Re: Neural darwinism (Re: Human intelligence is obviously absurd)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2005 - 11:25:23 MST

At 09:00 PM 29/01/05 -0800, you wrote:

>--- Keith Henson <> wrote:
> > At 06:00 AM 29/01/05 -0800, you wrote:
> > >Suppose that humanity, instead of evolving
> > intelligence on a hundred
> > >trillion 200Hz synapses,
> >
> > Excuse me if I am preaching to the converted, but if
> > you don't know Dr.
> > Calvin's proposed mechanisms for how thinking
> > occurs, it might be worth
> > taking a look here:
> >
> >
>Calvin's proposed mechanism bewilders me in that
>Calvin is a very smart man who knows a lot about
>the brain, but there is AFAIK no evidence
>for the "neural darwinism" type mechanism he

With respect to speech, there is a lot of evidence in the kind of mistakes
we make that sentences are "evolved up" through a number of cycles from noise.

>and no adherents to it except Calvin
>himself and George Edelman (admittedly another
>very smart person).

I was at a conference last year at Waterloo where Calvin spoke. A
substantial fraction of the people there understood Calvin's thoughts on
the subject. They were not particularly vocal supporters, but they sure
didn't have better proposals. For sure Calvin has a unique take on what
brains evolved for.

>But, the notion that cerebral
>cloning is a GENERAL mechanism, used throughout
>the cortex, would mean that our cortex would have
>to be several hundred times larger than the size
>needed to carry out pre-programmed activities,
>because the competing programs in his neural
>darwinism would probably need a population of several
>hundred, each of which was complex enough to actually
>perform the action or perception or whatever itself.

You completely lose me in this argument. Or cortex is at least several
hundred times that of animals that carry out only pre-programmed activities.

Keith Henson

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