It’s an interesting fact that intelligence in animals is not nearly as firmly fixed in a hierarchy of evolution as we used to believe. Octopuses are extreme outliers and we are only just beginning to get to know them.
Living things, even comparatively simple ones, cannot be entirely comprehended by simple measurements.
Mark Solms: Information, in neuroscience, is a crucial concept, and it’s very hard to think about quantum physics and the big questions that are unsolved that flow from it without the concept of information — which, I hasten to draw your attention to the fact, is not matter. I’m not a materialist for exactly that reason.
The problem is, if we assume that “the mind is nothing more than the brain,” there may be nothing we can discover about how it works. Gleiser wishes we could prove that that’s wrong but he can’t.
Apart from simple laws governing neurons, we have no clue what laws the mind follows, though it does show complex nonlinear dynamics.
In his chapter of a new anthology, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the Cosmos (2021), neurosurgeon Michael Egnor looks at the growing evidence that the mind is not simply what the brain does and defends a dualist view.
In the most extensive study of its kind, nine other [than human] mammals were studied. Larger mammals have larger neurons. And in every case but one, they found that “as the size of neurons increases, the density of channels found in the neurons also increases.” Except in humans, it was the reverse.
Neuropsychologist Mark Solms and neurosurgeon Michael Egnor agreed that clinical experience supports a non-materialist view of the mind but that the establishment doesn’t.
Egnor saw patients who didn’t have most of their frontal lobes who were completely conscious, “in fact, rather pleasant, bright people.”
Neuropsychologist Mark Solms: a lot of evidence, suggests that the source of consciousness in the brain is in fact in the brain stem, which is a much more ancient, much more primitive structure that we share, not only with all other primates and all other mammals, but in fact, with all vertebrates.
Researchers attempting to map the brain must contend with massive complexity at every level, as a report in Nature shows. The proposed whole brain map will shed light on many of these situations. If it doesn’t shed light on some of them, we are probably looking at a new frontier.
If information flow in the brain is “largely unconstrained” by anatomical wiring, it’s easy to understand why we sense that we have “minds” apart from our brains.
First, let’s begin by noting a remarkable fact: Panpsychism seems to have triumphed in the area of theories of consciousness.
When George Orwell wrote 1984, he addressed destroying minds, not denying their possibility and changing the language associated with them.
An artificial intelligence network did not do nearly as well. Researchers showed that a deep neural network needs 5-8 layers of [artificial] interconnected “neurons” to mimic the complexity of one single biological neuron.