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The Speed of Thought (the brain far surpassses human designed computer technology)
Uncommon Descent ^ | September 28, 2009 | Cornelius Hunter, Ph.D.

Posted on 09/28/2009 4:59:44 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts

Computers are becoming faster and more powerful all the time and those improvements have been mainly due to better hardware. Future improvements, however, may well rely increasingly on better architecture and software. One reason why this seems likely is that the human brain, with its very different architecture, dramatically out performs computers in performing various tasks (such as perceiving an object in a complex visual scene). If computers are to match the brain's performance, they likely will need to exploit features of the brain's design.

In some regards the brain's hardware is far beyond that of a computer. Its "wires," for instance, would go to the moon if stretched out. That's about 10,000 times longer than all the wire in a typical microprocessor chip. Similarly, the brain has about a hundred million million synapses (the connecting junctions between neurons) which is many thousands times more than the number of transistors in the microprocessor.

But perhaps even more amazing is the brain's architecture and software. For instance, whereas computers are based on the Von Neumann architecture which separates computation and memory, the brain combines these elements in ways not well understood.

Also, whereas computer components are highly predictable (deterministic) the brain's synapses are much less predictable (probabilistic). Any given signal may have only a 20% chance of successfully crossing the synapse and this is compensated with substantial redundancy. Aside from tremendous fault tolerance, this allows the brain to rapidly increase signals by modifying the probability of synapse crossing.

Such differences provide a profoundly different, and probably more powerful, computing architecture compared to the microprocessor. As one paper explains:

Because the brain is not bound by the Von Neumann architecture, exactly what a particular neural circuit computes can be modified on the fly without reference to other circuits (as when we shift our focus of attention from one thing to another) and can also remember things for a lifetime (how to ride a bicycle).

Exploiting the brain's architecture, however, will not be easy. For instance, we need to better understand how to use parallel computers:

The problem with emulating the brain’s massive parallelism, however, is that we are not even close to being able to use the increased hardware power efficiently; how to program parallel computers is a very active subject now in computer science.

But even the parallel programming problem is only the beginning. The far more difficult problem is to divine just what information processing and computations are carried out in the brain's neural circuits:

we believe the problem is not computer power and ability to program parallel machines, but rather our nearly total ignorance about what computations are actually carried out by the brain. Our view is that computers will never equal our best abilities until we can understand the brain’s design principles and the mathematical operations employed by neural circuits well enough to build machines that incorporate them.

If you find the brain's design astonishing, consider this even more astonishing fact: evolutionists say it all just evolved. The ability of the brain to develop from scratch, and its design and operation, they say, all arose from mutant forms. Amazing.

Two thousand years ago the Epicureans explained that the organization in nature arose from nothing more than the swerving motions of atoms. How naive. Evolution has moved us far beyond such a silly idea. Religion drives science and it matters.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: atheism; belongsinreligion; catholic; charismatic; christian; creation; evangelical; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; hitech; intelligentdesign; medicine; notasciencetopic; philosophy; propellerbeanie; protestant; science

1 posted on 09/28/2009 4:59:44 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

bump


2 posted on 09/28/2009 5:02:10 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound
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To: GodGunsGuts

Hold on, I’m still processing this.


3 posted on 09/28/2009 5:02:31 PM PDT by freestyle
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

Ping!


4 posted on 09/28/2009 5:04:13 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: freestyle

LOL :o)


5 posted on 09/28/2009 5:05:32 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Any word yet on the speed of stupid? That usually beats the speed of thought hands down! ;)


6 posted on 09/28/2009 5:05:59 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
"Whoa Dude! ...Can You Say That A Little Slower Please.


7 posted on 09/28/2009 5:11:09 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: GodGunsGuts

Evolution theory has gotten a few quirks in it since the days of Darwin. One of the most intriguing things is the ability for vastly unrelated species to share DNA, thanks to microbes.

Modern evolution theory is, in the end, another window in general revelation showing the same God that gave special revelation.


8 posted on 09/28/2009 5:13:13 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Democrat party is a criminal enterprise.)
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To: TexasCajun

Very few “stupid” roles have been so intelligently performed. Too bad he doesn’t bring that same intelligence to many other areas of his life :o(


9 posted on 09/28/2009 5:15:23 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Interesting article, thanks for posting it.


10 posted on 09/28/2009 5:19:33 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: GodGunsGuts; OSayCanYouSee

Hubbie knows this already... I can switch topics faster than....


11 posted on 09/28/2009 5:20:00 PM PDT by RebelTXRose
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To: GodGunsGuts

I would add microprocessors in the temporal lobe. We are fast approaching the day were the melding of the human mind and computers is near. I would gladly volunteer for that type of procedure.


12 posted on 09/28/2009 5:21:33 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("We will either find a way, or make one."Hannibal/Carthaginian Military Commander)
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To: GodGunsGuts
If and when we ever learn how to use our brains to full capacity = computers will no longer be needed... rather than expend time/money trying to make computers 'compute' more like the human brain, we should be learning how to increase the use of the brains capacity.

We haven't even scratched the surface.

Quantum physics, Zero Point Field, Noetics - the ancient wisdoms - these are exciting fields. Just maybe science of the brain will advance to the point it meets itself full circle

13 posted on 09/28/2009 5:23:04 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" LINCOLN)
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To: freestyle
Hold on, I’m still processing this.


14 posted on 09/28/2009 5:26:45 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" LINCOLN)
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To: OneWingedShark

My pleasure :o)


15 posted on 09/28/2009 5:29:46 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: RebelTXRose

Which is probably one of the reasons why men find a woman’s mind so baffling :o)


16 posted on 09/28/2009 5:31:49 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
Two thousand years ago the Epicureans explained that the organization in nature arose from nothing more than the swerving motions of atoms. How naive. Evolution has moved us far beyond such a silly idea. Religion drives science and it matters.

In DE RERUM NATURA Lucretius comes very close to enunciating the existence of a genome:

... we see that all things bred from fixed seeds by a fixed mother are able to conserve their kind as they grow. Assuredly this must come about in a fixed way. For in each thing, its own proper bodies are spread abroad through the frame within from all its foods, and being combined produce the appropriate motions. ( 2.707 )

All this from the mere conviction of atomism, which today we take for granted.

BTW, the Latin for "must come about in a fixed way" is "fieri ratione necessust", and I believe this a is much stronger statement than the translation indicates because of "ratione" ... ( by means of a ) "reckoning, numbering, casting up, account, calculation, computation".

17 posted on 09/28/2009 5:38:34 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: maine-iac7

Throw in there liberal’s brain and you got reaaaaal mysterrry!


18 posted on 09/28/2009 5:49:31 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (fffffFRrrreeeeepppeeee-ssed!)
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To: GodGunsGuts
No comparison between a crude Cray computer and created cranial contents.
19 posted on 09/28/2009 6:25:33 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Our brains and minds all exist due to a series of accidents that built on previous accidents. Said minds have the capability to know of their own existence and contemplate their origins.

This all happened by chance with absolutely no outside influence.

I know all this because my high school biology teacher said it is so.

/sarc


20 posted on 09/28/2009 6:42:41 PM PDT by AZ .44 MAG (A society that doesn't protect its children doesn't deserve to survive.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

21 posted on 09/28/2009 6:46:23 PM PDT by Charles Martel (NRA Lifetime Member since 1984; TSRA rookie)
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To: GodGunsGuts

My mother, who passed away years ago, often told me that when she was growing up she was told “man will NEVER split the atom”

I remember being told by my 5th (1959) grade teacher that God designed the goose down so perfectly that man would never be able to surpass it as an insulator.

So man can’t even begin to equal the human brain with current state of computers.

The only rational conclusion is that we need more time.


22 posted on 09/28/2009 6:49:00 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Balding_Eagle wrote:

My mother, who passed away years ago, often told me that when she was growing up she was told "man will NEVER split the atom"

I remember being told by my 5th (1959) grade teacher that God designed the goose down so perfectly that man would never be able to surpass it as an insulator.

So man can't even begin to equal the human brain with current state of computers. The only rational conclusion is that we need more time.

I would say the only logical conclusion is that you knew two people that were wrong.

Man has the capacity to accomplish great things and discover great things.

What he lacks is the ability to create anything as magnificent and perfect as our universe. I also think Man lacks the ability to understand our universe on a fundamental level. We can glean enough to help us make our stay here more comfortable. Not much more though.

23 posted on 09/28/2009 7:18:09 PM PDT by AZ .44 MAG (A society that doesn't protect its children doesn't deserve to survive.)
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To: AZ .44 MAG

Two people who simply were repeating conventional wisdom of the time.

FWIW, my mother was convinced by her brother, a physicist for the Navy, that contrary to conventional wisdom, Gods perfect atom could be split. Turned out he was right. It may have shaken peoples faith in God at the time, I have no idea, but it sure doesn’t shake mine,

The same with the human brain. It is, after all, simply physical. It isn’t the soul.

You and I could argue endlessly about this, just as many did in the 30’s and early 40’s about the atom. At this point it comes down to beliefs and faith.

I believe God gave us both wisdom and a knowledge that we have only begun to tap into.


24 posted on 09/28/2009 7:37:25 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Gods perfect atom could be split. Turned out he was right. It may have shaken peoples faith in God at the time, I have no idea, but it sure doesn't shake mine, The same with the human brain. It is, after all, simply physical. It isn't the soul.

You and I could argue endlessly about this, just as many did in the 30's and early 40's about the atom. At this point it comes down to beliefs and faith. I believe God gave us both wisdom and a knowledge that we have only begun to tap into.

You and I aren't too far apart if we even have any disagreements at all. I think we can discover the more obvious parts of Creation but the soul is God's property (for lack of a better word). As is the ultimate meaning of all this [waves arms expansively to take in the entire Universe].

25 posted on 09/28/2009 8:01:34 PM PDT by AZ .44 MAG (A society that doesn't protect its children doesn't deserve to survive.)
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To: Leo Carpathian
Throw in there liberal’s brain and you got reaaaaal mysterrry!

dead brains don't count

26 posted on 09/28/2009 8:27:40 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" LINCOLN)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


27 posted on 09/28/2009 8:38:36 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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