Essay on Some Close Encounters of the Mental Kind

343 WordsJul 14, 20142 Pages
Stephen Jay Gould's essay, "Some Close Encounters of the Mental Kind", strongly suggests that experiencing something firsthand does not necessarily provide for the most accurate accounts when it comes to factual recollection of the event. He states that,"...the human mind is both the greatest marvel of nature and the most perverse of all tricksters.", and by this he means, in which I fully support, though the mind is where we store our most precious memories with their delicate details, it is the sure complexity of how the brain and its neurotransmitters function that can jeopardize and distort those very same memories. Simply put, the human mind is the pinnacle of creations by the Creator himself, but is certainly flawed when it comes to retrieving and then depicting exact certainties to the credibility of a witnessed event. I visited my grandpa over this past Christmas break, whom was recently admitted to a ward after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is a disease in which eats away at the memory banks implemented in the brain like a cancer, and there has yet to be a cure found. Knowing this, I went to see him expecting he would at least remember the time he took me to a baseball game or the hundreds of days we spent fishing. Upon seeing my grandpa, I had realized that I could not have been more wrong for he did not even recall who I was; nevertheless reminisce on the past times we shared together. I was devastated, for I always was so respectful to my elders for the soul fact that they were the holders and storytellers of the wonderful tales of past events, and now my grandpa can not even fathom having a grandchild. Apprehending the idea that I could no longer rely on my grandpas endless wisdom was hard to grasp, yet at the same time proves Mr. Gould's theory on memory and its lapses. This brings up another aspect to be considered: When a witness is

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