Sunday, May 25, 2008

More on Human and Nonhuman Minds

The topic of human 'uniqueness' was brought up again lately by a paper in the recent issue of the Behavioral and Brain Sciences called "Darwin's Mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds" and was discussed a bit on the blogosphere (see, e.g. here, here, here, and here).

Now there are some other interesting post on the topic, for example:

  • Last but not least, on May 6 and May 8 there was a symposium in New York called "Darwin: 21st-Century Perspectives", where
    "Some of the world’s leading Darwin experts discussed the far-reaching legacy of Charles Darwin and the implications of his thinking for science and society today in a special two-part symposium, Darwin: 21st-Century Perspectives, hosted by The New York Botanical Garden and the American Museum of Natural History, which was open to the public."
Their website features high-quality videos and/or mp3s (depends on the talk) of the talks. Hiughlights (in my oppinion) include:

- Michael Ruse, philosopher, Is Darwinism an Exhausted Paradigm? (audio / video)
- Kenneth Miller, biologist, author, and expert court witness, Darwin, God, and Design: America’s New Battle over Evolution (audio)
- Gerald Edelman, biochemist and neurobiologist, Neural Darwinism

I've listened to some podcasts featuring Edelman lately, so I think by now I definitely know Gerald Edelman's favorite facts about the brain:

If you unfolded your cerebral cortex it would be the size of a (large) paper napkin. There would be 30 Billion Neurons and a Million Billion Connections. If you were to count every synaptic connections, counting one connection per second, you were only finished after 32 million years.


1 comment:

Laughing Man said...

Another demystification article of human perfection/superiority: