Mind & Soul

It is our brain power that sets humans apart from other animals. Nevertheless, we are members of the animal kingdom and share most of the anatomic and physiologic features that are present in all mammals. Religious persons, whether they accept evolution or not, believe that man is a unique form of life, made in God's image, and that it is our soul that separates us from animals.

Raised in the Catholic Church, I was taught that the soul is some sort of glowing organ, which brightens or darkens in response to our behaviour, and that our primary goal in life is to save that soul by keeping it pure. Indeed, in the view of devout Catholics, the soul is a celestial score card that will determine one's eternal fate upon their earthly demise.

While not religious, I do respect the concept of a soul; however, in my view, it is the reflection of man's instinctual will to live. In this respect, we are no different than other life forms, fueled by our genes and guided by our experience. Man's image of the soul, which varies among cultures and religions, is just another consequence of our large, powerful brains, which enable us to ponder, reason, imagine and believe.