Wednesday, July 6: Brain, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Heart: To be human is to be more than a body

Both Revelation and Greek philosophy has posited some ‘extra’ addition to human nature not shared with other creatures. This character later became known as the human soul.  Some have claimed it is both spiritual and immortal. Thomas Aquinas delineated quite well the characteristics of the human soul, all of which have been verified by brain research. But do we really have an immortal soul, or was it just a construct to try to account for complex human abilities? We will consider whether life after death requires a spiritual side of human nature. Finally the talk will review both Scriptural and philosophical understandings and then compare them with neuroscience findings. It will ask what is left when the abilities found in the brain have accounted for most of our behavior. Finally, we will try to detail the most up-to-date studies on what consciousness is.

About our presenter:

Chick Keller, is a Catholic High school graduate of 1957, got an AB in philosophy from St. Vincent Benedictine College, Latrobe PA, in 1961, a BS in Physics and Mathematics from Penn State University in 1964, and PhD in Astrophysics and Astronomy from Indiana University in 1969. He worked at Los Alamos Scientific/National Lab from 1969 to 2001 on computer modeling of high energy underground motions and flows. He served as various group leaders and Director of LANL branch of Univ. of Cal. Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics in 1987-2000. He has studied climate change and global warming for 20 years with several review papers published. Initially, he decided to leave philosophy for science with a goal of getting back to philosophy with a science background. He enjoys reading and subsequent writing on science applied to faith.

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