Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

At Mind Matters News: Detailed brain mapping outlines what we can — and can’t — know

arroba Email

Your brain, fully mapped, would take up a good part of the internet. And then it would just change again:

Recently, a cubic millimetre (one millionth) of the human brain was imaged in sections via an electron microscope and found to contain 1.4 petabytes of data with respect to nerve cells, blood cells, etc. A petabyte would be like taking over 4,000 digital photos per day, over your entire life. There are only 1,440 minutes in a day. But that wasn’t the big surprise: Cells were seen that were never seen in other animals, for example,

News, “Detailed brain mapping outlines what we can — and can’t — know” at Mind Matters News (December 10, 2021)

“It is like discovering a new continent,” said Jeff Lichtman of Harvard, the senior author of the paper that presented these results. He described a menagerie of puzzling features that his team had already spotted in the human tissue, including new types of cells never seen in other animals, such as neurons with axons that curl up and spiral atop each other and neurons with two axons instead of one. These findings just scratched the surface: To search the sample completely, he said, would be a task akin to driving every road in North America.

Moniquer Brouillette, “New Brain Maps Can Predict Behaviors” at Quanta Magazine (December 6, 2021)

Takehome: Living things, even comparatively simple ones, cannot be entirely comprehended by simple measurements.

Alternatively, move on, folks. It all just sort of happened… Like there is an infinity of universes out there of which we can have no knowledge where it didn’t happen.

You may also wish to read: If computers thought like fruit flies, they could do more.

And there are people who write books with titles like, "Understanding the Mind", or "Your Mind explained". Such hubris! Fasteddious
Finding new SHAPES of neurons is histologically historic. We're accustomed to new and finer instruments seeing at a finer scale. That's not what happened here. The shapes of complete neurons have been seen and drawn and photographed for 200 years. Yet in all those years of careful observation, several basic forms escaped notice! This is like suddenly discovering a city where everyone has two heads. polistra

Leave a Reply