Let’s Talk Brain Morphology

In this posting, we begin  with a quick discussion on the exciting field of science called Brain Morphology.

As you can imagine, its very exciting.   It’s the study of the shape and function of the human brain; the most complex computers ever made.

This morning, I want to tell you about a particular portion of our brain: The Dorsal Hypothalmus.  This is sometimes referred to as the “God Gland”

The Dorsal Hypothalmus is the size of your little finger’s nail.  It sits at the base of our brain stem, and controls an incredibly miraculous function called the Reticular Activating System.   This system is crucial to our normal functioning.

In an incredibly oversimplified explanation of this system, hopefully you will see how important this portion of our brain is.

It is said that in a 150 square foot room, there are over 2 million different sensory stimuli.    In a room this size, there are probably four times that many.

Think for a minute on what is in our typical worship service for our processing.   The perfume that person next to you is wearing, the colors of the curtains, the shape of the pulpit, the squeak of floor boards.   The list is almost infinite.

Unfortuantely, the human brain can only register about a dozen stimuli at any given moment.   That means that close to 2million remain unnoticed.

The Reticular Activating System of our brain, is the trigger for those stimuli that gets noticed.

There is some research that suggest that people with Autism have a malfunction in this portion of the brain….as such they shut down in situations of over stimulation.     This also may be the case, on a much more limited sense with lights and people with epilepsy.

In the study of this filter, scientists have discovered that we usually only see things that we are prepared to see, & that this is all centered this small organ in our brain.

The Reticular Activating System works like this:   Once I mention the word perfume, for example,…people start taking notice of the perfumes and smells around them.  Only when something has been brought to our attention & we have been prepared to see it, will we see it.

And it goes further than that. For example, if you decide to buy a new car & you make up your mind that you are going to buy a certain brand, a certain body style, & a certain color, all of a sudden you’ll see those cars everywhere. You’ll see them on the roads, in TV advertisements, in newspapers & magazines. They’re everywhere.

Its because, during your decision making process the neurons in your brain have kick started that gland,…and as a result you are more in tune with seeing what otherwise you would miss.

Part of me finds it so utterly incomprehensible, that there are so many scientists in the world who are aetheists or agnostics, despite so much scientific evidence that suggests such an incredible God.   If the Reticular Activating System doesn’t suggest a God, I am hard pressed to think of something that does.

But beyond that, this little gland reminds us of something else.   It reminds us of the simple truth, that if we want to see and experience something in this world, then we need to be prepared to see it.

We need to acknowledge that each of us has a light at our core; the light of Jesus.   We are told that if we want to see Jesus, we need to look first at the very place we are at.  If we want to see and experience Jesus in our lifes, we need to look at one another first.

I believe that it is this practice which kicks starts our ability to see Jesus all around us,…especially in the Jesus in the street.

(Sources:  Sermon Source, Wikipedia, JG Science)

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