Why does man have such a large fleshy brain organ?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by -Bob-, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

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    I heard that humans jack off all day. Its true.

    This gorilla will give its opinion on matters, be it the interior decorating of its enclosure or males they keep trying to convince her to become the mate of. They actually showed her videos of them but she would have none of it and thought they were jerks. She called one a toilet. You can not train a nonsapient to improvise like that.

    http://www.koko.org/world/
    If keepers are faking, they are doing a damn good job of it.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    -Bob-

    You seem to have a few misconceptions and beliefs based on faith but without any evidence. You chose to post this thread in the "Science" section, rather than religion, so I will give you a scientific response.

    What do you have an appendix for?

    Try - control of your entire nervous system, regulation of bodily processes, as well as all thought and consciousness.

    There is no scientific evidence that we have souls.

    In some religious systems, yes. In others, no. Take your pick.

    There is no scientific evidence that universal consciousness exists, either.

    How does your mother detect the location of this "soul" you speak of?

    There is no measurable change in weight of the body at the time of death. This is an urban myth.

    Sorry to break it to you, but he doesn't really do that.

    Um.. no. It seems that it is not just size which matters, but the number and complexity of connections within the brain.

    Oxygen deprivation from the brain is one theory.

    You would probably be the last to notice any ill effects on your brain capacity due to drug use. Maybe the drugs aren't killing brain cells you use very often. Or maybe they will have effects which only appear in the long term. There are many other possibilities it seems you have also failed to consider.

    Ho do you propose a non-corporeal entity such as a soul could affect the processes of matter?

    You have probably only destroyed brain cells here and there, rather than destroying whole areas of your brain. The remaining parts make do with what is left.

    A significant portion of the human race once thought the earth was flat, too.

    Yes. Please tell me how I can determine whether a piece of grass is conscious or not.

    Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Your first step should be to establish the existence of this soul of yours. Then, you should show that it is responsible for all the functions normally accorded to the brain by science. Finally, when you've established that, you can consider what the brain is for.

    How have your proven that?

    Do you have a source for that finding, too?
     
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  5. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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    Bob, this topic is very interesting. Exactly the same question has been brought up by Hoimar von Ditfurth around 1970, who was a German science journalist. He explained in one of his books, that the evolution always provided an adaptation to the environment. We have only eyes, because there is light and we have only ears, because there is sound. What was now the reason for our huge brain? He concluded that our eyes prove that there is light, the ears prove that there is sound – perhaps the huge brain proves that there is a spiritual world (soul, etc.) around us where our brain is the interface for. I like this idea, because it fits to my world view described at: http://www.users.bigpond.com/hermann.raith
     
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  7. Roman Banned Banned

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    Hermann:
    Then the animals that use brains must too be in a spiritual world.

    A brain is a specialized organ for translating impulses into senses and then telling the body the correct way to react. How does that imply the spiritual?

    The eye sees because there is light, and because there's a brain to tell you that you see. Both organs require the other, they're mutual.

    Bob:
    If you find Pete's excellent response lacking, and want a soul to be wedged in somewhere, then I think you've already answered your question of the brain's use–
    It's the sense organ that translates for the soul. This can be demonstrated by the partial or entire removal of the brain resulting in a catastrophic qualitative and quantitave loss in personality or the things that are linked to 'soul.'

    The reason that there's a bunch of brain is twofold:
    First, there are many soul functions that need to be translated, and thus the soul requires a large apparatus.
    Secondly, minor brain damage can be compensated for by an abundance of brain tissue to replace the damaged bits' functions.

    The soul is not linked to the body through the heart, since the heart can be replaced or modified with metal or non-human or non-organic tissue without causing a change in personality. The brain cannot be replaced with anything without changing the 'soul' of the person.


    My god, that was so much bullshit, it should be in parapsych or something.
     
  8. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    I can't bother to read the entire thread since I am on a holiday, but other animals also have large fleshy brain organs.

    Dolphins and other members of the whale family for instance.
     
  9. -Bob- Insipid Fool Registered Senior Member

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    Clockwood:

    As I said. Maybe the gorilla does have a soul. How the hell do I know? Theres no rules that soul must be human.

    When I say that humans are different from raw matter and animals, you must remember that I only mean that in a relative sense. Most animals are certainly not self-conscious.



    As I stated before, there is no proof that consciousness is caused by the brain. So we must choose between the better of two beliefs, at the moment. I take nothing on faith. But I highly suspect this idea that all that brain matter adds up to consciousness.

    See thats just what I am saying. The brain is just about as useful as an appendix.


    Theres no scientific evidence that consciousness is produced by the brain.

    Probably by knowing motherly things.

    Thanks for clearing that up.
    It might be in another dimension or something, how the hell do I know?
    We are deciding what is more reasonable, that the excessive size of the brain is actually due to a fat deposit, or a sexually beneficial organ much like boobs, or, that it is a biological organ dedicated to consciousness and other crap like that. Do you know that larger boobs do not produce more milk? Still they get larger and larger. Nobody knows why. Same with butts n thighs.

    Hermann:

    Right on man. But I am saying here, that there is no corresponding explanation for the huge size of the brain.

    From an evolutionary perspective, if the soul had come into being at some time in human existence, that would have created a situation where the human has biological dominance. Humans dominate so completely that many of their organs grow to extra proportional dimensions. The brain is probably one of these organs. The example I gave are tits, butts, thighs, appendixes, and beerbellies. It simply grew larger because nothing stopped it from doing so.

    The fact that you could poke a guy's brain stem and turn off his functions, tells us that the brain certainly is some kind of sense organ for the soul. But the soul probably does not need a very large organ to sense it. It could probably pass for being the size of a baseball or something.

    In fact, primitive human beings, and monkeys, had much smaller brains. So it probably goes like, they were the first ones to have a soul and then the brain enlarged with their butts and thighs.

    What do you say about this theory?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2004
  10. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    Of course there is. If you damage or remove a person's brain they lose consciousness. You are looking extremely foolish trying to argue otherwise.

    Edit: In fact, we can even pinpoint the part of the brain associated with consciousness - the cerebral cortex.<P>
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2004
  11. Shenzhou Shameless Reductionist Registered Senior Member

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    Butts, thighs and beerbellies are growing because of cultural factors. Are you sure that an increase in average breast (if indeed there is one) size is due to genes rather than diet? And are you quite sure that our human appendixes (appendices?) are growing?

    The brain has a use. It makes us better at surviving and mating, or it makes our offspring/siblings better at surviving and mating. That's how evolution works.
     
  12. -Bob- Insipid Fool Registered Senior Member

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    Of course the brain affects consciousness. So does the body. If you shoot me in the heart I'll lose consciousness too. But theres no evidence to explain how the brain actually generates our feelings, our reason and our consciousness.

    No, thats just the overgrown part of the brain that I'm talking about. Its only the part of the brain that nobody know's what its doing. So those who think the brain produces consciousness think it happens there.

    Shenzhou :

    You seem to be corroborating my theory that the brain might be a sexual organ. I have already addressed this issue. I repeat, that I have yet to see evidence that large brain size makes women horny. Large penis size seems to do the job much better. Plus theres no way I can imagine using a brain to fuck with or fucking a brain, it seems to be protected by the skull for some reason, I wouldnt know why.
     
  13. Shenzhou Shameless Reductionist Registered Senior Member

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    Presumably, due to agriculture and other technologies, the course of our natural evolution has been somewhat diverted. Before these innovations, however, a capable brain would have given its owner a significant advantage in terms of survival, and hence reproductive success. It wouldn't matter how virile and well-endowed a man was if he was too slow-witted to survive and prosper. So even if intelligence isn't a turn in its own right (isn't it?), it should still confer an evolutionary advantage.
     
  14. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, there is. Small changes to the brain can elicit large changes to personality and to consciousness.
     
  15. -Bob- Insipid Fool Registered Senior Member

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    same thing here. Chop off my arm or leg and that makes a change to my personality. How can damaging the brain be any different? Maybe if we realized it was only fatty filling tissue up there it wouldn't bother us so much.
     
  16. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    It's a bit different than chopping off your arm.

    Remove the amygdalla and you start treating people like furniture.

    Remove the mammilary bodies and you lose your ability to retain a memory longer than a few minutes.

    Remove the portion of the sensory cortex that holds the arm and you cut off the arm even though the arm is still attached to the body.

    In fact there are disorders where people have strokes of the parietal lobe of the brain where they will adamantly deny even having a left side of the body. They will grow upset that 'someone else' is in bed with them. They will grapple the left side of their body and try to remove it from their presence. Some even fondle and carress it and think it's a woman.

    Face it. The brain is the seat of consciousness.


    Edit: Oh. And as to the chopping of the arm? Go ahead and chop it off. But guess what? The brain still has the section of cortex that corresponds to the arm and you just might have a phantom limb.

    There was a man who had extreme pain from his phantom limb. His 'hand' was clenched tight into a fist and he could feel his fingers digging into his palms painfully. He couldn't release the pain. So, a doctor (Ramachandran) constructed a contraption to fool his mind. He made a box with a mirror inside crafted so that he could place an arm in one hole and have it reflected to his eyes so that it appeared to be his amputated arm. He had him open the hand of his arm and Voila the pain vanished.

    There is a thing called proprioception which is how the mind knows where the body is. It is regulated by the parietal lobe. It is the sense of the body. If you lose that, you lose your body. There are cases of disembodied people out there. They lose their body sense and have to learn to use their eyes instead of proprioception to control their body. Close their eyes and they go limp as a rag doll, limbs fluttering about uncontrollably.

    Read "The man who mistook his wife for a hat" by Oliver Sacks. Very interesting book.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2004
  17. -Bob- Insipid Fool Registered Senior Member

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    Shenzhou:

    But once again, you have no proof that his wits depended on the size of his brain. Your scenario could be true, I admit. So too can pixies and unicorns possibly exist. But I would rather think that there is something behind man's sudden evolutionary success besides this mysterious brainflesh. So my theory is that the soul originally gave man such an evolutionary advantage, that he naturally just started to get fat. Tits were enlarged before agriculture, as well. Once man had a soul, he started to add on the flab, in the head and elsewhere.


    I already explained this. Read the last link I provided about the metaphor of the lamp and such. You have no idea whether removing these structures and creating these abnormalities is only changing what you see of the soul, and how it enters into the world.

    Now I already said that there is clearly a use for certain more primitive sections of the brain, this is because the human body is essentially like a machine. Without the soul, the human would be like a primitive animal. It still needs certain nerve signals to function.

    But all the complex shit is not explained, and I sincerely doubt that the fatty unused portion, the so-called 'cerebral cortex' is the cause.

    But I don't want to.
     
  18. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Ockham's Razor.
    Snip snip.

    No. It's not explained. But, we're getting there. More and more each day.

    Sounds like a personal problem to me.



    Edit:
    I'm really not interested in reading religious tracts. Sorry.

    Ockham's razor precludes all this anyway. Maybe means shit.
     
  19. -Bob- Insipid Fool Registered Senior Member

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    Lets remember that Ockhams razor states that the simplest explanation is best. You claim that your explanation is simpler. I claim that mine is simpler. Why? It is a stretch to get consciousness out of raw matter. My computer is not conscious. Its a freakin machine. My hamburger is not conscious (anymore). It is far simpler to assume some sort of soul exists. How is your 'leap of faith' any different from mine?

    Not only that, but Ockham's razor is only an approximation and a guide to the truth, not a method of proof.

    Oh, sure. Your little religion of 'brainmatter consciousness' tells you so. I understand

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    I have many personal problems. Don't we all?
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    -Bob-,

    That's a false dichotomy. It is not necessarily true that either consciousness is caused by the brain or it is caused by a soul. We need evidence before we support either hypothesis.

    Try removing your brain, and you might begin to appreciate how useful it is.

    It seems that the only conscious entities we know of have brains, so even at this simple level there is a very suggestive correlation, wouldn't you say?

    Guesswork doesn't make for very good science.

    It is not true that "nobody knows why". Large boobs are most likely a result of sexual selection.

    There is always a price to pay, in evolutionary terms, for bigger organs. A bigger brain requires a bigger blood supply, more food to feed its energy requirements, etc. etc. If a big brain was an evolutionary detriment, it would have been a victim of natural selection. On the other hand, there is good evidence that bigger brains coincided with the proliferation of Homo sapiens across the globe, suggesting a correlation between brain size and evolutionary success.
     
  21. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Bob:

    Not really. While Ockham's original saying is lost and there are a multitude of forms of it out there, simply going for simplicity is a bit too simple. There's a thread out there somewhere that I just saw the other day that talks about this, but I don't remember where and I'm not about to look, so I'll explain it myself.

    Basically, Ockham's razor means that you shouldn't add more onto an explanation than is absolutely necessary. For instance, when talking about consciousness and the brain, we can observe that removing or damaging pieces of the brain has a certain effect on behavior and consciousness. We can conclude from this that the brain that is being affected is responsible for said behavior and awareness patterns. Now, you're adding on this extra bit about maybe it's just how the soul get's through from some other plane into ours.

    You're adding the soul, an untestable, to the brain, a testable.
    Ockham's razor. Snip snip.

    Here's a link if you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ockham's_Razor

    It's a means of keeping people from adding untestable and unnecessary bullshit onto testable and observable conditions.

    It's like how the senate works. Someone comes up with a good bill to save the blue-footed booby or to promote harsher punishment of child molestors and then just before it passes someone comes along and tacks on a pay raise for the senate.

    Get it?

    Yes. The religion of science and research instead of your religion of maybes.

    No. Just you.
     
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Bob,

    If the brain is the seat of the soul then won’t that mean any organism with a brain has a soul? Whales and elephants have bigger brains then us they must have more soul! Show me evidence of this soul.
     
  23. -Bob- Insipid Fool Registered Senior Member

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    Whales and elephants have bigger bodies so they need more of that animal robot crap to move their bodies around and make instincts happen. Their ration of brain to body is smaller.

    Its another argument for my theory. If these animals have bigger brains than us, then why the hell are they so stupid? Maybe because they don't have a soul.

    Brains are a biological control center. It makes sense that the soul would interact with the biological control center of a human, who without his soul would be much like an animal robot.
     

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