Brain Rules # 2 by Dr. John Medina
Dr. Medina’s Rule: The human brain evolved, too.
Young Earth Creationist’s Rule: God created the human brain to function in a marvelous way.
Psalm 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Dr. Medina takes what he observes today and results of scientific studies of our life time and places them within his evolutionary model. Those who want to read this information within this context should read the book. For the rest of you, here is my distillation within my creationist model.
Medina outlines for us some of the unique characteristics of mankind, God’s special creation.
1) Our ability to use symbolic reasoning. This reasoning allows us to use symbols to represent meaning. We have language which is symbolic. Since much is written down or recorded we have learned from those who came before us.
2) Our ability to walk upright. Our body structure allows for us to walk on two feet.
3) Our amazing brain power. In addition to the brain stem and mid-brain we have the frontal cortex. First, the brain stem “regulates breathing, heart rate, sleeping, waking.” P. 40 Next, the mid-brain is for fighting, feeding, flee and reproductive behavior. P. 40 Finally, the frontal cortex is responsible for the “executive functions” including the ability to solve problems, maintain attention, and inhibiting responses. P. 40
Regarding the function of the individual parts of the brain and how they interact, John Medina puts it well, “How this happens is mysterious. Large neural highways run overhead these two brains (brain stem and mid-brain), combining with other roads, branching suddenly into thousands of exits, bounding off into the darkness. Neurons spark to life, then suddenly blink off, then fire again. Complex circuits of electrical information crackle in coordinated, repeated patterns, then run off into the darkness, communicating their information in unknown destinations.” P. 42
4) Our ability to predict and understand other people’s thoughts. “Symbolic reasoning is a uniquely human talent. It may have risen from our need to understand one another’s intentions and motivations, allowing us to coordinate within a group.” P. 47
Yes, there is evidence of our adapting to different climates and circumstances in our world, but these are examples of “microevolution”, not the “macroevolution” of the Darwin varieties. Since God created man and the earth as “mature” what we see today is merely thousands (6-10) of years old rather than billions. We can marvel at the work of God in mankind.