What a ruckus there was among the neurons. Dendrites were flailing, synapses sparking. It seems that the biologists among them had worked out their genetic code and found that they shared greater than 98% of their DNA with the other cells — even the lowly blood cells!
This was exactly what the developmentalists had predicted. They claimed that neurons, along with the other cell types, were all derived from a single cell. Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this theory was its inherent randomness. It proposed that whether a cell ended up as a neuron or a primitive epidermal cell depended solely upon where your ancestor cells happened to be when they divided. The idea that neurons were created according to some grand design seemed to be ruled out.
Of course, this provoked quite an uproar among some of the more religious neurons, with their creationist beliefs. The fundamentalists down in the spinal column gave their typical knee-jerk reaction, denouncing the scientists as heretics and trying to suppress any knowledge of developmentalism. The controversy was exacerbated when some scientists went so far as to declare that this proved there was no Mind!
Not all of the traditional Mentalists denied the evidence, but they pointed out that even if developmentalism was true, it didn’t prove that neurons weren’t created by Mind. Perhaps all-knowing Mind had created the first cell with the knowledge of exactly how events would unfold. Wasn’t it said, “not a platelet slips through a capillary that Mind is not aware of”?
This explanation had its own difficulties. If this was true, how could there be free will? Hadn’t Mind given neurons the choice to connect their dendrites and fire their synapses as they pleased? Also, the scientists pointed out that the whole process of development was completely chaotic. How a cell developed was an extremely complicated and nonlinear process, dependent upon what hormones were present, what cells were growing nearby, etc. If the whole process of development were replayed, it seemed extremely unlikely that any intelligent cells would develop, much less neurons.
Some Mentalists asserted that even if this theory was true, the scientists couldn’t explain how this initial cell was created. Nor would they ever be able to explain the initial causation, (despite the claims of a few crackpots that some rare primitive cells could somehow combine to begin the whole development process again). Science could only explain something as the effect of some previous cause. Therefore, there must be some ultimate cause which is itself uncaused and which must be Mind.
Other Mentalists had no problem with this theory. They said that: yes, there was a Mind, but not a personal Mind. Mind was more of a general principle than some sort of actual being with thoughts and feelings like their own. They felt that traditional Mentalists were naïve to believe that Mind, which was obviously their own personification of nature, goodness and love, was an actual independent being. The traditional Mentalists knew this to be heresy. They knew absolutely that there was a real and independent Mind, an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving Mind who existed for all time, had created the body and designed neurons in its own image.
Of course, the intelligent, faithful neuron was at a loss. If there was no design, there was no Mind. If there was no Mind, there was no purpose to life. The loving Mind, who cared for each one of them and saw them through the turmoil of their daily lives, was gone. They were left a barren meaningless existence. The ebb and flow of the bloodstream was music no longer. Neurotransmitters were now bland and tasteless. Connections with one’s siblings and friends were empty and pointless. Beauty was no longer beautiful. Truth no longer truthful. Love no longer loving. There was no Mind, and no heaven. When they died they would never connect their axon to Mind.