October 1990


by Mark Looy, M.A.'

"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth."

-Jean de la Bruyere (17th century)

Even though the large majority of modern scientists still embrace an

evolutionary view of origins, there is a significant and growing number of

scientists who have abandoned evolution altogether and have accepted

creation instead.' This phenomenon of recent times has occurred not

only because many scientists recognize the dearth of evidence from

paleontology, biology, and other fields to support evolution, but also due

to the realization that the world around us is incredibly complex and

shows so many signs of design that it cries out for an Intelligent Designer.

Man shares with animals the ability to integrate sensory information

and to direct motor responses through a command center called the

brain. In higher vertebrates, the brain has the ability to learn, and, in the

case of humans, to think. The very fact that man possesses the capacity

to even think about thinking sets him further apart from animals. So,

too, does his brain's incredibly complex structure, which makes thinking


The adult brain-weighing only about three pounds and averaging

about 1400 cubic centimeters-contains about ten billion (1010) neurons.

The neuron (or nerve cell) is the basic unit of the brain. Each contains

branching fibers, called dendrites, and each neuron is in dendritic con-

tact with as many as 10,000 other neurons. Amazingly, the total number

of neuron interconnections (also called "bits") is approximately 1000

trillion (1011), and if the dendritic connections were laid end to end, they

would circle the earth more than four times.

Mark Looy coordinates ICR's "Back to Genesis" seminars and hosts the ICR

radio broadcast, "Science, Scripture, and Salvation." He holds an M.A. in

history from San Diego State University, and is currently working on his

doctorate in education.

To put this in another perspective, one could compare the human

brain to the most sophisticated of computers the super computer. The

Cray-2 Super computer has a speed of 109 computations per second.

More impressively, the brain's speed is perhaps 10". Furthermore, the

Cray-2 has a storage capacity of 1011 bits, as compared to 1014 bits in

the brain, making the brain equivalent to 1,000 super computers.2 Oxford

Professor Roger Penrose, evolutionist and author of the 1989 book, The

Emperor's New Mind, cautions, however, against stating that the human

brain is just a complex computer or that a computer will ever be able to

think (i.e., artificial intelligence): "The very fact that the mind leads us

to truths that are not computable convinces me that a computer can never

duplicate the mind."3 The brain's sophistication has also prompted pro-

lific science writer (and evolutionist) Isaac Asimov to acknowledge that

"in Man is a three-pound brain which, as far as we know, is the most

complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe."4

In his iconoclastic volume, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, evolutionist

Michael Denton has offered the following descriptive observation and

analogy regarding the brain's 1011 connections:

Numbers in the order of 1015 are of course completely beyond

comprehension. Imagine an area about half the size of the USA (one

million square miles) covered in a forest of trees containing ten

thousand trees per square mile. If each tree contained ten thousand

leaves,the total number of leaves in the forest would be 1011, equiva-

lent to the number of connections in the human brain.5

Although Dr. Denton is not a creationist, he argues a good case

against the random chance (mindless) processes of evolution bringing

about higher forms of life and a correspondingly complex brain, noting

that the human brain contains a "forest of fibers [which] is not a chaotic

random tangle but a highly organized network ... [with] communication

channels following their own specially ordained pathways through the

brain"' (emphasis ours). Denton also concludes that it "would take an

eternity" for engineers to assemble an object remotely resembling the

brain,using the most sophisticated engineering techniques.7

Not only does the incredible design of the brain point to a Master

Designer, but so, too, does the Law of Cause and Effect. Simply put, this

law states that every phenomenon is an effect of a cause, and that no

effect can be measurably greater than its cause. Therefore, using causal

reasoning, the first cause of intelligence must be of supreme intelligence.

How, then, does the evolutionist explain the origin and function of the

brain? Darwin, himself, conceded in Origin of Species that the formation

of the eye-a part of the nervous system over which the brain is in

charge-by natural selection "seems, I freely confess, absurd in the high-

est degree."' Yet he claimed that it must have happened anyway. In

addition, evolutionary writer Lewis Thomas candidly admits regarding the

brain's operation: "We know a lot about the structure and function of

the cells and fibers of the human brain, but we haven't the ghost of an

idea about how this extraordinary organ works to produce awareness."9

Many evolutionists either avoid the question altogether-Nobel

laureate and evolutionist John Eccles declared it to be "extraordinary

that there has been so little publication on the brain's development

during the most important creative process of biological evolution"10 or

offer bizarre theories." But recently, some evolutionists have seriously

endeavored to suggest possible mechanisms that could have produced

something as complex as the brain, but their theories, frankly, perhaps

only reveal that many evolutionary scientists are more right-brain (crea-

tive) than left-brain (cogitative) inclined. For example, in his recent book,

Evolution of the Human Brain (1989), Eccles wrote that "while recogniz-

ing that much is unknown or only imperfectly known, I have been able to

unfold the fascinating story of hominid evolution of the human brain

using creative imagination restrained by rational CritiCiSM"12 (emphasis


At any rate, the most common mechanisms cited are natural selection

and mutations. In Richard Dawkins' lucidly written, The Blind Watch-

maker, he attempts to counter the oft-used creationist argument that,

just as a watch is too complicated and purposeful to have come about by

accident, so, too, are living things-especially humans. Dawkins main-

tains that "natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process

which Darwin discovered"" is the mechanism that has brought about

higher forms of life, and, by implication, the highest manifestation of

life's complexity: the human brain." This is pure speculation, of course,

on Dawkins' part. No scientist has ever observed natural selection (also

known as "survival of the fittest") bringing about a new trait or animal.

Another evolutionist, Carl Sagan, has tackled the brain's origin with

lyrical (and very creative) writing in The Dragons of Eden. " Sagan's sub-

title reveals the non-scientific nature of his study: "Speculations on the

Evolution of Human Intelligence" (emphasis ours). Sagan declares that

mutations-mistakes in the genetic makeup of a molecule-are the raw

materials of evolutionary development."

Genes, however, are very stable; they rarely change. Furthermore,

mutations, when they occur, are usually lethal and almost always harm-

ful.16 The evolution of just one species into another would require hun-

dreds (thousands? millions?) of accumulated beneficial mutations. Clearly,

the human brain could not be conceived as having been formed by such

" mistakes." Mindless evolution could never, even in a trillion years,

produce the human brain. In fact, it is so overly complex that most of it

remains unused, yet another conundrum for evolutionists.

It must be acknowledged that one cannot prove, scientifically, that the

animal or human brain was created by a Supreme Intelligence. The

question of origins-creation or evolution is almost entirely outside the

experimental domain of science, for whenever the first brain was

formed, there were no human observers. Cognitively, however, and from

observation, it is reasonable to conclude that the human brain was

created; it certainly requires more faith to believe the brain was formed

by mindless evolution than it does to believe it was created. It was the

Apostle Paul who declared the obvious: "For the invisible things of Him

from the creation of the world are clearly seen" (Romans 1:20).

The question of origins is of supreme importance even though ulti-

mately it is outside the domain of experimental science. As we seek our

identity in a vast universe, what we believe about origins will influence

how we think and how we view our destiny. If we choose to believe that

we are the product of chance, random processes (evolution), where man

is perhaps merely of the highest order, then we will possess a materialis-

tic and relativistic philosophy. On the other hand, if we choose to believe

that our brain was created by a Master Intelligence, then we will have a

theological world view, one which should prompt us to use our minds to

understand His purpose for His creation. This was, after all, the conclu-

sion of no less than Isaac Newton, a creationist, and, arguably, the

greatest of all scientists, who declared that we had been created "to

think God's thoughts after Him."


1. By evolution, we eari "macro evolution," i.e., niolecules to man

evolution; we do not mean micro evolution (variation, adaptation,

which is not "vertical" in direction).

2 Donald B. DeYoung and Richard B. Bliss, "Thinking About the Brain,"

Acts & Facts

Impact Article #200 (El Cajon, California: Institute for Creation Research, February

1990), P. ii.

3. "Those Computers Are Dummies, Tinie Vol. 135, No. 26, Jutic 25, 1990, pp. 74-75.

4. Isaac Asimov, "In the Game of Energy and Tlieriiodyidinics You Can't

Even Break Even," Smithsonian Journal (June 1970), p. 10.

S. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory In Crisis (London: Burnett

Books, Ltd., 1985), p. 330.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid, p. 331.

8. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species (New York: Avenel Books, 1979), p. 217.

9. Lewis Thomas, "On Science and Uncertainty," Discoverer (October 1980) p. 59.

10. John C. Eccles, Evolution of the Brain:

11. DeYoung and Bliss, "Thinking About tile Brain," p. iii.

12. Eccles, Evolution of the Human Brain, p. xi.

13. Richard Dawkins, the Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton)

& Company, 1987), p. 5.

14. Carl Sagan, The Dt-a_qons of Eden: ST)ectilutions oti the Euoititiori of HL)mari fritelli-

gence (New York: Ballantitie Books, 1977).

15. Ibid., p. 27.

16. Regarding the proposed evolutionary m(2chaiiisms of mutations dad iiatl]ral selection,

evolutionist Jeffrey Wicketi lias written: "As a generative principle, providing the raw

material for natural selection, random mutation is inadequate, both iii scope and theo

retical grounding." ("The Generation of Complexity iti Evolutioti: A Tliertiiodytianiic

and Information Theoretical Discussist)." Jotirncil of T7ieoretical Biology, Vol. 77 (April

1979), p. 349).