Book Review: The Emerging Mind: Reith lectures 2003

The Emerging Mind: Reith lectures 2003The Emerging Mind: Reith lectures 2003 by V.S. Ramachandran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is based on Dr. V. Ramachandran lectures on neuroscience. Though most of these contents were already been covered in his previous books like “The tell tale Brain” and “Phantoms in the Brain”, this book helped me refresh through it.

This book explains about the inner workings of brain that was written in layman terms. Dr. Ramachandran starts explaining his experiences with his patient’s neurological problems and tries to analyse the root cause of these problems which might have triggered from the patient’s brain. That actually helps understanding the integral part that the brain is taking in our everday life.

He covers many topics like arts and aesthetics, evolution of human brains, free will, qualia, consiousness and so on with respect to brain. Many neurological phenomena’s were discussed to provide good understanding of one’s Self which would prove that it is just an illusion created by the brain itself.

I believe Neuroscience is best explained in his books. I would recommand this to everyone who wants to know How brain works?!

It was great read.

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Oh My God, Where are you??? – Part 3


Chemistry is beautiful. I never liked that subject when I was schooling and don’t ask me “how much you scored in your board exams?” I’m just an above average student (That may be the reason for the ridiculous questions that I’m asking). But when I started understanding the elements in the periodic table and their reaction on certain situations, I started liking the subject in every aspect. I wonder on seeing chemistry influences in everyday life. Every object is made up of molecules with certain type of chemical elements. Each element has own property. But every element is made up of atoms which differ at the number of electrons.

Atoms have four forces (strong nuclear force, electromagnetic force, gravitational force and weak force) to keep protons, neutrons and electrons together. Protons repel each other as they are positively charged. Electrons do repel each other as they are negatively charged. Protons and Electrons attract each other as the charges are different. Nucleus of an atom is packed with Protons and Neutrons using a Strong nuclear force. That is the reason for which the electrons are moving around nucleus of an atom. This is astounding.  It is so structured. Well designed. Good. But who could possibly be the creator of the extraordinary architecture of an atom? Who should have created these forces? To say if it was random, there would have been other chances for the architecture of an atom. However, this type of architecture won the probability and stability to structure by its own.

Which is the fastest processor in the world? Don’t tell me it is “Pentium Core Millennia V2 Processor with Speed 1 Terra Hz and Memory 1 Zeta Byte”. This processor may be bit slower than the world’s fastest processor. Yeah, it’s our brain. Oh wait… don’t just start to compute the next Mersenne’s prime number. I just told fastest processor in terms of multitasking, resource scheduling, analyzing, decision making and so on. Brain runs an extraordinary memory management program and controls the critical events happening inside the body. But how does the brain have the intelligence of learning and adapting? Does god gives that power to every brain?  Or should it be a survival instinct? If survival doesn’t works, no organisms would have existed in this world. Could god be the programmer for this survival instinct inside DNA? Or it was developed by the organisms itself through generations? Simplifying the questions will give us the question “Is it Random or God’s creations?”

Randomness is based on the probability. Probability is based on chances of an event to occur. I admire nature as it shows the permutation and combination using available chances. God wouldn’t want to reason every one by keeping the hints here and there using the randomness. By the way, could god have created everything, for the purpose of man, who could explore each and everything in the universe to get the sophisticated life in the world? Why he should have created this universe only for man? God must be having some other plans or he/she should be simply choosing random choices from the available chances.

I do not completely deny the existence of God. But I’ve only a minimal belief (Say, 1%). I could not simply accept that God is watching me. He/she might be having some other important work than that. We need a moral support on our hard situations. Believing God will be a moral support for peoples on those situations, even he/she doesn’t do anything. I used to think “Does god really exist?” when lots of people die on the case of natural events like Tsunami, Earthquakes, Floods and so on. If God exist, those will not happen without the knowledge of him/her. Does he play with the life of everything in the planet? Or God simply does it for no reason? Or God doesn’t care about the importance of our life? In the movie Dasavatharam, Govind (Kamal Hasan) will say at last “Will be good if God exist”. Yes. I would say the same. If he/she exists there will be a peaceful life around the world for every living being.

Once, I had posted in facebook saying that “I don’t believe god, because god doesn’t believes me” This could be a confusing one liner. I said this, because how could I believe even if the God exists, when he/she is playing randomness with the universe? Even if I believe god, he/she will not believe me as I’m just a social animal. I could hear a mind voice saying “hey shaitaan… you will definitely go to hell…”