Skip to comments.The Speed of Thought (the brain far surpassses human designed computer technology)
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 brains 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 brains 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.
Hold on, I’m still processing this.
Any word yet on the speed of stupid? That usually beats the speed of thought hands down! ;)
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.
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(
Interesting article, thanks for posting it.
Hubbie knows this already... I can switch topics faster than....
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.
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
My pleasure :o)
Which is probably one of the reasons why men find a woman’s mind so baffling :o)
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".
Throw in there liberal’s brain and you got reaaaaal mysterrry!
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.
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