The Uniqueness of the Brain Creation
The Secrets of the Brain
The well-known neuroscientist David Ottoson – author of the "Challenges and Perspectives in Neuroscience" – says in the introduction of the book: "It is impossible for neuroscientists at any day, whether at the present time or the future, to fathom the mysteries of the brain and reveal his secrets definitely and with no doubt, because the human brain cannot understand himself."
Is it Possible for Computers to Surpass the Brain's Performance in the Future?
Hans Moravec, a scientist specialized in both neurology and computer science, made a comparison between the most modern computers in the year 2000 and the human brain. In the comparison, he did not take a part of the brain to compare with the modern computer. He resorted to the retina because of the extreme complexity of the brain parts. He did so based on the fact that the retina is a part of the brain extending to the back of the eye. The result of the comparison implemented in the experiment is that the efficiency of the modern computer resembles the efficiency of the brain of a small ant. Also, if the progress of computers continued in this increasing pattern, it is expected that the efficiency of computers would reach the brain efficiency of the simplest reptiles (salamanders) after forty years, i.e. 2040.
As for the human brain, computer science cannot produce a machine that matches the brain's efficiency, neither now nor in the future, because the brain's efficiency matches a million of advanced computers working at the same time. If we assess the electric power consumed by these computers all at once, we will find out that it is about 100 thousand Amp, while the single human brain consumes 6 watt per minute (0.1 Amp).
The Accurate Creation of Nerve Fibers
Scientists tried in the sixties of the last century – in the American Neuroscience Research Centers – to produce cables to match the abilities of the nerve fibers. After years of profound studies, they found out that the resistance of a one-meter nerve fiber (that means a nerve fiber extending from the spinal cord to the sole) equals the resistance of its copper counterpart with a length that equals ten times the distance between the Earth and Mars, i.e. 10×1300 thousand kilometers. The miracle does not only lie in the resistance, but also in the fact that if you send a thousand volt signal through a wire of this huge cosmic length, it will disperse in this long distance and nothing will reach the other end. On the other hand, the signal sent through the spinal cord carrying 100 millivolt (0.1 volt) will arrive without losing any energy at the end of the nerve fiber in the feet. This fact compelled scientists to confirm the impossibility of imitating one nerve fiber. Thus, we cannot say that it is possible to imitate the brain and its cells, fibers and highly complex functions to a miraculous extent. In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful: "This is the creation of Allah. So show Me what those other than Him have created. Rather, the wrongdoers are in clear error." (Luqman: 11)
No human, regardless of his degree of knowledge and power of imagination, can visualize the brilliant complexity of the human brain. Scientists agree that the brain is the most complex creation of Almighty Allah in this universe. This is confirmed by the well-known neuroscientist Wilder Penfield when he said: "The human brain is a small universe; it is not less complex than the big universe. Just as like Allah manifests His glory to His creation in the big universe, He also is manifested in the small universe." The complexity level of the brain structure is enormous, the number of nerve cells in the human brain is ten thousand million nerve cells, an easy number to be pronounced but difficult to imagine. There are other cells in the brain that have the function of feeding and supporting neurons, their number is ten times of nerve cells (100 thousand million cells). As for the nerve fibers, it is enough to mention one aspect about them to imagine their complexity. For example, the Corpus Callosum contains 300 million nerve fibers, it links the right lobe with the left lobe of the brain, the number of nerve signals passing through it is 4 billion signals per second so that one lobe knows what the other one is doing!!!
There is another fact that shows the great complexity of nerve cells which is that each neuron receives ten thousand synapses coming from all parts of the brain, except for the frontal lobe and cerebellum. In the frontal lobe, each cell receives forty thousand synapses, but as for the cerebellum, one type of its five types of cells, namely the Purkinje cells - 30 million cells - each of them receives one million synapses!!
The Brain Controls the Various Functions of the Body
In the eighteenth century, the common belief in the scientific community was that functions are randomly distributed to the different areas of the brain, and there is no estimation or law for that. But it has changed in the mid-nineteenth century onwards as it has been proven beyond doubt that this theory is wrong, since there is a tight and accurate distribution of the various functions to specific areas of the brain. For example, the function of the occipital lobe – located in the back of the brain – is seeing in specific, while the functions of the frontal lobe are thinking, sound decision-making and handling part of the memory. Also, it contains the motor strip which controls the movement of the facing part of the body (the face and the upper and lower parts), and the same goes for the rest of parts. Almighty Allah says: "…and has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination." (Al-Furqan: 2)
As for the emotions and human feelings, like love, hate, joy, sadness, anxiety and confidence and their relationship with the brain, there is a whole system in the depths of the brain called the Emotional Limbic System, its sole function is the emotions and feelings.
The Relationship between the Soul, Will and the Brain
There are several stages to determine this relationship through the development of neuroscience, which is still the main concern for many neuroscientists. In short, the soul - according to the data of modern science - dominates the brain in every sense of the word, the soul understands the brain's signals, and she directs him (i.e. the soul is the source of will) to do a certain act. It is like the relationship between a king and his soldiers.
Finally, the most appropriate conclusion is the words of Almighty Allah. In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful: "We have created you, so why do you not believe?" (Al-Waqi'ah)
Yes… We believe and have faith in You, our Lord, and why would not we when we see the greatness of Your creation, the wonder of Your work and the miracle of Your estimation??!
* The scientific books specialized in neurosciences that are translated by Prof. Dr. Ahmed Adnan, the neurosurgical specialist at the Center for Neuroscience in Baghdad.