Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Jonathan Bartlett on Elon Musk’s myths of the mind

Bartlett: What I found most interesting about the conversation, however, is not the technology itself but the (secular) mythology embedded in Musk’s lengthy descriptions of what he thinks his device can do… Read More ›

Michael Egnor: How NOT to debate materialists

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. Read More ›

Fossilized Cambrian arthropod brains found

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? Read More ›

The Paris Zoo “blob”: What exactly IS the role of the brain in processing information?

"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." Read More ›

This time it was a taste for fat that made us human

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. Read More ›

Crows Can Be as Smart as Apes

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 invertebrates to vertebrates, from exothermic (cold-blooded) animals to endothermic (warm-blooded) animals, from reptiles to primates, culminating in man. In that case, intelligence would be associated with the increasingly complex brain structures that enable it. Research has demonstrated the opposite. “Crows Can Be as Smart as Apes” at Mind Matters See also: Even Lizards Can Be Smart If you catch them at the right time. But Read More ›

Can culture explain why brains have become bigger?

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 existing research on learning, Muthukrishna and colleagues analytically and computationally modeled the predictions of the cultural brain hypothesis and found that this theory not only explains these increases in brain size, but a variety of other relationships with group size, learning strategies, knowledge and life history. The theory relies on the idea that brains expand to store and manage more information. Brains expand in response Read More ›