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How Science Can Help Us Understand Our Faith, Beliefs And Religions

We may have only been exposed to the scientific theories a few scant hundred years ago, but we’ve seen them play out through the centuries.

I’ve written about many faith-based scientific theories. Most of the time, it feels like an intellectual exercise for those unfamiliar with these things or the complexity of the scientific process. But if we understand the mechanisms, and are able to translate and apply them to our human experience, as they have been done for our ancestors throughout time, we may gain a deeper appreciation for our spiritual beliefs. This isn’t a bad thing. I’ll add, it would be a waste to lose such understanding once we leave our materialist culture, where it really can be lost.

One example that comes to mind is in the area of science and belief about the brain. The brain is incredibly complex and we know a lot less about it now than we did in the past. Some interesting theories were formulated in the early 20th century (but have never been tested empirically). There is one theory which I’ll write about in a different blog. But one example of how scientific knowledge can help you understand your own beliefs is via how it helps us understand religion. Let’s look at a brief description of a key scientific concept: neuroanatomy.

Neuroanatomy

This means knowing the body and its inner workings, including anatomy, physiology, structure, and functions, its internal and external connections, and how it works.

Neuroanatomy is the understanding of the brain and nervous system in living creatures.

There are at least seven key areas in living organisms (or humans).

Brain. For the most part, the brain is responsible for our thought processes; the thinking, planning, decision making, learning, perception, reason, memory, and many more.

Head. Head is the central seat of the brain at the top.

Body. Body provides external physical forms (gears, skin, hair, bones), the ability to move, the ability to adapt, and the ability to heal.

Blood. Blood helps to supply nutrients and deliver oxygen through the bloodstream.

Skeletal system. Skeletal body makes up about 60% of the body, and supports much of its structure. It includes all bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones in the joints, and the bones’ associated soft tissue.

Tissue (nervous system). Tissue is the organ’s constituent parts and structures that are involved in the process of reproduction.

Internal organs (nervous system) are organs or systems of organs within the body that do not serve any specific purpose and are not vital to living organisms. They are sometimes separated as internal versus external.

External organs (nervous system) are organs or systems of organs that do serve a specific purpose. These organs are most often located outside of the body but may be located within or attached to the body’s body parts or structures.

The central nervous system is a group of brain structures that is found under one’s head. The brain uses electrical current to work. As the electrical current runs through areas of the brain, we use the electrical current to change the electrical current which is then used to affect the functions of another area of the brain (in layman’s terms, using electrical current to do something).

Anatomy of the brain (and all living organisms for that matter) 

Insects and many other creatures of the insect world have a very complex brain, as do almost all other creatures. It’s hard to fully explain this complexity. Many people have suggested that perhaps insects have a form of intelligence (although I’m not convinced this is the case).

In short, the brain is made up of multiple sections. Below are a few of the most pertinent brain structures.

Structures that control the body. The brain is responsible for processing information of various forms from other parts of the body and sending signals to other parts of the body as they’re need. The brain is also responsible for controlling the body’s movements. This is a very complicated function. As you’ll notice below, it involves the same areas as the motor regions of the brain.

Brain Structure (3 parts) Cerebellum

Motor area of the cerebrum (1 area).

Brain Structure (3 parts) Cerebrum

Motor area of the cerebral cortex.

Brain Structure (3 parts) Cerebellum Motor and sensory areas of cerebrum

Motor and sensory cortex.

This structure (the cerebrum) is responsible for processing information from all of the previous areas (and the motor areas as well).