The Skeptic Society ForumPosted: December 27, 2011
Evolution and Religion
Jerry Coyne’s blog recently criticized an article about evolutionary biology written by Joseph A. Kuhn, MD. My comment was not posted because I think I am banned from that blog. This is the blog URL and my comments:
The way to understand evolutionary biology is to read biology textbooks and peer-reviewed articles. Creationists and advocates of intelligent design (ID) are trying to promote religion, and people against ID are trying to promote atheism. They both misrepresent science.
This is an example of ID pseudoscience because no biology textbook or Ph.D in biology “proposes” that natural selection explains common descent:
This process of mutation and natural selection has been proposed to explain the descent from a common ancestor, even from the original prokaryocytes billions of years ago. On the basis of natural selection and time, it has been theorized that single cellular organisms may have arisen from a primordial mixture of ancient elements and energy.(Joseph A. Kuhn, Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, Volume 25, Number 1)
This example of atheistic pseudoscience is taken from this blog:
Although he doesn’t specify what this new paradigm is, I suspect it involves an Intelligent Designer, aka Jesus.
This is pseudopscience because it allows Dr. Kuhn to get away with misrepresenting evolutionary biology. Natural selection only explains adaptation. It does not explain the increase in the complexity of life.
I refer everyone to my YouTube video titled, “The Truth About Evolution and Religion” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKaF8vX6HXQ.)
There is nothing in this topic about the human soul, God, or the Shroud of Turin. The topic is whether or not the two quotes about evolution I gave constitute pseudoscience, that is false science.
The first quote is by an advocate of intelligent design. He implies that many biologists think that natural selection explains the complexity of life. The second quote is by an enemy of intelligent design. He fails to correct the ID advocate. He doesn’t admit natural selection explains only adaptation.
I submit the following quote from mainstream biologists to prove natural selection explains only adaptation:
Facilitated variation is not like orthogenesis, a theory championed by the eccentric American paleontologist Henry Osborn (1857–1935), which imbues the organism with an internal preset course of evolution, a program of variations unfolding over time. Natural selection remains a major part of the explanation of how organisms have evolved characters so well adapted to the environment. (Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart, The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin’s Dilemma, page 247)
Biological evolution includes the phenomena of “organisms adapt to the environment” (see post #5) and the increase in the complexity of life. Biologists have an explanation for the first phenomena, but not the second. Another way of expressing this is to say that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.
Dawkins is an advocate of atheism. The pseudoscience in the following quote is the statement that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics:
When creationists say, as they frequently do, that the theory of evolution contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics, they are telling us no more than that they don’t understand the Second Law (we already knew that they don’t understand evolution). There is no contraction, because of the sun! (Richard Dawking, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, p. 415)
Biologists are very much interested in the complexity of life. The following quote is taken from a biology textbook used by 65% of biology majors in the US. The authors are explaining why DNA molecules are needed to create proteins from amino acides. Nowhere in the textbook or in peer-reviewed articles does anyone every say DNA molecules came about because of natural selection.
Each of the four identical polypeptide chains that together make up transthyretin is composed of 127 amino acids…The primary structure is like the order of letters in a very long word. If left to chance, there would be 20 to the 127th power different ways of making a polypeptide chain 127 amino acids long.” (Campbell and Reece, Biology, 7th edition, page 82)
The important thing to grasp is that natural selection only explains adaptation, not the increase in the complexity of life. In an isolated system of non-interacting particles, complexity always decreases. Complexity is another term for order, which is another term for knowledge of the location and speed of particles. Entropy is another word for disorder. When entropy does not decrease, it is because it is not an isolated system of particles. This is called the second law of thermodynamics. For biologists,
Considered thermodynamically, the problem of neo-Darwinism is the production of order by random events.” (Ludwig von Bertalanffy, “Chance or Law,” in Beyond Reductionism: New Perspectives in the Life Sciences, The Macmillan Company, 1969, page 76)
Consider a gas of N molecules in a container. Break the container up into N imaginary compartments. There are N possible locations the first molecule can be in. There are N minus 1 locations for the second molecule, N minus 2 for the third molecule, etc. The number of possible ways of arranging the N molecules is N x (N -1 ) x (N – 2)… The probability of any specified distribution of molecules is the inverse of this number: 1/N! From calculations like this, physicists prove that there is a tendency in nature to go from order to disorder, from the more complex to the less complex, from high entropy to low entropy.
The same type of calculation is done in biology, as the above quote from Biology in post # 9 shows. An English sonnet has about 600 characters made up of 26 letters. The probability of getting a protein by random chance is similar to getting a sonnet by random chance. The following quote is from the two mainstream biologists from Harvard and Berkeley already quoted in post # 4:
By comparison, if we question how long it would take a high-speed computer to write randomly a specific Shakespearean sonnet, we are asking that all the letters of the words of the sonnet will come up simultaneously in the correct order. It is an impossible task, even if all the computers in the world today had been working from the time of the big bang to the present. Even to compose the phrase, ‘To be or not to be,’ letter by letter, would take a typical computer millions of years. (Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart, The Plausiblity of Life: Resolving Darwin’s Dilemma, page 32)
Kirschner and Gerhart explain that the “millions of years” calculation does not take into consideration natural selection and the fact that clumps of amino acids are subject to random mutations. Using a model more closely related to evolution, a computer can generate “to be or not to be” in a short time.
Gerhart and Kirschner do not mention how long it would take a computer to generate a sonnet. No biologist would be interested in such a calculation because the complexity of the primary structure of a protein doesn’t even begin to describe the complexity of a living organism. These two professors can not be refuted by quoting laymen about biological evolution. To refute them you need to quote from peer-reviewed scholarly articles.
I told the National Center for Science Education, Inc., about this topic. The deputy director, Glen Branch, indicated that he wasn’t interested. This was my response in an email:
Dear Mr. Branch,
The only thing you are missing is my accusation against Richard Dawkins. My overall point is that advocates of creationism and intelligent design, as well as opponents of creationism and ID, are engaging in pseudoscience.
The pseudoscience in the following quote is the statement that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics:
When creationists say, as they frequently do, that the theory of evolution contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics, they are telling us no more than that they don’t understand the Second Law (we already knew that they don’t understand evolution). There is no contraction, because of the sun!” (Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, p. 415)
I explain in the blog why evolution does indeed violate the second law, as all biologists with PhDs know.
If the National Center for Science Education has integrity, it will go on the Skeptics Society website (www.skeptic.com), click on the forum, which is subtitled, “Promoting Science and Critical Thinking,” and add a comment to the topic, “Religion and Evolution” which is under Moderated Topics. You comment should say that Richard Dawkins misspoke.
This topic isn’t about the Bible and evolution. It is about science and the character of the likes of Richard Dawkins. Either Dawkins doesn’t understand the second law of thermodynamics or he doesn’t care whether or not he understands it.
Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education, responded to my email:
You are also mistaken in thinking that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics. There is an ample literature on the topic; see, e.g., Emory F. Bunn, ‘Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics,’ American Journal of Physics (2009) 77(10):922-925.
My first response is that the author is not a biologist and the article was not peer-reviewed by biologists. My second response is that the author is making an error in physics as well.
I bet Glenn what it cost me to download the article ($30) that I find a statement or statements in the article that make it unworthy of a peer-reviewed journal.
I sent the following email to Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education:
I read the article, “Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics,” and think the American Journal of Physics erred in publishing it for two reasons.
The first reason is that the insight evolution violates this law comes from biologists, and only biologists are qualified to discuss it competently. The second reason is that the author has an understanding of the second law that is different from my understanding of it. One of us must be wrong.
If a gas in a container is connected with a valve to a vacuum and the valve is opened, the gas will flow into the empty container. There is more knowledge of the location of the gas molecules in the small volume than in the large volume. There is an increase in disorder or a decrease in complexity. Entropy is another word for order. Entropy always decreases in nature, according to the second law.
If a gas in a container has a piston that can compress the gas, an animal can increase the complexity of the gas by pushing the piston. This does not violate the second law because the gas is not an isolated system. The idea that the complexity of the gas increases because the complexity of the animal decreases by a greater amount strikes me as being flat out wrong. The idea of calculating the decrease of the entropy of the animal and showing it is greater than the increase of the entropy of the gas strikes me as absurd. I don’t see any difference between such a calculation and the calculation offered by Emory F. Bunn.
Statistical mechanics explains why a gas will fill up a container. If a gas consists of N molecules, there are N! = N x (N – 1) x (N – 2)… possible ways the molecules can be distributed in the container. The chance of getting any particular distribution is 1 in N!. I don’t know how to complete the proof. But I know Maxwell’s distribution of velocities in a gas and the bell-shaped curve are derived using Stirling’s approximation: log N! = Nlog N.
The primary structure of a large protein can have 600 amino acids. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids. Biologists imagine that the 600 amino acids are non-interacting particles, just like in a gas. Just as in statistical mechanics, biologists ask how many different ways there are of arranging 600 amino acids? The answer is 600 to the 20th power instead of N!. Thus, it is impossible to get a protein by random chance since there is only 3 billion years available for the protein to evolve. This is why biologists say evolution violates the second law. It is the same kind of reasoning that explains why a gas will fill up the entire container.
I explain this more fully, with quotations from scholarly works, in my YouTube video titled “The Truth About Evolution and Religion.”
Robert L. Crowther, II
Director of Communications
Deputy Director, NCSE
National Center for Science Education
I am planning to write a letter of complaint to the editor of the American Journal of Physics for publishing an article by a physics professor, Emory F. Bunn, titled “Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics,” in 2009 [77(10):922-925]. As your organizations claim to be dedicated to truth in science, I am asking for your support.
The article reports calculations purporting to show that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. This is true, but it can’t be proven the way the author says.
What is inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics is the false idea that natural selection explains the increase in the complexity of life as it evolved. Biologists think of a protein as being a system of non-interacting amino acids and perform probability calculations similar to those performed by physicists. Such calculations and a knowledge of the complexity of living organisms is why natural selection only explains the adaptation of living organisms to the environment.
The fake calculations in the article imply that natural selection does indeed explain the complexity of living organisms. The author or the American Journal of Physics should take whatever steps are necessary to undo their mistake.
I made a YouTube video titled, “The Truth About Evolution and Religion,” with references to peer-reviewed articles, biology textbooks, and scholarly works.
Very truly yours,
Why does it strike you as flat out wrong? The animal performs work, using up energy which it transfers through the piston to the gas. The idea of calculating the increase (remember, other way ’round) of the entropy of the animal and showing it is greater than the decrease of the entropy of the gas seems like the correct way to demonstrate it.
It is wrong because the animal may be very big and the gas container may be very small. The work done by the animal will be much greater than the work done on the gas. The reason the entropy of the gas decreases is that the gas is not isolated.
In the article [Emory F. Bunn, “Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics,” American Journal of Physics (2009) 77(10):922-925], Dr. Bunn calculates the decrease in the entropy of Earth’s biosphere due to evolution and compares it with the increase in the entropy of the Sun. The article is pure pseudoscience.
The honest explanation of why evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics is that the law is an absolute truth. The second law is like saying the odds of getting heads when you flip a coin is 50%.
The idea that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics comes from biologists. The primary structure of a protein is a string of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids. Hence, the chance of getting a large protein by random chance is 600 to the 20th power. The average size of a protein is 300 amino acids, but an English sonnet is about 600 letters and there is research about getting a sonnet by random chance. Since evolution took 3 billion years, there is not enough time for proteins to evolve by random chance. What follows is two quotations about thermodynamics and evolution. In the second reference, the author calculates the odds of getting the DNA of a protein that contains 300 amino acids.
Considered thermodynamically, the problem of neo-Darwinism is the production of order by random events. (Ludwig von Bertalanffy, “Chance or Law,” in Beyond Reductionism: New Perspectives in the Life Sciences, The Macmillan Company, 1969, page 76)
Title: Natural Selection and the Complexity of the Gene (Nature, Vol. 224, 1969, p. 342)
Subtitle: Conflict between the idea of natural selection and the idea of uniqueness of the gene does not seem to be near a solution yet.
First paragraph: Modern biology is faced with two ideas which seem to me to be quite incompatible with each other. One is the concept of evolution by natural selection of adaptive genes that are originally produced by random mutations. The other is the concept of the gene as part of a molecule of DNA, each gene being unique in the order of arrangement of its nucleotides. If life really depends on each gene being as unique as it appears to be, then it is too unique to come into being by chance mutations. There will be nothing for natural selection to act upon.
The “Creationist vs Evolution problem” describes the conflict between the Design Institute (DI) and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). My theory is that the conflict is caused by a lack of understanding the mind-body problem. In other words, both sides fail at the level of intelligence, not the level of reflective judgment. This is why I call it a conflict, and Inzababa calls it a problem. Usually, intelligence has to do with how long it takes a person to understand an insight or hypotheses. There is so much bias, anxiety, and inhibition about religion that ordinarily intelligent people can’t even grasp certain hypotheses.
Human beings are attentive, intelligent, rational, and responsible animals. When animals have nothing to do they go to sleep. When humans have nothing to do they ask: What is paying attention, being intelligent, being rational, and being responsible? These questions constitute the mind-body problem.
I went to a Catholic college and am intelligent enough to understand and formulate four solutions to the mind-body problem: 1) the mind is an illusion (materialism), 2) the mind is a spiritual substance (dualism), 3) the body is an illusion (idealism), and 4) it is a mystery (metaphysics).
DI and NCSE only grasp # 1 and # 2. DI and NCSE don’t understand that humans are embodied spirits, which is another way of expressing the solution backed by the evidence and judged to be true by rational people (#4). DI likes the idea that human beings have souls, but they don’t understand why the human soul is spiritual. NCSE doesn’t even think human beings have souls. Asking whether the NCSE or DI is right is like asking whether France, Germany, Russia, or England caused World War I.
In the 1960s science discovered that the universe began to exist 13.7 billion years ago. This gives rise to the scientific question: What caused this to happen? There are four solutions: 1) God did it , 2) an angel did it , 3) the universe isn’t intelligible, and 4) the scientific method will tell us eventually.
The solution supported by the evidence and judged to be true by rational people is # 4. Combining this solution with the knowledge that human beings are embodied spirits leads to the knowledge that God exists and may have communicated Himself to mankind. Discussing the existence of God and the truth of the Bible with NCSE and DI violates the Gospel of Mathew: Cast not your pearls before swine.
Pseudoscience in the American Journal of Physics
An article published by the American Association of Physics Teachers (Am. J. Phys., Vol. 76, No. 11, November 2008, “Entropy and evolution”) sets forth thermodynamic equations showing that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. While it is pseudoscience to say evolution does violate the second law, there are no equations that can prove this.
According to the second law of thermodynamics, a collection of non-interacting molecules (a gas) will fill up uniformly the container it is in. This is the most probable distribution of molecules, and physicists prove it in statistical mechanics by labeling each molecule No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, etc. and performing probability calculations. In other words, physicists use as a model for a gas a deck of playing cards. You can have shuffled and un-shuffled decks of playing cards, just as you can have probable and improbable distributions of molecules in a container.
Thermodynamics begins with the variables or functions of temperature, volume, and pressure. Temperature is measured in degrees, volume is measured in meters, and pressure is measured in pounds per square inch. These variables give rise to the variables of heat and work, which are measured in joules. Heat and work give rise to the variable called entropy, which is measured in joules per degree.
Statistical mechanics gives an equation between the temperature of a gas and the average kinetic energy of the molecules in the gas, KE = 3/2 (kT), where k is the Boltzmann constant and has an experimentally determined value. There is a similar equation connecting entropy with what is called “thermodynamic probability,” also using the Boltzmann constant. When a gas fills the entire container uniformly, the thermodynamic probability is at a maximum and the entropy high. When the molecules in a gas are clustered in one part of the container, the thermodynamic probability is low and the entropy is low. The second law of thermodynamics is that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases.
The AJP article calculates the decrease in the entropy of the biosphere during evolution using the Boltzmann constant and an estimate of the thermodynamic probabilities. This is absurd because a biological system, whether it is the whole biosphere growing from a bacterium to a giraffe or a seed in the ground growing into a tree, does not have an entropy variable. A biological system does not have an entropy variable because it does not have a temperature. You can only measure the temperature of different parts in the biological system.
When you take a new deck of cards out of its wrapper, the cards are all arranged in order. The “thermodynamic probability” of this, I suppose, is 1 in 52 x 51 x 50…= 52! It is absurd to calculate the entropy of a deck of cards in units of joules/degree using the Boltzmann constant. The deck of cards does not have an entropy because it doesn’t have a temperature. What has a temperature is the plastic the cards are made of. It is just as irrational to calculate the entropy of a deck of cards as it is to calculate the entropy of a biological system.
The other absurdity in the article is the idea that energy from the sun can decrease the entropy of a system. The entropy of a system increases when you add heat to it. For example, you make ice from water by extracting heat from the water. The entropy of the ice is less because there is more knowledge about the speed and location of the water molecules. There is more order or complexity in ice than in water. You are going from high entropy to low entropy. This does not violate the second law because the water-ice system is not isolated.
The article may have been written in good faith. However, I have pointed out the errors to the current editor of the American Journal of Physics and the entire executive board of the American Association of Physics Teachers. No one is taking responsibility.
I can understand your reading Kenneth Miller’s book ([i]Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul[/i]) and coming to the conclusion that Michael Behe says, “Life is too complex to be explained by natural selection” and Miller says, “Natural selection explains the complexity of life.” This just isn’t true. In my opinion, Miller is being deliberately deceptive. He doesn’t want to admit outright that intelligent design is the only explanation for evolution. The book wouldn’t sell if he said this. The theory of intelligent design is irrational because there is no evidence supporting it. It is just a bright idea, like the idea that free will is an illusion.
Lets start with page 67 because you said Miller says on page 69 that natural selection explains the complexity of life: “A line in the sand is drawn, and on the other side of that line is intelligent design.” [Behe says that natural selection fails on the other side of the line. Whether or not intelligent design succeeds is a philosophical question, according to Behe.] The next paragraph says,
How does Behe know where to draw that line? He takes a rough estimate from a 2004 clinical paper as to how often resistance to the antimalarial drug chloroquine has arisen in natural populations. ….1 chance in 10(20th power)…In fact he even invents a term for it, calling it …CCC…..To convert this number into an argument against evolution, Behe engages in a sleight of hand reminiscent of his argument for irreducible complexity.
…….Given Behe’s estimate that fewer than 10 (40th power) cells have existed during the entire history of life on earth, that means that the evolution of even a moderately complex system of interacting proteins is far beyond the “edge” of what evolution can accomplish. He is so certain of this conclusion he calls it the two binding sites rule. Whenever we see two binding sites in a protein, he assures us, we see the hand of intelligent design.
[Again, Miller attacks intelligent design instead of defending natural selection].
….. Behe’s math requires that all of the mutations that produce a CCC must occur together, and they can be favored by natural selection only when all of these highly improbable events take place. ….Molecular studies of drug resistance in the parasite show that it is not the all-or-nothing one-chance-in-10(20th power) event he claims. Rather, full-blown resistance is preceded by a number of mutations that confer partial resistance, enabling natural selection to work at every step of the process. This means, as Nicholas Matzke wrote in his review of The Edge of Evolution, that chlorozuine resistance “is both more complex and vastly more probable than Behe thinks.
“….What he ignores, of course, is something that we already know to be true in the case of CCC, namely that natural selection can favor intermediate stages on the way to the evolution of the final, fully resistant organism.
The biological disagreement between Behe, Miller, and Matze is over Behe’s mathematics. My interpretation is that Behe is saying there are two evolutionary steps from species A to species B. Miller is saying there are 10 partial steps from species A to species B. Hence, the probability of getting from A to B is much less than what Behe says. Miller and Matze are not saying that the partial steps are the result of natural selection. They are saying that when a partial step occurs, natural selection acts upon that partial step.
I just read over day 1 of Kenneth Miller’s testimony at Fitzmiller v Dover. (http://ncse.com/creationism/legal/kitzmiller-trial-transcripts) Nowhere does he say that natural selection explains the complexity of life. This is what he does say:
The force that drives the change [evolution], actually, there are many individual forces and processes. Many of them are united under the term of ‘natural selection.’
However, the use of ‘evolution’ as a theory is basically used to describe the mechanisms by which those changes took place. And in that respect, evolution is, indeed, a theory because it is a powerful, useful, and predictive explanation of a whole range of scientific facts.
Natural selection acts upon innovations. Not enough is known about innovations to understand the complexity of a mammal.
You are personally satisfied with the theory of natural selection because you are not a biologist. All you care about is that there is a scientific theory for evolution. You don’t care about the limits of that explanation. You don’t care that natural selection, according to biology textbooks and peer-reviewed articles, only explains adaptation.
I once confronted a panel of experts at a conference on Charles Darwin on this point. I told the panel about my YouTube video which said that 1) evolution only applies to the bodies of humans, not their souls, and 2) natural selection explains only adaptation, not common descent. None of the panel members responded to 1). However, Terrance Deacon gave the many school children in the audience the impression that natural selection did explain the complexity of life. In other words, he deceived many children. I tell this whole story in an essay titled, “Do Darwinists Have Integrity?” You can see it here:
I just read through the afternoon session of day 1. Miller did not say natural selection explains the complexity of life or common descent. These are some of the quotes which support my understanding of evolutionary biology: natural selection explains only adaptation, not common descent.
Please, stop and think. Does it really make sense that two biologists could disagree about biology in a way that laymen, like you and me, can understand? There is certainly a disagreement between Behe and Miller, but only another expert can decide who is right.
These are the quotes:
So this is, in a way, a summary of Dr. Behe’s argument. And one of the things that I think is important to make clear to the Court is that, it is absolutely true that there are many, many structures in the living cell, many biochemical pathways for which we don’t have a detailed biochemical — excuse me, a detailed evolutionary explanation. That is a point that all scientists will concede.
So it’s important to note that Dr. Behe’s argument does not say simply, well, there are complex structures within the cell for whom we do not understand the detailed evolutionary origin of, that’s absolutely true. But his argument really rises to a different level.
And Dr. Behe rightly points out that, to imagine such complex systems arising spontaneously in one fell swoop is something that no serious biologist would argue could happen, and I will not argue either.
Quote, Whereas ID, intelligent design, proponents claim that contemporary evolutionary theory is incapable of explaining the origin of diversity of living organisms, whereas to date, the ID movement has failed to offer credible scientific evidence to support their claim that ID undermines the current scientifically accepted theory of evolution, wheres as the ID movement has not proposed a scientific means of testing its claim, therefore, be it resolved that the lack of scientific warrant for so-called intelligent design theory makes it improper to include it as a part of science education, closed quote.
The conflict between mainstream biologists and creationists (also advocates of intelligent design) is a conflict between atheists (and liberal Christians) and Protestants. I call it a conflict because it is not a disagreement between intelligent people about evidence. Protestants and atheists both fail at the level of intelligence. Their cognitive abilities don’t rise to the level of reflective judgment. Ordinarily, intelligence is a measure of how long it takes someone to grasp a concept, insight, or theory. In the case of religion, there is so much conflict, anxiety, and bias that people are inhibited from thinking intelligently. They can’t grasp concepts no matter how much time they have.
I went to a Catholic college and am intelligent enough to grasp and formulate four answers to the question, “What caused the Big Bang,” and four answers to the question, “What is the relationship between the mind and the brain.” I give myself an IQ of 100% because I know 8 out of 8. If anyone is interested, I’ll be glad to enumerate the 8 answers.
There are four possible answers to the question of what caused the Big Bang.
1) God caused it.
2) An evil angel caused it. A finite being would have a motive to create a universe. That there is so much human suffering means the angel might be evil.
3) There is no cause. Animals don’t ask questions, only humans do. Just because a human asks a question doesn’t mean there is going to be an answer.
4) The scientific method will discover the cause at some point in the future. This is the answer judged to be true by rational people.
There are also four possible answers to the question of what the relationship is between the mind and the brain:
1) There exists material and immaterial substances (dualism).
2) The mind is an illusion (materialism). There is more evidence for this because molecules exist, but ghosts and spirits do not.
3) The brain is an illusion (idealism). There is more evidence for this than for 1) and 2). See, for example, the movie titled, “The Matrix.”
4) It is a mystery. This is the solution judged to be true by rational people.