Series: "The Case for a Creator,The Evidence of Consciousness: The Enigma of the Mind"

Cogito ergo sum—“I think, therefore I am.” René Descartes

Why should a bunch of atoms have thinking ability? Why should I, even as I write now, be able to reflect on what I am doing and why should you, even as you read now, be able to ponder my points, agreeing or disagreeing, with pleasure or pain, deciding to refute me or deciding that I am just not worth the effort? No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have any answer to this. . . . The point is that there is no scientific answer. Darwinist philosopher Michael Ruse

Is the human brain simply, in the famous words of MIT’s Marvin Minsky, “a computer made of meat,” with conscious thought as its wholly mechanical output?

Is the Bible’s insistence that people consist of both body and spirit—a belief called “dualism”—a defensible assertion?

What is consciousness? Well, a simple definition is that consciousness is what you’re aware of when you introspect. When you pay attention to what’s going on inside of you, that’s consciousness. Think of it like this, suppose you were having an operation on your leg, and suddenly you begin to be aware of people talking about you. Someone says, ‘I think he’s recovering.’ You start to feel an ache in your knee. You say to yourself, ‘Where am I? What’s going on?’ And you start to remember you were operated on. What you’re doing is regaining consciousness. In short, consciousness consists of sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choices that make us alive and aware.

What if consciousness didn’t exist in the world? Apples would still be red, but there would be no awareness of red or any sensations of red.

What is the soul? The soul is the ego, the ‘I,’ or the self, and it contains our consciousness. It also animates our body. That’s why when the soul leaves the body, the body becomes a corpse. The soul is immaterial and distinct from the body.

Wilder Penfield, the renowned father of modern neurosurgery, started out suspecting that consciousness somehow emanated from the neural activities in the brain, where synapses can fire an astounding ten million billion times a second. “Through my own scientific career, I, like other scientists, have struggled to prove that the brain accounts for the mind,” he said.  But through performing surgery on more than a thousand epileptic patients, he encountered concrete evidence that the brain and mind are actually distinct from each other, although they clearly interact.
 Explained one expert in the field: Penfield would stimulate electrically the proper motor cortex of conscious patients and challenge them to keep one hand from moving when the current was applied. The patient would seize this hand with the other hand and struggle to hold it still. Thus one hand under the control of the electrical current and the other hand under the control of the patient’s mind fought against each other. Penfield risked the explanation that the patient had not only a physical brain that was stimulated to action but also a nonphysical reality that interacted with the brain.
In other words, Penfield ended up agreeing with the Bible’s assertion that human beings are both body and spirit. “To expect the highest brain mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd,”  he said. “What a thrill it is, then, to discover that the scientist, too, can legitimately believe in the existence of the spirit.”
‘There is no place . . . where electrical stimulation will cause a patient to believe or to decide.’

When people are clinically dead, but sometimes they have a vantage point from above, where they look down at the operating table that their body is on. Sometimes they gain information they couldn’t have known if this were just an illusion happening in their brain. 
One woman died and she saw a tennis shoe that was on the roof of the hospital. How could she have known this? If I am just my brain, then existing outside the body is utterly impossible. When people hear of near-death experiences, they don’t think that if they looked up at the hospital ceiling, they’d see a pulsating brain with a couple of eyeballs dangling down, right? When people hear near-death stories they are intuitively attributing to that person a soul that could leave the body. And clearly these stories make sense, even if we’re not sure they’re true.
We’ve got to be more than our bodies or else these stories would be ludicrous to us. Regardless of what anyone thinks about near-death experiences, we do have confirmation that Jesus was put to death and was later seen alive by credible eyewitnesses, not only does this provide powerful historical corroboration that it’s possible to survive after the death of our physical body, but it also gives Jesus great credibility when he teaches that we have both a body and an immaterial spirit.

Many brain scientists have been compelled to postulate the existence of an immaterial mind, even though they may not embrace a belief in an after-life. So if you agree with Christianity or not, the evidence clearly shows that you are much more than just flesh and bones. Make sure you know where you go the day you leave your body.

Find the truth, and remember….. Have an Intelligent Faith!!!

-Nelis
Taken from: The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God. Zondervan.