The Marvel of Memory

By Weylan Deaver

Have you ever remembered an event or place you had not thought of in years, a memory coaxed out of hiding somewhere in your mind? The aroma of Kool-Aid and mopped floors (or maybe even something else I can’t quite put my finger on) — these things form a smell somehow peculiarly associated in my mind with my first grade cafeteria. I attended a different school for second grade, and several more schools before graduating. Yet, this particular smell I only associate with my first grade cafeteria — not any of the others I ate in for twelve years. Every once in a while, I’ll catch a whiff on the air that takes me back to the room where a six-year-old used to eat lunch. Memory is a profound thing (see here for an interactive infographic on the brain’s basic functions). How is it possible for the brain to store a memory from decades earlier, and hold onto those details, perhaps for a lifetime? An evolutionist has the insurmountable challenge of explaining how matter can produce memory. Imagine a scientist with a tray in front of him containing all the elements: the makings of liquids, gases, rocks and dirt. What elements could the scientist combine in order to get a piece of matter capable of storing a memory? The idea that matter — if it were only arranged in proper sequence — could, by itself, hold a memory within itself, is ludicrous. Physical elements compose the brain, but elements cannot explain all the mind can do. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). In fact, it is only because he has a God-given mind that an atheist can have a thought. Rather, we agree with David’s assessment when he said to the Lord, “I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

One thought on “The Marvel of Memory

  1. It’s so wonderful and amazing how smells trigger memories. When I was sick and stayed home from school, I remember how my mother used to use “Pine Sol” to clean the house and that smell.

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