The cerebellum (or “little brain”) has been getting a bad rap.
That’s what researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are saying. After years of research, mapping brain activity, and studying MRIs, a team of scientists have discovered that the role of the cerebellum is far more complex and important than previously believed.
The cerebellum is the part of the brain (located at its base) which controls the motor movements of the body. Yet this is a woeful understatement. Recently medical scientists have learned that controlling motor movements constitutes only 20 percent if the cerebellum’s function. The other 80 percent has to do with our “higher brain functions—not just movement, but attention, thinking, planning and decision-making.” So says, Nico Dosenbach (MD, PhD), an assistant professor of neurology, of occupational therapy and of pediatrics.
In fact, by tracking the electrical impulses of the brain, he’s discovered that the cerebellum is the very last station they travel through. Dr. Dosenbach and his team have determined that the cerebellum serves as a “quality control department” for the brain. Before it sends signals to the rest of the body, the cerebellum checks those impulses to ensure the information is correct. This is why, anytime the cerebellum is impaired (e.g. through alcohol consumption), a person’s judgment and reasoning, as well as his motor movements, are adversely affected. The cerebellum “smooths thoughts and movements out, corrects them, and perfects them.” But when the cerebellum is not doing its job, people think and behave stupidly. The cerebellum is far more significant and purposeful than scientists ever imagined.
Everything Is Complex
Have you noticed how all scientific discoveries tend to travel in that same direction? We consistently find that organs in our body or components in our brain contain far more complexity and purpose than we ever previously thought. It’s never the other way around. We never find that something we once believed to be significant and complex is actually simple and useless. Just think of the many so-called vestigial organs that Darwinian thinking used to believe (and still believes) were evolutionary throwbacks. For instance, the “tailbone,” the appendix, and the tonsils were once believed to be useless vestiges, leftovers from our “evolutionary history.” However, further scientific inquiry discovered that all of these organs are fully functional and essential to the health of our bodies.
Useless animals (e.g., bacteria, horseshoe crabs, mosquitoes) and plants (e.g., the Pacific yew, poison ivy) are now known to have great value to humanity. Our first impressions of these things was that they were worthless and useless. It took more scientific inquiry to find out how important they actually are.
Yes, so many body parts, animals, and plants received a bad rap. They’ve been written off as simple, worthless, and useless. But increased knowledge has revealed how complex, valuable, and purposeful they really are.
Yet nothing in our world developed such a bad rap as humanity. No creature on this planet receives such verbal and physical abuse as human beings do. And it’s all self-inflicted. We do it to each other. We reckon each other as worthless and useless. Yet our Creator’s actions and words indicate the very opposite. According to His word, God created us in His own image and made us capable of communicating with Him. He considered us so valuable that He judged His own Son in our place in order to save us and lavish His love upon us.
Scientific discovery continually reveals that all things have a far greater value, purpose, and significance than we ever believed. Isn’t it likely that this same science is going to verify what God’s been saying all along about people? That human beings are at the top of the hierarchy of all living things? That they are the most complex, valuable, and significant of God’s creatures? This is why God commands us to love our neighbor, even our enemies. For He loves us and has done everything in His power to save us.
Let us, therefore, honor and love one another. Take it from God—and from science. Human beings merit kindness, courtesy, love, and honor from each other.
Open my eyes, O God, and help me to see the profound significance and worth of every person. Help me to see others as You see them—as Your beloved children. Amen.
Information from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181025142018.htm
First in article photo: brain-neurons by Fotis Bobolas licensed through CC BY-SA 2.0
Second: Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash