Neuroscience and Bioelectricity

We have described the reality of digital electrical signals by which our central and peripheral nervous systems communicate with each other. All human body cells possess electrical properties. If this were not true, our bodies would not function. The eleven major body systems would be unable to communicate with each other and regulate conditions in the body. Billions of neurons possess action potentials by which electrical charges are sent to other neurons.

What are action potentials? They are small “spike-like” events—nerve impulses consisting of electrical signals which transmit digital information. These electric impulses are either ‘on’ or ‘off.’ That is why the information is considered digital.

“Action potentials are of great importance to the functioning of the brain since they propagate information in the nervous system to the central nervous system and propagate commands initiated in the central nervous system to theperiphery.” (Neuroscience Online, McGovern Medical School.)

Bio-electricity is a flow of electrically charged ions, not a flow of electrons. Ions are formed when an atom gains or loses one or more electrons. A familiar example is the formation of common table salt. An atom of sodium gives an electron to an atom of chlorine. The sodium atom becomes a positive ion and chlorine becomes a negative ion. Proteins provide ion channels through which charged ions move across the cell membrane, carrying their charges with them. This movement may accurately be termed an electric current.

We link several posts from Aug./Sept. 2014 in which we referred to electrical signals flowing through neurons. These posts may be easier to understand than the information presented in the above paragraphs:

How could a storm of digital electrical pulses be converted to a coherent visible image by the human brain and impart conscious awareness of thousands of different shapes and colors in our field of vision? Our field of vision is usually not an experience in still photography. Mostly, our eyes process a plethora of movement moment by moment. Our normal vision consists of uncounted thousands of data points—all in living color!

Charles Darwin confessed that it was “absurd” to propose that the human eye evolved through spontaneous mutation and natural selection. But he never abandoned his  firm belief in evolution. Neither do the majority of 21st century professional biologists reject the evolutionary paradigm. According to Wikipedia, between 770 thousand and 1.7 million neuron fibers from retinal ganglion cell axons send digital electronic signals from the retina to the brain through the optic nerve. The human brain imparts meaning to the digital data. The foregoing sentence  is an example of description, but the statement is short on explanation.

We long for meaningful explanations of human eye/brain function. Scientists are more adept at offering descriptions; less adept at offering explanations. This does not indicate there are no explanations for certain phenomena in the world of our experience. In the world of the scientist, however, many are fascinated by the process of discovery. 

The miracle of human vision does not yield to easy explanations. In personal research dealing with human vision, we frequently encounter statements such as “…scientists don’t fully understand how our brains do it” or “…(retinal) neurons that encode objects respond in complicated ways.” 

Our blog posts credit the power of the Ultimate Designer/Creator. He is the Author of the laws of nature. But He is also the God of Creation.   

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