Functional Brain or Boltzmann Brain?
Updated: May 16, 2021
When making decisions or drawing conclusions, it’s easy for us to take for granted that our own brain is functioning properly. Yet, how often do we stop and ask the question, how do we know if we can trust our own observations, inferences, and conclusions? The Bible-believing Christian has special revelation that helps us answer that question. The evolutionist does not have any transcendent standard or revelation within their materialistic, evolutionary worldview to help them provide an internally consistent answer to that question.
I’ve been leading and teaching a Creation Apologetics class at my local church. After posting a recording of one of these sessions on my personal Facebook page, I received a comment from one of my Facebook friends, a work acquaintance from 6+ years ago. Below is the transcript of the very brief conversation with EB (name is abbreviated for privacy).
Sorry dude, ain’t buying it. I actually have a functional brain like many others, and I can tell when I’m being sold crap in a brown bag despite being told it’s strawberry cheesecake and to shut up and eat it. No thank you!
Hi EB. I assume that you believe in biological evolution. If your "functional brain" is a byproduct of random chemical processes over eons of time, then how can you trust your own conclusions to be accurate?
I did not hear anything more from EB. In fact, EB deleted the comment thread and "unfriended" me on Facebook.
There is a certain irony within the evolutionary worldview regarding functional brains. Some evolutionists give credence to the “Boltzmann Brain” concept that essentially says that it is far more probable for your self-aware brain to randomly pop into existence, complete with artificial memories and experiences, than it is for the entire universe to pop into existence and lead up to the evolution of biologically evolved, conscious brains. This is a stunning admission by some evolutionists regarding the improbability of the universe’s existence, within their evolutionary worldview. Caveat: most evolutionists attempt to explain away the Boltzmann Brain problem. To learn more about the Boltzmann Brain problem, check out this article from Creation Ministries International: https://creation.com/universe-of-the-lone-brain.
If the conversation had continued with EB, then perhaps I would have mentioned the Boltzmann Brain concept, and also made mention of the following points:
· The concept of a functional brain enabling us to study and understand the universe only makes sense in a biblical worldview. God gave us the ability to reason and study the universe because we are made in His image (Gen 1:27).
· Although we have the ability to reason, our ability to discern truth is tainted by sin. God’s Word describes the human mind as “depraved” (Rom 1:28), “dull” (2 Cor 3:14), “blinded” (2 Cor 4:4), “futile” (Eph 4:17), “darkened” (Eph 4:18), “deceiving/deceptive” (Col 2:4,8), “corrupt/corrupted” (1 Tim 6:5, Titus 1:15), “depraved” (2 Tim 3:8), and so forth (using NIV translation with these particular scripture quotes).
· We need God’s special revelation through His Word in order to discern truth. As it is written in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (ESV).
· We need the Holy Spirit to discern truth and help us understand God's Word. The Holy Spirit can only come by repenting and placing our faith in the person and work of God the Son, Jesus. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit…”—Ephesians 1:13
Those four points provide a summary of what the Bible teaches about our minds, and it is enough to help us discern the truth. The Bible's explanation makes perfect sense of our brains, and infinitely more sense than biological evolution, Boltzmann Brain, or any other supposed natural origin of the tremendously complex organ that sits between our ears.