Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:32 am

Walker wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:No.
Excepting chaos, since all that humans perceive displays design, you speak from a strange faith disconnected from reality.
If you didn't insist on writing gibberish perhaps you might get your 'points' across better. (Or is that the point?)

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Greta
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:58 am

Walker wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:No.
Excepting chaos, since all that humans perceive displays design, you speak from a strange faith disconnected from reality.
Yes, but design does not imply a designer. For instance, one may poop in a delightful star-shaped pattern, richly coloured by beetroot juice, with corn flecks displayed in a perfect Fibronacci sequence throughout the star ... and that would still not be designed. So there is a logical case for self-assembly, but also gives cause to wonder what may lie behind the laws of physics.

I like uwot's perspective, where we have "big bang stuff" and each particle corresponds to a kind of self-sustaining dynamic that inevitably results from chaos - because all of the processes that didn't sustain themselves simply went away, leaving the self-sustaining ones. That is the story of everything - the forms that haven't gone away yet.

My impression of the universe is not of deities but of living systems. The difference is that the former comes as a complete prefab package while the latter matures over time.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Walker » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:21 am

Greta wrote:Yes, but design does not imply a designer.
Why not? Where there's smoke, there's fire.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Walker » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:22 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:If you didn't insist on writing gibberish perhaps you might get your 'points' across better. (Or is that the point?)
Every possession carries a responsibility to use it or lose it. You learn a word, you own it. What don’t you understand?

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Greta
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:17 am

Walker wrote:
Greta wrote:Yes, but design does not imply a designer.
Why not? Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Not necessarily :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvuAgq9Lpg8

Do you think the microbes of the early Earth designed humankind? They were our forebears.

WendyDarling
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by WendyDarling » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:56 am

Still a no. I will say that God trumps the souls he's created, so it seems I erred. God is the most complex and elusive "object" on, around, over, through, above, (He is all "objects") in the universe. How many times is God going to tweak life on Earth? It seems like Earth is an ongoing project of His. From dust, through single cell organisms, through the dinosaurs, through smaller mammals with a few types more-or-less erect, to modern Man...what's next?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:59 am

Walker wrote: Scientists say that newborns smile because of gas.
That explains nothing.

- Babies are human.
- I am human.
- I and other humans don’t smile when I have gas.
- Ergo: scientists are presenting speculation as fact.

Babies are human.
- I am human.
- I smile when I remember the good times.
- And, some folks say that when newborns smile, they too are remembering the good times … from the previous life.
When Walker smiles it is due to gas in the place where his brain should be.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:05 am

Greta wrote:From a physics forum:
A better predictor of intelligence would the ratio of brain mass to surface area. This ratio is proportional to the encephalization quotient (EQ). The EQ is the ratio of brain mass to a power law with a 2/3 exponent. Roughly, the EQ is proportional to the ratio between brain volume and skin area. In terms of EQ, the bottlenose dolphin is second to humans in intelligence. According to its EQ, the bottlenose dolphin may have an intelligence greater than chimpanzees but less than that of humans.

Scientists usually us a scaling parameter called the encephalization quotient (EQ) to estimate intelligence. According to some models, the EQ should correlate with intelligence. However, this is at best an approximation. As you point out, the structure and organization of the brain is also important. However, I don’t know of any quantitative parameters to take into account structure of the brain. So all we have for quantitative discussion is the EQ.
The brain of mammals to adult body mass as a power law with an exponent on or about 2/3. The ratio of actual brain mass to the mass predicted by this formula is referred to as the encephalization quotient (EQ). According to Table 1 in the following link:

Humans have an EQ of about 7.6
Bottlenose dolphins have an EQ of 4.14
Chimpanzees have an EQ of about 2.3
Dogs have an EQ of 1.2.
Other studies do not rate "brain mass", but brain complexity - that actually number of convolutions make a greater peripheral area, and it is thought that it is this area of the cortex is more significant that the dead weight of the brain.
From the image it is clear enough that the brain cortex of the dolphin (where all the grey matter is), looks to be about twice as complex in its convolutions that in the human.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:11 am

Greta wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Greta wrote: There would certainly need to be considerable extra brain complexity needed to allow dolphins to keep one brain hemisphere awake at all times, since each hemisphere must at times act as a proxy complete brain. Also, dolphins are unusual in that they have excellent eyesight, hearing and echolocation. That's a great deal of processing and concomitant brain complexity.

Whatever, intelligent mammal brains are the most information-dense entities that we know of in physical reality. Then again, why choose brains? Why not say that forebrains - the most complex parts of brains - are the most complex objects in the universe? Or the cortex, as it's the most complex part of the forebrain? Why not the most complex organism, rather than just their brains?

Then again, the Earth contains all life that we know and is far more complex than we are, even if it has large, relatively simple zones. Ditto the solar system, galaxy etc.

A stimulating topic to think about, but messy.
Take any random 500 square trillion miles of matter in the solar system outside of earth and there is less complexity in it that the brain of a mouse.
Or its cortex :)

It will interesting to see what happens with information density in machines.
Indeed - if well designed.
The computer you are currently typing into would not have been possible 30 years ago, as it would have taken a computer the size of London to have the same memory and processing. Being so big it would have been very slow.
Moore's law stated that computer power doubled every tow years, and that price halved.
There are, however, physical limits.

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Greta
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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:54 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Greta wrote:From a physics forum:
A better predictor of intelligence would the ratio of brain mass to surface area. This ratio is proportional to the encephalization quotient (EQ). The EQ is the ratio of brain mass to a power law with a 2/3 exponent. Roughly, the EQ is proportional to the ratio between brain volume and skin area. In terms of EQ, the bottlenose dolphin is second to humans in intelligence. According to its EQ, the bottlenose dolphin may have an intelligence greater than chimpanzees but less than that of humans.

Scientists usually us a scaling parameter called the encephalization quotient (EQ) to estimate intelligence. According to some models, the EQ should correlate with intelligence. However, this is at best an approximation. As you point out, the structure and organization of the brain is also important. However, I don’t know of any quantitative parameters to take into account structure of the brain. So all we have for quantitative discussion is the EQ.
The brain of mammals to adult body mass as a power law with an exponent on or about 2/3. The ratio of actual brain mass to the mass predicted by this formula is referred to as the encephalization quotient (EQ). According to Table 1 in the following link:

Humans have an EQ of about 7.6
Bottlenose dolphins have an EQ of 4.14
Chimpanzees have an EQ of about 2.3
Dogs have an EQ of 1.2.
Other studies do not rate "brain mass", but brain complexity - that actually number of convolutions make a greater peripheral area, and it is thought that it is this area of the cortex is more significant that the dead weight of the brain.
From the image it is clear enough that the brain cortex of the dolphin (where all the grey matter is), looks to be about twice as complex in its convolutions that in the human.
As mentioned earlier, dolphins have more complex sensory information to process than we do so we don't know how much of their brainpower is required for that.

Then again, 300 million years ago the most complex things around would have been dino brains. At one stage microbes would have had star billing. Before then, it would have been long organic chains, and so on.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Walker » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:03 pm

Greta wrote:Then again, 300 million years ago the most complex things around would have been dino brains. At one stage microbes would have had star billing. Before then, it would have been long organic chains, and so on.
Some dinos had two brains, so they say. One in the noggin, and the other in a frequently used appendage.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Walker » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:11 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote: Other studies do not rate "brain mass", but brain complexity - that actually number of convolutions make a greater peripheral area, and it is thought that it is this area of the cortex is more significant that the dead weight of the brain.
From the image it is clear enough that the brain cortex of the dolphin (where all the grey matter is), looks to be about twice as complex in its convolutions that in the human.
But the convolutions are shallow, like dolphins. They don't have much to say and when they do, you can't understand a damn thing coming out of their mouths. Sounds like squeaks and clicks. This has appeal to some intellectual giants, I suppose. :roll: Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against dolphins. They're kinda cute but they do have savage ways.

Speaking of convoluted, I once heard that if you took all the edges of West Virginia and stretched them out until the state was flat, it would be bigger than Texas. Very convoluted state, at least geographically.

Despite all their inventions using those big brains, this is something a dolphin will never know.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Harbal » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:49 pm

Walker wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:If you didn't insist on writing gibberish perhaps you might get your 'points' across better. (Or is that the point?)
Every possession carries a responsibility to use it or lose it. You learn a word, you own it.
It's not so much your words that are the problem, it's more what you do with them.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:19 pm

Walker wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: Other studies do not rate "brain mass", but brain complexity - that actually number of convolutions make a greater peripheral area, and it is thought that it is this area of the cortex is more significant that the dead weight of the brain.
From the image it is clear enough that the brain cortex of the dolphin (where all the grey matter is), looks to be about twice as complex in its convolutions that in the human.
But the convolutions are shallow, like dolphins. They don't have much to say and when they do, you can't understand a damn thing coming out of their mouths. Sounds like squeaks and clicks. .
A dolphins would say the same thing about those stupid two legged morons in boats.

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Re: Do you regard the human brain as the most complex object in the universe?

Post by Harbal » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:24 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote: A dolphins would say the same thing about those stupid two legged morons in boats.
I wonder what it is that you imagine dolphins can achieve mentally that is so superior.

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