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Journey to the Center of the Brain

Explaining Mind in a Universe of Matter

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

“There has to be innate circuitry that does the learning, that creates the culture, that acquires the culture, and that responds to socialization.”—Steven Pinker

To begin a review of a book about God’s place in neurology, as well as all science, with a quote from Steven Pinker, known for his strong beliefs in evolutionary psychology, may seem inappropriate, if not confrontational, but one only has to examine the following quote from Glenn G. Dudley, MD, to see that theories of evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive and appear to based in one’s beliefs. Or, in Dudley’s case, faith. He writes, “…it is all too easy to analyze the molecular, chemical and physiological nature of the brain without ever acknowledging that [visual field] has a precise thermodynamic equivalent—a conclusion which makes sense only if the universe is fundamentally personal and God-centered.” It isn’t a stretch to say Pinker’s “innate circuitry,” is as Dudley says, “Just as each molecule in the brain is a part in relation to the whole, so each of us is molecular relative to God.”

Dudley has more than challenged the theory of evolution. He has grabbed evolution and its proponents by their horns and has wrestled them to the ground. Like a martial artist, he has turned the weight of their arguments and theories (like the string theory), and so-called evidence, such as the fossil record, against them.

Journey to the Center of the Brain addresses the “mind-body problem”: how the mind relates to the body. According to Dudley, if we are in a “God-centered universe” the mind-body problem is no longer a problem and consciousness is nothing more than humans showing a visual response to a predetermined image. Recognition and immersion, within that image, causes a thermodynamic (“energy-sufficiency”) reaction and we move away from weightless infinity (death) toward light and life “enhanced tendency toward survival.”

The author proposes that, “Just as spacetime requires a relationship between objects, so the brain as the mediator of an image is defined by the relationship of its parts. As primary reality, the self is not physically ‘attached’ to any of these parts and consequently avoids an infinite regress: endlessly smaller observers within the brain—a paradox that remains a mystery from an evolutionary perspective. The solution…consciousness and the laws of physics are intrinsically bound. Then and only then can the ‘will’ make final decisions as the outcome of a vector of anticipations or tendencies. This requires, in turn, that we have been made in the image of God. The challenge is to stop seeing mind as somehow, if ethereally, akin to matter and appreciate that it is an aspect of God—utterly fundamental.”

An immense book, Journey to the Center of the Brain contains a long preface, sixty-three page introduction, and a glossary, one that is important for understanding the nuances and usage of Dudley’s terminology. The rest of the book is divided into two parts: 1) Philosophical Perspective, consisting of four chapters, and 2) The Neuroanatomical Self, which consists of ten chapters. Each chapter is divided further into sub-categories. This book is not an easy read though the author highly recommends against skimming through the book. Readers must carefully consider the author’s concepts. A slow digestion of the material is recommended.

A five-hundred-word review can scarcely broach the magnitude of this book. Not only a volume about consciousness, Journey also discusses the meaning of man in a God-centered universe. The author reiterates his ideas, sometimes almost to the point of monotony, but readers will soon understand that it is important to grasp one idea before moving on to the next. Dudley’s expansive knowledge of philosophy, neurology, the sciences, and theology is humbling. He is a generous and patient teacher, his excitement is infectious, and at times he goes off on tangents and shares his epiphanies with readers, such as ideas for his next book.

Readers may be piqued by some of Dudley’s theories about human sexuality, sickness, and disease, but his research is impeccably sound. His medical background is indisputable. One cannot find fault with Dudley’s faith. He writes, “We cannot comprehend the reality and power of an invisible and infinite God who transcends space and time.”

Lee Gooden