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religion and the brain

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Mon Oct 25 13:36:23 EST 2004


On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 14:42:49 -0300, "Stargazer" <fuckoff at spammers.com>
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>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.

Yes, well, most of Mr. Kirchmeir's posts rather tend to polemical
exaggeration than science. We've charitably tried to break him of
this nasty habit, but he's a behaviorist and already knows everything.

Regards - Lester



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