Monday, April 2, 2012
This is a simple diagram of the human brain. And now I'm going to go for the Understatement of the Year Award and say... But the human brain is complex.
Of course it is! It's a command center for the very complex human body. Typically, the more physically complex a life form is, the more complex its brain is, to allow for the processing of more complex information. But there is so much more to it than that.
Humans have an incredible brain that not only allows us to interpret the images our eyes collect, but also to place an abstract value on those images. For instance, we assign beauty without the correlation of positive function. Like I think my husband's tarantulas are beautiful even though many would seriously hurt me if I messed with them.
Our brain not only allows us to learn to play music, but also to create, appreciate, and contemplate the depth and meaning of what we hear.
We are not only able to feel and take steps to correct our own hunger, but also to care about the plight of others who are starving. And I'm not talking about an instinct to protect our species. I'm talking about deep evaluation of everything that surrounds the problem of hunger in the world - issues with the food supply, disparity between rich and poor, the magnitude of the problem, why we don't care more, why some people don't care at all, the morality of various choices proposed for solving the problem...
Why do we even think in terms of morality? The human brain not only processes and responds to information on a physical level, it engages information on emotional and spiritual levels. The contemplation of who we are, where we came from, and whether there is "life after death" is an incredible phenomenon! The search for personal fulfillment, spiritual enlightenment, and emotional peace - all very abstract concepts.
Scientists have barely begun to understand the way the physical actions of the parts of the brain give rise to complex abstract thoughts and feelings. There is so much abstract to the workings of the brain that the abstract is often spoken of as it's own entity - the mind.
A person who denies there is a creator has to believe that random changes in the genetic code of evolving life forms, without direction from an outside intelligent force, produced functional (not damaging) changes in the brain, with greater and greater complexity, along with functional physical changes that would also allow the more intelligent-brained life form to survive. And somewhere along the way, side effects of functional changes produced abstract thought patterns unrelated to survival of the species.
Not me. I don't have enough faith in randomness and disorder. But I do have faith in a Creator that designed the human brain, with all its beauty and complexity, concrete and abstract ability, and thoughts that bridge the gap between body and soul. Music. Art. Prayer. Humor. Compassion. Reading simply for pleasure. Hope. Love. God has put the capacity for things like these in our brains. How awesome is that!
What awes you most about the human brain?
Names of God - B:
Beginning * Bread of Life * Bridegroom * Bright Morning Star