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It is widely recognized that the capacity of the human brain far exceeds any use to which we put it during our present lifetime, whether we live to 70 years or even 100 years of age. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that man's brain "is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one person's lifetime." Scientist Carl Sagan states that the human brain could hold more information than "the world's largest libraries." Regarding the capacity of the human brain's "filing system," biochemist Isaac Asimov wrote that it is "perfectly capable of handling any load of learning and memory which the human being is likely to put upon it--and a billion times more than that quantity, too." But why would evolution produce such an excess? "This is, in fact, the only example in existence where a species was provided with an organ that it still has not learned how to use," admitted one scientist. He then asked: "How can this be reconciled with evolution's most fundamental thesis: Natural selection proceeds in small steps, each of which must confer on its bearer a minimal, but nonetheless measurable, advantage?" He added that the human brain's development "remains the most inexplicable aspect of evolution." The evolutionary process would not produce and pass on such excessive never-to-be-used brain capacity.

Isn't it reasonable that humans, with the capacity for endless learning, were actually designed to live forever?
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Hello flash.Welcome.Lots of info here please read back some.

Chris
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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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Flash,
Thanks for the post on the brain. It gives hope to a non-scientist, God loving woman who wonders how she got talked into debating those who are far smarter and don't even want to hear Bible quotes.
Thanks,
Becky
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