Scientific Evidence Of A Soul
You'd think that with all of today's advancements in science scientists would already have explained how human intellect (HI) evolved. After all, HI is not a fluke present in a few human beings here and there, it's an integral part of virtually every member of our species. Billions of other life forms have thrived over the centuries without evolving a sense of humor, a sense of right and wrong, an appreciation for art, and the rest of the spectrum of human qualities. Insects, for example, are far more numerous and hardy creatures than human beings, yet they know nothing about morals, the Mona Lisa, ethics, or Seinfeld reruns. So how did intellect gain hold in the human species when it's obviously so unnecessary for survival?
Perhaps scientists don't address the HI issue because the mere presence of characteristics so unconnected to a species' survival, and yet present in virtually every member of the species, completely undermines the foundation of Darwinian evolution. That is, if, according to Darwinian evolution, improvements that get passed down to successive generations are those that render the organism more fit to survive, the fact that HI, a meaningless evolutionary feature, became prevalent in an entire species says there's another force behind the proliferation of life on earth besides "survival of the fittest."
Doesn't it seem strange that with all the medical and technological advances we have today we have virtually no scientific understanding or perception of what HI even is -- i.e. how does the brain produce HI, what genes are responsible for distinguishing between right and wrong, what genes make us appreciate humor, and so on? Sure there are other parts of the human body that are not yet fully understood. But there's a difference between not fully understanding something and having not a clue as to what it is.
Take our circulatory system, for example. The heart basically consists of four chambers -- the right and left atriums, and the right and left ventricles. The heart's function is to keep the blood oxygenated by pumping it past the lungs, which absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Oxygen deprivation to this natural pump will generally result in a heart attack.
Although beating approximately 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime is quite an amazing feat, how the heart accomplishes its task is not at all that mysterious. We have a pretty well-rounded understanding of how the heart propels the blood through the circulatory system.
Similarly, the liver, our largest organ, serves as the body's chemical factory. The chemicals it produces, just to name a few, are: albumin, which, among other things, transports essential fatty acids from fat to muscle and also helps transport hormones, drugs, and other substances through the blood; complement proteins, which help the immune system fight infection; coagulation factors, which help the blood clot when blood vessels are damaged; globin, a part of the pigment known as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body.
This is of course an oversimplified description of an extremely complex organ. In fact, the liver's complexities make a practical artificial liver a lot farther from reality than an artificial heart. Yet, in spite of its complexities, the liver's basic functions are not great mysteries. Although precisely how the liver produces and regulates the body's chemistry may still not be fully understood, the notion of producing chemicals or regulating circulating fluids are not mystical concepts. Such chemical functions are performed on a daily basis in many man-made devices and laboratories.
The central nervous system, consisting of the brain and spinal cord, controls virtually every vital function of the body -- breathing, heart beat, thought, speech, body temperature, etc. It is believed that the cerebral cortex (the outer portion of the cerebrum) is where movement, sensation, memory and perception, among other things, are processed. Some of these functions also have parallels in man-made objects and the laboratory.
Computers are excellent examples of how even man-made objects can store and transfer huge amounts of data and images. Electrical impulses are utilized in both computers and the brain. Thus, with respect to the purely mechanical process of impulses, memory and transmission of data, the brain and nervous system hold no great mysteries. Precisely how these processes are employed within a biological system may, again, not be fully understood, but the concepts of what they are are quite familiar to us.
And this is where familiarity ends and mystery begins.
With all our knowledge of biology, genetics, biochemistry and neuroscience, we have no inkling as to what HI is or what process or substance produces it. We've reproduced many of the brain's functions in computers, and in some cases computers perform even better than the brain, but we still have no idea what HI is.
Is it possible that HI, which seemingly resides in the brain, is actually not part of the physical body?
One response I've heard to this notion went something like, "Because we don't understand, therefore there must be a soul or a God?" No, quite the contrary: Because we do understand, therefore there must be a soul or a God.
Five hundred years ago, for example, not understanding the source or mechanics of HI may not have posed much of a problem: we had no better understanding of the heart, liver and other organs, either. So a lack of understanding simply meant science still had a lot to discover.
Today, things are different. Our knowledge of the human body is so vast, we can operate on and replace just about any organ. We've already mapped the entire human genom consisting of 30,000 genes. And we've probably dissected as many human brains as human hearts. Yet with all our sophistication, we have no idea what HI is. It's not just that we don't understand it -- it's that we understand there's nothing else like it, and we have no inkling as to what it is or where it comes from.
In today's day and age, that doesn't simply mean we haven't found its source yet. It means it's not there. Well, not physically, anyway. If today's science cannot find anything physical, besides the human being, that contains HI, you can be sure that nothing physical produces intellect.
Does this scientifically prove the existence of a living entity beyond the physical, which is generally referred to as the soul? If you go by the standards used in science...