Saturday, December 19, 2020

December 19 The Awe-Inspiring Evidence from Medical Science for a Soul-Mind Beyond the Brain

 Reason #19 The Evidence from Medical Science for a Soul-Mind Beyond the Brain

The existence of the soul is strongly indicated by the "clone brains” of identical twins with vastly different personalities, and by the evidence of personality still found in the victims of severe brain injury.

It is common in some academic circles to hear people suggest that the 3.3-pound brain that fills your cranium is the exact same thing as your “mind,” the exact same thing, by itself, as the real and actual “you,” your soul, your entire personality.

Francis Crick has said, “’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 behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”  And Professor Colin Blakemore of Oxford agrees, “The human brain...alone accounts for all our actions, our most private thoughts, our beliefs.”

If they’re right about this, then all our sense of true love, as we normally think of it, or evil, or spirituality, or the immaterial world, or life after death—it’s all just foolish sentiment. And if this is the case, we should all define our lives as nothing more than brief bursts of electrochemical energy that will go dark very soon as our brains disintegrate into compost.

Medical science, however, is leading us to the conclusion that your mind is much, much more than just your brain. The two are closely tied together, of course, as a newborn baby’s personality develops alongside the changes in his brain, and an Alzheimer’s victim’s personality is twisted by the lesions that form on his brain. Still, the mind and the brain cannot easily, scientifically, be categorized as one and the same.

Even though identical twins are not entirely “identical” at the DNA level, their brains are very, very similar—extremely similar. Identical twins are sometimes referred to as “natural clones.”

We would expect identical twins to behave in very similar ways, even if they are raised apart from one another, especially if the human brain actually is the human personality. And twins really do behave very similarly in many cases—even displaying uncanny similarity sometimes. The real puzzle, however, is why they are sometimes extremely different.

Conrad and Perry McKinney were born in 1942 and raised together in the same New Hampshire home, identical twins. Conrad grew up to be a successful businessman, but Perry became addicted to alcohol and found himself homeless in his mid-life years, living under a bridge. That’s not a small difference!

It’s common to find other sets of identical twins which include one sibling who is autistic and one who is not, one who is gay and one who is not, one who is obese and one who is not, one who is schizophrenic and one who is not, one who is religious and one who is not. And the list goes on. These twins frequently live enormously different lives in spite of their “clone brains” which bear only miniscule differences at birth. They are manifestly so much more than just their brains.

Neuroscientist Adrian Owen has been able to document through functional MRI technologies that something like one out of every five to seven patients diagnosed with “persistent vegetative state” actually have active minds and are able to communicate with the outside world. They have enduring personalities in spite of their extremely damaged brains. Neurosurgery professor Michael Egnor claims to have patients who have “quite good minds” even after having significant portions of their brain completely removed.

Maybe the human brain is something like the autopilot device on a jetliner. It controls the airplane for a substantial fraction of that airplane’s total life of service, but not all of it, and is usually subject to the real pilot’s veto power.

Or maybe the brain is like the first draft of a manuscript that is handed off to an intelligent editor for adjustments over a lifetime.

Of course, no one knows precisely how the brain must be bridging human beings to the non-brain world around us. But as long as “clone brains” exist in identical twins with vastly different personalities, and very damaged brains exist within individuals with good minds, we can hardly ignore the scientific likelihood of a non-brain world.

The existence of the soul is strongly indicated by the "clone brains” of identical twins with vastly different personalities, and by the evidence of personality still found in the victims of severe brain injury.

No comments:

Post a Comment

December 26 The Altogether Astonishing Religion of Jesus

Reason 26 The Altogether Reasonableness and Goodness of the Christian Faith As seen in our “25 Undeniable Reasons to Believe” series, the ...