Actually one thing that should drive a stake through materialist theories of mind is the existence of any kind of telepathy, remote viewing, thought transference, and the like. There is no way to account for the direct mind-to-mind transmission of information under any materialist scenario, unless, I suppose, some mechanism could be discovered whereby this information was transmitted via electro-magnetic waves. And even if it were so, it would require that we have an extra-sensory ability for which this phenomena would be the sole evidence, and for which no physiological basis has ever been detected.
Now as it happens, I believe psychic incidents occur. I don't place a great deal of significance on these phenomena, but I am sure they happen; I have experienced them (as many have). But I do note there is a virtual cottage industry devoted to debunking any possible evidence that such things might happen, and also that any scientist brave enough to say that they should be investigated faces virtual ostracism from the scientific establishment (e.g.Prof Brian Josephson
Hence the following statement concerning quite solid evidence that 'remote viewing' actually does occur in controlled experiments:
Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, refuses to believe in remote viewing.
He says: "I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do.
"If I said that there is a red car outside my house, you would probably believe me.
"But if I said that a UFO had just landed, you'd probably want a lot more evidence.
"Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions. Right now we don't have that evidence."
A couple of observations about this statement. The evidence he refers to does not 'beg the question'. 'Begging the question' means 'assuming what you set out to prove'. In fact, the evidence he was referring to does provide a proof which he acknowledges would be acceptable in any other area of science. So he is saying that normal scientific standards cannot be applied to something which he implicitly believes is out of bounds for serious science. It simply demonstrates a basic prejudice against any such idea. I would presume that this is precisely because such evidence discredits materialism, which provides the theoretical framework for many scientists.
Furthermore, if it was proven, why would this be 'revolutionary' or 'outlandish'? I mean, there have always been psychics and seers around, since the beginning of recorded history. But it might turn out that such abilities are very difficult to exploit or control. There was a film out recently, Men who Stare at Goats
(which I didn't see) about a US Army unit whose whole purpose was to try and exploit psychic ability for military purposes. I don't know if they got anywhere, but the Daily Mail article I quoted above does say that a US Army trial definitely established proof for remote viewing. The simple fact is that in 'a scientific age', anything like this is regarded as magic and witchcraft and not the kind of thing a sensible person will take seriously. It is cultural as much as scientific.
Anyway, the fact that psychic phenomena occur is no big deal; not, that is, unless you have invested your whole career in trying to demonstrate that 'the mind is just the activity of neural circuits'.
Then it might be a very big deal indeed.