The Miracle Brain
I believe the brain is a miracle. I am not the first to make this claim but I hope to add to the discussion and provide some personal insight. With the recent news about progress being made in artificial intelligence, I am very skeptical of their claims. Some of my previous hubs touched upon this. My contention is that we still have no clue on how the brain functions. Yes, we have some research about the various parts of the brain and the role they play in how we respond to stimulus. What I mean is how does the brain become self aware? That to me is the "miracle" of it all.
Our brain performs numerous functions. Everything we do while awake or asleep are controlled by the brain. It never rests. When we are sleeping, the brain performs house keeping choirs so that we can make sense of the world. The most amazing part is how we are self aware. To my knowledge, we are the only living creature that possess that property. C.S. Lewis wrote a book called Miracles talking about the existence of miracles. Why do I think it applies to our brain? Without conscious thought, we are left with simple existence. What is the value of that? Our thinking brain is what make us unique. To create meaning and seek out knowledge is part of our nature.
What the Brain is Capable of...
In my studies and research, I came across some amazing facts about some people and some of their capabilities. These just boggle my mind. They includes some savants and some individuals with extraordinary talents. How did they get that way? Scientists have no clue.
Another feature of our brain is that it provides us with our individual personalities. Every person has a unique personality profile. Even identical twins, though they may be similar in many ways, have a unique personality. How does that happen?
Hyperthymesia - A rare condition where a person possess an extremely detailed autobiographical memory. It begs the question, if one person can have this talent, do all of us have that potential? How does the brain "wire" itself to do this?
Mental Calculations - There are some amazing people who can do complicated math calculations.
Photographic memory - People who can remember exact details of images.
These are all examples of the amazing abilities of the human brain. Of course we have geniuses throughout the ages such as Newton, DaVinci, Einstein, Mozart... Their talents and abilities are well documented. Scientists claim the average person only uses 10% of our brain. If we can tap into the rest of that grey matter, imagine what can be accomplished.
Some Related Links
- 10 most fascinating Savants
- Hyperthymesia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Memory and Mental Calculation World Records
- Born with half a brain: Jake Gladstone, four, is a medical miracle who has confounded specialists by
The Sunday People's Lucy Laing meets the amazing boy of four who has astounded specialists by walking, talking and running
- Miguel Nicolelis Says the Brain Is Not Computable, Bashes Kurzweil’s Singularity | MIT Technology Re
A leading neuroscientist says Kurzweil’s Singularity isn’t going to happen. Instead, humans will assimilate machines.
What is a Miracle?
The definition of a miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being (God).
If you believe that Man was created by God, the answer is obvious. Man(Brain) is a creation of God and therefore a miracle.
In the Bible, book of Genesis, we read that God created Adam and Eve on the 6th day of creation. They eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge in disobedience of God and their "eyes were opened". That was the original sin. That was also the moment that man became "self aware". They realized they were naked. The mystery to me is what is this magic fruit? Is this a literal narative or just a metaphor for something else. I don't know the answer. How we became "self aware" is one of the greatest mystery of life.
I have no special talents. I can only read and study and observe like any average human being. Somehow, I believe that we are unique. Our history of exploration and advancements have improved our living standards. We made great strides in all areas of science and engineering. These are all results of our collective talents. We still have very little understanding of how our brain really works. The works on artificial intelligence over the last 50 years or so have made little progress. Despite claims by some that we will be surpassed by our own inventions, I tend to doubt it. The same goes for prediction of reaching the "singularity". Just one person's humble opinion. I could be wrong but time will tell.