Intelligent Design, Part 3

The Brain

By Jim Allen

Intelligent Design, The Series

The Master Designer
God and DNA
The Brain
Imagination and Kingdom Truths
Body and Soul

The August 2007 issue of DISCOVER magazine has an article entitled "10 Unsolved Mysteries of the Brain." It begins by saying: "Of all the objects in the universe, the human brain is the most complex. There are as many neurons in the brain as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy." The Bible says God made us in His image, placing us above all creation and in this way declaring us special (Genesis 9:6). God majestically stretched out the heavens, laid the firm foundations of the earth, and formed the soul of man within man, thus declaring His sovereign rule and dominance over all things (Zechariah 12:1).

This is Part 3 in a five-part series about Intelligent Design. While cells are indeed massively complex, brain cells (neurons) take the discussion about Intelligent Design to a whole new level. While the human brain is not the largest among brains, it is the most highly functional among brains. The human brain has the power to imagine, communicate, and solve complex problems. The brain controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The brain effortlessly and simultaneously processes sensual input from the world, through the five senses, in mere fractions of a second. If these high-speed sensory processing feats seem unimpressive, the brain is able to perform cultivated feats in the areas of music, dance, and art.

The human brain is a dynamic organ that is continuously changing its bioelectric connections. The brain actually rewires itself to form new neural pathways to accommodate learning. The old adage about "Use it or lose it" is especially true for the brain. Unused neural paths lose their synoptic connections through lack of use. Bible verses once easily recalled from memory fade away from the mind over time, which is why believers need ongoing time in God's word to renew these connections (Psalm 1:2). Many scientists now openly admit the design of living things (and especially that of the brain) had to have been fashioned by a higher intelligence.

Michael Behe introduced the concept of "irreducible complexity" in his book entitled Darwin's Black Box. Behe said something is "irreducibly complex" if it is composed of two or more necessary parts. Remove one part and its function is not just impaired but destroyed. He went on to talk about the mousetrap, with five working parts...remove just one part and it no longer traps the dreadful little rodent. Behe scientifically proved that all cells are filled with "irreducibly complex" molecular machines that could never have been built by natural selection, which is especially true of the brain. If something as mysterious as the brain and its interconnecting microscopic neurons look designed, rest assured it is!

What Does the Bible Say?

Although the Bible does not mention the brain, it has a lot to say about the "mind, soul and heart." In fact, the Bible uses these three words often and interchangeably to describe the "essence" of a person. Atheists believe the brain, alone, is responsible for consciousness and that when it dies so does the person. While "conscious death" may be true for animals, the Bible portrays a different certainty for people. In the book of Genesis, God breathed into Adam the breath of life and he became a living soul, made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). At the time of our passing, the soul leaves the body without any further need for the brain. Paul alluded to this mystery when writing about separation of "body and soul" in 2 Corinthians 5:8 wherein the apostle said, "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

Although Paul was alluding to physical death, a believer can be present with the Lord now, in this life, by having the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Having the mind of Christ means we look at life from our Savior's perspective by possessing His values, thoughts, and holy desires. It means to think Godly thoughts and dismiss worldly thoughts (Isaiah 58:8). Possessing the mind of Christ means we will interact with others in the same way Jesus did two-thousands years ago by living in full dependence on God through the power of the Holy Spirit. God alone is responsible for Intelligent Design (Genesis 1:1). God alone is to be glorified for His imaginative genius, an attribute we rarely think about, envision, or comprehend.

Image Credit: Allan Ajifo,; "brain"; Creative Commons

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Published 8-2-12