Thoughts were presumed to originate in the brain as the result of chemical and electrical processes. Nothing nonphysical could exist. Contrary to common sense, man was the prisoner of whatever his brains cells (for purely mechanistic reasons) “thought.” This incredible “fact” of science was taught throughout the academic world.
The great hope was that the laws of physics and chemistry, applied to the brain, would explain human personality. That would allow psychiatrists to manipulate the brain like a mechanic does an engine. Thus all inappropriate behavior could be eliminated. There would be no more wars or crime and this world would become a rhapsody of kindness, pleasure, and prosperity, the Eden no one had believed in.
It was impossible, however, to suppress the evidence that, instead of producing thought, brain activity is a result of thought. Inasmuch as thoughts originate independently of the brain, they must exist outside the physical dimension. That fact is self-evident on the basis of the many thoughts for which there is no physical counterpart nor any physical stimulus: truth, justice, holiness, perfection, God, ad infinitum. Indeed, consciousness itself exists outside the realm of science. Michael Polanyi argued:
“The most striking feature of our own existence is our sentience [consciousness]. The laws of physics and chemistry include no conception of sentience, and any system wholly determined by these [physical laws] must be insentient [i.e. without consciousness].
It may be to the interests of science to turn a blind eye on this central fact of the universe, but it is certainly not in the interest of truth.”
No matter how “intelligent” a computer may be, it can only do what it has been programmed to do. Nor can the brain, though far more complex than any computer, think on its own. If thought were the result of neural activity in the brain, we would all be helplessly dragged along by chemical/electrical processes determining our thoughts and even our morals and emotions. No rational person can accept that hypothesis because we demonstrate our power of choice, and thus control of our brain cells, countless times each day. There is a “ghost” in the machine. The human soul and spirit do the thinking and use the brain to communicate these thoughts to the body and through the body to others.