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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-did-think-about-it-and-the-post-was-14425777.aspx

Subject:  Re: Think About It Date:  2/26/2001  1:18 AM
Author:  mstack229 Number:  228 of 25027

I did think about it and the post was thought-provoking. The brain always seems to be explained via analogy to whatever the curent technology is--it used to be analogous to the telephone system, and now computers. But, the brain doesn't seem to work like computer memory in storing "bits and bytes" of information like a computer--so, talk of the "storage capacity" of the brain in terms of computers is I think misleading. Similarly, remember the whole right brain/left brain thing? This was dicovered during operations to control epileptic seizures by severing the corpus callosum, a thick mass that appears to have a relationship in communication between brain hemispheres. But severing this is not a natural activity--the brain has evolved to work and integrate information as a whole structure, not two separate hemispheres. So, maybe the brain doesn't have a lot of "excess capacity" that we have to "learn how to use." Just because we haven't figured it out doesn't mean we could pare away a lot of excess capacity and still end up with something the same as we have now.

<<The evolutionary process would not produce and pass on such excessive never-to-be-used brain capacity.>>

The evolutionary process could also still work with a mutation that produced the so-called "excess capacity." Let's say that trait was passed on, and subsequently there was another mutation (or a series of them) further down the line to increase capacity. We would end up with a modern brain with a lot of this excess capacity and it would still be consisent with evolution.

<<Isn't it reasonable that humans, with the capacity for endless learning, were actually designed to live forever?>>

Well, I don't know because humans also have the capacity to forget things and this in itself may also be a desired design trait--memory is very selective and is subject to much revision and editing, so to speak, when we try to recall events in our lives. I would say that we're actually not designed to live forever because we don't now.
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