The Human Brain

One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of...

One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of the human brain. After a particularly lacklustre discussion in my religion class, our teacher gave us an extra writing assignment. “Who is responsible,” she posed to the class, “for the loss of life at Jonestown and Waco?" (These were both disasters involving apocalyptic sects.) After concluding in my paper that they were everyone’s fault, I was still left with questions. What makes certain people susceptible to ideas that most people would consider ludicrous, like fundamental or heavily apocalyptic religion?

Hoping for some clue, I took Human Physiology, knowing that most the term would be spent on the nervous system. I learned more about serotonin and dopamine, but not much else. At least I had discovered even experts understood little of the human brain. Our brain is an utterly fascinating organ. It is the only body part that can contemplate itself; while we use all of our brains, very little of it is mapped. Depending on how we use our brains, they are literally rewired as neurons strengthen and create synapses that we use and destroy the ones we don’t.

But that strategy seems limiting. Will history majors lose the ability to recall and explain the...

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