The Complexity of The Human Brain
We know that the make-up of our universe is ridiculously complex. But the same goes for our human bodies. Made up of over 100 billion nerve cells and neurons, our brain, our mind, is our most complex organ. For want of an adequate comparison, we tend to think about the brain as a super-computer, but its complexity succeeds even this. Over 100 billion neurons, a similar amount to that of stars in the universe, to put it in perspective. The neurons exchange signals, electrical signals, with each other, creating trillions of connections. These connections, or circuits, communicate with our body, our organs, keeping everything in check. Out of all mammals, we, as humans, have the largest cerebral cortex relative to the size of our brains. Equipped with our personal super computer, the most complex organ in our human body, we product memories, thoughts, feelings and experiences. We are also capable of generating a kind of higher consciousness and ingenuity, unlike any other animal in the kingdom.
In his book, ‘On Intelligence, J. Hawkins compares our human brain to a network of city roads and streets. There are infinite types, kinds, intersections; you get the picture. This infinite number of combinations depicts the complexity of the organ, one that can be noticed with symmetry and design with the other functions of our human body. As the vehicle for our every move, thought, and feeling, the brain is so complex that the only other comparable area of scientific interest with the same level of complexity is the universe itself. No one can deny the symmetry of the organs relationship with the nervous system, and theist scholars and scientists alike have commented on this particular feature as an argument for intelligent design.
In his article, ‘The Human Nervous System: Evidence of Intelligent Design’, Dr Brad Hared explains, in detail, how this symmetry works in scientific detail. The conclusion he comes to can be nicely summed up in a single expression he uses to conclude the article, “How could anyone critically evaluate this system and then ignore the manifestly evident design?”. Simply put, he yields evidence for intelligent design by exploring the complexity of functions and relationships that couldn’t merely have happened ‘by accident’.
Similarly, Ryan Whitman explores the possibility of creating a model as complex as the human brain. After deep analysis, he comes to the conclusion that despite all innovation that humankind is capable of, we could not create a system that could exhibit similar powers to that of the human brain. Again, we have support for the fact that a designer exists, who is ‘capable of feats that are unfathomable to humans’ (Intelligent Design in the Complexity of the Human Body, Jacob H. Rhodes).
Over the last 4+ million years, our human intelligence has come on the most dramatic journey. We are the homo-sapiens, the only homo species to have survived for so long. Perhaps this is partly to do with the evolvement of our particularly large brains. The Eden Moment; when Homo ‘X’ became Sapiens, thought to be about 1-200,000 years ago during an interglacial period, is when we Sapiens became aware of ‘things beyond’ ‘transcendent’. The complexity of our human brain means that we can, as humans, consider and fully understand the somewhat insanity that makes human life on Earth possible. We are able to consider and manipulate virtual ideas. We are not bound within the prison of materiality. We have advanced boundlessly; we can engender artificial intelligence solutions to our challenges! We can initiate self programming robots that we fear will ultimately control us eventually! We talk of the singularity, of AI takeovers and these are no longer simply part of science-fiction novels.
Are we, to some extent, replacing God with robots? Will we have to, some day, submit to an sophisticated selfprogramming ‘God’ robot over which we have no control? Anyone else picturing a Dr-Who-style Dalek here? These questions might at first appear ridiculous, comical even, and, to be honest, we still really have a bit of time left until we really get to that point. Nevertheless, it is a real, material and well-researched potential eventuality.
But, back to the main point (hurrah!), we are NOT bound by materiality; by what we can see, feel, touch. We can imagine, create, discover, we can believe, or know. Why do we feel compelled to find some human classification, some proof, to everything? Some things simply cannot be explained by science. Later on, we talk of magnetism and quantum entanglement. These instances cannot be explained, nor can they be repeated by experiments. There are connections across the world that lie beyond coincidence and chance; in quantum physics and beyond. The complexity of our brain allows us to consider an alternate explanation. Why, then, do we insist on asking the scientific questions that only religion can answer? Is it just because we don’t want to admit defeat?