Jan 14, 2010

Brain Power

I don’t feel like I am using much of my brain this morning. I woke up and it seemed like my brain didn’t!


It made me wonder: what percentage of the brain do we use? The common answer is that we only use ten percent. And it then follows along that if we used more of our brain we could do greater and greater things. For example, there are those who believe that Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) happens in people who have found a way to use more of their brain. Psychics will also point to this fact to explain how they get their abilities… they simply use more of their brain than other people.


There are also instances of people who have brains, but don’t appear to use them. Politicians in Washington come to mind.


We’ve also been told that humans have the largest brain compared to body size. If you divide brain size by body size humans have a ration of 1/40. This seems reasonable. If you calculate the same ration for other animals we find that cats have a ratio of 1/100 and dogs calculate to 1/125. That would put humans at the top. Except that if you calculate this ratio for mice, it is the same as humans 1/40!


What’s going on here?


Well, actually, animals do use all of their brains. Different parts of the brain have different functions, but humans (and other animals) use all of the brain at different times. There doesn’t appear to be any secret part of the brain that is untapped. In fact, scans of the brain show that there are different brain centers that are activated during various activities and scientists have developed a map of the human brain. When a person has a trauma to a particular region of the brain, they can predict what functions a human will lose. As scientists learn more and more about the brain, they have identified functions for each area.


And as far as brain to body ratio, scientists have determined that a more accurate ratio is the encephalization quotient or EQ. This ratio takes into account the fact that larger animals must use more of its brain weight for survival tasks. When this quotient is calculated, humans come to the top. We have an EQ of 7.44. Dolphins come in second with an EQ of 5.31. Chimpanzees are down at 2.49. Whew!


So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, it appears that God created man differently and with higher intelligence than any other creature. The next mammal doesn’t even come close to our intelligence. And secondly, don’t believe for a minute that salvation is learning how to use more and more of your brain. Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross is not a function of your body, but of His. Sure, different people have different brains, but any person of any brain capacity or usage can receive salvation through Jesus. (Yes, that includes Washington politicians).


And through all of this, my brain woke up! I guess it’s time to get on with the day.


Blessings, Pastor David Hook

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