show that most children rank highly creative (right brain) before entering school. Because our educational systems place a higher value on left brain skills such as mathematics, logic and language than it does on drawing or using our imagination, only ten percent of these same children will rank highly creative by age 7. By the time we are adults, high creativity remains in only 2 percent of the population.

The War of the Brains The two brains not only see the world in vastly different ways but, in our current society, the left side just “doesn’t get” what the right side is all about. It tends to dismiss anything significant coming into consciousness from its “flaky” cranial twin. Sometimes two sides can actually disagree, resulting in our perception of emotional turmoil from the expressive protests of right brain. Our conscious mind can only focus on data from one brain at a time. We can switch from one side to the other very quickly (with our corpus collosum intact) but that’s not always the most efficient way to act and eventually ultimate authority to enter consciousness is delegated to one brain or the other. In our modern world, this battle is almost always won by the left brain.It appears that most people will never reach their maximum potential because of compromises that have been made between these two governing bodies. Sometimes skills which the right brain can perform better are routinely handled, with less skill, by the left brain. Ideally, both brains work together in people with optimum mental ability. This coordinating ability may be the key to superior intellectual abilities. In most people, however, the left brain takes control, choosing logic, reasoning and details over imagination, holistic thinking and artistic talent.”



  1. […] such as the factual, detailed and straightforward ‘Phatak’s Materia Medica’ (left brain oriented) and the simultaneously mythical, referential and scientific Frans Vermeulen’s Prisma (right […]

    Pingback by Storing, updating and referencing the homeopathic data 21th century style. James Tyler Kent to Frederick Schroyens « Homeopathy4health — 11 March 2008 @ 3:33 pm

  2. […] of any twisted homeopathic facts propaganda piece) makes some pertinent points about the state of Sceptic-Woo wars in complementary medicine.  I disagree that homeopathy is ‘just placebo’ as the […]

    Pingback by Wholesale scorn on complementary medicine is unscientific. « Homeopathy4health — 27 March 2008 @ 5:44 pm

  3. […] 8:50 am Tags: brain, David Colquhoun, holism, holistic, homeopathy, homoeopathy, integratedhttps://homeopathy4health.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/sceptic-woo-wars-left-vs-right-brain/Color Meanings and Colors That Go TogetherColors are more than a combination of red and blue or […]

    Pingback by verbal and nonverbal symbols — 31 May 2008 @ 4:29 am

  4. […] I’ve said before, there is a need for right brain – left brain integrated […]

    Pingback by New Age convert to Skepticism appeals for sensitive cross-cultural communication « Homeopathy4health — 3 July 2008 @ 8:02 pm

  5. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World – Iain McGilcrist

    “Why is the brain divided? The difference between right and left hemispheres has been puzzled over for centuries. In a book of unprecedented scope, Iain McGilchrist draws on a vast body of recent brain research, illustrated with case histories, to reveal that the difference is profound – not just this or that function, but two whole, coherent, but incompatible ways of experiencing the world. The left hemisphere is detail-oriented, prefers mechanisms to living things, and is inclined to self-interest, where the right hemisphere has greater breadth, flexibility and generosity. This division helps explain the origins of music and language, and casts new light on the history of philosophy, as well as on some mental illnesses. In the second part of the book, he takes the reader on a journey through the history of Western culture, illustrating the tension between these two worlds as revealed in the thought and belief of thinkers and artists, from Aeschylus to Magritte. He argues that, despite its inferior grasp of reality, the left hemisphere is increasingly taking precedence in the modern world, with potentially disastrous consequences.”


    Comment by homeopathy4health — 3 September 2011 @ 10:34 pm

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