- Education and Science
Mind-ing The Human Brain
The Soulful Essence of the Mind
The eminent and prominent physicist, Stephen Hawking avers, in an interview with a British magazine, that the human brain is nothing more than a computer, and when that computer malfunctions then stops operating altogether, the human who has that computer(brain), dies and does not live in the hereafter, thereafter.
In a recent piece on Discover magazine, the editor, in comparing computers with the human brain, wrote: "... we give computers too much credit. The average human brain operates for about 70 years without crashing or needing a system upgrade, and it requires just 20 watts of power to think; a computer would need at least 10 million watts to do what the brain does everyday. And consider this: would you trust your consciousness to a sytem running windows?"
So what gives? Is human life nothing more than the operative functioning of a computer, albeit a biologic one? If and when that biologic entity(brain) becomes so functionally mechanized and computerized, stripped of its soulful essence, would humans lose their connectivity to their immediate world, thus cutting off their path to their ultimate destiny... that of understanding the mysteries of the universe?
It is imperative that with the integrative complexity of his brain; a brain that has evolved with the capacity temerity and perspicacity to conceptualize endless possibilities, man should aim for an earthly journey that aims directly towards that destiny. What separates the human specie from all the other animate entities on earth, is its cerebral capacity to elevate his existence by exploring, inventing ways to explore, and securing the tools to explore the mysteries of the universe.
I think it was the painter Salvador Dali, who said: Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings." I would add to that this: intellect without imagination is like a boat without a rudder. Man should use all his imaginative/contemplative capacity to explore the meaning of his existence vis-a-vis God that created him , and the cosmos that sorrounds him.
Another point....and going back to the Mr. Hawking's formulation that the brain is just a biologic entity that computes, and does nothing for humans except, like a computer, act as a conduit or terminal for sensory input (from our 5 physical senses) so that those input could be immediately processed, then acted upon by the brain's intricate dendro-axonal connections in an almost mechanistic way, so that humans could appropriately react to those sensory input. However, recent research on the intricacies of the physio-pathology of the brain's anatomy strongly indicates that those superbly integrated synapses, do and can function independently of the sensory input coming from our 5 senses, thus giving credibility to the idea that the brain has a mind of its own.