Discussion by: Severin B-DHello,
I am pretty new to this forum, and to any forum in general. I am studying medicine in Europe, and have been following the work of prof. Dawkins for a little while. I am very interested in his work, and there is a question that I have that has been itching my mind for quite a while, and actually this very question makes me want to try and become a neurologist, would it only be to be able to answer it. I have looked through the forum and haven’t found any topic related to this question, so I hope I don’t open a thread which might have been answered and treated long ago, in which case I kindly thank you for giving me the link to it!
Here’s the thing:
our brain is very similar in composition and mapping to some of the animals present on Earth. When I say ‘mapping’, I mean the overall connexions of neuron cells between each other, the network so to speak. We might not have ‘mapped’ the whole thing yet, I dont know about it, but the structure is overall quite similar to that of some other species, even if more developped in our case. But in the end, it is just a juxtaposition of nerve cells transmitting electric signals to one another in response to a stimulus, and eliciting a response. So out of this electrical meshwork, where does the Mind come from ?
How comes that a self-aware entity emerges from a bundle of wires connected together like in our brain, when the electrical wiring of my house doesn’t seem to produce the same thing? Of course the level of complexity is not the same (I am just trying to make a point). But then, what about those other brains from the animal realm that are somewhat similar to ours, but still do not seem to give birth to a self-aware entity like us?
By self-aware, I mean the complex state of mind that Descartes describes with the “I think, therefore I am”.
I have to put some weight on that, because it seems important to me. One simple structure, a neuron, connected with many others which are in turn connected with many others, producing a very complicated meshwork of electrical wires connected to one another, whose activity produces You, reading this, and making sense out of it… it amazes me.
This is the one thing that could make me ‘pause’, making me think that maybe this is the root of the Soul, that whatever Divine resides in this world, comes from this wonder.
If you have whatever answer may be to that, or a link to a discussion about it, I would be grateful.
PS: I am a conviced atheist, and do not mean to make a point about the existence of the Soul. I am just looking for an answer.