In God's Image: The Natural History of Intelligence and by Gerhard Meisenberg

By Gerhard Meisenberg

We're seeing explosive advances within the technological know-how of human evolution, to some degree the place our genome might be in comparison in molecular aspect with the genomes of alternative primates. while, the neurobiology of the better cognitive features has reached some extent the place we will test the task of the residing mind to make suggestions and emotions noticeable.

during this ebook, Gerhard Meisenberg explains the approaches wherein the mind creates clever reasoning and judgments approximately right classes of motion. He illuminates the massive problems with human nature from the perspective of neurobiologist, evolutionary biologist, and molecular geneticist in flip. the implications are aggravating. the writer descries people as crudely programmed robots with particularly predictable habit, not able to go beyond the restrictions that tradition and genes impose on their considering.

the writer is aware find out how to flip info into wisdom and information into knowledge. The ebook unifies the organic and social sciences, and indicates how this strong new technology solutions the massive questions about human life: the character of reasoning and challenge fixing, the best way moral judgments are made out of a package of social instincts, the realm, why international locations struggle wars, why Europe rose however the heart East declined during the last millennium, and lots more and plenty, even more. This new technology can expect the longer term: Will our current civilization live to tell the tale, or will it self-destruct? And in what course is our species evolving biologically?

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18 The mind’s library In the beginning there was not the word, but the association. (Philip Johnson-Laird, The Computer and the Mind) Brain-damaged patients can show us how knowledge is organized in the brain. We saw in Chapter 1 that agnosic patients cannot access knowledge through a single sensory modality. The prosopagnosic who asks his wife to wear a ribbon in her hair so he can recognize her at a party can still recognize her by her voice. He still knows his wife. 27 In God’s Image? Only the link between the visual system and the knowledge is cut.

But the hippocampus accepts no messages during sleep. It is in receiving mode in the waking state, and in sending mode during sleep. Therefore our memory span for dreams – a few seconds – is the same as for working memory unaided by the hippocampus. If the hippocampus receives its inputs from working memory, then the place cells should respond not only when we are in a place, but 20 The Nature of Knowledge also when we merely think about it. This has been demonstrated in a study where London taxi drivers were asked to imagine familiar routes around town while their brain activity was scanned.

In one study, 115 participants in the Second International Congress on Forecasting, held in Istanbul in July 1982, were asked to evaluate either one or the other of two scenarios: a. b. A complete suspension of diplomatic relations between the USA and the Soviet Union, sometime in 1983. A Russian invasion of Poland, and a complete suspension of diplomatic relations between the USA and the Soviet Union, sometime in 1983. 39 In God’s Image? Although the first scenario was included in the second, the probability estimates were more than three times higher for the second than the first.

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