Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our Two/Four Brains


An interesting post popped up at a site named Think, a Case Western Reserve University site in Cleveland, Ohio, of all places.  It is about how we have two brains, and how these two brains affect our religious belief.  Brains and religious belief: who could ask for a more blog worthy post?

The article states that we have two brains: analytical and empathy.  Then it goes into great detail about how that affects peoples’ switching between the two brains to come up with their religious philosophy.

This brought up my problem with those Christians who desperately need a factual basis for their belief in God.  Of the three major Middle Easter based religious, Christian, Judaism, and Muslim, Christianity is the only one whose founder, Jesus Christ, was martyred because of religious intolerance – and yet, no one will past judgement on you quicker than a Christian.

Anyway, the article goes on and on about the problem people have going between their analytical brain and empathic brain trying to resolve their religious belief.

As for my beliefs here goes:  Belief in science is a matter of fact, it can be proven or disproven.  Belief in God is a matter of faith, it can neither be proven nor disproven.  There can be no facts in faith.  If so, then it is no longer faith.  It is something else entirely.

To me that is the beauty of belief in God:  One of our greatest blessings is understanding the universe around us.  It is one of God’s greatest gifts.  However, you cannot use the gift to know the Giver.  For that, you can only have faith.

It is as if the whole world was blind and no creature on this planet could see.  And God gave humans a set of eyewear glasses with which they could see, and with it the blessing that everything we could see we could come to know and understand.  And not only that, we could see how to grind glass so we could see even further into the universe or lens to see the smallest of objects on earth, and the promise held: everything we could see we could come to know and understand.  However, no matter how far into the universe we could see or microscopic an object we could see, we could never see God.  To do that we must take off the glasses, go blind again, and see God through faith – only.

Enough about the preaching.  One area about our consciousness the article did not cover in this two brained world is the left brain/right brain controversy.  I was going to supply link but you would be better to Google it up for the latest in such exotic topics as lateralization of brain function or functional specialization, and that is just Wikipedia.  It all has to do with that Y chromosome.  The chromosome that contains the genes that makes a male.  If those genes are not present in the womb during pregnancy, the offspring will be female.

And as part of becoming male, the male genes in the Y chromosome rewire the right brain of the developing male child.  Supposedly (theoretically?), males can visualize and turn a 3D object in their heads more so than females.  Because of this rewiring, males can throw an object at a moving target more accurately than females.  That is why males are perceived as the hunter in our culture.

This last argument (theory) seems to be begging the question since in most species hunting is done by females.  Maybe the rewiring only occurs in humans.

The flip side of this special rewiring of the male brain and in relation to the article in Think on our two brains is that females are more empathic than males.  This reminds me of an old saying by Lyndon Johnson that if you can’t walk into a room and tell who is on your side and who isn’t, you shouldn’t be in politics.  Given that females have more brain power for empathy, they should make the better politician.  Go figure.

And LBJ’s saying doesn’t just apply to politicians.  Police detectives and reporters need that trait, also.  You don’t have to watch too many of today’s real life crime stories on TV to see this in action.  A really good detective will comment that the person they are questioning is holding something back or not.  Same is true for a reporter interviewing someone for a potential news story.  If you can’t sense whether you are getting the whole story or not, you should get out of the news business.

What the rewiring of the right half of the brain has to do with the arguments in the Think piece, I'm not sure.  Males have a brain lobe set up to be more analytical and females don't so they should be more empathic, so how this affects the sexes religious philosophy may be ever more so than the Think piece indicates.

So it goes.
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