religion and the brain

Stargazer fuckoff at spammers.com
Mon Oct 25 12:42:49 EST 2004


David Longley wrote:
> In article <417dd0c6.20396445 at netnews.att.net>, Lester Zick
> <lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net> writes
> > On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 11:56:47 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
> > <wwolfkir at sympatico.ca> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> >
> > > Richard F Hall wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 11 Oct 2004 13:14:48 -0700, rscanlon at nycap.rr.com (ray
> > > > scanlon) wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > There is a continual attempt by the religionists to show that
> > > > > the brain is other than the expression of the DNA. The DNA
> > > > > constructs a precisely connected brain and sets the rules for
> > > > > synaptic growth and strengthening. These rules provide the
> > > > > structure with which the brain alters itself to adjust to the
> > > > > exterior world.
> > > >
> > > > It's true, the dog's brain is a different basic design than a
> > > > human brain and each of these designs carry out different
> > > > functions. [....]
> > >
> > > Nope.
> > >
> > > The main functions of a dog's brain and a human's brain are
> > > exactly the same: to control the animal's movements, to seek food
> > > and sex, to react to and control fellow members of the pack, etc.
> > >
> > > Humans have a few bits that are more complex than the
> > > corresponding bits in a dog, but the converse is true also.
> > > There's is no basic difference. The differences are all on the
> > > surface - literally, for once.
> >
> > Well, let's just say that the brains of some humans are the same as
> > dogs in functional terms, shall we Wolf?
> >
> > Regards - Lester
>
> Human brains are also remarkably like rat brains which is one of the
> reasons why most neuroscience research is done on rats. Because rats
> and dogs are macrosmatic most visual neuroscience is done on frogs,
> cats or small primates. The key point to appreciate is that there are
> remarkable homologies between all higher animals when it comes to
> central nervous system anatomy and function and this is true not just
> of the mammals. The environment has shaped these homologies and
> differences just as it continues to shape behaviour. One has to look
> to homologies in anatomical structure and environmental pressures to
> understand brain-behaviour relations.

This is quite true. Several behavioral studies are conducted with
animals and they are also representative of equivalent human behavior.

However, Mr. Kirchmeir's post said that the main functions of dog's
brains and human's brains are "exactly the same", and this sounds
wrong. Dog's (and most other mammals) brains don't have similarly
developed frontal lobes. They also don't have Broca's and Wernicke's
areas so clear-cut. These brains are similar, but on their main
functions not strictly comparable.

*SG*





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