Thursday, July 02, 2009

Regarding the Human Brain

Regarding the human brain- It intrigues me that in the current era with all the knowledge that has been made available through the remarkable work of neurobiologists, a controversy still remains regarding the source of our humanity. There are those who maintain that the human mind is separate from the organic brain and that the self resides in that ethereal and indefinable quantity referred to as the soul. Descartes, the father of modern calculus, believed that the soul resided in the area of the brain now known as the pineal gland. This gland is now known to be the site of the neuronal activity that is responsible for regulating the biological clock. He can be forgiven for this error on account of the total lack of understanding of how the human brain functions during his lifetime.

The preponderance of scientific evidence regarding brain function strongly suggests that the totality of the self, including thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, emotions, ideas and imagination is a natural and necessary outgrowth of the functioning of the organic brain. The idea, often stated, that thoughts, ideas and imagination being insubstantial cannot emanate from physiological processes, is nonsensical, especially since there is no other rational explanation.

I am convinced that this line of thinking is a rather intricate rationalization for the belief that humans are products of a special creation and are, therefore, not bounded by biology and its inherent limitations. To accept the reality that our organic brains, destined to dissolution, are the seats of our humanness, is to accede to the obvious truth of our own fragile mortality.

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