A smart man once said a foolish thing – that if he saw a grove of 35 mango trees all in rows, he would conclude that this was more likely a product of design than even the human brain. I have recently read TIME magazine's special issue on the brain, and so I wanted to write about why the brain is clearly shown to be a product of intelligent design, or more specifically designed by the Christian God.
Is the brain really amazing? One writer puts it this way - One-quadrillion "connections" (synapses) between the one-hundred-billion cells (neurons) of an brain. The brain's one hundred billion neurons match the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the number of connections active in the brain's functioning verge on the number of stars in the entire known universe. To fill the capacity of all those synapses, a person would have to learn a one-billion volume encyclopedia (a million "letters" per encyclopedia). That's enough to fill a bookshelf 10,000 miles long. In contrast, the Library of Congress (The largest library in the world) only has 17 million volumes. The brain is the most complex structure in the known universe, far surpassing, by many orders of magnitude, the most advanced supercomputers. One human brain generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world's telephones put together. This is all done with the power equivalent of a single flashlight, 12 Watts. All of our senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, feeling) are transformed to electrical impulses which are sent to general regions of synapses in the brain where we, after complex transformations, finally become conscious of it. To accomplish all this thinking, the brain uses 20 to 25% of the body's oxygen and 20% of its sugar, even though it is only 2% (2.8 pounds) of the body's weight.
But this really only scratches the surface of the uniquely special nature of the 'brain'. Here's a few more things that show the brain's special position in the universe:
- Energy Consumption. The only way the brain can work if it is supplied with energy. So what came first, the chicken or the egg (or in this case the brain or the energy source/connection)? How does Darwinism explain this?
- Motherboard. The brain is the motherboard of all of the other systems in the human body, including the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the central nervous system, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling all of which only work when tied into the brain. And they all work simultaneously;
- Incredibly Efficient. Despite weighing only 3 pounds, the brain can store multiples of all of the books contained in the Library of Congress;
- Incredibly Fast System. Each of the some 300 trillion cells in every human body, the words of life churn almost flawlessly through our flesh and nervous system at a speed that utterly dwarfs the data rates of all the world's supercomputers. For example, just to assemble some 500 amino-acid units into each of the trillions of complex hemoglobin molecules that transfer oxygen from the lungs to bodily tissues takes a total of some 250 peta operations per second. (The word "peta" refers to the number ten to the 15th power — so this tiny process requires 250x1015 operations. – this all obviously from another writer.) Something faster than what the greatest computer geeks in the world can design and create? Does this sound like something designed through a random process?
- Unique Genes. TIME: 6,000 genes out of a total of 30,000 are expressed in the brain and nowhere else, meaning that our genome is 20% brain;
- And there are many more similar examples than what is provided here from my simple understanding of a non-science geek. But here is the crown jewel of reasons showing that the brain is designed – consciousness. Even the best computer in the world has no idea that it exists. You do. No one knows what creates that ineffable awareness that we're here, although you and I disagree how this took place. Rene Descartes' famous line that "I think, therefore I am", hits it on the head. Our own consciousness is the most indubitable, concrete thing there is. All of the views of the world around us, starts with our own self-awareness, our first person viewpoint. Do you really believe that our brain is nothing more than a collection of electrical impulses?
Alright, this is a good point to stop. Mr. Edward Oleander how do you view the brain, the mind, consciousness, and this special 2.8 pound supercomputer? Does anyone else have thoughts on this topic? Otherwise, with the end of summer, and most kids going back to school tomorrow, here's my prayer for our children this school year: Heavenly Father, keep our children safe this next school year. Bless the principals, school leaders, and teachers with a hunger for truth, that will point to and lead our children inexorably to You. Help them to be less concerned about hurting the feelings of those with an untrue understanding of the world, and instead my prayer is that You are glorified through everything that takes place this school year. Help us all to grow in our faith through a more clear understanding of Jesus Christ. In Jesus' name, Amen.