Greek-Australian Scientist: ‘There is No Soul, Everything Comes from the Brain’

george-paxinosGreek-Australian neuroscientist George Paxinos arrived in Athens to speak during a conference taking place at Aegean College on Friday, May 22, on the subject of “Brain, Behavior, Development.”

During his stay in the Greek capital, Paxinos gave an interview to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency where he spoke about his work and life. “People need to let go of the illusion that we have a soul. Everything -even feelings- stems from and is controlled by the brain,” he said.

Furthermore, he denied that people have any free will, he stated that he is an atheist and an avid cyclist, while he also commented on Greece’s current situation, noting that the country should have a place within Europe.

Paxinos is a member of the Academy of Athens since 2012 and the Australian Academy of Sciences since 2009. He is internationally known and acclaimed for his contribution to neuroanatomy, as well as human and animal brain mapping. His writings and research have opened new roads to combatting neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The Greek-Australian neuroscientist was born in Ithaca, Greece, in 1944 and after high school he travelled to the United States to study psychology at Berkley University in California. After finishing his studies, he travelled to Canada for his doctorate at McGill University.

Furthermore, he completed his postdoctoral research at Yale University in the U.S. and since 1974 he permanently moved to Australia, where he started working as a Professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, a position he still holds to this day. He is also a leading researcher at Neuroscience Research Australia.


  • Fr. Hans Jacobse

    Paxinos is a materialist. He believes that nothing really exists except matter. Thoughts, feelings, etc. have only a chemical origin. That invariably leads to the conclusion there can be no soul, since anything non-material cannot have any concrete existence.

    People believe that sort of thing (Richard Dawkins is another), but let’s be clear that these views are philosophical, not scientific. Science cannot really speak to anything but the material dimension of the world.

    The problem with his view that materialism allows no room for morals, beauty, meaning — the necessary constituents of human experience that make man more than a biological machine and more significant than, say, a rock or lump of dirt. If Paxinos is correct, any values or virtues we add to life are arbitrary and have no enduring authority since they are only emanations of chemical reactions.

    Paxinos might object to that, but the fact is that any morals he might hold are borrowed from Christianity. Atheism freeloads on Christian morality a lot.

  • Aris Nikolakakis

    Christianity
    is not Morality! Moral, good people will be that way regardless of any faith or
    lack thereof….actually some of the best people I know are atheists…and some
    of the most depraved and wicked are Christian!

  • OrthodoxNet

    If all thoughts arose from illogical and haphazard processes, as the atheists claim, then they cannot be trusted to give us a logical and reliable evaluation of anything, including the accidental thoughts of atheists themselves.

    Scientifically and logically, we have no sound basis available to believe anything the atheists tell us. How can we rely on chaos and accidents to provide us with consistent and universally “true” concepts to being with?

    As C.S. Lewis observed, “if their thoughts are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents.”

    “If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.” ~ C.S. Lewis

  • Fr. Hans Jacobse

    Atheists can be good people. No one is disputing that. But where do their notions of what is good and true come from? It can’t come from atheism because the materialist outlook that grounds their atheist beliefs about the universe doesn’t allow it.

    If ideas and convictions are just biochemical emanations from matter, why give them any authority at all? What makes you ideas more authoritative over someone else who hold the opposite idea?

    There has to be recourse to something other than just the biological machine. Atheism, because it denies the existence anything beyond the material, cannot provide it. It is a closed-end belief system.

    That’s also why atheism is fundamentally non-creative. There is no such thing as atheist art, music, literature, etc.

  • Peter Stein

    true, the thing they destroy destroys them, the thing believers uplift uplifts them!