The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is heart just a pumping organ?  (Read 11732 times)

Offline Furwa

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Is heart just a pumping organ?
« on: 13/07/2004 01:48:42 »
Heart is just a pumping organ, right? Then why do we get heart attacks once under stress?..And then again..we are jsut made up of cells, musles, tissues, bones, blood..then how do we feel? You`ll say hormones and blah...But still..its wierd..
plus hormones arent produced in the heart..and why do we associate heart with love?=S
We have a soul inside us? but then how do we die of a heart attack, cancer whatever- that happens to our body not our soul..
Does science belive in souls?
Maybe Im not making sense..but it makes sense to me and it doesnt too... I dont understand the relation.


 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5337
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #1 on: 13/07/2004 05:21:36 »
The heart is indeed 'just' a pump, but every organ and tissue in the body depends upon an intact circulation for its survival. This is particularly true of the brain, which contains the most metabolically-hungry tissue in the body. Indeed, despite contributing only 2% or less to our total body weight, the brain receives 20% of the blood pumped out of the heart, and accounts for 25% of the total oxygen used by the body.

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage in one or more of the arteries supplying the heart muscle. The affected region of muscle is starved of oxygen and glucose and begins to die (necrose). This can also disturb the normal electrical activity of the heart precipitating a cardiac arrest - when the heart stops beating regularly and hence pumping stops.

When circulation ceases brain cells are deprived of oxygen and the patient loses consciousness almost immediately. If an effective circulation is not restored within a few minutes at the very most, then the brain will be irreversibly damaged.

Whether or not the body contains a soul is down to what the individual believes. There's no way (at least at the moment) to prove or disprove it !

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx
 

Offline qazibasit

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #2 on: 16/07/2004 17:07:37 »
we associate heart with love because in ancient times greek used to believe that this pumping thing which they observe from outside the body is the thing responsible for life and in it is the soul so they associate heart with all the emotions.

the next thing is that there are many reasons for cardiac failure the pacemaker sometimes get weak , the myocarditis ,cardiac arrythmias and plus the fibrilation of heart

the reason we get heart attatck is the hyperventilation which cause the acidosis and the chemoreceptores which are in the aortic bodies and carotid bodies they secrete catecholamine which is a neurotransmitter and cause the vagal nerve increase the heart rate which cause heart attatck

some other reasons are also there which cause the heart attatck are the refractory shocks the body try its best to bring the heart rate to normal but the things go beyond reach and its only up to you how strong you are and control yourself.
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #3 on: 16/07/2004 21:28:13 »
The simple reason why we associate the heart with love is because it beats faster when we meet someone we are attracted to!
So from that, people started thinking that love had something to do with the heart!

Personally, i don't believe in souls. Souls were invented to explain why a collection of various inanimate atoms can have consiousness. Well, i believe that the brain creates us the illusion of being conscious, whereas all our decisions are preplanned based on our DNA and our upbringing.

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 16/07/2004 21:28:48 by qpan »
 

Offline bezoar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #4 on: 17/07/2004 22:15:27 »
Geez, qpan, that's pretty radical.  According to that theory, none of us have any control over our lives.  I'd hate to think that.  

Who was that heart patient who was kept alive on an artificial pump?  I forgot his name, but I think when he woke up from surgery, he told his wife that he loved her with all his heart, proving, I would think, that the heart is not the organ that generates love.
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #5 on: 25/07/2004 11:08:38 »
Yeah- but the thing is, our DNA is such a dominant factor in our lives. It dictates our preferences, what we can acheive and even our personalities. Upbringing can, of course, greatly alter these things too. This brings us to the debate about free will- does it actually exist? How can it be proven that what we think we "choose" to do isn't just a culmination of our upbringing and our genetic composiiton?

People who are talented are so because of their genes. They will either have good genetic traits to be able to do something very well, or they will have good genetic traits allowing them to work extra hard at that something due to enthusiasm or interest. In a sense, achievement is rather overated as its merely chance that someone receives a good set of genes, and chance again that they actually "achieve" something.

People who work hard don't (in my opinion) do so out of free will, but are predisposed to do so because of their genes.

Life can still be a lot of fun, as our brains give us the illusion that we have at least some kind of control over our lives. Life won't be so fun, however, if scientists decide to decode everyone's DNA and tell us exactly what traits we had. Of course, i could be totally wrong, but i really can't see how how are any different to any of the other atoms in this universe and yet possess the special ability of free will. Unless, of course, either more chance is involved due to quantum mechanical effects in the brain, or these quantum mechanical effects actually allow us to choose what to do. Which then makes me ask why and how? as that would imply that we had a soul which has a personality of its own and which possesses free will.

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 25/07/2004 11:13:48 by qpan »
 

Offline bezoar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #6 on: 31/07/2004 16:45:42 »
The trait or tendency toward a certain type of behavior I would agree is inheirited, but how you channel that tendency is your choice.  You can channel your inclination toward aggression into a life of crime, or be a very successful businessman.  That's the part we have control over.
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #7 on: 31/07/2004 18:32:45 »
But do we really have control of it? If everyone thought like me, then the world would be a very different place. However, not everyone thinks like me, as everyone's brain is different. What causes the difference? DNA and upbringing.

Unless of course, you are suggesting that everyone has a soul which also resides up in your brain which has a "personality" of its own and grants free will. But in that case, what is this soul made of, how did it gain ability of free will, where is it stored and how does it interact with your brain? If everyone had souls, then there should be an area in the brain which is the interlink between the soul and the brain which would be active everytime some one made a conscious decision. Now as far as I know, this is not the case!

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #8 on: 01/08/2004 11:07:40 »
cant there be somewhere in between? just because we are a product of our upbringing and DNA does not mean that we have no free will or that we are unable to make decisions. the course of our life is a result of these decisions and it creats the environment that we live in. our decisions may be based apon our experience and inherited traits but they also create the next scenario that we encounter, thus changing our 'personality'.

we also interact with other peoples lives. if i walk under a building and a piano falls on my head, not quite killing me, this will affect the rest of my life, yet the decision to walk under the building was not based on my DNA nor on my history, this is not a decision that i made, to be hit by the piano, it was chance. this is where people believe in destiny, or foul play! however if i meet the person who dropped the piano, then my reaction may indeed be based on my history and my DNA (or my propensity to splatter their DNA all over the sidewalk!)

yes, but.........
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #9 on: 01/08/2004 11:38:31 »
p.s. does anyone have a cure for a broken heart????:(

it sure hurts like hell!!!! (hey isnt that one of those places that is involved with destiny? or is it god?:D)

yes, but.........
 

Offline bezoar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #10 on: 02/08/2004 01:04:15 »
So are we all just slaves to our DNA?  Hard for me to accept, but all this thinking gives me a pain in my brain, or is it my soul -- or my heart??????
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #11 on: 02/08/2004 13:27:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by jai

we also interact with other peoples lives. if i walk under a building and a piano falls on my head, not quite killing me, this will affect the rest of my life, yet the decision to walk under the building was not based on my DNA nor on my history, this is not a decision that i made, to be hit by the piano, it was chance.



This can be classed as "upbringing." I class upbringing as things which have happened to you in the past, rather than just your interaction with other humans. The piano did not hit you because of chance. Nothing happens by chance. The piano hit you because it fell as a result of someone pushing it / weakening floorboards / whatever. If i paused time before the piano falls and created an infinite number of universes, the piano would still hit you in every single universe. Now this is my point. If i created an infinite number of universes filled with exactly the same arrangement of atoms and particles, are you telling me that free will will cause different things to happen in each of the universes? If free will truly existed, then different things would happen in each universe. But give me a scientific explanation why anything different would happen in each of the universes (other than through quantum fluctuations)?

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #12 on: 03/08/2004 03:10:54 »
if you took the universe at that particular moment you would be right, but the fact is that the universe is a series of moments that to our understanding is infinitly long and infinitly complicated. maybe you are right but if you are then it is to do with destiny and not dna, because the chances that go together to make up the formation of life are too many. too complicated and too 'chancy' and that leads us to god.

yes, but.........
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #13 on: 03/08/2004 10:16:21 »
Well i think it depends on how you class destiny. If you class it as some mystical force which causes you to finally achieve/obtain something, then i do not believe in that. If you are talking about the possibility that our futures are in some ways fixed by who we are, then i do agree.

It doesn't matter how complicated the universe is; i'm not arguing that we can predict the future - i know that we certainly well can't due to the many complex and chaotic systems even on this planet alone (we can't even predict a small chaotic system such as the weather accurately!).

But while the Universe may be very complex, on a macroscopic level it is chaotic rather than random (due to quantum mechanical effects averaging out). Let me first clarify the terms:
Random - unpredictable, no pattern
Chaotic - appearing random due to a small change in input possibly causing a large change in output (e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings could cause a hurricane half way across the world). Not actually random, just hard to predict accurately.

Very few things in the Universe are actually random. These include radoactive decay and particle position (quantum mechanics again). I'd actually be wrong in saying that if you ran a large (but finite) number of universes with the same particle arrangement that they would be exactly the same after a long period of time! Due to the actual random events which do occur, most of the universes will be almost exactly the same whereas a very small number will be radically different. However, this isn't really down to free will as its completely uncontrollable.

But then again i certainly feel like i can do what i want in life - just not sure whether its an illusion caused by the brain or not! If i try to prove it by lets say jumping off a bridge, i still wouldn't know whether it was free will as
1. well, i'd be dead
2. could just be the influence my DNA causing me to do it due to external stimuli such as this forum.

So...

I still don't know what i think - i see no scientific reason why we should have free will, but we do appear to possess it!

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 03/08/2004 10:17:42 by qpan »
 

Offline bezoar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #14 on: 10/08/2004 01:29:28 »
Seems to me that my free will would stop me from walking beneath that piano.  Just a thought.
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #15 on: 10/08/2004 13:10:46 »
Well, I had assumed that the person didn't know the piano was going to fall on them, else its a bit of a pointless scenario and would completely depend on the person's state of mind. If he felt suicidal, he would jump under where the piano was falling, if he wasn't feeling stupid, his instinct would be to keep alive. Hardly free will in my opinion, even if the person realised that the piano was falling.

I wouldn't argue that free will is what causes people to make rapid decisions during traumatic times - in these situations a lot of actions are purely instinctive
e.g. trying to pull yourself up (and subsequently another person down) when you are drowning
e.g. jumping out of a burning building
e.g. escaping the wreck of a burning car

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
 

Offline Senseless

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #16 on: 11/08/2004 06:08:00 »
Ill will definativly answer the question about our souls and hearts.

Our heart is just an organ that keeps us alive.

Out soul is real though, and here is my proof.

They say that when you are under hypnosis or dreaming or meditating you are using the LEAST !!!!!! amount of brain activity!!!!

AND when you are using the least amount of brain activity they say you are capable of experiences life with the GREATEST potential!!!!!

Greg Badalian
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #17 on: 11/08/2004 10:33:03 »
how does that prove or disprove anything? all it does is show that there is an alteration in brain activity and therefore an alteration in perception. just because we percieve it as being a truely wonderfull or extreme experiance, when there is no one there to witness it and no physical evidence of an event, with there is no proof of experience.

however, when it comes to last words i think of the little speach my father gave to me when i was about 7, "if believing in a god, a soul, destiny or any other such thing makes you happy and allows you to see goodness and sense in your life, then believe in it. because if none of it is true then your beleif makes not one jot of difference to anything but the quality of your life".

[8D][8D][8D]

yes, but.........
 

Offline Senseless

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #18 on: 11/08/2004 18:27:06 »
How does it prove you ask? Here it goes.

The more the brain is stimulated the more information of the outside world and inside world of the mind is used.
But when the you go to leaving those areas of the brain, you dont GO to a different area! there is NO! alteration, just a LESSENING of brain activity! yet you can access old memories...predict the FUTURE! and so on!! thus, you are not going to an alteration of brain activity, dont lie to readers! you are accessing something BEYOND! the brain...and superior! because if you are right, and its just another area of the brain, youd have to be an idiot to think that a part of the brain that is almost nothing...have you seen images of the brain under extreme meditation? if you think a brain like that is superior based solely on what alteration of brain areas being activated youd have to compute being a RAT .. IS .,. More capable of intelligence than humans... meditation is associated with a SUPREME intelligence. Albert Ienstine used to think his best under hypnosis! :)

Greg Badalian
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #19 on: 12/08/2004 09:40:14 »
alteration does not mean different area, it means difference, and in your example the difference is in the amount of energy used, nothing else.

yes, but.........
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #20 on: 12/08/2004 10:11:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by Senseless

Ill will definativly answer the question about our souls and hearts.

Out soul is real though, and here is my proof.

They say that when you are under hypnosis or dreaming or meditating you are using the LEAST !!!!!! amount of brain activity!!!!




Well, that proves nothing. A large amount of brain activity is due to your senses. When you are asleep, all your sensory organs are switched off. In addition to this, your body moves far less when you are asleep compared to when you are awake and therefore you have reduced brain activity from that too.

If brain activity increased when we were dreaming, what would be the point in sleeping at all? Sleep allows your body and mind to rest so that you are right and ready for the next day.

The reason that no-one has proved/disproved that the soul exists is that it is so hard to conduct a conclusive experiment. In truth, we know very little about how the brain functions, and it can be historically shown that when people don't understand something, they invent some mystical force which they proclaim must cause the effects they see.

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #21 on: 12/08/2004 10:22:23 »
quote:
Originally posted by Senseless

meditation is associated with a SUPREME intelligence. Albert Ienstine used to think his best under hypnosis! :)

Greg Badalian



That is complete bull. There are claims around that Mozart composed one of his great pieces while in a hypnotic trance. Can people not just accept that some people are just extremely talented and gifted? Or must they attribute their genius to something else?
Mozart was probably just concentrating hard. Surely you can't call that a hypnotic state? Just like when you are "in the zone" when playing a sport - is that hypnotism too?

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #22 on: 13/08/2004 10:56:52 »
i guess in some ways you can call it a hypnotic state, if you define a hypnotic state as being when you are accessing the subconscious to a greater extent and with purpose. i know that when i tattoo or paint, i zone out and in some ways it does feel very much like when i have undergone hypnosis.

or when you are accessing the right side of the brain, the side associated with spacial response and abstract thought. is this correct about the right (as in right hand side) side of the brain? that it is used more with these processes? i read that some where and whenever i have read about hypnosis or subconscious thought it is always said the right side of the brain is where this activity seems to come from.

however i certainly do agree that the amount of brain activity during certain states is no form of proof of a soul. and yet i am not sure that the soul does not exist? maybe it is just a tendancy to want to believe in magic, to make life more interesting?


yaaaaay!!!!!!!
 

Offline qpan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #23 on: 13/08/2004 13:44:35 »
The brain is a very interesting topic of discussion. Apparently, the two halves of the brain have separate personalities - your brain does not really function as a single unit at all!

Some scientists were doing experiments on people who have had their link severed (to stop seisures). As you may or may not know, the right side of the body is controlled by the left brain and the left side of the body by the right. If a normal person is shown different pictures in each eye, they can draw a representation of either picture using either hand. The subjects were shown different images to each eye, but it was found that they could not draw images using their right hand of the pictures they saw in their left eye and vice versa. This was all due to the link being removed. The people still functioned normally with their everyday lives though, apart from a few cases of "alien hand," which is when your hand decides to attack you and you have no control over it whatsoever. Alien hand occurs on the left hand of a right handed victim and the right hand of a left handed victim. This suggests that whichever hand you write with houses "more" of your conscious self, and that its the other (non-conscious according to "you") half of the brain which causes your hand to attack you.

This is a very interesting article i just found by googling:

http://www.viewzone.com/bicam.html

Make sure you read the science bits - you'll probably be very surprised by the things you read!

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
« Last Edit: 13/08/2004 13:45:33 by qpan »
 

Offline jai

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #24 on: 14/08/2004 10:55:33 »
thanks qpan, will have a sticky at it tonight. what you have said aligns perfectly with what i thought i knew.  it has just been about 10 years since i was reading it and i wasnt sure if it had become a personal myth or if it was real. good to know that i imagined it correctly.


yaaaaay!!!!!!!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is heart just a pumping organ?
« Reply #24 on: 14/08/2004 10:55:33 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums