Neuroscience and the Soul

Last week I attended a lecture at Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought on the topic of “Neuroscience and the Soul.” The speaker, Dr. Kurt Thompson, a psychiatrist from Virginia, built off of this basic premise:

– According to Romans 1:20, creation declares the glory of God.

– Neuroscience is a part of creation.

– Therefore neuroscience declares the glory of God.

If this is true, Thompson wondered, why is neuroscience often used as a tool to ridicule God-belief? (Thompson was too gracious to say it, but noted “New Atheist” Sam Harris springs to mind as someone who leverages the language of neuroscience in order to diminish theism.)

I certainly am not a neuroscientist: the only things I know about the brain are from helping Becca study or listening to NPR. But Dr. Thompason did raise a fascinating question in my mind: neuroscience is held up as the definitive language of our culture. If you can cite a neuroscientific study, it is regarded as a more authoritative form of evidence than just about anything else out there. Therefore, how can Christians engage in the study and dissemination of the findings of neuroscience in a way that glorifies God and declares the gospel of Jesus Christ?

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