As a science historian, he offers a look at some of the difficulties we face in understanding the brain:
In a long excerpt from a soon-to-be-published book, The Idea of the Brain , science historian Matthew Cobb expresses doubt about optimism that we will someday easily understand the brain:
It is hard to see where we should be going, apart from simply collecting more data or counting on the latest exciting experimental approach. As the German neuroscientist Olaf Sporns has put it: “Neuroscience still largely lacks organising principles or a theoretical framework for converting brain data into fundamental knowledge and understanding.” Despite the vast number of facts being accumulated, our understanding of the brain appears to be approaching an impasse.MATTHEW COBB, “WHY YOUR BRAIN IS NOT A COMPUTER” AT THE GUARDIAN (FEBRUARY 27, 2020)
The future he envisions resembles our understanding of human history more than our understanding of a math problem
That’s not good news for reductive materialism. Wasn’t “science” supposed to explain all this stuff away ages ago? Instead, it’s science causing the problems.
Further reading on “the brain as a computer” (or, as it happens, probably not)
Some people think and speak with only half a brain. A new study sheds light on how they do it.
Why the brain is not at all like a computer. Seeing the brain as a computer is an easy misconception rather than an informative image, says neuroscientist Yuri Danilov.
Brains are not billions of little computers. Despite the hype. Also, life forms are not machines and neurons are not neural networks.
The brain is not a meat computer. Dramatic recoveries from brain injury highlight the difference. (Michael Egnor)
The brain exceeds the most powerful computers in efficiency.