"The Human Neocortex is More Complex than a Galaxy" -- Carl Sagan and Roger Penrose (VIDEO)
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May 29, 2013

"The Human Neocortex is More Complex than a Galaxy" -- Carl Sagan and Roger Penrose (VIDEO)

 

 

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According to physicist, Roger Penrose, What’s in our head is orders of magnitude more complex than anything one sees in the Universe: "If you look at the entire physical cosmos," says Penrose, "our brains are a tiny, tiny part of it. But they're the most perfectly organized part. Compared to the complexity of a brain, a galaxy is just an inert lump." 

Each cubic millimeter of tissue in the neocortex, reports Michael Chorost in World Wide Mind, contains between 860 million and 1.3 billion synapses. Estimates of the total number of synapses in the neocortex range from 164 trillion to 200 trillion. The total number of synapses in the brain as a whole is much higher than that. The neocorex has the same number of neurons as a galaxy has stars: 100 billion. 

"All stars can do is pull on each other with gravity," writes Chorost, and, if they are very close, exchange heat."

One researcher estimates that with current technology it would take 10,000 automated microscopes thirty years to map the connections between every neuron in a human brain, and 100 million terabytes of disk space to store the data.

Galaxies are ancient, but self-aware, language-using, tool-making brains are very new in the evolutionary timeline, some 200,000-years old. Most of the neurons in the neocortex have between 1,000 and 10,000 synaptic connections with other neurons. Elsewhere in the brain, in the cerebellum, one type of neuron has 150,000 to 200,000 synaptic connections with other neurons. Even the lowest of these numbers seems hard to believe. One tiny neuron can connect to 200,000 neurons.

"The universe could so easily have remained lifeless and simple -just physics and chemistry, just the scattered dust of the cosmic explosion that gave birth to time and space," says Richard Dawkins, the famed Oxford evolutionary biologist reflecting on the sheer wonder of the emergence of life on Earth and the evolutionary process in his classic The Ancestor's Tale.

"The fact that it did not -the fact that life evolved out of literally nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved literally out of nothing -is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice. And even that is not the end of the matter. Not only did evolution happen: it eventually led to beings capable of comprehending the process by which they comprehend it."

 

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The neocortex, Latin for "new bark," is our third, newly human brain in terms of evolution. It is what makes possible our judgments and our knowledge of good and evil. It is also the site from which our creativity emerges and home to our sense of self.

The Neocortex says Carl Sagan in his iconic Cosmos, is where "matter is transformed into consciousness." It comprises more than two-thirds of our brain mass. The realm of intuition and critical analysis,--it is the Neocortex where we have our ideas and inspirations, where we read and write, where we compose music or do mathematics. "It is the distinction of our species," writes Sagan,"the seat of our humanity. Civilization is the product of the cerebral cortex."

Sagan believes that extraterrestrials will have brains, "slowly accreted by evolution, as ours have," and will perhaps share similarities. He believes any successful, long-lived civilization will, by necessity, have resolved the tensions of our various brain components. Extraterrestials, too, "will have extended their Mind extrasomatically into intelligent machines."

Sagan believes that building upon our ability to communicate better, learn better the language and culture, with higher terrestrial cultures-- and extending our intelligence into machines--that when we do finally encounter the Extraterrestrial, we and our machines will be better prepared to understand the *other's* intelligence, language and cultural forms, and machines. "We are a "local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness." We have become "starstuff pondering the stars."

 

            

 

The Daily Galaxy via World Wide Mind and Cosmos

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the human neocortex it's part of a galaxy

Physics and consciousness
Prof. Penrose at a conference.

"Penrose has written books on the connection between fundamental physics and human (or animal) consciousness. In The Emperor's New Mind (1989), he argues that known laws of physics are inadequate to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. Penrose proposes the characteristics this new physics may have and specifies the requirements for a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics (what he calls correct quantum gravity). Penrose uses a variant of Turing's halting theorem to demonstrate that a system can be deterministic without being algorithmic. (E.g., imagine a system with only two states, ON and OFF. If the system's state is ON if a given Turing machine halts, and OFF if the Turing machine does not halt, then the system's state is completely determined by the Turing machine, however there is no algorithmic way to determine whether the Turing machine stops.)

Penrose believes that such deterministic yet non-algorithmic processes may come in play in the quantum mechanical wave function reduction, and may be harnessed by the brain. He argues that the present computer is unable to have intelligence because it is an algorithmically deterministic system. He argues against the viewpoint that the rational processes of the mind are completely algorithmic and can thus be duplicated by a sufficiently complex computer. This contrasts with supporters of strong artificial intelligence, who contend that thought can be simulated algorithmically. He bases this on claims that consciousness transcends formal logic because things such as the insolubility of the halting problem and Gödel's incompleteness theorem prevent an algorithmically based system of logic from reproducing such traits of human intelligence as mathematical insight. These claims were originally espoused by the philosopher John Lucas of Merton College, Oxford.

The Penrose/Lucas argument about the implications of Gödel's incompleteness theorem for computational theories of human intelligence has been widely criticized by mathematicians, computer scientists and philosophers, and the consensus among experts in these fields seems to be that the argument fails, though different authors may choose different aspects of the argument to attack.[16] Marvin Minsky, a leading proponent of artificial intelligence, was particularly critical, stating that Penrose "tries to show, in chapter after chapter, that human thought cannot be based on any known scientific principle." Minsky's position is exactly the opposite - he believes that humans are, in fact, machines, whose functioning, although complex, is fully explainable by current physics. Minsky maintains that "one can carry that quest [for scientific explanation] too far by only seeking new basic principles instead of attacking the real detail. This is what I see in Penrose's quest for a new basic principle of physics that will account for consciousness."[17]

Penrose responded to criticism of The Emperor's New Mind with his follow up 1994 book Shadows of the Mind, and in 1997 with The Large, the Small and the Human Mind. In those works, he also combined his observations with that of anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff.

Penrose and Hameroff have argued that consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in microtubules, which they dubbed Orch-OR (orchestrated objective reduction). Max Tegmark, in a paper in Physical Review E,[18] calculated that the time scale of neuron firing and excitations in microtubules is slower than the decoherence time by a factor of at least 10,000,000,000. The reception of the paper is summed up by this statement in Tegmark's support: "Physicists outside the fray, such as IBM's John A. Smolin, say the calculations confirm what they had suspected all along. 'We're not working with a brain that's near absolute zero. It's reasonably unlikely that the brain evolved quantum behavior'".[19] Tegmark's paper has been widely cited by critics of the Penrose–Hameroff position.

In their reply to Tegmark's paper, also published in Physical Review E, the physicists Scott Hagan, Jack Tuszynski and Hameroff[20][21] claimed that Tegmark did not address the Orch-OR model, but instead a model of his own construction. This involved superpositions of quanta separated by 24 nm rather than the much smaller separations stipulated for Orch-OR. As a result, Hameroff's group claimed a decoherence time seven orders of magnitude greater than Tegmark's, but still well short of the 25 ms required if the quantum processing in the theory was to be linked to the 40 Hz gamma synchrony, as Orch-OR suggested. To bridge this gap, the group made a series of proposals. It was supposed that the interiors of neurons could alternate between liquid and gel states. In the gel state, it was further hypothesized that the water electrical dipoles are oriented in the same direction, along the outer edge of the microtubule tubulin subunits. Hameroff et al. proposed that this ordered water could screen any quantum coherence within the tubulin of the microtubules from the environment of the rest of the brain. Each tubulin also has a tail extending out from the microtubules, which is negatively charged, and therefore attracts positively charged ions. It is suggested that this could provide further screening. Further to this, there was a suggestion that the microtubules could be pumped into a coherent state by biochemical energy.
Roger Penrose in the University of Santiago de Compostela to receive the Fonseca Prize.

Finally, it is suggested that the configuration of the microtubule lattice might be suitable for quantum error correction, a means of holding together quantum coherence in the face of environmental interaction. In the last decade, some researchers who are sympathetic to Penrose's ideas have proposed an alternative scheme for quantum processing in microtubules based on the interaction of tubulin tails with microtubule-associated proteins, motor proteins and presynaptic scaffold proteins. These proposed alternative processes have the advantage of taking place within Tegmark's time to decoherence.

Hameroff, in a lecture in part of a Google Tech talks series exploring quantum biology, gave an overview of current research in the area, and responded to subsequent criticisms of the Orch-OR model.[22] In addition to this, a recent 2011 paper by Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff gives an updated model of their Orch-OR theory, in light of criticisms, and discusses the place of consciousness within the universe.[23]

Phillip Tetlow, although himself supportive of Penrose's views, acknowledges that Penrose's ideas about the human thought process are at present a minority view in scientific circles, citing Minsky's criticisms and quoting science journalist Charles Seife's description of Penrose as "one of a handful of scientists" who believe that the nature of consciousness suggests a quantum process"( fram wickpedia)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Penrose

How will the human brain evolve in the next one million years? What will be the next evolutionary step in the human race; what will our decedents become? The human race is divided into classes that are based on inequality, and humans are very territorial in their thinking; that is what is called Patriotic. For a strong America. For a strong Germany. For a strong Rome. It is to remembered that in the Ivy Halls of Harvard in the 1950's, psychologists asked the all important question of the day, are non-white people intelligent?

@Kristi
I think the supposition upon what the questions of the human brain will be an what it will look like are irrelevant. i think a more pertinent question is whether or not humans will survive the next 100 years...... i very much doubt it.
for all the wonder of the human brain and it's development, and dont get me wrong it is incredible, we seem to be dominated by our baser more animalistic tendencies. we are incapable of putting aside our trivial superficial differences, we constantly want to squabble over stupid entities like race and religion. I don't believe that we will ever get to the next 100 years if we do not get over these issues in the next 10 years.

Woooowww! this guys are Genius???, still they didn't find God??, and as I see it they are not only more persistent in denying God, to Man. They talk, about Humans and Humanity like they know what they are talking about. even like they where perfect Humans, only to take out way from Man, the Awareness that man was created Human, to the Image of HIM(God), although Imperfect, mortal, greedy and week. Free to decide and search for perfection.

There is purpose in the tensions between science and faith. Just as there is purpose, in greed, to advance innovations, for profit.The cutting edge,of scientific pursuits,searches for what makes things work, with motivation,to prove,there is no superior being,but rather, everything is simply mechanical, even if we havent yet shown the mechanics. We will learn. I wonder, what set these contradictory emotions, in motion? Greed and need, leads to innovation. Proving the universe, is mechanical, challenges the existence of God. Please, continue to deny God. It is the motivation, for physics. Let me know when a tear in the fiber, is discovered. That is where the Lord, will be.

Cool info!

Has anyone ever thought that information can travel in the light stream, and travel from star to star. When information travels from galaxy to galaxy, or the path of the nerves travel into the light stream. lets say that a solar system dies, could this be like a dead brain cell in the universe? Could the creator use the means to understand how people act in the whole universe? To write these ideas off, is like living in a box with four sides, and far into the dead end street.

On The Nature And Origin Of The Universe...
Classical Science Replaced By 2013 Gravity Comprehension !!!

איך נברא היקום יש מאין
New Science 2013 versus classical science
http://universe-life.com/2014/02/24/gravity/
Attn classical science hierarchy ( including Darwin and Einstein…)
“I hope that now you understand what gravity is and why it is the monotheism of the universe…DH”
=================================
Gravity is the natural selection of self-attraction by the elementary particles of an evolving system on their cyclic course towards the self-replication of the system. Period
( Gravitons are the elementary particles of the universe. RNA genes and serotonin are the elementary particles of Earth life)

כח המשיכה
כח המשיכה הוא הבחירה הטבעית להיצמדות הדדית של חלקיקי היסוד של מערכת מתפתחת במהלך התפתחותה המחזורית לעבר שיכפולה. נקודה
( הגרוויטון הוא חלקיק היסוד של היקום. הגנים, הנוקלאוטידים של חומצה ריבונוקלאית והסרוטונין הם החלקיקים היסודיים של חיי כדור הארץ) Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com/2013/11/14/subverting-organized-religious-science/
http://universe-life.com/2013/09/03/the-shortest-grand-unified-theory/

A galaxy that contains even a single neocortex is by definition more complex than A neocortex. Unless they were talking about a galaxy that contained no brains at all, they were wrong


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