Physical Reality

Rule 9,10,11 & 12

I don’t know how many of you reading this will remember the scene in the original movie Jurassic Park, but what it amounted to was a theropod dinosaur attacking a herd of small dinosaurs. In that scene you can see the same action that has been repeated untold billions of times on the land in the air and oceans of this planet in the predator – prey cycle of life.

The carnivorous dinosaur has spotted the small herbivorous dinosaurs and sneaks up on them. When the first cry of alarm is given the heard of small dinosaurs take off following their "leader". In this reaction there is no analytical thought given to the action of running or which way to run such as there was in the analytical thought given to sneaking up on the heard. And this is very critical for both the theropod and their victims. The theropod must think about what they are doing when stalking their prey in order to survive. On the other hand, the prey dinosaurs must just react holistically (instinctively) to whatever their leader does in order for the species to survive.

Hence reality itself then produces the effect that both analytical thinking and holistic reaction will pass along your genes. So we can consider that this thinking things through or just reacting are advantageous depending on which you are, predator or prey. Predators need more ability to analyze and plan while prey needs more unquestioned reactions and a leader.

These two processes, analytical thinking and holostic reaction have one very distinct difference and that difference is the time it takes to accomplish the two events. Analytical thinking occurs in the second’s minutes hours range while holistic reaction is occurring in the hundredths, or tenths of a second time range.

We also know that many of our reactions do not come about because of thought but rather they are mostly fully automatic. Things like our heartbeat, balance, head eye coordination etc. are not things that we actually think about, they are just things that are physically built into us or through practice as we grew become rather well-defined and automatic. One example of that would be the Vestibulospinal tract. The vestibulospinal tract is part of the extrapyramidal system of the central nervous system, a system that does not travel through the pyramids of the medulla, the area which signals voluntary motor actions. This lets it perform its functions based on physical properties without the delay of thought interfering, allowing balance, head/eye coordination, etc. it is a high speed body system.

Our thought processes, such as deciding to get off our chair and get a drink of water are processed through the higher order thinking systems of the brain then they pass through the pyramids of the medulla to combine with the automatic signals to produce the end result of walking over and getting a drink of water while not falling down at every step!

This also points to the fact that there are different parts of the brain that do different things. This is most striking when dealing with people who have had their corpus callosum split in two to stop seizures due to epilepsy. The corpus callosum is the interconnect between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. When cut, people continue to function pretty much normally on a daily basis and are not so much aware that there is anything different, but when tested they show some very unique characteristics.

The characteristics they show are not always obvious in the characteristics of people born without a or a deficient corpus callosum. This is thought to be due primarily to the fact that those born with an incomplete interconnect develop other interconnects through different parts of their brain as they develop. Those born without this interconnect do generally suffer with some type of mental problems varying from very slight problems in social interaction to very severe with exceptional mental inability.

Since we wish to understand how the average person develops and what develops in their brain we will concentrate on those that have had their corpus callosum surgically separated once their average brain has developed. When you do that you find that there are some very strange physical aspects such as when someone sees something in the left half of their eyes they cannot say what they saw, but they can draw a picture of what they saw with their left hand. This is because speech is developed in the left hemisphere of the brain but the left half of both eyes are transmitted to the right half of the brain. And since the speech center does not know what the right half of the brain saw it cannot say what was seen. But the right half of the brain controls the left body muscles. And as such the left body muscles can draw a picture of what is in the right half of the brain so the person cannot say what they saw, but they can draw a picture of it with their left hand.

There are various other functions more strongly “associated” with each hemisphere of the brain and will either express themselves with what that side of the brain controls or if the action is controlled by both sides it may be more accurately expressed with one of the physical characteristics of expression of one half of the brain or the other.

The left hemisphere of the brain is strongest in analytical thought, logic, language, science & math, speech, the right side muscles of your body, and the right visual and left auditory fields. The higher-order functions in the left hemisphere not concerning itself with muscles are fundamentally logic oriented.

While the right side of the brain is strongest in holistic thought, intuition, creativity, art and music, analysis by touch, spatial visualization & analysis, the left side muscles and the right auditory fields. So fundamentally the higher-order functions in the right hemisphere concerns itself mostly with holostic thinking. Please note that holistic thinking does not require that the details be know about something, but rather concerns itself with the general meaning of something.

Now we get to the question of is theism and atheism a birth condition or a choice? One researcher, neurologist VS Ramachandran was working with a patient who had their corpus callosum split due to severe epileptic seizures. During his testing he had experiments set up where he would show this person pictures or ask them questions. Then he would get two responses from them, one was a speech answer usually yes, no, or I don’t know. The second response was to have him point to the word yes or no or I don’t know with his left hand.

So while he was questioning him he asked him if he believed in God. The man spoke the word no and pointed to the word yes. In other words the left half of his brain did not believe in god, but the right half of his brain did believe in God. And this fits the general characteristics of the two hemispheres of the brain.

From this we can pretty well deduce that since the left logical side of the brain does not believe in god and atheists tend towards logical thinking this is a condition of the normal structure of the average normally developed brain where the left hemisphere is dominent. On the other hand, the right side holistic dominant thinkers do not question their details as much and they are the theists. And since these two hemispheres are part of the normally healthy developed mind it would only make sense that both analytic and holistic thinkers are influenced primarily by their genetic makeup and their interpretation of their life’s experience defining what their reality is.

There is a similar reaction that we know of where we have two conflicting thought processes residing in our brains. That would be the fight or flight characteristics of people. We know both of these conditions exist because people actually exhibit these two characteristics. And although it is not known where these characteristics are derived from in the brain it is obvious that one can be born with one characteristic or the other being dominant and not single characteristics, since military training can cause one to have these characteristics but overcome them to survive in a battle.

So having two contradictory characteristics is not necessarily a bad thing, and in many cases may be an advantage. We know that technology (including farming, ranching, weapons, etc.) has placed man at the top of the food chain on the earth. We also know that technology is developed through the logical thought processes in that they require one to take the time to think things through logically and then act on them.

If these thought processes follow the typical bell curve, and since atheists make up about 10% of the worlds population it should follow that about 10% of the worlds population should be extreme theists and the other 80% of humanity would be somewhere in between these two extremes. They would have varying degrees of logic and emotion, being able to understand and react favorably to both arguments easier than the two extremes.

This is not to say that the two extremes cannot respond as the other. Such as the atheist understanding the loss one feels when someone they know dies, or the not atheist being able to figure out logic circuits in computers, but rather it has to do with the intensity and ease with which each group handles the different scenarios.

It’s kind like the best runners in the world, male and female. We know that the top 12 male runners can out run the top female runner. But the top female runner can outrun about 3.5 Billion male runners. So, when we equate males to logical thinkers we see that the best will be left brain thinkers, but the holistic female thinkers are still a force to be dealt with in this field.

It would also make sense from a favorable evolutionary outcome that the analytical people not be the majority, since that would result in reaction by delayed logic, not a viable survival method since the predators could simply rush head long and each grab a meal while everyone was deciding which way to go. But, by the same token if the majority were extreme holistic leaders then every one would go their own way rapidly and all the predators would have to do is circle the prey for each and every predator to grab a meal, not a viable survival technique.

The reason the holistic follow the leader works is because the one leader leads the “herd”; and if the predators bunch up there is a reduced chance the leader will head into the bunch of predators, and if the predators surround the prey then more than likely only 1 member of the flock will be taken as a predator meal.

But regardless of what percentage of the population each group is, it is without a doubt that both extremes and those in between are all birth conditions due to the separation of thought processes in the two hemispheres of our brain.

But where does god come from? God seems to be the manifestation of self awareness and the realization that it is possible for others and yourself to longer exist, as in being eaten or not responding and rotting away. When able to understand the consequences of these two, intelligent beings begin to seek comfort to ward off this fear. It probably started in our ancient ancestors millions of years ago as the leader being the one who could save you from a predator. The leader provided comfort and protection to the members of the herd.

As our ancestors began advancing this leader started by protecting the herd from physical harm, and then from the things that “go bump in the night” and so on. Eventually our intelligence took us beyond the herd to “communities”, cities, states, nations, etc. And along the way our “leader” became less directly known and known more as some far off leader who controlled what we did. From there the leader became a god who we could not see but controlled our natural world and of course the god spoke through the leader, and thus was controlled by the leader. From there the gods became what they are today.

If it holds that the above logic is true then one would expect that when the insistence on a god drops off then there may be a slight increase in the number of atheists due to the reduced stigma of not being one of the theists, but the majority of the shift should be toward simply being spiritual and believing in something after physical death. This should manifest itself as a condition of still holding on to the group and its associated safety and having something concrete and simple to guide you through those times of life that are challenging in one way or another.

Our evolution is that of both prey and predator and thus we have had to rely not on one method of survival, but rather both methods. But our reality has changed from a desperate attempt to just stay alive to one of dominance. In todays world where mankind is to the point were we are not only at the top of the food chain but can also control the food chain to some extent there is no longer a need for the primary survival method to be holistic. As a matter of fact with the weapons and other technologies we have now it may be counter productive to have the leaders as holistic.

Based on the history of mankind it seems obvious that the holistic leader peaked out around 2000 years ago when the technologies of the various civilizations was advanced enough for mankind to begin dominating the food chain. Since then each of earths societies has gone through a boom bust society of a fight between the two physical characteristics in the form of religious fervor and then enlightenment. This cycle has continued even into the 21st century.

To bring this boom bust cycle to a halt and ensure mankind’s health, happiness and survival in the future it would be better to inject more analytical thought into our species societies and leaders in the future . One of the few ways to accomplish that is for us, the logicians, to begin inserting our influence into the worlds societies. But we must remember that we cannot talk people out of their evolutionary instincts because they are physical facts embedded within each individuals brains and as such we must provide those things that are a physical part of us. We must provide a viable group as well as a good set of rules for everybody to overcome the stressful times in their lives.

Insistence that the others change to analytical thinking and atheism is not a realistic expectation, any more than we can just change to theists. We need to work towards providing what is needed in a way that the vast majority can find acceptable in the way their minds work. That is not to say we must support the present day religions, as all of them allow and sometimes promote crimes against humanity, but we must provide a viable alternative.

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and the as well as any noted 3rd party attributions.

Further reading:

Psychological approach to thinking methods

Neurologist VS Ramachandran explains the case of split-brain patients with one hemisphere without a belief in a god, and the other with a belief in a god.

First Look: Brains missing key left-right bridge from birth compensate

Latest on left right brain from NPR