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-   -   Universe is like a giant brain? (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=207319)

Romulan_spy March 26 2013 02:48 PM

Universe is like a giant brain?
 
Scientists find striking similarities between how the universe grows and how the human brain grows:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012...n_2196346.html

YellowSubmarine March 26 2013 06:02 PM

Re: Universe is like a giant brain?
 
Well, yeah. The universe looks more like a vegetable, and the brain looks like a vegetable too, so it only makes sense that the universe looks like the brain. It's no surprise that the structure of a brain follows an already established common pattern, one that's found in this case in the universe and the internet.

However, two things being the same in structure is a long shot from having anything similar in their function. The basis of neural networks in the brain is ridiculously simple, and their artificial equivalent utilised in computer software like self-driving cars is even simpler. The big thing there is not the network itself, but the knowledge and information contained alongside their connections. It has taken hundreds of millions of years for that information to be accumulated in long and very complicated processes for you brain to become what it is. Similarly, training a car to drive on its own has taken decades, and that's not accounting for the enormous amount of training that it has undergone for a unit of time, and the giant repository of human know-how that's been incorporated in it.

I think that while the brain was evolving, changes to structure were much more significant, so they were rarely favoured, so its structure remained a mostly random extension of something very simple with most changes happening on the substructural level. What's more, I suppose that having something significant in the structure would also reduce brain's flexibility and make it more difficult for a human-level intelligence to pop up. So maybe the simpler the better. That's why it's as simple as the universe, the internet and vegetables.

The universe never had those millions of years of learning – it has nothing to learn from, and the galactic processes are so slow that from its own viewpoint it's probably just a few hours if not minutes old. Not enough to learn something.

_C_ April 6 2013 05:15 PM

Re: Universe is like a giant brain?
 
^Very good point. Gotta wonder what it'll look like in the year 1,000,013. Maybe then there will be a cosmic consciousness.

Somebody said somewhere that life is the universe trying to understand itself.

YellowSubmarine April 6 2013 09:51 PM

Re: Universe is like a giant brain?
 
That would work if universes could give birth to baby universes and they relied on mama's cosmic consciousness to guard them from the stellar monster in the neighbourhood. Cause otherwise the universe seems rather disinterested in such proposals.

But there's a lot truth to the point that universes that did not provide conditions suitable for intelligent life to observe them are as good as non-existent. It's a cosmic evolution of sorts – if you were not fit enough to grow a life, you'd never make your way into minds, textbooks, memories and self-reflection. A rock tree falling in your rock forest would not make a sound.

Andrew_Kearley April 6 2013 11:13 PM

Re: Universe is like a giant brain?
 
Yay! Space: 1999 got it right all those years ago.:D


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