and Senescence are Affected by Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence,
Gelotology, Pretiare and Neurotheology
Senescence (L. senex
means old or advanced in age) is the period or process during which
organisms become old. The life span of humans can reach 120 years
of age (Gen. 6:3). The average life span is around 70 years of
age (Ps. 90:10). The symbols for age are Y1 (0-20 years), Y2 (20-60
years), and Y3 (over 60 years). The boundary between Y2 (middle
age) and Y3 (old age) varies in the effects of aging among individuals.
The potential age limit for
each individual is enhanced by proper diet, exercise, and rest.
Beyond which, honoring parents (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:2-8), keeping God's
laws (I Kings 3:14; Prov. 3:1-2), wisdom (Prov. 3:13, 16, 4:10, 9:10-11),
fearing the Lord (Ps. 128:1, 6; Prov. 10:27), keeping from evil (Ps.
34:11-14), praying (II Kings 20:1-11), and God's promise (Gen. 15:15)
can add to life. On the other hand, killing (II Sam. 3:27), God's
judgment (Job 22:15-16), and suicide (Matt. 27:5) lowers the length
of potential life.
The aged are to be sober, grave,
temperate, sound in faith, charitable and patient (Titus 2:2-5).
They are to leave an inheritance to their children's children (Prov.
13:22). The Y1 and Y2 behaviors toward the Y3 is to minister to
their needs (I Kings 1:15), to show respect (Ps. 71:18-19), to care
for (Is. 46:4), to honor (Lev. 19:32; Prov. 16:31), and insure that
righteous widows without families are taken care of by the church (I
The Y3 demographic can contribute
to society wisdom (Job 12:12), maturity (Job 5:26), spirituality (Prov.
16:31; Luke 2:36-38), fruitfulness (Ps. 92:12-16), judgment (I Kings
12:6-8), counsel (I Kings 12:6-16), leadership and faith (Josh. 24:1-2;
14-15, 29). Of course, there are the limitations of physical infirmities
(Gen. 48:10), deteriorating bodies (Eccl. 12:2-7), declining strength
(Ps. 71:9), and becoming less adventurous (II Sam. 19:31-39).
Common examples of physical
decline are skin wrinkles, graying hair and hair loss, lessening of
seeing and hearing abilities, lessening of the libido, decreasing bone
density, slower reflexes, and mental changes. Usually mental changes
include difficulty in recalling memories and a lessening ability to
Geriatrics (Gr. geras,
old age; L. iatria, relating to medical treatment) is the branch
of medicine that specializes in the diseases of old age. The practice
of geriatric psychiatry is often called psychogeriatrics. This field deals with the study,
prevention, and treatment of the mental aspects of aging. This
would encompass fluid and crystallized intelligence of the elderly,
such as a lessening or not lessening of the ability to shift core theological
beliefs, change ideological voting patterns etc. Scholars such
as Kuruvilla George, Director of Aged Persons Mental Health at Eastern
Health, and David Schretlen, Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine, can not say definitively whether neuroscience
studies indicate that there is or is not a lessening of inherent flexibility
in those decision making cases (specifically theology and voting ideology).
(The views of Kuruvilla George and David Schretlen were expressed
in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in March, 2009.)
2. Fluid and Crystallized
Fluid intelligence (gF) is
the ability is find meaning in confusion and to solve new problems.
Crystallized intelligence (gC) is the ability to use skills, knowledge
and experience. Fluid and crystallized intelligence are considered
to be discrete factors of general intelligence (g) as outlined by Raymond
Cattell (1905-1998) around 1987. Those two forms of intelligence
are believed to be separate neurological systems.
Fluid intelligence is the ability
to make inferences and comprehend the relationships of various concepts,
independent of acquired knowledge. This problem-solving and pattern
recognition ability has seemed to be rarely affected by brain injuries.
Crystallized intelligence is not equated to memory or knowledge, but
does access information from long-term memory. It relies on specific
and acquired knowledge and is susceptible to change (e.g. if someone
learns a new physics equation then the gC has changed but the gF has
not changed or if the belief in a god is proven false and the theological
belief is shifted to a belief in the infinite God, a new knowledge is
People with high gF, not surprisingly,
seem to acquire more gC and at faster rates than people with lower gF.
A number of factors that share correlation in gF are induction, visualization,
quantitative reasoning and ideational fluency. Factors for gC
are verbal ability, language development, reading comprehension, sequential
reasoning and general processing of information.
Fluid intelligence, such as
reaction time, peaks early in Y2 and then declines. The lack of
practice, along with brain changes, contributes to the decline.
Today, research seems to support that gF can be maintained or even improved
with memory exercises. Some research for both gF and gC show two
separate brain systems. The prefrontal cortex and cingulated cortex,
among others, relate to attention focus and short-term memory for gF.
The hippocampus involves storage and usage of lone-term memory for gC.
David Schretlen coauthored
a paper in 2000 that postulated two theories for normal cognitive aging.
The first theory asserted that decreases in simple processing speed
mediates the age related decline in gF. The second theory maintained
that age-related atrophic changes in the frontal lobe undermines the
functioning of executive abilities and thus produces the same decline.
The paper's findings suggested that both ideas are partially correct
and compliant with each other.
Studies show that all dynamic
or learning scores (post-test) discriminate better healthy Mild Cognitive
Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) subjects than all static
pre-test scores. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the temporal lobe
can differentiate AD from dementia regarding vascular dementia.
Depression and other disorders associated with MCI are not determined.
In 2003, it was found that
self-report questionnaires for elderly persons regarding memory was
significantly less effective than direct questioning for those without
MCI or depression. Additionally, a tentative study of 50 pairs
of elderly female twins for concordance of cognitive impairment showed
that age-related impairment in cognitive testing did not differ between
monozygotic and dizygotic twins.
Life expectancy rates do not
equate to correlation of abilities. For example, the average 30
year old in a society with a life expectancy rate of 35 years has the
same abilities as an average 30 year old in a society with a life expectancy
rate of 75 years. Thirty year olds in all societies would have
similar abilities though the bell curve for death would be inverted
with peaks of mortality at both infancy and old age.
It has been somewhat seriously
suggested that there be an upper limit (Y3) on voting rights just as
there is a lower limit (Y1) on voting rights due to measurable less
than optimum mental decision-making abilities. It would seem that
there is a greater correlation between theological beliefs than abilities
in Y3 voter demographics, roles in civil unrest, etc. among the elderly
Many issues can be analyzed
as more germane studies are vetted. A large effort is being directed
toward the behavioral effects of laughter and humor on psychogeriatric
In 2000, imaging research showed
that humor appreciation appears to be based on the lower frontal lobes
of the human brain which has long been associated with social and emotional
judgment and planning. It is surmised that this is why people
who have suffered strokes in the frontal lobes have lost their sense
of humor along with experiencing other alterations in personality.
Researchers have found that
activity occurred in the anterior supplemental motor area of the brain
in laughter. That area is normally associated with planning movement
and initiation of speech. However, when people viewed the complex
comprehensive humor in written jokes and cartoons, activity occurred
in the brain's ventromedial frontal lobe. Then laughter at a
joke requires the use of several parts of the brain.
Gelotology (Gr. gelos
means laugh[-ter or -ing]) is the study of humor and laughter on the
human body. Laughter can increase blood pressure, lower blood
sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, increase heart rates which burns calories,
boost the immune system by increasing antibodies, T-cells and B-cells,
increase oxygen levels which aids in healing, and reduces anxiety.
Laughter can reduce levels of cortisol, growth hormone and catecholamines
and is studied in psychoneuroimmunology.
Although it is often reported
that the Y1 group laughs 300 to 400 times per day as compared to the
Y3 groups laughing 15 or so times per day, the facts being compiled
by the Association for Applied Therapeutic Humor (AATH) shows that adults in general may
laugh more than children. Beneficial therapies are now
being practiced by many psychiatrists, doctors and mental health professionals.
Therapeutic humor may use books and movies to encourage humorous experiences.
Clown therapy may involve clowns using magic or music. The client
can provide personal information to create a humor profile that can
be used to focus laughter therapy.
As most people know, there
are many different types of humor. They include: puns, riddles,
formal jokes, satire or sarcasm, irony and parody, etc. Therefore,
humor requires problem-solving from the freewill reasoning of intellect.
Then the creator, God, would have expressed the attribute of humor from
(In an email exchange during March and April of 2009
between Donald Capps at Princeton Theological Seminary
and Dallas F. Bell Jr., Professor Capps recommended the research
concerning humor and religion conducted by Vassilis Saroglou
et al., psychology of religion professor at the Université
Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.)
In the Old Testament book of
Genesis, God's humor can be seen in His creation of daffy ducks, long-necked
giraffes and the antics of monkeys. Those animals bring smiles
to zoo visitors around the world each day. The people of Israel
(c. 1026 B.C.) angered God by rejecting God's judge, Samuel, by demanding
a king. God chose Saul to be their king as he was in the process
of trying to find his asses (I Sam. 9:1-20). Gideon was addressed
as a mighty man of valor (c. 1140 B.C.) as he was hiding (Judg. 6:12).
Similarly, in the New Testament Peter was called "the rock" by Jesus
when he was the least stable apostle (Matt. 16:18). God's overall
philosophy is to use the foolish to confound the wise and to use the
weak to confound the mighty (I Cor. 1:27).
In the New Testament, Jesus
used the humorous references of it being easier for a camel to go through
the eye of a needle than... (Matt. 19:24; Luke 18:25), ...strain at
a gnat but swallow a camel (Matt 23:24), and take the beam out your
own eye before worrying about the mote in another person's eye (Matt.
7:3-5; Luke 6:41-42).
It seems apparent that there
are types of laughter: divine (Ps. 59:8), natural (Job 8:21), derisive
(Neh. 2:19), deceitful (Prov. 14:13), scornful (II Chr. 30:10), confident
(Job 5:22), and joyful (Ps. 126:2). Some causes of laughter are
folly (Ps. 2:4), something unusual (Gen. 18:12-15), untruth (Matt. 9:24),
and contradiction (Ps. 22:7-8).
An example of righteous humor
in mocking (Heb. hathal) is when the righteous prophet, Elijah,
derided the evil prophets of Baal and said that they should cry aloud
because their god is talking or asleep or is on a long journey (I Kings
18:27-40) resulting in Elijah's affirmation as he killed the false
prophets of Baal. Other examples are found in Num. 22:29, Judg.
16:10-15, Prov. 1:26, and Ps. 2:4.
An example of unrighteous humor
in mocking (Heb. qalac) is when the evil children ridiculed
the righteous prophet, Elisha, saying that he, the old bald head, should
go up as Elijah did (II Kings 2:23-24) resulting in bears killing the
children and affirming the righteous Elisha. Other examples are
found in Gen. 39: 14, 17, II Chr. 36:16, Prov. 14:9, Prov 20:1, Matt.
20:19, Luke 23:11, Acts 2:13, Heb. 11:36, and Jude 18.
Among other things, unrighteous
humor demonstrates the arrogance of man's puny abilities as being
foolishly funny which is deserving of just punishment for the sinful
pride against the holy God. Human knowledge is limited (I Cor.
13:8-12). For example, the expected microwave radiation shadows
by big bang proponents have been recently found not to exist by Richard
Lieu at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Whatever the reason
for this effect, the situation can be seen as humorous (Heb.11:3).
Molecules made of atoms from
subatomic structures can't reason--rocks don't laugh. But
when these inert particles are given the intellect from the Creator's
intellect, reasoning is possible as the designed billions of atoms unnaturally
work in harmony with purpose--to praise God. Wernher Magnus Maximilian
knew that the more one learns the more one sees the beauty of the creator
(Praise) and Neurotheology
Neurotheology studies the correlation
of neural phenomena with subjective spiritual experiences. Atheists
wrongly apply the former (neural) to completely explain the latter (spiritual).
David Wulf, a psychologist at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, suggests
that there is a common core of religious experiences across cultures
that points to a structure or process in the human brain.
When posed the question of
correlations between the activity of praising God and health specific
to theologies and age, Wulf noted the difficulty in tracing brain activity
in the extended state of praising God. He further states that
it is not known if anyone at this time is looking at age differences
for this phenomenon. (This query was posed to David Wulf by
Dallas F. Bell Jr. in an email exchange in March, 2009.)
Neurological mapping has limitations
but has come a long way as Michio Kaku, author and physicist, explains
in his recent book how mapping can show concepts recognized by the subject,
such as a tree or dog. With those maps, a lie by the subject can
be seen. The obvious problem would be deception by the subject
when the baseline of mapping, trees or dogs, etc. is being conducted.
The subject need only focus on strong images such as fear or sex to
defeat the presented baseline concepts.
Praise of God could also defeat
the brain mapping. The human brain can't both praise God and
be fearful or depressed. Praise (L. pretiare, to praise
or glorify) is the impassioned exhalation of God (Ps. 139:14) in obedience
(Ps. 117:1) and gratitude for His name (I Chr. 29:13; Ps. 99:3), for
His power (Ps. 21:13), for His faithfulness and wonders (Ps.89:1-5),
for His loving kindness (Ps. 138:2), and for His works (Ps. 145:4).
Believers are to praise God daily (Ps. 35:28, 72:15, 119:164), continually
(Ps. 71:6), at midnight (Ps. 119:62; Acts 16:25), and while they have
life (Ps. 146:2). All in heaven praise God (Rev. 7:9-12).
The soul praises God and the mind and body will follow. All things
praise God by their ordered existence. Jesus said, "If these
hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:35-40)
To praise God gives spiritual
victory (Neh. 12:40-47) and to not praise God gives a foothold to spiritual
defeat (I Sam. 13:5-8). Believers are to praise God in all things
(Eph.5:20). Believers praise God with all that is within (Ps.
103:1), with joy (Ps. 35:9), with a pure heart (Ps. 119:7), with a joyful
noise (Ps. 100:1), with the mouth (Ps. 34:1), with song (Ps. 47:6),
with shouting (Ps. 27:6), with instruments (Ps. 150:3-5), with raised
hands (Ps. 63:4), with clapping (Ps. 47:1), by standing (Ps. 135:2-3),
by bowing (Ps. 95:6), and with dancing (Ps. 30:11).
"By Him therefore let us
offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit
of our lips giving thanks to His name" (Heb. 13:15). William
Blake (1757-1827) referred to Jesus as the
Lamb of God (Is.
53:7; John 1:29-36; Rev. 19:7-9). George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
praised the Messiah. Ludwig van Beethoven's (1770-1827) Symphony No.
9 in D minor,
Op. 125 "choral" praises the Creator. James Clerk Maxwell's (1831-1879) poem To the Chief
Musician Upon Nabla
praises God's creation. Ian Hutchinson, Professor and Department
Head of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, points out that theological belief affects theorizing
about cosmology and brain science but it is less obvious to see the
direct influence in technical endeavors. (This comment by Ian
Hutchinson is taken from an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in
March, 2009.) However, to technically say 2 + 2 = 4 does eliminate,
to some degree, adherents of the theology of relativism who contradictory
believe in only one truth, that there is no truth.
Psychogeriatrics and senescence
are affected by fluid and crystallized intelligence. The study
of humor (gelotology), praise (pretiare) and neurotheology are relevant
to psychogeriatrics. They demonstrate the reality of the Creator
and His scripture. Those Divinely inspired passages give hope
for God stimulated achievement in old age such as invention by Noah
(Gen. 9:28-29; Heb. 11:7), procreation by Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 21:5;
Heb. 11:11-12) leadership by Moses and Aaron (Ex. 7:7; Heb. 11:24-29),
and conquering by Caleb (Josh. 14:10-13; Heb. 11:30). All those
achievements were kinetic and propulsive for both the individuals and
for the society.
John saw heaven opened and
a white horse and He that sat on him was called Faithful and True and
righteous, He judges and makes war, His eyes were as flames of fire
and His head had many crowns and His name is written and no man knows
except Himself, He was clothed with a vesture of dipped blood and His
name is called the Word of God and the armies of heaven followed Him
on white horses clothed with white linen. Out of His mouth is
a sharp sword to smite the nations and rule with a rod of iron with
the wrath of Almighty God. He had on His vesture and on His thigh
a name written KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:11-16).
Praise our God, all ye servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and
great, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and
rejoice and give honor to Him (Rev. 19:5-7).
Pavel Grigorievich Tchesnokov
(1877-1944) wrote in his choral work, Salvation
"Salvation is created in the mids't of the earth, O God. Alleluia!
(Special appreciation is
extended to Robert A. Nozik, Professor Emeritus at the University of
California Medical Center, for his assistance with email queries from
Dallas F. Bell Jr. in March, 2009.)
RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 DALLAS F. BELL, JR.----------------