Why is it that the potential of our brains and our bodies is so much greater than our behaviour?
(This music, “MAKE MAN” © was written and recorded by me, years ago. Headphones on! Turn it up!)
This post is a repeat from five years ago, it’s edited a little, and it’s a sequel to a post titled, “God, Cows and Human Consciousness”.
According to the Smithsonian, there are an estimated 37.2 trillion cells in one human body (1). In each one of those cells are 20,000 to 25,000 genes located on 46 chromosomes (2). The nucleus of each cell in our bodies contains approximately 1.8 metres (European spelling) of DNA in total, although each strand is less than one millionth of a centimetre thick. (2). Every cell contains within itself thousands of molecular structures which operate as machines to service the cell.
The average human brain has about 100 billion neurons (nerve cells) and many more neuroglia (or glial cells) which serve to support and protect the neurons. Each neuron may be connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, passing signals to each other via as many as 1,000 trillion synaptic connections, equivalent by some estimates to a computer with a 1 trillion bit per second processor. Estimates of the human brain’s memory capacity vary wildly from 1 to 1,000 terabytes (for comparison, the 19 million volumes in the US Library of Congress represents about 10 terabytes of data…(3).
Considering the incredible design apparent within us, I have to ask myself why there are people cutting heads off of other people, extorting huge sums of money from those who are already poor, vandalizing and stealing property which their neighbours worked hard for, walking away from their own children, and acting out a whole host of other ills which plague human existence.
Yes, some people manage to complement their innate complexity by helping those in need without seeking enrichment, by developing incredible talents, or by helping to heal and to create. But as a whole, the human character has a sorry history. Why, if we evolved, is the design inherent in our bodies and brains so vastly superior to what we do with them? Why is it that this incredible machine that we all live in gets used to beat people up, two-time our spouses and lovers, sit around over-eating and over-drinking, and waste endless hours in trivial pursuits? Why is it that the most beautiful looking person can also sometimes be the most shallow and callous? Solomon wrote:
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion” (Proverbs 11:22).
And of course, the same can be said for the guys, right, girls?
God created humankind with great potential, but by turning our backs on Him we have forfeited and thrown away that potential. Mankind hasn’t evolved its way to our modern society and technological achievements-its all been developed by minds which we possessed from creation. Given enough time of peace and stability, we humans can achieve amazing things. But what we’ve done is nothing to what we could have done if we hadn’t turned our collective back on the Creator.
Our potential is not lost forever, though, because when Jesus Christ said “…whoever believes in me has eternal life”, he didn’t have in mind as that eternal reward a perpetual retirement plan, where we all sit around in clouds plucking harps and getting frumpy and bored. He had in mind the development and fulfilment of our potential as a never-ending way of life for those who have chosen to love Him and serve Him.
Those who think that worshipping and serving God is an empty, boring concept which “must” be wrong, are totally missing the point. How can a God who created the universe and everything in it, which itself “cannot contain him” be too small? How can a God who designed and made DNA, dinosaurs, deltas, dragonflies and diamonds be uninspiring? How can a God who knows all things be too narrow? How can a God who willingly died at the hands of his own creation in order to give every person on earth the chance to have eternal life be too exclusive and too judgmental?
How can a God who claims to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, be ignored? We were created to worship God: that’s why we’re here. And somehow, when we worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4) we are willingly engaging all the complexity of our bodies and brains with our spiritual nature in one incredible union with the holy and almighty being who created us in the first place, and who loves us eternally.