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religion and the brain

Richard F Hall realistic at seanet.com
Wed Oct 27 06:08:07 EST 2004

On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 11:56:47 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir at sympatico.ca> 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.

One has to be careful of the words: "basic" and "exactly".  The brains
of dogs and humans are basically the same and are not exactly the
same.  They are both called "brains" (that's a good start for their
sameness) and a glance at them on the dissection table will reveal
similarities.  But closer examination will reveal many differences
too, accounting for species differences in muscle control, the senses,
abstraction, etc.  There are also similarities, which make the study
of animals a valid way of studying humans.  

But what I'm trying to say is that the "brains" will define the limits
of capability of the characteristics of behavior specific to the
species; and, to this degree, brains are different, not only between
species, but between individuals.  I'm just trying to build on what
the original post delineated regarding inherent (DNA is the way he put
it) characteristics of the brain.

I have seen people argue that all brains are equal and identical.  It
seems to be a religious issue.


realistic idealism
Biological determinism doesn't stop after birth

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