“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Miracle: Our Ability to Understand the World

…It’s worth noting that the best video game graphics or visual effects technology cannot compare to the human brain. Depth perception is rendered flawlessly, visual information processed in great detail and at great speed. No computer can process such enormous quantities of information at such a rate; no video card can continuously render a changing 3D environment with such smooth precision. And on top of all that, our brains compile sight and sound together with other senses to make a comprehensive environment layered with incomparable texture and intricacy – one wonders that our nervous system doesn’t break down under this immense task. And we take it all for granted. We generate “second lives” online and retreat to video games and movies (not that such things are bad, but they are often pursued at the expense of our involvement in the real world), as if our own world lacked visual splendour or an interesting plot. But what could be more worth pursuing than one’s own story and adventure!

In these last few posts I’ve been saying that things we observe in the world deserve our awe simply because they are there. What’s equally amazing is that we are able to see and hear these things and to make sense of our world, and not just in a rudimentary way, but with mental processing that far eclipses any computer. This ability to understand the world is truly incredible, and it is no more to be taken for granted than the world itself and the things we see in it. This world exists! We exist! And we can understand the world! These are truly remarkable facts.

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