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religion and the brain

David Longley David at longley.demon.co.uk
Mon Oct 25 12:11:48 EST 2004

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. [....]
>>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.
David Longley

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