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Author Topic:   Can ToE explain human Brain development?
Peg
Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 16 of 47 (529723)
10-10-2009 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by NosyNed
10-10-2009 8:23 AM


Re: Speedy Brain
NosyNed writes:

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

"To accomplish so much in so little evolutionary time - a few tens of millions of years - requires a selective process that is perhaps categorically different from the typical processes of acquiring new biological traits."

this point really makes me wonder how it is all other animals apparently evolved over billions of years, yet humans in only a few tens of millions of years got a brain that is far superior to other species.

why should it be that way...its still contrary to the ToE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by NosyNed, posted 10-10-2009 8:23 AM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
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Izanagi
Member (Idle past 2827 days)
Posts: 263
Joined: 09-15-2009


Message 17 of 47 (529729)
10-10-2009 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Peg
10-10-2009 8:16 AM


Re: Human Brain development
this in itself is completely contrary to how evolution predicts changes isnt it?

While there is no debate among most scientists that evolution has occurred and is still occurring now, the mechanisms for evolution are still being researched. It was originally thought that evolution was a gradual process, but there is some thinking that species generally evolve in shorter bursts rather than gradually. But the time period involved is still on the scale of thousands, if not millions, of years. Evolutionary theory in its basest form only predicts that changes will occur over time. Everything else, from punctuated equilibrium to neutral theory, only adds substance to the Theory. But to prove Evolution wrong requires proving that no changes can occur to organisms.

Thus, having the brain rapidly evolve in a time period of several millions of years does not run counter to the basic prediction of Evolution, which is that if there is a selective pressure for humans with bigger brains to be more fit than those with smaller brains, then brain size will change.

What researchers are currently working on are what those selective pressures are that selected for a human with a bigger brain. But one idea is that because humans lack any sort of physical advantage in the wild, it was the mental advantage that the ancestors of the modern human relied upon. Improved communication, thinking in complex ways, imagination - all served to enable our hominid ancestors to think about the world, consider what they have seen, and use that resulting knowledge to give them an advantage they would not normally have and to pass on that knowledge. One could say that human frailty was the driving force behind the evolution of the human brain. But that is, of course, speculation.

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.

I'm not too certain what you mean when you say we have the free will to program our intellects as we choose. Perhaps if you provided several different examples of this, it would serve to clear up my confusion.

Just in case I do understand what you mean, I would point out once again to our cousins, the chimp. Contrary to what people may believe, chimps are capable of feeling emotions, they form friendships and perform actions to maintain or strengthen those friendships, chimp parents form a lifelong relationship with their offspring, chimps will care for their young, chimp young learn about the world around through play as human infants do, they can use tools and not only that, but are capable of picking the right tool for the job and learn to create their tools by watching others, chimp males will often share their food as a means of placating enemies or winning allies or even gaining sexual favors, etc. Check this site out for more information on chimps. As you can see, many behaviors normally associated with humans can also be found in chimps. Consider gifts of food to your allies as something similar to how humans give gifts to friends, or giving food for sexual favors is similar to a man paying for the date during the human courting process. The similarities between chimps and humans speak volumes about how humanity, while having a bigger, more complex brain than all other animals, is not alone in being able to evolve such a brain. The similarities between chimps and humans also give credence to the theory that humans and chimps once shared a common ancestor. All that separated the development of the human brain versus the chimp brain is that there was a selective pressure on humans to want a bigger brain.

Also, it is Izanagi, with a G.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.

Edited by Izanagi, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8802
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 18 of 47 (529732)
10-10-2009 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Peg
10-10-2009 8:41 AM


Re: Speedy Brain
Your numbers are wonky.

Humans evolved in "only" about 6 Myrs from nearer relatives with much smaller brains. And I don't see why this is too short at all.

Animals (multicellular) have been evolving for about 100 times that long, not billions of years. You need to get things straight.


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subbie
Member
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 19 of 47 (529737)
10-10-2009 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Peg
10-10-2009 8:37 AM


Holy cognative dissonance, Batman!
quote:
but it seems we have developed a brain with a capacity that is far greater then our needs.

quote:
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.

Peg, you display a staggering ability to maintain contradictory beliefs at the same time.

Edited by subbie, : As commanded from on high


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Replies to this message:
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AdminModulous
Administrator
Posts: 892
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 20 of 47 (529747)
10-10-2009 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by subbie
10-10-2009 10:05 AM


not enough subtitles
Can we change the subtitles to something appropriate to the subthread?

Danke.


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Larni
Member
Posts: 3951
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 21 of 47 (529758)
10-10-2009 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Peg
10-10-2009 8:37 AM


Brain evolution
but it seems we have developed a brain with a capacity that is far greater then our needs.

What makes you think that this is true? By this logic the Mink is too successful as well because it 'too good' for it's environment (when it was accidently introduced into the UK by do gooders).

By that logic the cat and the rat are 'too good' at what they do (when introduced into Oz).

The point is that our brains did not evolve towards a specific level of capability.

You've been told before evolution has no 'aim'. Once a trait is selected for it will keep being selected until it is no longer of benefit for the organism in question.

We cannot be 'too good' because the is no point in which evolution stops unless one removes the selection pressures.

A bit it off topic but worry is what I'm currently researching into so here are the bare bones facts:

Worry is a verbal thought process.
Worry is a deliberate act selected to reduce ANS arousal.
It is anticipatory and negative.

I would be very surprised if non verbal animals worry in the way we do, but if some animals in fact do have a language then I guess they could worry like we do.

this one im not so sure about for the reason that humans have a tendency to do things that they know are dangerous.

While this is true it is only true for individuals. For populations it is not true.

but generally speaking, animals work to keep themselves safe

This statement hold equally true of humans in general.

how does dangerous behavior fit into the ToE?

When I was a lad we would pull wheelies in front of the girls and climb up barnyard walls bash the hell out of each other with sticks with the sole intent of impressing the girls.

Take this habit into adult life and you become what text books often call a 'fanny magnet'.

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.

Take a look at how clever Rooks are!

http://ww.../dn17927-clever-rooks-have-sense-of-gravity.html

Edited by Larni, : Rooks and sub title.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 8:37 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 9:13 PM Larni has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 22 of 47 (529865)
10-10-2009 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Larni
10-10-2009 11:21 AM


More Brain power then is necessary
Larni writes:

What makes you think that this is true? By this logic the Mink is too successful as well because it 'too good' for it's environment (when it was accidently introduced into the UK by do gooders).

I say that becuase of what researchers have discovered about human memory. The memory has been found to have the ability to grow rather then get 'filled'

They have found that its a function that is limitless. Why would we need a limitless memory when we only live for up to 100 years?
If we lived for thousands of years then i could understand it, but our life cycle is very short...even turtles live for longer then we do so why do we have a memory with an endless capability?

Larni writes:

You've been told before evolution has no 'aim'. Once a trait is selected for it will keep being selected until it is no longer of benefit for the organism in question.

an endless memory is no benefit to us because we will only ever use a fraction of it ... so why keep selecting something that we will never use. Life is very short remember. Memory is endless apparently.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Larni, posted 10-10-2009 11:21 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by onifre, posted 10-10-2009 9:26 PM Peg has responded
 Message 25 by NosyNed, posted 10-10-2009 9:50 PM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 30 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-11-2009 12:40 AM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 32 by Larni, posted 10-11-2009 9:17 AM Peg has not yet responded
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onifre
Member (Idle past 561 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 23 of 47 (529866)
10-10-2009 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Peg
10-10-2009 9:13 PM


Re: More Brain power then is necessary
I say that becuase of what researchers have discovered about human memory. The memory has been found to have the ability to grow rather then get 'filled'

They have found that its a function that is limitless.

What do you think that actually means, Peg?

And do you have a source where you read that the "memory is limitless in it's growing capacity?"

an endless memory is no benefit to us because we will only ever use a fraction of it

I think you've greatly misunderstood, Peg. Can you supply the source where you read this?

The brain is not some "bank" that has an endless spending limit. There is no memory place in the brain that we dig out of or put things into.

I'd be happy to provide you with some reading material if you care to read it. Let me know.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Peg, posted 10-10-2009 9:13 PM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
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AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 488
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 24 of 47 (529868)
10-10-2009 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peg
10-10-2009 4:44 AM


Associative Memory
peg writes:

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 is a technique known as Associative Memory and is quite commonly used in higher level computer languages and applications for the same reason it evolved in the human brain - it is an efficient way to search through closely related objects to find specific objects. This is how google does searches. The 'capacity of memory' does not keep growing - it is limited by the physical extent of the memory mechanism, ram or hard drive for computers, neurons and synapses for brains. Why in the world would you think that this mechanism is limited to human brains? Every animal from ants to elephants probably makes use of this mechanism.

You also seem to have the mistaken impression that the brain is a single organ with a single function, i. e., thought. Just as the chest cavity is made up of several distinct organs with distinct but interrelated functions, the brain is made up of at least twenty organs with distinct but related functions. The set of organs found in the human brain is exactly the same as the set found in chimpanzee brains, and in fact in all primate brains. Hell, it's even the same as the set found in dog, cat, and mouse brains.

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 statement is self contradictory: If we are no different than other animals and have all the same traits, then there is no evolutionary 'chain'. One topic on which creationists and evolutionists seem to be able to agree is that all canines (dogs, wolves, foxes, dingos, and maybe hyenas) evolved from a single founder animal population or pair, probably something like the gray wolf (canis lupus). Creationists believe this evolution occurred over about 4000 years and believe so in an attempt to salvage the Noadic flood story. Evolutionists believe that this evolution occurred over a period of about 100,000 years and believe so because it's true. Now, what is more different, a gray wolf and a chihuahua or a human brain and a chimpanzee brain? Ok, there is currently no way to answer that since there are no comparable metrics, but it shows that the seven million years - about 500,000 generations - since the chimp and human ancestors diverged is certainly enough time for the differences we see in their respective brains.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Good message, terrible subtitle. Changed subtitle from "Sweetbreads anyone?" to "Associative Memory".


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

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8802
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 25 of 47 (529875)
10-10-2009 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Peg
10-10-2009 9:13 PM


Re: More Brain power then is necessary
They have found that its a function that is limitless.

Simply nonsense.


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Peg
Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 26 of 47 (529886)
10-10-2009 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by onifre
10-10-2009 9:26 PM


Re: More Brain power then is necessary
onifire writes:

And do you have a source where you read that the "memory is limitless in it's growing capacity?"

The knowledge of the brains capacity has been around for more then just a few years. The 1976 Encyclopaedia Britannica states that man’s brain “is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one person’s lifetime.” Macropaedia Vol 12 page 998.

The Brain Book by Peter Russell states how the memory structure works and explaines that it is like a tree with endless growth potential.


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Peg
Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 27 of 47 (529887)
10-10-2009 10:31 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by AnswersInGenitals
10-10-2009 9:29 PM


Re: Associative Memory
AnswersinGenitals writes:

This is how google does searches. The 'capacity of memory' does not keep growing - it is limited by the physical extent of the memory mechanism, ram or hard drive for computers, neurons and synapses for brains. Why in the world would you think that this mechanism is limited to human brains? Every animal from ants to elephants probably makes use of this mechanism.

i didnt say this mechanism is limited to humans. I said the mechanism is 'limitless' in humans.

computers are modelled after brains but a computer is not dynamic, it cannot think for itself...it is 'programed to think'...our brains are not. They get programmed by whatever we choose to put into them.


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AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 488
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 28 of 47 (529893)
10-10-2009 11:14 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by NosyNed
10-10-2009 9:50 PM


The source of all wisdom.
Out of curiosity, I checked on Peg's primary source, Peter Russell at Amazon.com and found that he has written the following books (not a complete list):

From Science to God: A Physicist's Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness

The TM Technique

Waking Up In Time: Finding Inner Peace In Times of Accelerating Change

Cosmic Conversations: Dialogues on the Nature of the Universe and the Search for Reality

The Brain Book (Plume)

The Global Brain: The Awakening Earth in a New Century

The Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap

The Mystery of 2012: Predictions, Prophecies, and Possibilities

The 2012 Mindshift: Meditations for Times of Accelerating Change

The TM Technique: An intro Transcendental Meditation Teachings Maharishi Mahesh YOgi (Arkana)

The Creative Manager: Finding Inner Vision and Wisdom in Uncertain Times (Jossey Bass Business and Management Series)

MEDITATION: PATHS TO TRANQUILLITY

Awakening Earth: Our Next Evolutionary Leap

He also has translated and written extensively on the Upanishads. I believe these are all the same Peter Russell - seem to have the same subject nature and style. He doesn't appear to exactly be a neural scientist! And we see where Peg gravitates towards for her scientific enlightenment. I haven't read any of this stuff so I am being very judgmental but I think the titles speak for themselves. I had thought that Peg is a Jehovah's witness, but apparently she is a Vedit Hindu. More power to her.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15984
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 29 of 47 (529898)
10-11-2009 12:35 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Peg
10-10-2009 8:37 AM


Re: Too many topics
but it seems we have developed a brain with a capacity that is far greater then our needs.

You think so?

You don't need to have the intelligence that you have?

Then you would be happy, I guess, to spend a month or so not making the smartest decisions you can think of, but much dumber ones? You'd get on just fine that way?

OK then, try it. Every time you have a choice to make, and your smart human brain tells you what you ought to do, ignore it and do what a monkey would do instead. Try this for a month and let us know how you get on.

And then you will maybe realize that such intelligence as you have is in fact a selective advantage and not a biological superfluity.


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15984
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 30 of 47 (529900)
10-11-2009 12:40 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Peg
10-10-2009 9:13 PM


Re: More Brain power then is necessary
I say that becuase of what researchers have discovered about human memory. The memory has been found to have the ability to grow rather then get 'filled'

They have found that its a function that is limitless.

Ah, that explains why I never forget anything. I've always wondered why I have a flawless memory, and now these smart (though curiously nameless) researchers have explained it to me.

I guess that means that creationists are right. Obviously the fact that humans have a perfect faculty of memory and the fact that God made humans by an act of special creation are inextricably logically linked, such that denying one would be tantamount to denying the other.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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