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The human brain doesn’t make sense?

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That is a classic cultural argument for Darwinism, as here :

In trying to make sense of the world around us, our brains have evolved to do some very odd things. The more we learn about our cognitive processes, the more it seems we have inherited a very weird wetware set, filled with bizarre and misleading foibles.

While most of the cognitive errors I reference here work against us — especially as investors — today’s example of a cognitive process works strangely in the brain’s favor: Spelling don’t matter. Comprehension remains essentially unchanged, even when all letters of a word are totally mixed up — just so long as the first and last letters are in their proper place.

Here is an example:

Here are others.

But why is this skill evidence of “very weird wetware,” as opposed to evidence of a sturdy system that can cope with a variety of challenges to gaining information?

What exactly is weird about such adaptations? Why should we not expect them?

This sort of thing is one of the reasons I keep saying that Darwinism is a cultural mood today, not really a contribution to science.

It is a mood in which skills can be treated as defects, as long as the claims continue to support the basic story about accidentally evolved big brains. The mood bypasses careful thought and appeals to emotional needs. Which is all the followers want anyway.

See also: Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away

and

Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

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16 Replies to “The human brain doesn’t make sense?

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Well, Darwinists can argue that, if the brains of humans and animals did not have the ability to recognize incomplete and noisy patterns, they could not survive. This is true but it does not help Darwinism because, how did we survive before acquiring this ability?

    There is actually a huge amount of competition taking place in the brain all the time. The memory cortex uses a winner-take-all mechanism to implement fast and accurate recognition. Many sequences in memory receive sensory inputs but only the first sequence to reach a given threshold is the winner. In other words, the brain does not require perfect sensory data. It’s a process of elimination.

    For example, when looking at this picture, two things can happen. Either you see a cow or you don’t. There is no in-between. You don’t see a 50% or 70% cow. It’s either cow or no cow. Some people never see the cow. Furthermore, if and when you see the cow, the recognition seems to happen instantly.

  2. 2
    Paleysghost says:

    The human eye didn’t make any sense either — until about a month ago. 😉

  3. 3
    mike1962 says:

    “In trying to make sense of the world around us, our brains have evolved to do some very odd things. The more we learn about our cognitive processes, the more it seems we have inherited a very weird wetware set, filled with bizarre and misleading foibles.”

    Except for the brain Barry Ritholtz used when he wrote the above? The irony.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Error-correcting pattern recognition, very sophisticated.

  5. 5
    not_querius says:

    KF: “Error-correcting pattern recognition, very sophisticated.”

    Finally, an easily understood comment. And, you might be surprised to hear it, but I agree with you. But it does beg the question, why would a well designed system need so much error correction?

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    not_querius:

    But it does beg the question, why would a well designed system need so much error correction?

    LOL. It’s funny how much our worldview colors our perception and understanding of everything.

    The truth, for those who care, is that the amazingly sophisticated error correction mechanism of the brain is precisely the reason that it is an extremely well designed machine. This mechanism is what allows us to recognize grandma even if she is partially occluded from view. It’s also why we can recognize stylized art and see faces in the cloud. We would die without this ability.

  7. 7
    not_querius says:

    It is also why we do not, generally, notice the large blind spot that our poorly “designed” eye causes. Would you like other examples?

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    not_querius @7,

    I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not but the “blind” spot in the retina is an excellent example of how well the visual cortex works.

  9. 9
    not_querius says:

    Mapou, I agree. The visual cortex works very well to adapt to the poor design of the eye. If there is an omnipotent designer, why is this necessary?

  10. 10
    Mapou says:

    The poor design of the eye? That’s mighty arrogant of you seeing that you have no clue as to why it was designed that way. The insufferable pomposity of atheists and Darwinists will be their undoing, IMO.

    Obviously, the designers felt it was OK for the eye to have a blind spot since the visual cortex can easily compensate for it. Besides, the eye is not just a sensing instrument. It is also living tissue that requires special handling and support. Maybe the blind spot is partly the result of accommodating one or more special needs of the eye that you are not currently aware of? Has it crossed your mind that your knowledge of the design of the eye may be extremely limited and not worth a nickel?

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Robert Byers says:

    The bible does not, So God, recognize the brain as a real thing.
    The soul, heart, mind.
    So the mind is the only material thing. The mind does not have a mind of its own.
    so its just a memory machine. All human perceptions can be seen as dealing with the memory and its editting process. its that simple.
    We don’t need in our senses to see the world as it really is. We don’t. jUst enough for the memory to make a accurate picture or good enough. Editted but good enough.
    its the rejection of gods word that leads to error about the human brain stuff.
    We think in the afterlife no less then here.
    in fact its clearly memory that is being used in these things. Then just get rid of the middleman. Its just memory connected to a thinking soul.

  13. 13
    Robert Byers says:

    By the way. In reading words we are only reading thoughts expressed. so our memory has few options for words and in context. So one doesn’t need to read a accurate word. Just a context with a hint. We fill in the rest. Optical illusions are based on this principal.
    its all just memory and editting therewith.
    Its also why people misread other peoples comments. Their memory brings in a context that the other person was not in.
    That happens a lot in the internet especially because one does not hear tones of voice which establish context.

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mapou

    The insufferable pomposity of atheists and Darwinists will be their undoing, IMO.

    So true. They never seem to get this point either. They just continue to say the most arrogant things — making sweeping judgements about the mysteries and wonder of life, as if they have the one and only complete understanding of such things. It’s a sign of incredible stupidity and blindness.

  15. 15

    KF @ 4 and ‘not_querius’ @ 5 and others:

    I’ve weighed in here on this matter of design and complexity several times before at:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-of-fscoi/

    and:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....in-nature/

    It’s really a matter of what I call “massively complex synchronicity” … an extension of “irreducible complexity” where pretty much everything must be in place for the thing to work.

    Of course I realize that Richard Dawkins has quite convincingly proven the evolution of the eye simply by invoking a device previously used for an other purpose – namely a piece of polaroid film and a flashlight, so perhaps we should rethink this whole issue …

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP, always a pleasure to hear from you. KF

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