Thursday, October 7, 2010
Michelangelo - The Neuroscientist
Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel's ceiling from 1508-1512. But his skill as an anatomist - derived from dissecting corpses in his teenage years - was a secret.
500 years later, neuroanatomy experts argue in Neurosurgery that he disguised anatomical illustrations into the body of God, precisely where art experts have wondered why irregularities exist that are uncharacteristic of Michelangelo.
They say the neck of God is a perfect anatomical illustration of a cross section of the human brain and from the center of God’s chest to his throat - where fabric oddly bunches up - is the human spinal cord and brain stem. At God’s waist, the robe strangely twists again revealing the optic nerves from two eyes, just like Da Vinci, Michelangelo's contemporary, depicted in 1487. Superimposing God’s neck on a human brain matches exactly.
But if true, why did he do it? It may represent the prevailing clash between science and religion (recall Galileo and Copernicus' dangerous view). Michelangelo’s also grew to detest Church and believed the Church was not needed for communion with God. The human organs in God could indicate this belief - man can understand God without the Church.