Newly Mapped Area of the Human Brain: Evidence for Exceptionalism?
By Mark Perez
The biblical account of Adam and Eve makes clear that humanity did not evolve from other primates. God establishes human exceptionalism by creating us in his image and giving us dominion over all other life on Earth (Genesis 1:26–28). If the biblical claims are true, then we can expect humans to possess qualities that are exceptions to what would otherwise be predicted if we were evolutionary descendants. A recent discovery by neuroscientist George Paxinos of Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) suggests an important, previously unknown feature of human exceptionalism.1
Paxinos’s research yields detailed brain maps (brain atlases) used by neurosurgeons and neuroscientists throughout the world. Now, using imaging and staining techniques previously unavailable to him, Paxinos discovered a 2-mm-long area near the base of the brain where it joins with the spinal cord. He named this area the endorestiform nucleus. It’s a smaller area within the previously mapped inferior cerebellar peduncle (ICP), which conveys sensory information about the positions of the limbs, joints, and body. Paxinos does not yet know the function of the endorestiform nucleus, but believes that due to its location it may be involved in controlling fine motor movements.
According to Paxinos, “The region is intriguing because it seems to be absent in the rhesus monkey and other animals that we have studied. There have to be some things that are unique about the human brain besides its larger size, and the Endorestiform Nucleus may be one of them.”2
If the endorestiform nucleus is unique to humans and further research proves that it controls fine motor movements, this development would support the biblical idea of human exceptionalism and be consistent with predictions of the RTB testable creation model. We can see this distinction in just one example, namely brain activity and music. The ability to imagine music and then to symbolize that music in elaborate notation is unique to humans. Producing the music often requires complex, precise, and sequenced movements of the fingers. Without extraordinarily fine motor control this would be impossible. The endorestiform nucleus may be one of the uniquely human brain functions that sets us apart from all other animals in our ability to produce music.
Creating beauty (including music) is a brilliantly visible power in God’s character, something we see endlessly in nature. The human capacity and ceaseless drive to produce and enjoy the beautiful is a manifestation of the image of God in us. If the biblical account of Adam and Eve is true, then the RTB testable creation model predicts that further studies into the features of human brains will show how we truly are exceptional.
To find out more about Mark Perez, please check out his biography.
- “Neuroscientist Discovers Hidden Region in the Human Brain,” NeuRA (November 26, 2018), https://www.neura.edu.au/news/neuroscientist-discovers-new-region-in-the-human-brain/.
- “Neuroscientist Discovers Hidden Region.”