Where’s the Brain’s HQ?

I remind you, I’m no scientist, just an interested observer. I stand amazed at how much knowledge science has gained, especially in the last century. Genesis 1, the first story of our creation, says we are to subdue the earth and treat it as does the Lord himself. Science is an essential tool in fulfilling that commission. So we Christians, Jews, and Muslims — all seeking to worship the Creator — need to be cheering for science every step of the way. Of course, when “scientists” seek to make theological statements, we need humbly to remind them that they are no longer speaking scientifically. That seems to me to be no big problem.

There are some questions which, so far as I can tell in my amateurish studies, science has not yet answered. And I’m impatient to know! Maybe most interesting of these questions concerns the brain. I know that the brain is, in effect, one very complicated mass of electro-chemical circuits and that different parts of the brain have different functions. We can even locate specific parts of the brain that are especially active in this task or that. If I raise my arm right now, it will be because the muscles of the arm received a signal from a specific part of the brain. What I don’t know is, what caused that part of the brain to send the signal in the first place?

Or, another form of the same question, what causes the electrical impulses to follow one set of circuits instead of another. It seems — from my amateur’s chair — that there is some sort of “headquarters” in the brain, a distribution center that sends some signals along this part and another along that part and yet another along a third path. Where is that HQ, that distribution center, and how does it function?

I also want to know how science describes in purely materialist terms what an instinct is. Or what memory is. Or a thought. A third way of asking almost the same question is,

Help me, okay?


About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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