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Author Topic:   Can ToE explain human Brain development?
Peg
Member (Idle past 2371 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 1 of 47 (529677)
10-10-2009 4:25 AM


this is a spin off from my last 'Reasons for Doubt' thread

Now i want to pose a questions that, theoretically, the ToE should be able to answer. I dont really have a premis for this discussion except to say that denying the existence of a Creator does not still man’s quest for a meaning to life. If we are simply animals along a long evolutionary chain, we are no different to them and should not exhibit the traits we do.

And to start it off, in The Brain Book, Peter Russell writes: “The more that is learned about the human brain, the more its capacities and potentials are found to go far beyond earlier speculations.”

In regard to memory, for instance, our brain has an enormous capacity. They have discoved that Memory is not like a container that gradually fills up, it's more like a tree growing hooks onto which the memories are hung. Everything you remember is another set of hooks on which more new memories can be attached. So the capacity of memory keeps on growing. The more you know, the more you can know.

This brings us back to my earlier question, Why does the human brain have such a vast intellect? What purpose does it serve in evolutionary terms.

As a believer in creation, i believe that it was designed to last and learn forever as God intended...how does ToE explain it?

{Content hidden - See message 3 as the topic starter message - Adminnemooseus}

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : See above.


    
AdminModulous
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Posts: 885
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 2 of 47 (529679)
10-10-2009 4:32 AM


Too many topics
All possibly interesting. Do you want to discuss the evolution of the human brain, or do you want to focus on some other attribute like bipedality or sexuality or religion?

They are, in many ways linked - so discussion on one will probably touch on some of the others. I think focussing specifically on one subject would be significanlty beneficial to any debate, yes?


    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2371 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 3 of 47 (529682)
10-10-2009 4:44 AM


Re: Too many topics
this is a spin off from my last 'Reasons for Doubt' thread

Now i want to pose a questions that, theoretically, the ToE should be able to answer. I dont really have a premis for this discussion except to say that denying the existence of a Creator does not still man’s quest for a meaning to life. If we are simply animals along a long evolutionary chain, we are no different to them and should not exhibit the traits we do.

And to start it off, in The Brain Book, Peter Russell writes: “The more that is learned about the human brain, the more its capacities and potentials are found to go far beyond earlier speculations.”

In regard to memory, for instance, our brain has an enormous capacity. They have discoved that Memory is not like a container that gradually fills up, it's more like a tree growing hooks onto which the memories are hung. Everything you remember is another set of hooks on which more new memories can be attached. So the capacity of memory keeps on growing. The more you know, the more you can know.

This brings us back to my earlier question, Why does the human brain have such a vast intellect? What purpose does it serve in evolutionary terms.

As a believer in creation, i believe that it was designed to last and learn forever as God intended...how does ToE explain it?

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Minnemooseus, posted 10-10-2009 6:28 AM Peg has responded
 Message 9 by Izanagi, posted 10-10-2009 6:57 AM Peg has responded
 Message 10 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-10-2009 7:06 AM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Larni, posted 10-10-2009 7:55 AM Peg has responded
 Message 24 by AnswersInGenitals, posted 10-10-2009 9:29 PM Peg has responded
 Message 38 by Lithodid-Man, posted 10-12-2009 3:59 PM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 40 by websnarf, posted 01-21-2010 1:18 AM Peg has not yet responded
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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3794
Joined: 09-26-2002
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 4 of 47 (529684)
10-10-2009 4:51 AM


Need to edit message 1, also make topic title specific to the narrowed theme
If we promote message 1 as originally presented the topic will most likely immediately fragment into all the subthemes there.

Please edit message 1 down to only the brain material. Also, please edit the topic title (via editing message 1) such that it is also brain specific.

Adminnemooseus

Added by edit: OK, I was doing a message while you were doing a message 3 edit. I'll hide message 1 and then promote (or maybe AdminMod will).

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : See above.


    
Adminnemooseus
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Message 5 of 47 (529686)
10-10-2009 5:00 AM


Too many editors
Peg - Fix message 1 from my fixes. I like the new topic title.

Adminnemooseus


    
Adminnemooseus
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Message 6 of 47 (529693)
10-10-2009 5:27 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Can ToE explain human Brain development? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Adminnemooseus, posted 10-10-2009 5:48 AM Adminnemooseus has not yet responded

    
Adminnemooseus
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Posts: 3794
Joined: 09-26-2002
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Message 7 of 47 (529698)
10-10-2009 5:48 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Adminnemooseus
10-10-2009 5:27 AM


Bump - After considerable confusion, this is the new open to debate topic
Or something like that.

Adminnemooseus


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 Message 6 by Adminnemooseus, posted 10-10-2009 5:27 AM Adminnemooseus has not yet responded

    
Minnemooseus
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From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 8 of 47 (529701)
10-10-2009 6:28 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peg
10-10-2009 4:44 AM


Building a computer that works like a brain
In the current Discover Magazine (apparently no on-line version yet) there is an article about building a digital computer that functions like a rudimentary brain.

The modern computer is designed to and does function with extremely few errors. To do this, however, requires a relatively large voltage difference between the 0 (off) state and the 1 (on) state. This is to eliminate ambiguity about which state a bit is in. The drawback is that the computer has a high energy demand.

A human brain, on the other hand, operates with a vastly smaller energy demand. It does this by having the 0 (off) state and the 1 (on) state being much closer to being the same. This, however, results in the brain's individual little activities being highly error prone.

The human brain compensates for this error prone nature by doing operations in a highly redundant fashion. Then the results of all these error prone functions are compared and a consensus value results.

The bottom line is that the brain evolved for energy efficiency. The effort in the new computer design is to mimic this efficiency.

That's my off the cuff don't have the magazine with me summary. I think it ties into the theme of this topic. Of course, I really must throw in the "or something like that" disclaimer

Moose


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 4:44 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 2658 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 9 of 47 (529705)
10-10-2009 6:57 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peg
10-10-2009 4:44 AM


Human Brain development
This brings us back to my earlier question, Why does the human brain have such a vast intellect? What purpose does it serve in evolutionary terms.

You do raise some good points, Peg, but keep in mind that it's only been recently that the technology has advanced far enough for researchers to really begin to understand the brain. As we learn more about the brain and its functions, more answers will be forthcoming.

As of right now, one theory on the evolution of the human brain is that it was not a gradual process; rather, the brain rapidly evolve. While brain size has tended to increase overall, there were selective pressures for humans to evolve a larger, stronger brain. One pressure might have been the development of human society in that, the more complicated human society become, the greater the pressure for a larger brain.

But while humans have the largest brain relative to body size of all mammals, that doesn't mean that other mammals do not have similar capabilities that humans have. Chimps have been known to plan, use tools, communicate with each other and even use sign language, etc. Although their own brains could be considered more primitive than ours, chimps do possess similar abilities that once were only accorded to humans and that is not surprising considering the two chimp species are the closest living relative to Homo Sapiens.

Likewise, there are birds that can mimic human speech patterns, mammals that have a rudimentary memory system, etc. The key to remember is that while there are species that are capable of specific abilities associated with humans, there was never a selective pressure to develop those abilities.

Bear in mind that since research into the brain, and more specifically the genetics and functionality of the human brain, has only recently begun, there will not be any satisfactory answers for you for some time to come.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 4:44 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 8:16 AM Izanagi has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15936
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 10 of 47 (529707)
10-10-2009 7:06 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peg
10-10-2009 4:44 AM


Re: Too many topics
Apparently being smart is useful to us.

What part of this do you not understand?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 4:44 AM Peg has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3942
From: UK
Joined: 09-16-2005


(2)
Message 11 of 47 (529715)
10-10-2009 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peg
10-10-2009 4:44 AM


Re: Too many topics
Peq writes:

If we are simply animals along a long evolutionary chain, we are no different to them and should not exhibit the traits we do.

This is of course incorrect. Why should this assertion be so? Your implication is that we possess something special that other animals do not have.

This is true: but many animals have something that is unique to them. For humans it is the abstract cognitive ability of our brains.

For elephants it is their dexterous manipulative trunk.

For spiders it is their ability to construct cunning snares out of silk.

Can you see where I'm going with this? The fact that humans have abilities at a different level to other animals (for better or worse, remember) is no challenge to ToE.

Peq writes:

This brings us back to my earlier question, Why does the human brain have such a vast intellect? What purpose does it serve in evolutionary terms.

Our cognitive ability allows us to plan for the future and anticipate complex situations that are yet to happen; we can predict what is possible.

If we can predict a negative situation and avoid it we improve our chances of survival.

I'm sure you can fill in the dots from here.

Ever worried? Ask your self what worry is; it's a negative prediction about the future. Our brains are wired to work this way because if we are worrying about lions in the long grass we will avoid the long grass and stay alive long enough to breed.

This is so because only the cautious worry ridden humans of pre history survived to breed (as their less cautious comrades got picked off through the generations).

So there you have it: being clever is as useful to survival as being able to build webs or detect sonar or generate bioelectricity or fly or inject poison or track by scent or............


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 4:44 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 8:37 AM Larni has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2371 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


(1)
Message 12 of 47 (529719)
10-10-2009 8:16 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Izanagi
10-10-2009 6:57 AM


Re: Human Brain development
Izanaqi writes:

keep in mind that it's only been recently that the technology has advanced far enough for researchers to really begin to understand the brain. As we learn more about the brain and its functions, more answers will be forthcoming.

thats very true...it seems though that as they learn more about the brain, they are beginning ot realise just how complex an organ it really is.

thats an interesting article especially the point in paragraph 11
"The scientists found that the human brain's genes had gone through an intense amount of evolution in a short amount of time - a process that far outstripped the evolution of the genes of other animals."

this in itself is completely contrary to how evolution predicts changes isnt it?

I dont know if its reasonable to put it down simply to our social connections though. I mean lets face it, there are many animals that live in family groups...look at the herds of africa for example. Buffalo and deer live in herds that can run into many thousands.

Izanaqi writes:

chimps do possess similar abilities that once were only accorded to humans and that is not surprising considering the two chimp species are the closest living relative to Homo Sapiens.

its true that other animals have some intelligence, but unlike animals, we have the free will to program our intellects as we choose, based on our own knowledge, values, opportunities and goals. They seem to be confined in their ability to learn new things...and mostly it seems they are programmed for life. I would like to see some research articles on that one if you know any.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by NosyNed, posted 10-10-2009 8:23 AM Peg has responded
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Peg
Member (Idle past 2371 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


(1)
Message 13 of 47 (529720)
10-10-2009 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Minnemooseus
10-10-2009 6:28 AM


Re: Building a computer that works like a brain
i'll tell you one thing that a computer will never be able to do that our brain apparently can do

increase its memory!


This message is a reply to:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8778
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 14 of 47 (529721)
10-10-2009 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Peg
10-10-2009 8:16 AM


Speedy Brain
thats an interesting article especially the point in paragraph 11
"The scientists found that the human brain's genes had gone through an intense amount of evolution in a short amount of time - a process that far outstripped the evolution of the genes of other animals."

this in itself is completely contrary to how evolution predicts changes isnt it?

And, just to be nosy, how long do you think they say the "short amount" of time is?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 8:16 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 8:41 AM NosyNed has responded

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 2371 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


(1)
Message 15 of 47 (529722)
10-10-2009 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Larni
10-10-2009 7:55 AM


Re: Too many topics
Larni writes:

Can you see where I'm going with this? The fact that humans have abilities at a different level to other animals (for better or worse, remember) is no challenge to ToE.

I understand that and i understand that all animals have their own unique abilities

but it seems we have developed a brain with a capacity that is far greater then our needs. So in terms of evolution, why did it develop greater capabilities then we actually need to survive?

Larni writes:

Ever worried? Ask your self what worry is; it's a negative prediction about the future. Our brains are wired to work this way because if we are worrying about lions in the long grass we will avoid the long grass and stay alive long enough to breed.

all animals worry this is true
Do we worry more then other animals? Or do they worry more then us?

Larni writes:

If we can predict a negative situation and avoid it we improve our chances of survival.

this one im not so sure about for the reason that humans have a tendency to do things that they know are dangerous. There are many example of this...experimenting with drugs, jumping off cliffs/aeroplanes, smoking, jumping into a strangers car, committing suicide, criminal behavior, drink driving, speeding....there are so many thing humans do that are contrary to survival it doesnt make sense.

Animals are very careful and they live (except for dogs chasing cars maybe) but generally speaking, animals work to keep themselves safe...humans on the other hand seem to do the opposite.

how does dangerous behavior fit into the ToE?


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