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Thread: The Brain

  1. #1 The Brain 
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    1) How can a network of neurons axons and nexons combined control movement, and it's own survival (autonomy)? It's still a mystery i know, but i wonder how far any of you guys are speculating about it.

    2) Where does concience begin? At what point did the human race become aware, thinking, and changing it's surroundings?

    3) How does the brain work? If there is just on and off for a muscle, how come i can vary intensity? And is there a carrier pulse that just checks the muscle activeness?

    4) What happens when we sleep, does our concience get preserved in some loop, or do we actually black out, and "reboot". Are our connections who we are, not the signal transmitted?

    5) How does memory work, as i can't comprehend anything being stored on cells, do they become positive, or negatively charged?

    6) How does all of this fit into 20.000 genes?


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    1) How can a network of neurons axons and nexons combined control movement, and it's own survival (autonomy)? It's still a mystery i know, but i wonder how far any of you guys are speculating about it.
    The human brain is arguably the most complex single object known to us within the universe. Can a complex object be understood by an object of similar complexity, or does it require a yet more complex object to be able to arrive at that understanding.

    On a parallel track, the remarkable thing about the human brain is that, in combination with other such brains, it represents the universe examining itself. This strikes me as astounding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    2) Where does concience begin? At what point did the human race become aware, thinking, and changing it's surroundings?
    Our primates cousins are aware, think and change their surroundings, so I would say that humans have always been able to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    3) How does the brain work? If there is just on and off for a muscle, how come i can vary intensity? And is there a carrier pulse that just checks the muscle activeness?
    This is outside my knowledge area, but a) are muscles simply on-off? and b) couldn't one vary the number of muscle fibres that are activated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    4) What happens when we sleep, does our concience get preserved in some loop, or do we actually black out, and "reboot". Are our connections who we are, not the signal transmitted?
    I don't think these questions mean anything without clearer definitions. (Or, they could mean to many things without clearer definitions.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    5) How does memory work, as i can't comprehend anything being stored on cells, do they become positive, or negatively charged?
    I think a starting point would be wikipedia.

    6) How does all of this fit into 20.000 genes?
    How can you construct a one hundred storey building with plans that would fit onto a thumb drive?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    2) Where does concience begin? At what point did the human race become aware, thinking, and changing it's surroundings?
    I assume there is a continuum of degrees of consciousness and awareness through many species. But without a good definition of these terms, it is pretty difficult to say.

    3) How does the brain work?
    Starting with the easy ones, huh?

    If there is just on and off for a muscle, how come i can vary intensity?
    As I understand it this is mainly controlled by the frequency of pulses.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    There is a possibility that memory is stored in genes. Present research discovered that most of the genome in any organism is junk DNA. What if the junk DNA was meant for neurons to store memory, encoding it into genes? Its same as non-junk genes storing structural information of our body so as to make required proteins and build our body into human form. The memory isn't passed on from generation to generation because only neurons use junk DNA present in nuclei of neurons and junk DNA in all other cells remain junk and baby gets its genes from sperm and ovum cells.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    IMO: Bacteria dont need a brain to survive. They've been surviving brain-free for millions of years. They are utterly clueless(from our perspective) but survive and multiply(as are the cells in our body). For scores of utterly clueless organisms, being able to detect basic changes in the surroundings and trigger anything might have been advantageous for some organisms some of the time. Of these, some may have been favored by triggering something with a remote chance of being useful more often than others. So eventually you have organisms that can detect aspects of their environment and genetically predisposed to do/trigger something that's been more useful than not in their environment). Detect light or dark is better than nothing. If you have gain an advantage from triggering actions when detecting differences in light, you might be favored by having more than just one detection cell.

    Fast forward until you get the advantage of more complex detection like sight, eventually it becomes advantageous to model/shape/conceptualize the signals in ways that are a conceptual representation of the surroundings, this is a tree, that is predator(something that triggered fear in my ancestors and didnt trigger fear in those that got eaten more easily), that is a hiding spot. As this goes on it becomes more advantageous to sharpen the conceptualization to a level where we perceive ourselves in the conceptual landscape (I am behind a rock so the predator cant see me) and have models of objects that you dont presently see (I dont see/hear a predator/mate right now, but there is a predator/mate that is behind the tree object over there, I dont see a fruit now but if I look around and I see one I'll eat it, Im on my back but if I turn around I'll be able to run away). So awareness comes from relating your body(and the conceptual object "you") to the conceptualized objects in the environment. When you see a tree you recognize it as such because you have mental/neural/conceptual models in your brain of what a tree is and what is associated with it (or a shark's gaping jaws what is associated with it, or a mother's face, etc) so your brain is populated with objects, concepts and scenery that shape how you perceive your environment and probably are activated when you dream.

    I also think like Strange that there is a continuum of awareness. Note that human infants start out functionally blind because they have not learned to see(create a reality based on yet to be acquired models) and dont know that the strange things moving around are his own hands and that he's moving them, nor that the unpleasant sensation that makes him cry is caused by his own hands grasping his how face, and so that some adult animals are more aware from a certain perspective than a new born human infant. Eventually the human infant become increasingly more aware and develops a finer tuned self-vs-environment representation that allows him to figure out that the baby moving over there is him somehow (mirror) something that many animals have a hard time with.
    Last edited by icewendigo; April 18th, 2012 at 12:07 PM.
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    Last edited by icewendigo; April 18th, 2012 at 01:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikhil.gona2012 View Post
    There is a possibility that memory is stored in genes. Present research discovered that most of the genome in any organism is junk DNA. What if the junk DNA was meant for neurons to store memory, encoding it into genes? Its same as non-junk genes storing structural information of our body so as to make required proteins and build our body into human form. The memory isn't passed on from generation to generation because only neurons use junk DNA present in nuclei of neurons and junk DNA in all other cells remain junk and baby gets its genes from sperm and ovum cells.
    I don't think this is the case, as you would be aware of at least some of your parents memories, as i can see it being transmitted that way trough DNA the same way, due to errors. I think the introns temporarily store the information used by the proteins and ribosomes to make new proteins, as the direct code can not clarify on certain bends and loops and swirls in the amino acid structure. As some form naturally by the amino acids themselves, some don't.

    And i agree with icewendigo on the fact that most impulse patterns have to be learned trough vigorous trial and error. Maybe that's how the brain learns during foetal phase. It's not simply a construct of the parental DNA, it's trying things, pathways, and designing pathways to control it's body on spot, what is not coded into the genes.

    As i have read cells, assert themselves with functions depending on the location, and depending on the already existing cells. Though i still can't explain why most humans only have 2 kidneys, as they could just as easily have created 4 of them.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    memory is stored in genes
    Not memory per say, but growth patterns and predispositions can be stored which affect behavior/perception/learning etc (typically because the pattern was advantageous and was simply replicated, rather than actively written off the cuff like data written on a hard drive), otherwise babies wouldnt be as likely to breast feed and animals wouldnt be as likely to mate, but thats not memory being stored (like remembering a trip to disneyland).
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    I think you refer to linkage. Where no actual memory is stored, but thoughts about the feelings, or the actual touch of a nipple, makes a baby cause to make suction motion. Because it's linked in his brain. This may actually be a gene. Though later it will be overwritten many times, until no trace of this spot in the brain exists. Not sure where i read anything about that. But it may be the link between a "starting engine" to get the brain started on higher functions.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    1) How can a network of neurons axons and nexons combined control movement, and it's own survival (autonomy)? It's still a mystery i know, but i wonder how far any of you guys are speculating about it.
    Well there are afferent and efferent nerve cells leading to and from the brain via the spinal cord. Receptors of the sense organs take in stimuli and it is converted to electrical energy which reaches the brain via the neural fibers of the spinal cord, where it then powers the motor cortex (in the case of movement) and then the electrical signal travels back via the nerves to the spinal cord to the bodypart that you wish to move.

    In the ear, signals from the external world are picked up in the cochlea, then the thalamus and then sent to the auditory cortex before reaching secondary areas in other parts of the brain where sounds can be interpreted.
    2) Where does concience begin? At what point did the human race become aware, thinking, and changing it's surroundings?
    What is consciousness exactly? Most animals are very aware of their environment and well adapted to it.
    3) How does the brain work? If there is just on and off for a muscle, how come i can vary intensity? And is there a carrier pulse that just checks the muscle activeness?
    There is no simple "on" or "off" button as far as I know. The more intense the stimulus, the more intense the muscular response.
    4) What happens when we sleep, does our concience get preserved in some loop, or do we actually black out, and "reboot". Are our connections who we are, not the signal transmitted?
    Sleep is good for the brain. It aids in memory and regulates circadian rhythms. Consciousness isn't preserved in a loop. It is somewhat present during sleep. We are surprisingly aware of noises and sounds during sleep and they are often incorporated into dreams.

    5) How does memory work, as i can't comprehend anything being stored on cells, do they become positive, or negatively charged?
    From what I understand, memories are not stored in cells..they are formed and strengthened via a number of interconnected cells reinforced by use (continue to read, strengthen neural connections,etc.).
    6) How does all of this fit into 20.000 genes?

    Many genes interact with one another to accomplish things. Also a single gene can have several uses.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nikhil.gona2012 View Post
    There is a possibility that memory is stored in genes......
    I don't think this is the case, as you would be aware of at least some of your parents memories,
    While nikhil is likely wrong for other reasons, this is not one of them. He has already covered this by reminding us of the the distinction between germ cells and somatic cells.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nikhil.gona2012 View Post
    There is a possibility that memory is stored in genes......
    I don't think this is the case, as you would be aware of at least some of your parents memories,
    While nikhil is likely wrong for other reasons, this is not one of them. He has already covered this by reminding us of the the distinction between germ cells and somatic cells.
    How does this fit into anything? Why is being usually wrong in the first place, a reason to be wrong this time. And how come proving you know the distinction between reproduction and normal cells make sure he's not wrong. You've lost me there. But i guess there's some other reason why i don't understand it.
    Last edited by Zwolver; April 19th, 2012 at 03:08 AM. Reason: edited to prevent misconception
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  14. #13  
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    I did not say anything about anyone "being usually wrong first place". I stated that nikhil was likely wrong for other reasons, not the one you had suggested. nikhil is likely wrong because there is no evidence I am aware of to point towards memory being stored in junk DNA. I have been casually looking for such evidence for over a decade because it would be a useful plot device in a science fiction epic I have dreams of completing one day.

    You suggested that our inability to recall our parents memories disproves his hypothesis. But such is not the case. Memories would be stored in the somatic cells of the brain, which are held quite separate from the germ cells that will produce the next generation. Nikhil made this point already and therefore had already dealt with your objection.

    I was not 'proving' that I knew the distinction between germ cells and somatic cells, I was gently reminding you that such a distinction existed and was relevant in this instance.
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    Ok, i understand now.

    On the physics thread i have glimpsed off a "alpha delta etc" brainwaves. I'm more interested now on the biological imput, what proteins are used to generate these pulses or waves? (must admit i did not yet search for this)
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    I don't know if any protein or chemical produce these brainwaves, but they are actually electrical current oscillations in the neuronal pathways. Depending upon the frequency with which the electrical currents in the brain vary, different waves(alpha, beta etc) are produced. Production of particular wave depends on our state of awareness.
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    What is the role of junk DNA in our genome and how much percent of our genome does it occupy?
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    The role of junk DNA is diverse, but unknown for the most part. it occupies over 95% of the total genome (in space). Junk DNA will have effect on how easy it is to create mRNA from it, also it provides sturdiness of the DNA as a whole, or flexibility when needed. Junk DNA gives exons space to combine in certain ways, depending on the exact promotor that is being used to create the protein. Some epigenetic structures manifest on the junk DNA, usually GC ritch islands, but it's uncertain why.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    What I find interesting to know about the brain is: Is it really a "Singular" counciousness?

    If 10 different counciousness'ess experience the exact same through the same eyes - how would you know?

    What if the different parts of the brain actually works together and decisions are made from a consensus of these parts acting together?

    Not sure if there is an own research focused at this. We seem to look at a singular mind as a given without exploring the possibility that our organism may actually be a plural unity of different active and aware parts.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    I think there may be a multitude of conciousnesses in your mind as an infant, and only one surfaces as the dominant one. The other ones will be outshadowed, and your actual conciousness will grow in size, while the dormant ones will silence.

    But to be sure? Hmm.. How can we find out what is this... The part where all the senses converge? Where the mind focusses? Hmm
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    I think there may be a multitude of conciousnesses in your mind as an infant, and only one surfaces as the dominant one. The other ones will be outshadowed, and your actual conciousness will grow in size, while the dormant ones will silence.

    But to be sure? Hmm.. How can we find out what is this... The part where all the senses converge? Where the mind focusses? Hmm
    Im not sure if this is a proper metaphor.

    But think two gangs decide to talk. The gang is the "mind" but they have only one spokesperson. When the two leaders talk. They talk with the authority of the group as they have both reached a consensus within each group. Meaning the speaker is SINGULAR, but the decisions and mindset is made singular from a plural counciousness.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Oh, but if your conciousness is build up from several minds, then it would not matter, would it, as it will still be you. You couldn't tell the difference.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Oh, but if your conciousness is build up from several minds, then it would not matter, would it, as it will still be you. You couldn't tell the difference.
    That is exactly the problem. If the mind is not a single form, but is a complete merge of different subcounciouss'ess and parts of the brain working together - then It would be nearly impossible to know and seperate them.

    On another note, if a person was born with the mind of 2 people, they would experience the same and become the same person. It wouldnt be possible to scientifically seperate them as two people at the age of 20.

    Multiple personality disorder could also be evidence that a mind isnt really singular.

    Its hard to get my intentions across as a non-native english speaker :S argh!
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    What if the different parts of the brain actually works together and decisions are made from a consensus of these parts acting together?
    Are you sure you're not merging the notions of brain structures and behavioural 'structures'? When it comes to ideas, opinions and behaviours and the manner in which we express them, we all differ all the time.

    I'm a woman, daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, neighbour, worker, driver, gardener, cook, ....... and my behaviours in those roles and situations differ among them. I'm pretty consistent, but there are some things I'd say or do in some circumstances that would never happen if my mum or a particular friend was there. For some people, they are not consistent and seem to be 'different people' when they're at work or with family or at their sports club.

    Multiple personality disorder could also be evidence that a mind isnt really singular.
    Multiple personality disorder is very, very rare. And it only occurs in response to extreme, repeated trauma - as far as I know, the (not very many) confirmed cases are all linked to sexual abuse as children.

    Its hard to get my intentions across as a non-native english speaker :S argh!
    Maybe I'm getting this wrong, but could you just be letting yourself be led astray by the simple, 'uncomplicated' fact that the brain itself is unbelievably complicated and the links to perceptions and behaviours are even more complex when you add in the cascading effects of hormones, physical health and environment or circumstances.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    "I don't know if any protein or chemical produce these brainwaves, but they are actually electrical current oscillations in the neuronal pathways. Depending upon the frequency with which the electrical currents in the brain vary, different waves(alpha, beta etc) are produced. Production of particular wave depends on our state of awareness."

    All cellular level (not amino level (descriptively, yet certainly, fundamentally)) actions are determined by action potentials; a + or - charge, sort of thermodynamical but such two fields never merge...exactly, only in obscured ways which always leaves the proper words to attempt to question them obsolete. Neurotransmitters are the initiators and do shape the brain and the brain is the "power-house" of the body. Breathing, crapping, and even thirst is controlled by the brain. Those are rudimenatary and neccessary for survival. With higher thinking patterns, the link is just as obscure. Obviously, we genetically inherit the ability to breath, but do we inherit the ability to think?

    Ants communicate by chemical signals and are highly intuned to that, but are they able to reason why they travel along the same chemical pathway when carriyng food to their "hive," or what not? I doubt it. In the same way, what is heritable? Let's say an army of ants circle one particualr spot for a very long time; although they have no reason to, their chemical route is programed to follow this trail. If this "spot" were to be altered in some way, how woud the army of ants adapt? They most certainly would find alternative routes, but why? Would this ability be genetically switched "on" from previous altered paths "ingrained" in their genes, or would they (considering ants are not cognitive creatures), forge new paths to travel according to trial and error? Would this behavior be passed on to other generations of ants via observation...or chemical pathways? The scrutiny of chemical pathways could be observably well measured...the observational abilities of the ants, not so much.

    Same applies to the brian...what chemical pathways can be measured and where does adaptation to the environment differ from learned adaptation. They are syncronistically entertwined, right? This is a question.
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    And even the question, are we intelligent? Or are we parroting the behavior of our ancestors slightly different every time. As of now, there is nothing to compare us with on this world, but what if there was. Would we still be intelligent compared to them?

    We have to learn things accidentally thought by our ancestors, to accidently stumble on new idea's. That makes us no smarter then a roomba cleaning bot, with knowledge of obstacles it bumped into already. Aren't we simply trying out everything there is to try out?

    Hmm, though this is mainly philosophy, still..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    We have to learn things accidentally thought by our ancestors, to accidently stumble on new idea's. That makes us no smarter then a roomba cleaning bot, with knowledge of obstacles it bumped into already. Aren't we simply trying out everything there is to try out.
    There is a lot more to research, discovery and learning than just a series of happy accidents.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    We have to learn things accidentally thought by our ancestors, to accidently stumble on new idea's. That makes us no smarter then a roomba cleaning bot, with knowledge of obstacles it bumped into already. Aren't we simply trying out everything there is to try out.
    There is a lot more to research, discovery and learning than just a series of happy accidents.
    That there is more, i accept. But i still think, the key to science, is produce a plausible theory, and test if it holds.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  29. #28  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    [That there is more, i accept. But i still think, the key to science, is produce a plausible theory, and test if it holds.
    Close enough. But a new hypothesis or theory isn't just a random guess; it is based on previous knowledge and observation. Where does "accident" come in to this? (There are, of course, occasional chance discoveries, such as penicillin, but they are very rare. Most progress is boringly methodical.)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    We have to learn things accidentally thought by our ancestors, to accidently stumble on new idea's. That makes us no smarter then a roomba cleaning bot, with knowledge of obstacles it bumped into already. Aren't we simply trying out everything there is to try out?
    But there's no accident at all that we teach the successful happy accidents to the rest of our group. (We let everyone make much the same unhappy mistakes by and large. Even there, we've found ways to teach each successive generations some ways to avoid some unfortunate outcomes.)

    The thing that makes us really, seriously clever is our capacity not just to learn, but to teach.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    [That there is more, i accept. But i still think, the key to science, is produce a plausible theory, and test if it holds.
    Close enough. But a new hypothesis or theory isn't just a random guess; it is based on previous knowledge and observation. Where does "accident" come in to this? (There are, of course, occasional chance discoveries, such as penicillin, but they are very rare. Most progress is boringly methodical.)
    Your saying penicillin, but i'm saying all vaccines need to be tested, to be sure it works, as it should work in theory, as most vaccines are created from (parts of) the disease itself. Also when discovering the America's, nobody KNEW they would not fall off the earth, they just thought it would be silly if it was true.

    Untill tested, a theory is just a theory. With few exceptions.

    But back to the brain, i agree with adelady that to teach is something one roomba robot lacks. But there is still communication, copying their information directly to the next roomba. This proces is MUCH more effective then things being thought in class. I think it's the missunderstandings that actually make us who we are. A robot would simply fail, or error, or loop endlessly. Us humans have the capacity to use other factors, like knowledge about something totally different. If you don't know how a scewdriver works, use a hammer to drive the screw in. It's improvised.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Your saying penicillin, but i'm saying all vaccines need to be tested, to be sure it works, as it should work in theory, as most vaccines are created from (parts of) the disease itself.
    Of course they need to be tested. I was just saying that your description of science as an "accidental" is not how it normally works.

    Also when discovering the America's, nobody KNEW they would not fall off the earth, they just thought it would be silly if it was true.
    Nobody thought they would fall off the edge. They thought they would go round the world and get to the Far East.

    Untill tested, a theory is just a theory. With few exceptions.
    Or rather, until tested a hypothesis is just a hypothesis. Once tested (and confirmed) it may become a theory.

    (Saying "it's just a theory" is a sure way to annoy a scientist.)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Jeff Hawkins figured out how part of the neocortex works, which gives some good hints. (I'm serious, look that up.)
    The brain has sleep cycles in which neural activity and neurotransmitter levels are different. You are sort of conscious during sleep, to various extents depending on the stage. While sleeping, your brain is testing a bunch of stupid ideas (I think), by adjusting neurotransmitter levels. Its input is from a part of the brain stem called the pons instead of sensory organs. The pons sends random data, which the brain interprets to create dreams (like looking at clouds). Using some fancy neurotransmitters, it ignores most details, so this works well to create dreams. Basically, this allows the brain to use what it knows to learn more.
    Memory is stored throughout the brain, so that's kind of complex.
    The 20,000 genes are used to create a basic brain, which then learns new connections. A typical human brain has 100 billion neurons and (?around) 100 trillion connections between those neurons.
    To discover excactly how the brain works, it helps to look at the brain from a computer scientist standpoint. For example, ignore brain waves. They are real, and purposely synchronized, but their frequency probably depends on globally neuron excitatory neurotransmitters.
    Last edited by NNet; December 14th, 2012 at 07:02 PM.
    Neverfly likes this.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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