Dan Story photograph
Part Eleven: Do Animals Have Minds Distinct from Their Brains?
In my last blog article, I pointed out that ethologists (scientist who study animal behavior) have demonstrated over the past half century that many complex animals exhibit devotion, grief, empathy, sorrow, affection, play, joy, altruism, inter-species friendships, thought-driven behaviors, and other mental states analogous to humans. Such qualities in humans demonstrate the existence of immaterial minds distinct from our material brains, since such qualities can't be reduced to physical matter. Because sentient animals possess similar cognitive and emotional states as humans—albeit not as fully developed and intensely experienced—it suggests that they too possess immaterial minds distinct from their physical brains. And since the mind is the essential faculty of the soul in humans, it further suggests the presence of souls in sentient animals.
So the task at hand is to demonstrate that our minds are distinct from our physical brains. If we can demonstrate this in humans, it’s reasonable to conclude that it’s also true for sentient animals. This would be additional compelling evidence that animals, like humans, have souls that survive physical death. So, let’s explore the scientific evidence for this.