I just noticed that this is in the academic forum. Time to pull up the old socks with a reference or two.
Beyond the Purview of Science
“Somewhere within the narrowing gap between brain and mind is what Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA’s double helix, has called his “astonishing hypothesis,” which is “that ‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” (from Cheshire, WP, MD, MA, FAAN)
“Crick is correct, up to a point. If he had claimed that mental states “are represented by,” or “correspond to,” nerves and molecules, then his statement would have been germane to his field of molecular biology. With the words, “are in fact no more than,” he has stepped outside the jurisdiction of science and proffered a philosophical assertion which argues that all that is true and can be known about human consciousness is ultimately reducible to matter and its quantifiable interactions.”
In his article published in Ethics and Medicine 24(3):139-142, Dr. Cheshire makes a good point. It is important to distinguish between interpretation of science, extrapolation from science and sheer speculation. Dr. Crick stepped over the line. AITSE’s purpose is to help the public detect unscientific claims made in the name of science, thereby benefiting from good science, based on impartial evaluation of evidence.
This from the AITSE site, which might reasonably be taken as close to the mainstream. Note that Crick was a 1962 Nobel Prize winner and still got called on it.
Also relevant is that Crick's book, "The Astonishing Hypothesis", was published in 1994, making him about 78 years of age at the time.