On Thoughts and Reason: How Science Defines The Mind and Brain
Turning. Turning Turning. Around and around in my chair. The reality is that I have become the world’s best procrastinator ever.
This is certainly an accomplishment to record in the Guinness Book of World Records. Never in my sixteen years of life in this treacherous earth did I think that I would become the bane of our oppressors: society. I have been so caught up with millions of different assignments meant to keep me so busy that time will just fly in the blink of an eye. Too much change and too little time to accomplish all of my tasks that have been piling up these past few weeks; a stack of papers high enough to reach the sky. Taking this account to heart, let us consider the main message portrayed in the reality of life.
Of course, the reader may assume the adage of “Never Procrastinate” is the truth being told here. They are wrong. That miniscule bit of truth has no effect other than tricking the human mind into thinking what is morally correct. The Mind itself of modern society has been manipulated so much that all that is there just above your brainstem is nothing but an organ of facts. Nothing but an organ of logic, of concreteness and ignorance.
All of this is the result of modernization that taught everyone to abide by a set a rules meant to “establish order and justice in the world.” But that is what we are taught to believe. Society is taught to be rational human beings using their logic and reason to survive in the world. These thoughts of logic and reason come from an innate part of instilled within the human character which is the Mind. This innate part of every human being is responsible for all mental processes such as decision making, thinking and emotions.
Yet Scienceis defining these abilities through the physical structures within the brain. TheMind isan innate part of something unattainable. Something…
invisible. A philosopher would acknowledge the existence of the mind as unknowable. It exists because it does! But scientists are trying to quantify what cannot be quantified. According to science, the Brain creates the Mind. There is no distinction between the two.
There are two sides to every coin but today, the brain seems to dominate over those feelings and emotion in the mind. It is a game that every human being is involved with: Science versus creativity. Left brain versus right brain. Passion vs reason. Let us analyze the conflict between the Mind and Brain. The Brain v.
Mind: An Ongoing Battle Before we embark on this journey, let me explain what remarkable event has just take place within these past few seconds. Your eyes seem to trace the page down all the way to the bold letters. They seem to “catch” your eye as it makes itself distinct from the rest of the entire essay. The bold letters appeal to our eyes, as they are physically distinct. The reader sees the phrase, internalizes it and comes to the conclusion that this phrase is important.
It holds a certain power by being visually distinct despite the uncertainty in the meaning of it. Here is what happens when we read. According to Stanislas Dehaene, in his book Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read. “Your eyes scan the page in short spasmodic movements. Four or five times per second, your gaze stops just long enough to recognize one or two words…Only the center of the retina, called the fovea, has a fine enough resolution to allow for the recognition of small print. Each of them [words] is then split up into myriad fragments by retinal neurons and must be put back together before it can be recognized…Two major parallel processing routes eventually come into play: the phonological route, which converts letters into speech sounds, and the lexical route, which gives access to a mental dictionary of word meanings…” The following excerpt comes from a mere thirty pages of analyzing, processing and describing a simple act as reading a few letters on the page.
Rather than just accepting the fact that one reads because one does, science has come into play to give meaning, order and logic to life. Even if it is a simple task as reading. Science is everywhere. Whether we choose to accept or deny its existence, science will always explain the one and only reason why and how something occurs. When can even analyze the process that occurs with choosing to accept the existence of science by stating that the frontal lobe of our brain harvests our decision making centers and so forth.
But there are some blurred lines in the science field. One of these subject areas that continue to baffle scientists besides the possibility of life on mars is the science behind thinking. It is what makes man human. How is it that something invisible, something unattainable can be something quantifiable? That is, what is so complex about the study of the mind? It is one of those subjects that cannot be dominated by logic alone. It involves another aspect that is hidden within us. Our emotions and thoughts originate in the mind.
They are immeasurable, unquantifiable. Only observed through actions rather than its original form. All these facts are what make the mind so complex and immeasurable because it has no physical form, no structure or order at all. That is what scares scientists the most. If it cannot be seen in a physical form or if it cannot be measured then how will the mind function? How will it survive? How is this a part of the human character? All these questions are what freighted scientists the most because there are no answers to these questions.
The mind exists because it exists. There is no doubt about it yet scientists will not accept this. They seek to understand what the mind really is and some individuals say the Brain is the power source behind the mind. But let us consider this: The Brain cannot think therefore it has no mind. “No, the brain of itself could not think; and yet, without a brain man could not think; which simply means that man needs a brain while here, but that the brain, of itself, does not think. The brain does not think and yet man thinks; so behind the brain there must be a thinker.
” — Ernest S. Holmes Yet neuroscientists will argue that thoughts originate from the different lobes of the brain. Our decision making occurs in the frontal lobe while our ability to comprehend languages occurs in the temporal lobe. Once again, scientists are trying to quantify the unquantifiable. In contrast, a philosopher would states that our thoughts are the product of our desires and curiosity.
Descartes’ famous saying epitomizes the dualism concept. He said, “cogito ergo sum,” “I reflect therefore I am.” (Hawthrone,87) Descartes held that the immaterial mind and the material body (i.e The Brain) are two completely different types of substances and that they interact with each other. Cartesian Dualists,type of dualism most famously defended by Rene Descartes, which states the mental cannot exist outside of the body, and the body cannot think, wouldargue that the mind is an independently existing substance from the body.
It can be concluded that the mind and brainare distinct entities: One is associated with thoughts and reason while the other involves the physiological process behind thinking. This concept of separation is known as the Mind-Body theory, a crucial aspects of Cartesian Dualism. This theory is always challenged and refuted by most philosophers and nearly all of scientists alike. This reason behind this is that theory challenges what science has created: The Mind is the brain. Another important argument in favor of dualism is that the mental and the physical seem to have different, and irreconcilable, properties.
Mental events have a subjective quality, whereas physical events do not. So, for example, one can ask what a burnt finger feels like, or what a blue sky looks like, or what nice music sounds like to a person. But it is meaningless, or at least odd, to ask what a surge in the uptake of glutamate in the dorsolateral portion of the hippocampus feels like.The reality is that both the Mind and Brain are distinct entities because the mind is a natural, impalpable state of thought while the brain is the physical embodiment that creates the mind. The entire process of thinking, pondering and wondering are not quantifiable. It is nearly impossible to measure how much one thinks.
“I think five times more than you do’ is preposterous. Yet scientists at MIT are developing a way to measure thought via neurocircuitry.Charles Jennings, director of neurotechnology at the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and his team are experimenting with new non-invasively using tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity. This new technology measures concentrations of dopamine, a brain chemical that carries messages between neurons and is involved in learning, movement, and other activities.All of this technology and complicated terms that are hard to comprehend are trying to define the Mind through the measurement of thought. The reality is, those neurons firing every second of our lives may not be the source of thought.
The science behind the mind is once again undermining the innate character within human beings. It is logic over thought. Concrete over abstract. The mind will always be known as the product of the Brain no matter how hard philosophers argue. We are taught to replace our mind with facts rather than thoughts.
So as long as this continues, the Mind v. Brain Identity problem will not be solved. Maybe a simple fMRI machine can reveal the answer. “The Human mind will not be confined to any limits.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe