Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Maybe figures would speak louder than statements.

As quoted in the World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world:

“. . . Christianity has experienced massive losses in the Western and Communist worlds over the last 60 years. In the Sovient Union, Christians have fallen from 83.6% in 1900 to 36.1% today. In Europe and North America, nett defections from Christianity—converts to other religions or to irreligion — are now running at 1, 820, 500 former Christians a year. This loss is much higher . . . .”[1]

According to a Christian magazine, The Plain Truth,[2]with its source books being the World Almanac and Book of Facts 1935, Reader’s Digest Almanac and Yearbook 1983, it acknowledged that in a span of fifty years (1934 – 1984):

From the figures given in that magazine, if we pick only three religions, it would appear as follows:

Shedding light on the unparalleled Muslim revival, the article which appeared in The Plane Truth in 1984 stated that, “In contrast to declining church memberships in the West, news reports would have told you of an opposite trend in the Moslem world. Islam would become the world’s fastest-growing religion . . .”[3]and truly as predicted, Islam is now the fastest-growing religion.As a matter of fact, the Vatican admits that Islam has overtaken Catholicism, “For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,” Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Formenti who compiles the Vatican’s yearbook said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population – a stable percentage – while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.[4]

Moreover, The World Christian Database (WCD) and its print predecessor the World Christian Encyclopedia (WCE) has reviewed religious populations around the world and released results of their investigations at various times. Refining from the tabulation of their results, to compare and contrast Islam and Christianity, the yearly growth rate percentage would be as follows:

[References for the figures provided see: Barrett, David B., George Thomas Kurian, and Todd M. Johnson. 2001. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions in the modern world. New York: Oxford University Press. p 4. Also see “The List: The World’s Fastest-Growing Religions.” Foreign Policy 14 May 2007.]

Talking about other non-Christian religions, the author of WCE’s stand is: “. . . we may believe those religions false or inadequate and may attempt to win them to faith in Jesus Christ . . . .”[5]Hoping that the data on these ‘deviant’ religions provided therein are objective and not manipulated in an attempt to win them to faith in Jesus Christ, we shall use it for our analysis. The World Christian Encyclopedia gives the number of both Muslims and Christians in 1900 and in 2000. The population of Christians in 1900 and 2000 were 558 056 332 and 2 019 921 366 respectively and that of Muslims in the same years were 200 102 284 and1 200 653 040 respectively.[6]

A simple formula for calculating a percentage Growth Rate (or Percent Change) between two different periods is given as follows:

Using the figures provided by the WCE, let’s calculate the Percentage Growth of Christianity between 1900 and 2000.

After calculating, the percentage growth of Christianity become 262%

Using the figures provided by the WCE, let’s now calculate the Percentage Growth of Islam between 1900 and 2000.

After calculating, the percentage growth of Islam become 500%

Still, Islam is leading with 500% Growth Rate whereas Christianity has 262% Growth rate. In 1997, statisticians at the US Center for World Mission stated that Christianity’s total number of adherents is growing at about 2.3% annually.[7]According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance Islam is growing at about 2.9% per year which is faster than the total world population which is increasing at about 2.3% annually.[8] Extrapolating from the past Islam’s growth trends, no difficulty should be encountered, then, in accepting that Islam will unquestionably surpass all religions of the world. On October 2009, Kenyan newspaper The Standard emerged with an article entitled: “one in every four is a Muslim as followers hits 1.57 billion worldwide.”[9] This figure was revealed by Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in a report which is billed as the most comprehensive of its kind. If in 2000, according to the The World Christian Database (WCD), the Muslims were 1.2 billion worldwide and 9 years later (i.e. 2009) Pew Forum concluded that Muslims had reached 1.57 billion worldwide, what will be the world Muslim population in the next 50 years? Time will tell.

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}
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FOOTNOTES


[1]. Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.p. 7.

[2]. Stump, Keith. W. “A Crucial Half Century of Religion.” The Plain Truth Feb. 1984 p.11.

[3]. Stump, Keith. W. “A Crucial Half Century of Religion.” The Plain Truth Feb. 1984 p.20.

[4]. Richard Owen. “Islam overtakes Catholicism as world’s largest religion.” Times 31 March 2008; also see Kington, Tom. “Number of Muslims ahead of Catholics, says Vatican.” The Guardian 31 March 2008; “Muslims outnumber Catholics.” PRESS TV. 30 Mar 2008 < http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=49503&sectionid=3510212&gt; ; Rizzo, Alessandra (Associated Press Writer). “Muslims More Numerous Than Catholics.” ABC News 30 March 2008; CBS News 30 March 2008.

[5]. Barrett, David B. Preface. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000. By Barrett. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

[6]. Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative study of churches and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.p. 6.

[7]. Greg H. Parsons, Executive Director, U.S. Center for World Mission, Pasadena, CA; quoted in Zondervan News Service, 21 Feb. 1997.

[8]. Robinson, B.A.  “Growth Rate of Christianity & Islam.” religioustolerance.org. 6 Nov. 2001. <http://www.religioustolerance.org/growth_isl_chr.htm&gt;; Also see Khan, Arshad. Islam, Muslims and America: Understanding the Basis of Their Conflict. Algora Publishing, 2003.p.29.

[9]. Gorski, Eric (AP Religion Writer). “One in every four is a Muslim as followers hits 1.57 billion worldwide.” The Standard 9 Oct. 2009. Also see Greene, Richard Allen. “Nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide is Muslim, report says.”CNN 8 Oct. 2009; <http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/07/muslim.world.population/index.html&gt;; Beaumont, Peter. “One in four people is Muslim, says study.” Guardian 8 Oct. 2009; Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. “Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population.” 8 Oct. 2009.

“You believe in God? So what? So does Satan. How are you different from him?”[1]

~ Dr. Laurence B. Brown, MD

Author of The Eighth Scroll, MisGod’ed, God’ed, and Bearing True Witness

“. . . had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together.” [Q 10:99] but life is a test, “In order that Allâh may distinguish the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists and doers of evil deeds) from the good (i.e. adherents of the true religion), and put the wicked one on another, heap them together and cast them into Hell. Those! it is they who are the losers.” [Q 8:37] Any first-rating thinker will agree with the verse:  “Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds.” [Q 18:7]. Many people are unaware that planet earth is an examination ‘room’ whereby “. . . the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.” [Deuteronomy 13:3] So we should always know that, “Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good” [Q 5:48]

The unintelligent wonder why God would devise such a design (i.e. test mankind instead of directly taking them to Paradise. Even others are further confused that God created Hell!) Who are you to criticize God’s Fashion? We will tell the one deficient in intelligence that, “. . . your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses . . . .” [Q 28:68]. And there is no one who can dispute with Him in that or reverse His judgment. What answer have you prepared if God tells you, “You did not choose me but I chose you . . . .” [John 15:16]? Moreover, “He (God) cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they (mankind) will be questioned” [Q 21:23]. Have you questioned God for creating you with five fingers and not seven, or have you filed a suit against God for making the sun circle and not in a rectangle shape? Then, why do you question God for designing life on earth as a testing field? We don’t even write a letter to the University Chancellor/Headmaster with the words, “why does your college torture the students with grueling exams? Can’t they just attend class and have their degrees after four years without going through exams?” But ignorant people think they are courageous when they question God’s designs and intentions? You will agree with me that both men and women don’t have a problem with God’s design of creating a woman with a soft voice, angelic face, pretty eyes, perfectly-sculptured nose, glossy dimples, fuller lips, long graceful neck, shapely breasts, a perfect waist-hip ratio, hourglass figure, curves that drive humans half-mad, “that leg!” . . . and other marvelous apparatus. That’s a creation of God who is Wise and it is also a creation of God for planet earth to be a testing ground. There is nothing we can do about it. And wishing things were different is a sure way of tormenting yourself.

The Muslim God is a God who “. . . does what He intends (or wills)” [Q 85:16] Unless you have authority above your God then you can gibber a yelp of protest against God’s design of testing mankind. “Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, “What are you making”? or “Your work has no handles”?  [Isaiah 45:9]

It is true that there is hardship in adhering to commands and prohibitions of the true religion. If religion wasn’t hard, everyone would go to heaven rendering hell desolate. It’s the hardship that makes the worshippers great and unique. Hence the proverb: “The diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor the man perfected without trials.” However, the hardships in religion are divided into two:

a) The difficulties capable of being handled by man: For example fasting everyday from 5 am to 6:30 pm for 30 days (e.g. month of Ramadhan). Also, working from 8 a.m to 5 pm. This is a difficulty man can undertake.

b) Difficulties man cannot handle: For example, fasting for three months consecutively without eating or drinking whatsoever. This act will cause awful consequences to one’s health and can even lead to death. Another example is a employee working from 2 am to 1 am, seven days a week. This is a difficulty man is incapable of handling.

In this respect, the laws of Islam fall under category one i.e. The difficulties capable of being handled by man. Rising up at 5 am to go for work is a difficulty workers are capable of handling. Similarly in Islam, waking up before dawn for morning prayers is a difficulty which one can manage. Fasting for a month every year is a trouble men can endure.

After all, there is no system on earth that is devoid of difficulties. There are rules and regulations at your work place. Maybe you are supposed to report to work by 8:00 am, leave at 5:00 pm, work hard, do what your boss commands, e.t.c. The toil and exhaustion at work place is neutralized by the thought of the end month salary but do we recall the infinite reward of the Kingdom of Heaven. “You desire the good of this world, but Allâh desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Q 8:67]. However difficult your job might be, if you get an assurance that you will be paid handsomely, tranquility descends but why don’t we rejoice when we are told that “God has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds [that] for them there is forgiveness and great reward.” [Q 5:9] When your company tells you that they will pay you good money, you don’t complain but when God tells you to “rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven . . . .” [Mathew 5:12] after toiling in the business of worship, you seem to raise issues. I believe and “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” [Romans 8:18] Those who expect to enter heaven must undergo the fatigue of achieving it. The pain and difficulty is temporary, but quitters will forever loose. “There is no substitute for hard work” (Thomas Edison, Life). Because we agree with Henry Ward Beecher that “the less pain, the less life-capacity”, for us to realize the eternal life, we need to persevere all the pains. It is common knowledge that hard work never killed anybody, but ignorantists feel that toiling for God is a violation of human rights.

Patriotism requires that you abide by your country’s law. The best spouse is who does what you want. Good kids should respect and adhere to the parents set of rules. Double standard is manifested when God ‘who art in heaven’ gives you the best rules and you say: “I don’t like the rules”. Religion is nothing but a set of commands from God and you will hear smart people say: “If you love God, follow His do’s and don’ts.” Let us reflect on 1 Samuel 13:13, “you have done foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you . . . .” You have often heard people bewail, “religion has so many restrictions, so many rules and laws. It pisses me off”. Such are completely ignorant about Jesus’ mission. Jesus would want to see you abide by these restrictions and laws. That is infact a very important mission he was sent to accomplish. If you think I am kidding, then hear it from the horse’s mouth:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 5:17-19]

In actual fact, the next verse “. . . unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven”  [Mathew 5:20] Jesus points out that you better abide by the religious law even better than the most religious Jews, scribes and the Pharisees otherwise kingdom of heaven will be a hard-to-get abode. In crystal clear words, Jesus emphasized the importance of abiding by religious rules and restrictions: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” [John 15:10]. Actually, the verse demonstrates that even Jesus himself was not spared. He follows God’s commandments. So who are you to decry that religion is inconveniently stocked with many rules? Since Jesus did not come to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill, it is worth knowing the view of the prophets with regard to following God’s commandments. For that we are told that success, blessings and prosperity comes “If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments” [Deuteronomy 28:1] while curses, disaster, panic, frustration, pain and suffering “. . . shall come upon you, pursuing and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God, by observing the commandments and the decrees that he commanded you.” [Deuteronomy 28:45]. What more proof do people want?

Now, listen to the following conversation between Jesus and a rich young ruler, then answer the question that follows.

Rich young ruler: Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? [Matthew 19:16]

Jesus: If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.[Matthew 19:17]

Now, answer the following question:

Do you think religion is difficult? Choose one answer.

a) No, religion is easy. You just have to believe that Jesus died for your sins.

b) God is love and full of mercy, he can’t make religion difficult.

c) Religion is difficult because there are many rules to be obeyed.

d)  None of the above.

Assuming that you didn’t pick “none of the above”, you would have a 1/3 chance of getting the right answer. You can as well contact the author for the right answer. Otherwise, lets proceed with our discussion. Everyone knows that most laws are made to ensure benefits and prevent harm. The difference is that the Laws in the True Religion are formulated by God whereas the architect for the other Laws is man. Numbskulls believe that man-made Law is better than God’s Law. A son can question the relevance of the fathers’ rule since man is prone to error but to question God’s Judgment shows that you are either smarter than God or extremely ignorant.

Intelligent men know that Life is toil. You get worked up at job. You got to work hard in school. That’s no easy. Its toil. The farmer has to till the land. To recover from any illness you have to toil with the bitter drugs. The cook has to struggle in the kitchen. That’s hard too. Making babies is not easy. Sex is toil. Spouses have to undergo an energy-taking exercise for them to enjoy sex or make babies. They have to sweat for it. You just don’t sit and look at each other. You have to make things happen. If you see someone believing that God is so loving and that he does nothing or little in worshipping yet he claims that he will go to heaven then that guy has sought an unworkable shortcut to heaven. Why should the ‘lovely God’ punish him in hell? Stop and think that the same lovely God has designed that life is toil. You will never hear one say that God is love so I won’t suffer looking for job or hustle at work and I will still get salary at the end month through God’s immeasurable love and enduring mercy! One careful observer said “the truth is, everybody I’ve ever met who’s successful is a workaholic.” So how can the weak-minded hope to successfully enter Heaven without being workaholic in religion?

Spiritual hijackers tell us: “don’t worry, Jesus died for your sins”. In other words “don’t toil for God, just believe and that’s the magic formula to heaven.” We are told that God selected an innocent man (Jesus) to die for the sins of Osama bin Laden, Hitler and the others (including that man who raped a two year old girl). Ask any distinguished jurist if it makes sense! Any jury will unanimously say something equivalent of the Biblical verse “The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” [Ezekiel 18:20] Lawyers often say it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man. And here we are told that God, (in His ‘fair’ Judgement!), chose a humble, sinless man to die for the six billion criminals currently on the face of the earth and the billions of sinners who came before us and the billions of criminals to come in future! Muslims will bring the verse from the Qur’an which says that God is “. . . the best of forgivers” [Q 7:155], and would wonder, “is killing one innocent person for the sins of mankind the best way of forgiving mankind? Murad Wilfried Hofmann, a graduate of Law at Harvard Law School (1960), former German diplomat and Director of Information for NATO writes: “What kind of God is this, goes the question, who cannot correct something going wrong in His creation except by conceiving a son of His and sacrificing him in the cruelest of fashions.”[2]And if Jesus indeed died for our sins, why is it that children are born with sins (original sin). Is it not double jeopardy? If IMF pardons Kenya her debt, and still demand to be paid, can we really call that pardoning? If Adam was the one who made the sin of eating the apple, then why didn’t God allow Adam to be crucified? God can do anything, why didn’t He bring Adam back to atone the sins?

Overwhelming scriptural evidences prove that Jesus’ philosophy is that of “every-one-for-himself-and-God-for-us-all” (i.e. toiling for God). He said: “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21] Any quick-witted person will understand the phrase “but only the one who does the will of my Father (i.e. God)” to mean actions and anyone whose sense is common knows that actions come with difficulties. In fact, Jesus likened the person who doesn’t follow the do’s and don’ts of religion as foolish and the one who keep God’s laws as wise. Jesus said:

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock . . . but everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand . . . . [Mathew 7:24-26]

Basing on Jesus’ benchmark, men on earth are either extremely wise or extremely foolish. Or should I stand on the pulpit and preach:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by myworks. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. [James 14:26]

The preceding sermon was delivered by James, a very authoritative figure. We therefore see that the necessity of following religious laws is exerted and exhorted by James, the leader of the Church in Jerusalem and who was also Jesus’ own brother (as reported in the Bible). No wonder we are told to “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Mathew 7:13-14] Imagine someone telling you, “Salvation hinges on individual acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.” No one doubts that accepting Jesus as personal Saviour is the easiest thing on earth. Where is the narrowness in that? The Way/Religion of Jesus was no joke. It was hard. It was difficult. It was narrow. You had better “Enter by the narrow gate”.  Even non-Muslims admit that Islam is a religion full of ‘narrowness.’ Critical minds will read Mathew 7:13-14 and notice these phrases: Narrow Way and Broad Way.

►Narrow Way: Is the True Religion which is always characterized with difficulties. Few have the audacity to cling to the difficulties of this True Religion.

►Broad Way: Is the False Religion(s) – comfort and luxury is its hallmark. Many choose to be emancipated from the difficulties of the True Religion by walking in the Broad Way.

If Christianity is the True Way/Religion, whoever discards its do’s and don’ts is still walking in the Broad Way. If Islam is the True Way/Religion, whoever refuses to be disturbed by the Islamic sharia is still walking in the Broad Way. To such, the Kingdom of Heaven remains elusive. Let us use our brains before they become atrophied or completely vestigial. Are there people who had seen the narrowness of the way of Muhammad than his companions in Makka? They were severely persecuted to an extent that Muhammad asked some to emigrate to Abyssinia to receive protection under the just Christian ruler, the Negus. Hearing the attempted emigration, the Non-believers of Makka dispatched a group which reached Abyssinia appealing to the King to return the Muslim migrants. In a commission of inquiry summoned by the King which included both parties, Ja’afar, Muhammad’s follower, presented their case:

O king! We were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism; we adored idols, we lived in unchastity, we ate the dead bodies, and we spoke abominations, we disregarded every feeling of humanity, and the duties of hospitality and neighbourhood were neglected; we knew no law but that of the strong, when Allah raised among us a man (Muhammad), of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware; and he called to the Oneness of Allah and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us the worship of idols; and he enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful and to regard the rights of the neighbours and kith and kin; he forbade us to speak evil of women, or to eat the substance of orphans; he ordered us to fly from the vices, and to abstain from evil; to offer prayers, to render alms, and to observe fast. We have believed in him, we have accepted his teachings and his injunctions to worship Allah and not to associate anything with Him, and we have allowed what He has allowed, and prohibited what He has prohibited. For this reason, our people have risen against us, have persecuted us in order to make us forsake the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and other abominations. They have tortured and injured us, until finding no safety among them, we have come to your country, and hope you will protect us from oppression.[3]

 

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

Buy Ebook Smart
FOOTNOTES


[1]. Brown, Laurence B. MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions. USA: BookSurge Publishing, 2007.p. 210.

[2]. Hofmann, Murad Wilfried. Religion on The Rise: Islam in the Third Millennium. Maryland: Amana Publications, 2001.p. 136.

[3]. Al-Mubarakpuri (2002) p. 121.Also see Ibn Hisham, as-Seerat an-Nabawiyyah, Vol. I, pp. 334—338

“God has given us more than fourteen billion cells and connections in our brain. Why would God give us such a complex organ system unless He expects us to use it?”

~ Ben Carson

He is the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He is a Professor of Neurological Surgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics. He is also the author of Take The Risk (2008), The Big Picture (2000), Think Big (1996) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (1990). He has received numerous honors and awards including over 40 honorary doctorate degrees.

French Country Bread

French Country Bread

It is shaped a little like a loaf of French country bread, but the brain has been called the most complex object in the universe. Your brain consists of about 100 billion neurons*[1], “. . . the same order of magnitude as the number of stars in the Milky Way”[2]and which is about 16.6 times the number of people on Earth. The Oxford University biologist Professor Richard Hawkins said on man’s brain: “. . . if you unraveled a man’s brain cells and placed them end to end, there would be enough to go around the world 25 times”[3]These hundreds of billions of cells of the brain are interlinked through trillions of connections. Humans continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity. Every time you recall a memory or have a new thought, you are creating a new connection in your brain so why do people fear mental exercise. There are no pain receptors in your brain, meaning your brain can feel no pain yet people don’t want to risk thinking. Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.[4]  There are about 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain of which if they were stretched out they would circle the earth more than four times.

The composition of the brain is approximately 75 % water and we have been raised up knowing that water is life. “The average adult brain weighs about 1400g . . . .”[5]hence the human brain is 2% of total body weight (compared to 0.15% of an elephant’s brain), meaning humans have the largest brain to body size. And others argue over the “big brain-big ideas’’ assumption or rather ‘the bigger the brain the greater the cognitive capacity’ presumption! To further see the uniqueness of our brain, you will be amazed to learn that human beings have the largest and most complex cerebral cortex in the animal kingdom making them qualitatively different from other animals at the level of mental functioning. The cerebral cortex is the layer of the brain often referred to as gray matter and is responsible for mental functionings. In his book, Are We Unique, James Trefil, a Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University, author of more than thirty books, and a science commentator for National Public Radio states:

What distinguishes the human brain is not the existence of the cortex, but its size and organization. If the human cerebral cortex were flattened out, it would be about the size and shape of a large cloth dinner napkin. Our nearest relative, the chimpanzee, has a smaller cortex—something a little bigger than a page of this book.[6]

Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth should memorize the fact that what makes humans different from other animals is the human brain. Exactly what James Trefil voiced: “. . . whatever it is that separates us from the other animals has to do with the functionings of our brain. In that three-pound mass enclosed in the bones of our skull lies the secret to human uniqueness.”[7] Our minds are still boggled at the thought of the speed of the information that can be processed by the brain. It has been estimated that neurons can send signals to thousands of other cells at a rate of about 200 miles per hour.[8]Ralph C. Merkle, researcher on molecular nanotechnology and cryonics writes, “It seems reasonable to conclude that the human brain has a “raw” computational power between 1013 and 1016 “operations” per second.”[9]Amazingly, the brain never stops developing and changing since embryonic times, till death. Trefil says the same thing: “Your brain never stops developing and changing. It’s been doing it from the time you were an embryo, and will keep on doing it all your life. And this ability, perhaps, represents its greatest strength.”[10]According to Brain Facts by The Society for Neuroscience, “Neuroscientists believe that the brain can remain relatively healthy and fully functioning as it ages . . . .”[11]After a study on intelligence of various age groups, Dr. K. Warner Schaie concluded that “. . . the decline in mental performance in many community-dwelling older people is probably due to disuse and is consequently reversible.”[12]Despite being told that the more we think, the better our brains function – regardless of age, why then, do people refuse to maximize the full potential of this unique organ?

While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power or enough energy to power a light bulb. “The brain works ceaselessly, even when you are sleeping, and it consumes prodigious amounts of energy.”[13]Even though it is 2% of your total body weight, your brain is the most energy-consuming part of your body because it uses 20% of your body‘s energy.

There has been a heart transplant, liver transplant, but there has never been a human brain transplant. We all know that reproductive organs (and other organs) are not endowed with maximum protection the way the brain is. The brain is best guarded in a protective skull and for enhanced security, the brain is further protected by three layers of membranes called the meninges (which comprise of the dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater).[14]Some would easily argue that anything of great value should be under tight security. There are cells in your brain called astrocytes whose work is to look after your neurons, repair the CNS (Central Nervous System) tissue after injury or damage by disease. Such cells help keep the environment of your brain healthy.[15]Those not using the brain will see the futility of their brain being kept clean and healthy. The brain rules all of the body’s organs, including the heart. When the body encounters a shortage of nutrients, it is the brain that is privileged with nutrients above other organs. You may underestimate the importance of the brain, but your body recognizes the significance of the brain in that when there is hypovolaemia (decrease in the volume of circulating blood), the blood is diverted away from other organs and directed only to the brain and the heart.[16]In just 10 seconds after the loss of blood supply to the brain, you lose consciousness.[17] Incredibly, more electrical impulses are generated in one day by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world. Those who are afraid of thinking will be caught in a bombshell to learn that the number of thoughts that is estimated the human brain produces on an average day is 70,000. It is also noted that the brain is capable of having more ideas than the number of atoms in the known universe. The computer would disappoint the user warning, “hard drive full” but that is not the case with the human brain. Humans have an unlimited capacity to learn. Michael J. Gelb, the author of the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci and Innovate Like Edison says,Research shows that you begin learning in the womb and go right on learning until the moment you pass on. Your brain has a capacity for learning that is virtually limitless, which makes every human a potential genius.”

Because of the powerful nature of the brain and the scanty information about the brain, people in every age and time, have tried using their latest technology as a model for trying to understand it. Ancient Greeks thought the brain functions like a catapult, Gottfried Leibniz compared it to a mill, other people compared the brain as a water clock while others as a telephone switchboard, some thought that the brain worked like a telegraph system, Sigmund Freud often compared the brain to hydraulic and electro-magnetic systems, and contemporarily some compare it with the computer. Did you know that many groundbreaking developments have been made by brain, and not brawn? As a matter of fact there are some great achievements that can only be made possible by the brain and which computers may not be able to duplicate. Can your PC paint the monalisa portrait, or can it, on its own, write the equivalent of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or can it imagine? After all, the metaphor of the brain as a computer is false in that the human brain is not much like a computer. There is no “off” for the brain – even when you are sleeping, your brain is still active and working whereas when the power to your computer is turned off, signals are not transmitted. You will acknowledge and marvel at the awesomeness of your brain once the British neurophysicist W. Grey Walter declares that, “At least ten billion electronic cells would be needed to build a facsimile of a man’s brain. These cells would occupy about a million and a half cubic feet, and several additional millions of cubic feet would be needed for the ‘nerves’ or wiring. The power to operate it would be around a billion watts.”[18]

A discovery of this century is that the brain, unlike a computer, is a moldable organ which rewires itself all the time (neuroplasticity).[19]Rewiring in the human brain occurs when the brain is stimulated and when we remain passive far less rewiring occurs. It appears that brain plasticity and metacognition are closely entwined. The brain is reshaping itself constantly in response to the intellectual activity going on. Learning to perform new and challenging activities can help keep the brain fit, thanks to the ability of the brain to rewire itself.[20]And I believe that challenges like reading scriptures and attempting to discover the true religion is in the interests of the brain. The overthrown dogma was that the brain is hardwired, fixed in form and function therefore an older person is less inclined to learn new things. But with the discovery of neuroplasticity, the aging adults who feared their brains will fade had to put the fear at rest.

In The World of  the Brain, it is stated that: “ If we could learn how to utilize more of the brain’s capacity, or even to expand that capacity, the discoveries that would follow would transform our world into a healthier, more comfortable, and more stimulating place.”[21]Moreover, the human brain has a vast storage capacity in that it can hold information of 1000 supercomputers. The potential brain capacity is estimated as at least equivalent to that of 25 million volumes, a 500-mile-long bookshelf![22]In the words of Ben Carson, “No computer on earth can come close to the capacity of the average human brain. This brain that we all have is a tremendous gift from God — the most complex organ system in the entire universe. Your brain can take in two million bytes of information per second.”[23] Thus, even Isaac Asimov concludes that “The human brain, then, is the most complicated organization of matter that we know.”[24]And Keith Black, chief of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and who performs about 250 brain surgeries a year stated that, “If you look at the anatomy, the structure, the function, there’s nothing in the universe that’s more beautiful, that’s more complex, than the human brain.”[25]Susan Blackmore, a lecturer in psychology at the University of the West of England states:

In proportion to our body mass, our brain is three times as large as that of our nearest relatives. This huge organ is dangerous and painful to give birth to, expensive to build and, in a resting human, uses about 20 per cent of the body’s energy even though it is just 2 per cent of the body’s weight. There must be some reason for all this evolutionary expense.*[26]

Hippocrates, the Greek physician, mathematician and the Western father of medicine has also voiced the significance of using the brain when he made the following statement: “Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joy, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs, and tears.” Others see it’s better to have weak kidneys, lungs, or other organs than having a weak brain. And Pasko T. Rakic, highlighting how unique we are from other species, say:  “The brain is the organ that sets us apart from any other species. It is not the strength of our muscles or of our bones that makes us different, it is our brain.”[27]And funny enough, the word “brain” appears 66 times in the plays of William Shakespeare.*

Now, if man is punished for not using such a powerful organ; the brain, then who is to blame? Man uses other organs for his survival. He maximizes the utility of his sexual organs for attaining sexual pleasures, he uses the organ eye to see even the microscopic things, the tongue is utilized by man to utter thousands of bizarre combination of words including backbiting and gossiping but why doesn’t he use his important organ, the brain to recognize the most important issue of life: the true religion? Of course man uses his brains but for other trivial things while ignoring to use the same brain to understand the purpose of life. This is no doubt a staggering display of ignorance. Are there better words than those of Edward Humphrey who quipped “true wisdom is to know what is best worth knowing, and to do what is best worth doing.” Astonishingly, you may see someone scratching his head toiling to solve puzzles (math puzzles, crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzle, word puzzles e.t.c.) while he is totally unprepared to scratch his head to examine religious scriptures to solve the puzzle of the authentic scripture. Solving math puzzles is good for the brain and solving religious puzzles is also good for the brain. What I condemn is priority disorder.

You also use your greatest helper; the brain, and not the Holy Spirit, to choose the best watermelon in a supermarket. It is a waste of human brainpower to blindly accept religions/scriptures. God gave you brains in order to use it, so use your brains to distinguish the true religion from the false ones. You can’t get lost. Just utilize your faculties of mind. Because humans have an intuitive sense of rightand wrong and since “Truth stands out clear from Error” [Q 2:256], I believe we can discover the true religion. Never have a blind faith, use the brain to challenge the credibility of your religion. Galileo Galilei was absolutely right when he said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” To show the magnitude of the crime of not using the brain, the Qur’an calls those who suspend reason as the worst of species. “Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.” [Q 8:22] The brain has made it possible for us to achieve the wonders of walking on the moon and if well used we will surely achieve the wonders of walking on the surface of the Kingdon of Heaven.

Remember, brain is the top organ situated in the head then follows the heart which is situated in the chest. Superiority is from top downwards hence ask anyone where is God and he will point in the sky and not down. “Allahu-Akbar” is what Muslims normally chant, a phrase that means “God is Great” and this is a conviction which is in harmony with their Qur’anic verse: “Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne.” [Q7:54] No wonder Bart D. Ehrman will resonate with the conception that a God would probably be the “. . . one who was above all else, far beyond what we could imagine . . . .” On further contemplation, Bart Erhman, the Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina and a leading authority on the Bible adds, “as we gaze out into the evening sky and consider the billions of stars and the billions of galaxies. He (i.e. God) was above and beyond it all. . . .”[28] And you have also heard jargons like “upward mobility” and “downward mobility.” The point I am trying to emphasize here is that superiority is from top downwards. Therefore, you should first use your brain (which is at the top) then secondly, you believe with the heart. We should doubt those who discover a ‘true’ religion through their hearts rather than their heads. Ben Carson, is the world-famous brain surgeon, who when he speaks on issues of the brain, attention should be provided and to raise your voice is utter disrespect to intelligentsia. He once said: “The human brain is the thing that makes you who you are”. Those who are blessed with quickness of thought will unblinkingly face a Muslim and say, “your brain is the thing that makes you a Muslim”. For the sake of justice, the same witted person will unblushingly confront a Christian and say, “Your brain is the thing that makes you a Christian”. And since two divergent religions cannot both be true and since Jesus did not tolerate the luxury of neutrality [Mathew 12:30] but insisted on one way leading to heaven [John 14:6], we can safely conclude that either the Muslim or the Christian did not use the brain to search for the true religion. I therefore request you to undertake the most cerebral of tasks: to find out the true religion. To those who are motivated to re−examine their scriptures/religions in the supervision of the brain, I strongly recommend Laurence B. Brown’s two books, God’ed and MisGod’ed.

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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REFERRENCES:


[1]. . Guyton, Arthur C. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 8th ed. India: Prism Books Limited, 1991.p.478.

*A neuron is the principal functional unit of the nervous system, specialized for the receipt, processing and transmission of information. See Crossman, A.R. and D. Neary. Neuroanatomy. 2nd ed. Edinburg: Harcourt Publishers Limited, 2000.p 35.

[2]. Scientific American Sept. 1992.

[3]. Seymour, R. Ian.  Maximize Your Potential. Nigerian Edition. BeninCity: Joint Heirs Publications Nigeria, Ltd., 2002. p. 70.

[4]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.617.

[5]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.617.

[6]. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. p. 20.

[7]. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York:

John Wiley & Sons, 1997. p. 43.

[8]. Guttman, Monika. “The Aging Brain.” USC Health Magazine Spring 2001.

[9]. Merkle, Ralph C. “Energy Limits to the Computational Power of the Human Brain.” Foresight Update 1 Aug. 1989. No. 6. <http://www.foresight.org/updates/Update06/Update06.1.html#anchor171085&gt;

[10]. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. p. 78.

[11]. The Society for Neuroscience. Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System. Washington, DC: The Society for Neuroscience, 2008.p.34.

[12]. The Human Brain. The Franklin Institute Online. 2004. <http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/exercise.html&gt;

[13]. Alvin & Virginia, Sivestein. World of the Brain. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1986. pp. 20-21.

[14]. Crossman, A.R. and D. Neary. Neuroanatomy. 2nd ed. Edinburg: Harcourt Publishers Limited, 2000.p.11 & p.49.

[15]. Young, Barbara and John W. Heath. Wheater’s Functional Histology. 4th ed. Edinburg: Elsevier Science Limited, 2002.p.134.

[16]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.637.

[17]. Ganong, William F. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. p.619.

[18]. Seymour, R. Ian.  Maximize Your Potential. Nigerian Edition. BeninCity: Joint Heirs Publications Nigeria, Ltd., 2002. p.70.

[19]. “How The Brain Rewires Itself.” Time 19 Jan. 2007. For more about brain rewiring see a book titled “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Science.” by Norman Doidge.

[20]. A Jom. “Neuroplasticity: How to Achieve a Brighter Brain.” 3 Dec. 2007. healthmad.com. <http://www.healthmad.com/Senior-Health/Neuroplasticity-How-to-Achieve-a-Brighter-Brain.63961&gt;

[21]. Alvin & Virginia, Sivestein. World of the Brain. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1986.p. 2.

[22]. DeYoung, Donald B.  “Thinking about the Brain.” icr.org. < http://www.icr.org/article/thinking-about-brain/&gt;

[23]. Carson, Benjamin. The Big Picture. Nairobi: International Bible Society, 2002. p.50.

[24]. Hooper, J. and D. Teresi. Foreword. The Three-Pound Universe. Macmillan,1986.

[25]. Schreiber, Le Anne. “Determined to enter the brain in a friendly way.” Discover April 2004.

[26]

*In this quote, there is an element of evolution theory and it is important to clarify that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is not a proven scientific fact. In the Quandary of Evolution, Harun Yahya writes: “Scientific discoveries and evidence reveal one unalterable truth: Life did not emerge as the result of a chain of coincidences, as evolutionists claim. The truth revealed by science today is that everything was created according to a flawless plan.” Those interested in facts and not hypothesis should read Harun Yahya’s books on the refutation of darwinism which include: 1)the Quandary of Evolution (encyclopedic) i & ii; 2) The Errors of the American National Academy of Sciences: A reply to the Book Science and Creationism; 3) The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution in 50 Steps; 4) Why Darwinism is Incompatible with the Qur’an; 5) The Error of the Evolution of Species; 6) The Perfect Design of the Universe is not by Chance; 7) The Evolution Deceit; 8) Darwinism Refuted; 9) The Dark Magic of Darwinism; 10) Confessions of Evolutionists; 11) Tell me about the Creation; 12) The Microbiological Collapse of Evolution; 13) The Collapse of Materialism; 14) The End of Materialism; 15) The Biggest Deception in the History of Biology: Darwinism; 16) The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution in 20 Questions; 17) The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution; 18) The Religion of Darwinism; 19) The Theory of Evolution; and 20) Evolutionary falsehoods. The books are available from Harun Yahya’s website http://www.harunyahya.com

. Blakemore, Susan. “Meme, Myself, I.” New Scientist 13 March 1999.

[27]. Great Issues for Medicine in the Twenty-First Century. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sciences, vol. 882, p. 66, 1999.

*For more references on the complexity of the brain see, The Society for Neuroscience. Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System. Washington, DC: The Society for Neuroscience, 2008. Trefil, James. Are We Unique?: A Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997; Ondigo, Yahya M.A. God’s Blessings to Humanity: Part iii. Nairobi: Abu Aisha Stores, 2009; <http://www.brainsource.com/amazing%20brain.htm&gt;; Sandra Aamodt, Sam Wang. “Ten amazing facts about your brain.” The Times 28 March 2008; <http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/facts.html&gt;;Disabled world. “Human Brain Facts and Answers.” disabled-world.com 19 Oct. 2008. <http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/brain-facts.shtml&gt;;”100 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About the Human Brain.” nursingassistantcentral.com 2009. <http://www.nursingassistantcentral.com/blog/2008/100-fascinating-facts-you-never-knew-about-the-human-brain/&gt;;Gillman, Steven. “Ten amazing Brain Facts.” downthelane.net <http://www.downthelane.net/ten-brain-facts.php&gt;

[28]. Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus, Interrupted. Kindle Edition. HarperCollins e-books, 2009.p.277