Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Human Brain

I commute long distance. On Monday’s flight, I read two interesting articles on the human brain.

The first was in Monday’s New York Times. Researchers developed technology you control using thought. You put on a headset with virtual reality goggles and sensors that read brain waves, and move virtual objects. The article said researchers “want to build ways of performing nearly any computing task with the mind.” That, I thought, would be totally cool! How advanced!

Then I thought, wait a minute. Much more advanced technology already exists. With your brain, you can control, to an astonishing degree, each of over 600 skeletal muscles in your body. You can perform coordinated feats, like standing upright. (It’s not so easy; it took you about a year to get it right.) With your brain, you can access memory banks of your life and what you have learned. The sophistication of the human brain is dazzling. I love watching and hearing concert pianists play impossibly difficult and breathtakingly beautiful pieces from memory. My college roommate, a chess grandmaster at 13, could and still can crush me in chess without ever looking at the chess board. He visualizes the entire board and all possible moves in his head.

Next I picked up the September issue of Acts and Facts. (It is one of my favorite magazines, and you can get a free subscription by going to this page: ) Dr. Jeffrey Tompkins authored an article entitled: “The Human Brain is ‘Beyond Belief’.” The article reviews recent brain research, and cites 15 scientific papers. Highlights:

  • An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. (About as many cells as stars in our galaxy, and synapses as stars in a thousand galaxies.)
  • A single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.
  • The neural units in our brain are perfectly placed to minimize “connection costs” among components.
  • The brain’s memory capacity is “at least” a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the entire World Wide Web.
  • The brain is amazingly energy efficient; human circuits of similar complexity would require at least 1,000 times more energy.
  • The cells of the brain communicate with light as well as electrical impulses.
  • The brain is a quantum computer.
  • The brain creates complex structures to solve problems.

That last bullet is a reference to a June 2017 paper in the Journal of Computational Neuroscience. (Not a journal I’m recommending, but go knock yourself out.) Researchers found our brains build fantastic structures, with fantastic geometries, to solve problems. Here’s one of the researchers:

The neurons in the network react to stimuli in an extremely organized manner. …. We found a world we never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.

The mathematics of this article, with concepts from Algebraic Geometry (yes I took that course in college but don’t ask me any questions) are beyond belief. Not much I understood. I will just note that when the researcher refers to “dimensions,” he is really talking about degrees of connectivity. So when seven neurons create a structure where they are each connected to each other, he is calling that a seven dimensional structure.

When it comes to the architecture and technology of the human brain, we are like primitives with stone tools trying to understand a spaceship. As hard as we try, and thousands of very smart people are trying very hard, we are only a vague idea of how the brain works. We think we are smart to say the frontal cortex performs executive functions. That’s like the primitive saying the back of the spaceship has something to do with movement. Exactly how is it your brain processes signals from your eyes to recognize these letters and words, to make sense of them, and to ponder their meaning? Tell me, if you can, how that works.

So new research says the brain builds structures to solve problems? How could any rational person believe the human brain “evolved” from a Darwinian process of keeping the best errors? That is preposterously absurd, totally idiotic, and without a fig leaf shred of believability! No way ultra technology arose by chance. I would also point you to page 165 of Counting To God, where I note that the human brain has at least 54 “orphan” brain genes, 54 sections of DNA code that no other species has that build the fantastic nanotechnology we use to think and reason.

I can be sarcastic. Maybe next time someone tells me belief in God is not scientific, I’ll respond — “so you’re one of those ‘scientific’ people who believe the human brain arose by chance?”

Thanks for reading. Please tell others, and spread the good news of true science. Together we can change the world, and free it from this pathetically depressing Atheist paradigm of a meaningless universe. God is real. Govern yourself accordingly.

Breakfast with Mary

I’m back from five wonderful days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The scenery was spectacular, and the total eclipse inspiring. Maybe someday I’ll post on how perfectly right everything has to be to get a total eclipse, and the evidence for God in that. Today I’ll share another spiritual experience, breakfast with Mary Neal.

Mary is an orthopedic surgeon in Jackson. She died in 1999 while kayaking in South America. Yes, DIED! She was underwater for perhaps thirty minutes, was with Jesus, and experienced Heaven. Many find that hard to accept. I assure you, if you were sitting across from Mary at breakfast, you would know it was true.

Mary wrote a book about her experience: To Heaven and Back. It was published in 2012, and became a New York Times #1 Best Seller. It is fantastic (I recommended it in Counting To God). The book describes miraculous things in Mary’s life. For whatever reason, Mary has a special connection with God.

Our breakfast was a blur, even though it lasted more than an hour and a half. Here’s what I remember:

  • Mary says they’re “death experiences,” not “near-death experiences.” She did die, and she came back.
  • Mary says God welcomes us at death in a personal way. She loves colors and flowers. Mary told me the colors and flowers God presented her in Heaven were beautiful beyond description. She thinks each of us will be greeted in a way we will find overwhelmingly wonderful.
  • Mary thinks suffering often has a purpose. It can bring us back to God.
  • Mary feels sorry for Judas. Somebody had to betray Jesus, to fulfill the prophecies, and Judas got the short straw.
  • Mary is not a fan of overly “literal” interpretations of the Bible. We discussed John 14:6, where (English Standard Version) Jesus says “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Some interpret this to mean that only Christians can be saved. Mary disagrees, as do I. Just three verses later Jesus states: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus then asks, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” The point is Jesus is God, there is no separation, so if you get to God you get to Jesus.
  • Like me, Mary isn’t sure what to believe about hell. We both think that God, being a perfect gentleman, will respect it if you absolutely refuse to let him into your life, although he will give you plenty of opportunities to change your mind. But if you always push him away, you will likely be by yourself after death, and that will be hell.
  • We discussed the stresses of modern life, and the pressures people put on themselves. Mary suggested we forget about the past, we can’t change it; if we are upset we should ask God for peace, and if we feel guilty or inadequate we should ask God to forgive us. We should do our best for the future, but not worry, only God is in charge. Mary said she lives a life of joy.
  • Mary compared our relationship with God to the relationship of a child with his/her parent. God created us, but in his image with the ability to choose, and knowing that, as we grow up, we will make mistakes. But God is a loving parent, and, no matter what we’ve done, still loves us. She says of course God knew Adam and Even would eat the apple. You can tell a child a thousand times not to touch the hot stove, but eventually they will want to see what happens.
  • We spoke of the wonder of biologic design (OK, I admit I brought this up), and how most people are stuck in this neo-Darwinian nonsense, despite overwhelming evidence of design.

Mary has written a new book, Lessons From Heaven, which will be released September 19, 2017. She sent an early version to me about a month ago, and I loved it. It goes into more detail about her experience in Heaven, and how we can all use the lessons she learned to find joy and peace. She also documents death experiences going back millennia.

It was a privilege to have breakfast with Mary. I love hearing or reading about death experiences, experiences of Jesus and Heaven. Some Atheists deny God by saying that, even if the universe is perfectly designed (which it is), and even if all creatures were designed (which they were), it must have been aliens! They would rather believe in little green men than a loving God. As Mary’s new book documents, millions of people have had death experiences, or other direct experiences of God. God is real.

Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of true science.

DNA and the Bible

The Bible was under attack this week in newspapers around the world. Here’s one headline: “The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese.” Here’s another: “Study disproves the Bible’s claim that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out.” The next four paragraphs are from the New York Times:

“There is a story in the Hebrew Bible that tells of God’s call for the annihilation of the Canaanites, people who lived in what are now Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories thousands of years ago.

‘You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,’ God said in the passage. ‘But you shall utterly destroy them.’

But a genetic analysis published on Thursday has found that the ancient population survived that divine call for their extinction, and their descendants live in modern Lebanon.

‘We can see the present-day Lebanese can trace most of their ancestry to the Canaanites or a genetically equivalent population,’ said Chris Tyler-Smith, a geneticist with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who is an author of the paper. ‘They derive just over 90 percent of their ancestry from the Canaanites.’”

I hope you noted the words “or a genetically equivalent population,” which destroys the argument that these scientists had somehow disproved the Bible. But, even worse, these supposedly quality publications failed to actually read the Bible! Yes God told the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites,” that they may not teach you do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods.” Deuteronomy 20:17. But the Israelites DISOBEYED! The Bible explicitly records that a variety of Israelite commanders let the Canaanites live. Judges 1:27-35. God then said OK, but you’ll be sorry. “So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” Judges 2:3. So we are left with dozens of articles, read by perhaps hundreds of millions of people, making false claims against God. How sad that, in our upside-down world, people try to sell newspapers by attacking God.

Equally sad is that, when science supports God and the Bible, you never read about it in the popular press. In September 2014 scientists claimed that, over the course of human history, women had migrated significantly more than men. Men inherit the DNA in their Y chromosome only from their father, whereas all people inherit the DNA in their mitochondria (little energy factories in our cells) only from their mothers. A study found greater variability in a population in the female-inherited DNA, the mitochondria DNA, and claimed it was because women traveled more for marriage.

Really? Over all known history men have overwhelmingly been more likely to travel, whether for trade, curiosity, or war. Women generally marry within the community in which they were born. So this scientific study seemed strange to me. Last weekend I learned that greater variability in female DNA is exactly what the Bible predicts. Deuteronomy 32:8 states that when God divided mankind after the Tower of Babel, “he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” In other words, from one group, humanity was divided by paternal lines, and the women went with their husbands regardless of their family background. So the females in a given populations should have greater variability in their DNA, exactly as the 2014 study found.

Last weekend I also heard a talk on Y chromosome variability by Nathaniel Jeanson, a research biologist with a Ph. D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard. Dr. Jeanson measured variability in the Y chromosome over time. To do that he needed a population that had been separated at a known time in the past. He used African Americans, and compared their Y chromosomes to the Y chromosomes of the population that stayed behind in West Africa. There are statistics on the number of people who came to the United States in this brutal way, and it is known that the mean point of the slave trade was around 1800. By comparing the variability in Y chromosome between African Americans and those who stayed behind, he got a measure of genetic drift in the Y chromosome.

Dr. Jeanson then presented a chart that showed differences in the Y chromosome among all males worldwide. The chart shows clear connecting points, nodes if you will, that strongly point to a common ancestor. According to the Bible, all men trace their Y chromosome back to Noah, who with his three sons, and their wives, were the only people on the ark. Dr. Jeanson used his estimate of how fast the Y chromosome drifts to estimate the time back to the central nodes. It’s not clear which one could be Noah; the data doesn’t establish that clearly. But the time back to all the nodes was around 5,000 years, which is when the Bible tells us Noah lived.

The bottom line here is that modern DNA analysis strongly supports the Bible. Unfortunately, that story rarely makes the secular press. I highly recommend the magazine Acts and Facts, which spreads the good news of true science every month. You can get a free subscription here:

Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of science.