Egnor: Although ape brains do differ somewhat from human brains in cortical anatomy, it is the similarity between the brains of apes and men, rather than the differences, that provides striking evidence of human exceptionalism.
He gave three lines of reasoning, based on brain surgery on over a thousand patients.
Many true tales of science are not the subjects of lectern oratory. Here’s one: brain localization. How did the idea develop? Originally via phrenology.
Had to happen eventually. And when a Cambrian arthropod brain turns up that can be analyzed, if it turns out to be pretty much like a modern arthropod brain, what reasonable conclusion should we draw about the design of life or the alleged lack thereof?
A reviewer notes that Sharon Dirckx makes her case in a way that is easy for the attentive non-specialist reader to understand
“Polycephalum’s type of organism is thought to have existed for roughly a billion years though it has only been studied intensively in recent decades. It is technically called a “protist” (a catch-all category for life forms that are hard to classify). It makes decisions with no apparent source of intelligence.”
This is further indirect evidence— not, of course, drawn out here—that the human brain did not develop the way it did simply to enable survival.
The researchers who cold not replicate that “conservatives’ brains are more attuned to threats” were dismissed by the AAAS journal Science with no reasonable explanation.
If we were in the middle of an information revolution, how would you know?
None of these explanations can explain what they set out to: How did the capacity for reason develop? Many life forms wish to hunt large animals but do not develop sophisticated tools and throwing skills as a result. Naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism,” will—one senses—always be stuck in this rut and never recognize it as a rut.
AI help, not hype: Did you read about the flap they had to cut out of a volunteer’s skull?
But they have quite different brains. The intelligence doesn’t seem to reside in the details of the mechanism Studying animals’ intelligence has taught us many things. But in some ways, it has deepened the mystery of intelligence. We might have thought that intelligence, in terms of individual learning ability, would gradually increase among animals, from Read More…
From ScienceDaily: Humans have extraordinarily large brains, which have tripled in size in the last few million years. Other animals also experienced a significant, though smaller, increase in brain size. These increases are puzzling, because brain tissue is energetically expensive: that is, a smaller brain is easier to maintain in terms of calories. Building on Read More…
From ScienceDaily: A perennial topic in human evolution is, what gave humans an advantage? A logical response to the question is: Name just about anything and someone will make a case out of it. A little while ago, it was meat. This time, it’s starch. People with more copies of the AMY1 gene — and corresponding Read More…
Part I A reply to computational neuroscientist Anil Seth’s recent TED talk Anil Seth’s talk is a breathtaking compendium of fallacies on the mind and the brain. We can learn a lot from him—by understanding the errors into which he falls and the way out of those errors. Part II Does your brain construct your conscious Read More…