INFINITY #4: The Man Without A Brain

I. The Questions.

            Is your brain really necessary?  Does your brain size elevate you above the apes?  Did man ascend from animal ancestors?  Is there more to mind than brain?  This INFINITY will answer these important questions.

II. The Two Contrary Possibilities.

            Either man is the result of natural law processes, that is, man arose from animal ancestors; or man is not the result of natural law processes, man is a supernatural creation.  Logically only one of these two contrary possibilities can be true.

   A. Evolution, Brain Size, and the Ascent of Man.

            A core belief of evolution is the conjecture that man ascended from apelike animal ancestors, and that what distinguishes man from ape is the larger brain of man.  This is called the ascent of man.  And an indispensable part of the evolutionary model of origins is the idea that man is more intelligent, because of his larger brain size.  And this idea, is inseparable from the evolutionary belief that mind is nothing more than brain, that mind is brain and brain is mind.  On the other hand;

   B. The Bible Describes Man as a Supernatural Creation.

            The Holy Bible tell us in Genesis, 1:27, and in Genesis 2:7, that:  “God created man in His own image… and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.”  The Bible tells us that man became man when God made him, and the Bible tells us that man’s intelligence is a gift from God.

   C. Either Man is Evolved or Man is Created.

            1) Either man arose from animal ancestors, and man is only a advanced animal, with an unusually complex animal brain, and that complex brain is the only cause for his increased intelligence. Or,

            2) Man did not arise form animal ancestors, rather man is a supernatural work of God, and human intelligence is an everyday miracle, a gift from God.

            These are two opposite views of man.  They can’t be merged or reconciled, and there can be no agreement between them.  To help you decide between these two contrary views, let’s look at some real world observations of brain size.

III. The Early Brain Size Research Supports Evolution.

   A. Brain Size Research Begins.

            Serious research on the possible relation between brain size and intelligence began only in the early 1800’s and continued though the end of the 19th century.  At that time, when the ascent of man idea became more acceptable among academics, a few researchers began to make substantial collections of skulls and brain weight measures. 

            Since the ascent of man idea is a core concept of evolution, and evolution is central to an naturalistic view of man’s origin, the evolutionists immediately assumed, without question, that intelligence is related to brain size and skull volume; even though there was then, and there is now, no solid evidence connecting intelligence with brain size or skull volume.

   B. Early Results of Brain Size Research.

            The early brain weight measures were immediately used to argue that men are more intelligent than women, because the average man has a brain weighing about 3 pounds [49 oz., 1.39 kg], and the average woman has a brain weighing only about 2 and 3/4 pounds [44oz., 1.25 kg].  Of course, all these studies were done by men. 

            And since racism was then widespread, and appeared to align with evolutionary thinking, zealous evolutionists went to great effort to obtain large numbers of skull volume measures, expecting to find differences among the skull volumes of the races, and expecting the white races to be found superior.

   C. Brain Weight Studies, Prejudice and Racism.

            The racist nature of these evolutionist’s thinking is clear from the full title of Charles Darwin’s 1859 book.  The title was, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.”  Darwin was not just referring to animal races, but human races; as seen from his later book the “Descent of Man,” published in 1871.

            Evolutionists then held that the various races were different sub-species, and would be expected to have different skull volumes.  And indeed when they looked they found what the wanted to find.  Their grossly biased studies concluded that the white race is indeed superior to all others in skull volume, and therefore, presumably of greater intelligence.

   D. Despotism and Oppression Arise from Brain Weight Research.

            In the mid and late 1800’s skull volume measures were used, to argue for selective breeding of humans, the sterilization of some, and to argue for the expansion of colonial rule over inferior races. Blacks and bushmen were said to be comparable to apes, and oppression of the American Indians was justified on similar grounds.

            This early bad science, prejudiced by racist investigators, years later provided Hitler with arguments to promote his idea of the master race.  This resulting lie cost millions of lives.  The zealots for evolutionary thinking, who promoted these ideas were all white male intellectuals.

            The early brain volume studies were used consistently to support prejudice and discrimination of the worst type.  Any idea so terribly used, must certainly be false, and so it turns out to be.

IV. The Early Brain Size Research Overturned!

            Recently, noted anthropologist, Stephen Jay Gould, of Harvard, [an atheist and ardent evolutionist] did a careful reexamination of the early brain size measures. (see “The Mismeasure of Man,” W.W. Norton and Co. N.Y. 1981)  Dr. Gould’s work shows that the original studies reached mistaken conclusions, because the original investigators biased their data.  The early researchers excluded from the racial averages, several large skulls of dark skinned races.  When these large skulls were included, then the skull volume evidence showed no measurable racial differences.

            In their zeal to support evolution, because it agreed with their prejudices, the early brain volume investigators, gave us some very bad science.  And this very bad science had some very bad consequences. 

            But we still have no answer to our original questions.  Again the questions are; is your brain really necessary, is it brain size which elevates us above the apes; did man arise from animal ancestors; is intelligence just a result of brain complexity; or is mind more than just brain? 

V. Brian Weight Measures and Intelligence: the Evidence.

            We will see in what follows that an unbiased examination shows that brain weight and brain size are not indicators of intelligence.

   A. The Brain Weights of Notable Geniuses.

            To see this, we will first examine the brain weight measures of some notable geniuses, who had their bodies examined after death.  The largest notable brain was that of the English poet, Lord Byron, his brain weighed a little over five pounds.  (Remember the average for men is about three pounds.)  Above average was the brain of the French paleontologist Georges Cuvier, which weighed about 4 pounds.  These results are not surprising.

   B. Some Low Brain Weight Geniuses.

            What is surprising, is the number of geniuses with near average to below average brain weights.  For example, the great mathematical genius Karl Friedrich Gauss, had a brain weight of only 3.3 pounds.  And Albert Einstein had an average sized brain.  Below average was the American poet Walt Whitman with a brain of only 2.8 pounds.  And far below average was the literary genius, Anatole France, who had a brain weight of only 2.24 pounds.

            Clearly, brilliant individuals vary greatly in brain size.  Among these geniuses, brain weights differ by more than a factor of two.  This strongly suggests that a large brain size is not necessary for high intelligence. 

VI. Studies of Hydrocephalus Patients.

            Further evidence that brain size is not related to intelligence comes from a report in the prestigious magazine Science, in December, 1980, and more recently from a PBS documentary.  These describe the work of Dr. John Lorber, of Sheffield University, England, and others who have used brain scan technologies to study hydrocephalus patients. 

   A. Hydrocephalus Squeezes the Brain.

            Hydrocephalus is commonly called water on the brain.  The disease occurs when the fluid filled spaces in the middle of the brain expand due to increased pressure, pressing the brain against the skull.  Of the more than 600 individuals examined by Dr. Lorber, about one in ten had more than 90% of the skull volume filled with fluid, and of these more than half of these have IQs over 100.

   B. The Man Without a Brain!

            One young man examined by Dr. Lorber, who was then a student at Sheffield University, had a measured IQ of 126, a first class honors degree in mathematics; and virtually no brain.  This student’s brain cortex is a layer about 1/25th of an inch (1 mm) thick, lining his skull.  His brain weight is estimated to be about 2/10 of one pound (about 0.090 kg).  That is only about 7% of normal brain weight.  This student is one of many normal persons with almost no brain. 

            Clearly these observational facts show that intelligence and brain size are not related.  Normal brain size is not necessary to be of perfectly normal intelligence.  What makes man unique is not the size of his brain.

VII. The Expectation of Evolution is Just Plain Wrong!

            But the belief that brain size and weight must be related to intelligence is essential to the evolutionists supposition that man arose from apelike  ancestors, this belief is the core of evolutionary thinking, it is the tree on which the paleontologists hang the transition from ape to man.  This expectation-prediction of evolution, is totally contrary to the observations, it’s just pain wrong.  Man does not have just an unusually large and complex animal brain,  A large brain is not what makes man unique, nor is it what makes man human. 

VIII. The Human Mind is a True Miracle.

            Therefore, we are led to the inescapable conclusion that man did not arise by the naturalistic process of evolution from animal ancestors.  The human mind can only be understood as being the result of a supernatural agency.  Your mind is a gift from God.  The human mind is a true miracle, not just a complex computer or an advanced animal brain.  There is much more to mind than just brain. 

IX. Man: Made in the Image of God.

            The Holy Bible makes clear that man is special because man is made in the image of God (see Gen 1:27).  Man is made intelligent and man is given the faculty of speech, not by random evolutionary developments.  Man is what he is for the purpose of pleasing the God who made him, the God who made the entire universe [to see that God made the universe please click on INFINITY #2: Purpose and Order in the Universe.]

X. The God Who Gave You Intelligence Wants Your Fellowship.

            As part of your God given nature you were made with a built in desire to worship.  Everyone worships – depends on – trusts in something.  Now that you understand that your human nature and your gift of intelligence are gifts from God, why not turn your worship toward the one true God.