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02:46 PM on 05/28/2010
"God gave Adam life and supreme human intelligence"...then in the couse of evolution, few missed out on the second gift...of course, those are the ones would not believe in Evolution.
04:12 PM on 05/28/2010
Ha, ha. I like that. "Supreme Human Intelligence!" Woah!
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02:36 PM on 05/28/2010
Dan Brown must be busy penning down another book...I am reading the Lost Symbol now, it is a page turner.
06:53 PM on 05/28/2010
The hidden meaning in the Sistine Chapel ceiling is "Pull my finger".
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02:34 PM on 05/28/2010
Couple of years ago went to Florence and had the pleasure so see the brilliant work of Michaelangelo, pictured don`t do enough justice to appreciate his work. It is unfortunate in other parts of the world all the past history and creations are being destroyed by this senseless violence...
01:49 PM on 05/28/2010
"Meshberger speculates that Michelangelo surrounded God with a shroud representing the human brain to suggest that God was endowing Adam not only with life, but also with supreme human intelligence."

I speculate that, in fact, the image says something else.

In Western society, we read from left to right: left is cause, right is effect. Look again at Adam and God - Is God creating Adam? Or is Michelangelo telling us that Man is creating God, in his mind??

Given the thousands of different Gods and thousands of differing interpretations of any one God, I think the answer is the latter.
03:05 PM on 05/28/2010
I like your speculation. God seems to have goobs. Wonder what the significance of that is. He's also wearing some sort of pink negligee.
Visualize Whirled Peas.
03:47 PM on 05/28/2010
I was thinking along those lines as well...that maybe Michaelangelo was making a statement about the church having created God in man's image. That would fit with Spiritualist leanings. Favorite and fanned.
01:24 PM on 05/28/2010
So far, to my knowledge, neither the neuroscientists nor the author of this article, nor commenters, have pointed out that as a homosexual Michaelangelo could not have had an easy time fitting in with the myopic culture of the Church. It may even have influenced how he envisaged his painting of the Sistine Chapel, and depicting God as somewhat androgynous, with more than a suggestion of female breasts.
02:09 PM on 05/28/2010
There's no proof that he was homosexual - a lot of speculation and a lot of judging the past through modern perspectives but not one fact that proves it beyond doubt. You simply decided to accept the revisionist history because it suited your cause. Though it doesn't matter whether he was gay or not I find it suspect that you would think this was the most important contribution you could make to the discussion.
03:27 PM on 05/28/2010
And this is the most important contribution you could make? There's no proof he wasn't homosexual either.
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05:00 PM on 05/28/2010
You need to learn to read. There is written evidence in the form of love letters to Tommaso de Cavalieri, not speculation, do a little search on the internet. (not that everything you read is 100 percent fact) So who is revising history to suit who's needs?

It is incredibly important to the discussion because the Church rewrote history over and over to suit their puritanical, repressive, "the church is before God" view to keep control over the masses. How many Bibles are there, how many revisions, how many sections rejected or rewritten. Countless. It is also fascinating that almost 80% of the Bible is a direct rip off of stories, parables and fiction originating 1,000's of years before Christ.

When someone (i.e. the Church not God) changes history and take something out like Michaelangelo being gay it is a direct affront to the fact that being gay is not an abomination. That being gay is not bad but rather normal and should be treaded as such. But because the Church deemed it bad they rewrote history so it is eminently important to the discussion.
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04:35 PM on 05/28/2010
..and who cares, the art remains.
David Russo
12:51 PM on 05/28/2010
We recently visited the Sistine Chapel and guess what? These images are indeed there. Our tour guide pointed them out and, once observed closely, it is fairly clear.
12:47 PM on 05/28/2010
Yeah, this whole article was kind of a stretch for me. It is only natural to try and see patterns in the world around helps us make sense of things.
12:00 PM on 05/28/2010
I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsey, but maybe not...
12:09 PM on 05/28/2010
Wow.....A painting of God........What has happened to all the angels that were seen daily back then and people walking after they died and visions of God and his mighty staff and other things....Guess they all got tired back then and decided not to fly above us anymore.
A Citizen's View from Main Street
01:08 PM on 05/28/2010
LOL! I have this potato...
11:27 AM on 05/28/2010
If any of these geniuses had talked to a 2nd year psychology student, they would understand that this is a natural phenomenon in the brain. I bet if they were looking for sex toys, they would have found them too.
Never eat anything bigger than your head. - Kliban
11:35 AM on 05/28/2010
Also, french fries, bicycle pumps, spiders and scantily-clad women. To name a few.
11:47 AM on 05/28/2010
Why don't YOU do your homework?
An extreme moderate
11:13 AM on 05/28/2010
Interesting theory. As an astronomer, I do have one nit to pick about the article:

"Recall that this was the age when the monk Copernicus was denounced by the Church for theorizing that the earth rotated around the sun. "

The Earth rotates on its axis. It revolves around the Sun
02:57 PM on 05/28/2010
10:52 AM on 05/28/2010

There’s only one trip through life and that’s it
So what are you leaving for those lift behind?
Will they miss your wisdom and unselfish love
Or will there be laughter, happiness and words unkind?

You may live your life as wicked as the devil
And regardless of your sins God still loves you.
But when you serve His purpose and intent
You’re transformed by His grace and renew.

You can’t convince me nothing really happens
When righteous men gather, confess and pray.
God has His purpose for all who submit
To His commandments for believers to obey.

Always be ready to fight your battles on your knees
Before and after you are tested by time.
Never underestimate the power of God’s will
And what happens when your purpose is “Divine”.

By Soldier For The Lord
Tom Zart
Most Published Poet
On The Web
10:57 AM on 05/28/2010
We're discussing Michalengelo here, not God's purpose.
11:29 AM on 05/28/2010
I give this two thumbs down.
Who is Watching the Watchers
10:50 AM on 05/28/2010
"Is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel a 500 year-old puzzle that is only now beginning to be solved? What was Michelangelo saying by constructing the voice box of God out of the brain stem of man? Is it a sacrilege or homage?"

"If the hidden figures are intentional, what do they mean?"

Not to belittle the art and/or theories but what if it's as simple as Michelangelo simply trying to see what he could get away with?
aka The Wrong Monkey
11:42 AM on 05/28/2010
"Not to belittle the art and/or theories but what if it's as simple as Michelangelo simply trying to see what he could get away with?"

It could be as simple as that.

Hidden meanings in pictures were very popular in the Renaissance, along with secret codes, secret societies, secret handshakes, anagrams and so forth. The tricky part is figuring out what they mean, and not being overly-hasty to come to conclusions. I don't think Suk and Tamargo or Fields are being overly hasty a la Dan Brown and the History Channel.
11:49 AM on 05/28/2010
Re: "Not to belittle the art and/or theories but what if it's as simple as Michelangelo simply trying to see what he could get away with?"

Shhhhhh- you're potentially destroying entire careers here!
John McIntosh
Former U.S. Navy, Current EFL teacher
10:41 AM on 05/28/2010
Michelangelo Buonarrati stands as one of the most incredibly f-ing intelligent beings on this planet, ever. If there are anomalites in his ceiling, I am willing to take it on faith that these are not mistakes. I'll assume that everything he did, artistically, was intentional. I do not find it in any way surprising that the throat of of God that he painted looks like a human cerebral cortex. Logically, out of all the throats he painted or sculpted, that this one is odd-looking.

Seeing bunnies in clouds, Jesus in grilled cheese is indeed the viewer imposing subjective desires on random shapes, but nothing MB ever did was random.
12:09 PM on 05/28/2010
There is no doubt that, in association with Medici and others who read the Corpus Hermeticum, Michelangelo was "toying" with the concepts of Hermetica (or embracing them) which provided a seminal impetus in the development of Renaissance thought and culture. After the Catholic Church drove the beliefs underground, a number of secret Hermetic societies formed, having a profound impact on alchemy. And one of the beliefs is "as above, so below." i.e.,God and Man are One. We'll probably never know which Hermetic society he joined, but he was not the only one involved in looking for the "soul," "spirit," "astral bodies," the ida, pingala, etc. Leonardo da Vinci, in his notes, wrote that he sought them during his anatomical studies, thinking they were "gross" elements.
03:03 PM on 05/28/2010
Haha, that Jesus in grilled cheese thing was a answer on Jeopardy the other day. And no, I didn't confuse the two. The answer was in 200- a women sold this kind of sandwich for $28,000, claiming the face of Jesus was on it. The question was 'What is Grilled Cheese?"
10:26 AM on 05/28/2010
In all of the talk about neuroanatomy, it is interesting that no one has commented on the fact that God is depicted with breasts. the singular nature indeed.
Ralph Noyes
I rant therefore I am.
10:27 AM on 05/28/2010
Thought I was the only one who thought he noticed that.
aka The Wrong Monkey
10:37 AM on 05/28/2010
Some men, heavy men especially, have boobs. This may be sort of sad, but it's not news.
11:05 AM on 05/28/2010
Oh dear, could God possibly be a transgender?
11:25 AM on 05/28/2010
Yeah, but NO. The depiction of God doesn't have a 50' waist, plus you can see the muscles in his arms. Michelangelo knew the anatomy, this was NOT a mistake.
aka The Wrong Monkey
10:15 AM on 05/28/2010
I'm really surprised by all the comments mocking Suk and Tamargo's theory, comparing it to hallucinated images of Jesus and the Virgin and so forth. The mockers seem not be acknowledging one thing: whatever that is on the top of God's shoulder's there, it does not look like a regular human face, and it's surrounded there on the Sistine Chapel ceiling by many, many very realistic pictures of human faces. Whatever that is, it's WEIRD. It certainly could be a brain. It certainly isn't a typical face.

When Meshberger pointed out that the cloud containing God in the Creation of Adam was a brain in cross-section, it was immediately so obvious to me that I wondered why I hadn't seen it on my own. I'm not so familiar with the shapes of brain stems, but if two neurosurgeons say that's what it is in a peer-reviewed journal, I'm going to wait for the peer review before I dismiss what they say. I'm already more inclined to see it as a brain stem than as a face. I mean, just look at it, ye jasping mockers!
11:34 AM on 05/28/2010
An entire coliseum of people just collectively face-palmed after reading this statement.