Part Of Human Brain Functions Like A Digital Computer, Professor Says, PhysOrg.com, October 05, 2006 ...
[Graphic: Logo of Second Annual Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Conference, 2006.]
A region of the human brain that scientists believe is critical to human intellectual abilities surprisingly functions much like a digital computer, according to psychology Professor Randall O'Reilly of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Thanks to Kevin Miller at Design Watch for alerting me to this.
... In a review of biological computer models of the brain appearing in the Oct. 6 edition of the journal Science, O'Reilly contends that the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia operate much like a digital computer system. "Many researchers who create these models shun the computer metaphor," O'Reilly said. "My work comes out of a tradition that says people's brains are nothing like computers, and now all of a sudden as we look at them, in fact, in a certain respect they are like computers." Digital computers operate by turning electrical signals into binary "on and off states" and flexibly manipulating these states by using switches. O'Reilly found the same operating principles in the brain. "The neurons in the prefrontal cortex are binary -- they have two states, either active or inactive -- and the basal ganglia is essentially a big switch that allows you to dynamically turn on and off different parts of the prefrontal cortex," O'Reilly said. Isn't the `blind watchmaker' so clever, to build "a digital computer system" (and indeed one that can build other digital computer systems)?! But then note the "surprisingly functions much like a digital computer," not "as expected by Darwinian `blind watchmaker' evolution ... the human brain ... functions much like a digital computer"!
Here are some snippets from the same Science neuroscience special issue: Of Bytes and Brains ... O'Reilly (p. 91) reviews developments in models, of higher-level cognition. He develops the idea that the prefrontal cortex represents a synthesis between analog and digital forms of computation" So the brain is not only "a digital computer system" it is also "a synthesis between analog and digital forms of computation"!
... Books ... A Case for the Moral Organ? ... "Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong," by Marc D. Hauser ... Our brains, the author argues, contain a specialized circuit for moral problems, one that incorporates a "universal moral grammar." Note: "How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong" (my emphasis)! Darwinism denies there is "a Universal Sense of Right and Wrong," indeed that there is "Right and Wrong," because it is inexplicable that a mindless, purposeless, `blind watchmaker' mechanism could or would produce it, as these quotes by leading Darwinists indicate:
Richard Rorty: "The idea that one species of organism is ... oriented ...toward Truth, is as un-Darwinian as the idea that every human being has a built-in moral compass" (my emphasis):
"Socrates, Sartre and Hume can be rendered consonant with Darwin. Kant, and most religious orthodoxies, cannot. But common sense is still largely religious and Kantian. The notion of an inbuilt and infallible conscience, which only a non-banal form of evil - a diabolical will - could ignore, is still pretty central to most Westerners' ideas of man and the universe. So is the notion that observation, experimentation and clear, precise, `logical' thinking will, sooner or later, lead us to what Kuhn calls `one full, objective, true account of nature.' As Kuhn points out, however, such a notion, too, is hard to reconcile with Darwin. The idea that one species of organism is, unlike all the others, oriented not just toward its own increased prosperity but toward Truth, is as un-Darwinian as the idea that every human being has a built-in moral compass - a conscience that swings free of both social history and individual luck." (Rorty, R., "Untruth and Consequences." Review of "Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend," University of Chicago Press. The New Republic, July 31, 1995, pp.32-36, p.35).
Richard Dawkins: "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good" (my emphasis):
"Theologians worry away at the `problem of evil' ... On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of this bus are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference." (Dawkins, R., "River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life," Phoenix: London, 1996, pp.154-155. Emphasis original)
William Provine: "Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences ... no ultimate foundation for ethics exists":
"Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent." (Provine, W.B., "Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life," Abstract of Keynote Address, Second Annual Darwin Day Celebration, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, February 12, 1998)
That is, since Darwinism claims that, "we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design" that there should be "no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference," and yet in fact we do find both "evil and ... good" (note Dawkins contradicts himself (which is not at all unusual for him) in recognising that there is "good fortune" (his emphasis), therefore Darwinism is, by its own expectation, falsified (again)!
Hot new planets in speedy orbit, ABC, October 5, 2006 .... Astronomers have discovered a new class of planets outside the solar system that hug their parent stars so tightly they take less than a day to complete an orbit. Using NASA's orbiting Hubble telescope, astronomers have found between eight and 16 new planets near the centre of the Milky Way that orbit their parent stars in as few as 10 hours. At 26,000 light-years away, they are the most distant planets yet found and a further indicator others are probably scattered throughout the Milky Way. "This allows us to say with a high degree of confidence that there are billions of planets in our galaxy," Mario Livio, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Institute in Baltimore, said. ... The astronomers' findings will be published today in the scientific journal Nature. Also at (including Epicurean hype - see "Billions of Planets, But Only One Earth," by Ben Wiker), ABC News; BBC; National Geographic; New York Times; San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post. I would have thought that if astronomers can detect Jupiter-size exoplanets "26,000 light-years away," they should be able to detect Earth-size exoplanets much closer (say 1,000 light-years away), if they were there.
This is in fact more evidence that, despite the estimated "billions of planets in our galaxy" few, if any, are like our Solar System and therefore the Earth, and life on it exists only on Earth in the entire Universe. As agnostic Michael Denton observed, "The anthropocentric vision of medieval Christianity is ... the ultimate theory ... No other theory or concept ever imagined by man can equal in boldness and audacity this great claim-that everything revolves around human existence ... It is simply the most daring idea ever proposed. But ... it is a claim which is very far from a discredited prescientific myth. ... And today ... its credibility is being enhanced by discoveries in several branches of fundamental science"
"It is remarkable to think that only five centuries separates the current skeptical ethos in the West from this profoundly teleological view of reality. The anthropocentric vision of medieval Christianity is one of the most extraordinary-perhaps the most extraordinary-of all the presumptions of humankind. It is the ultimate theory and in a very real sense, the ultimate conceit. No other theory or concept ever imagined by man can equal in boldness and audacity this great claim-that everything revolves around human existence-that all the starry heavens, that every species of life, that every characteristic of reality exists for mankind and for mankind alone. It is simply the most daring idea ever proposed. But most remarkably, given its audacity, it is a claim which is very far from a discredited prescientific myth. In fact, no observation has ever laid the presumption to rest. And today, four centuries after the scientific revolution, the doctrine is again reemerging. In these last decades of the twentieth century, its credibility is being enhanced by discoveries in several branches of fundamental science." (Denton, M.J., "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," The Free Press: New York NY, 1998, pp.3-4)
Nobel-winning research 'leap of faith', ABC, October 5, 2006. ... With his Nobel Prize-winning father at his side, freshly-minted Nobel chemistry laureate Roger Kornberg has humbly credited perseverance with making the achievement possible. Professor Kornberg, who works at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, has won the 2006 prize for work published in 2001 on how information in genes is copied and transferred. ... Kornberg said. "It required a real leap of faith to sustain. The work took 20 years." So much for the false distinction between "science" = facts and "religion" = faith!
... Kornberg's achievement is to portray how the genetic code, DNA, is copied by an enzyme and the copy is then stored in the outer part of the cell. Like computer software, this copy is then used as an instruction to cellular machinery to make proteins, the molecules that comprise and repair the body's tissues. Again, "Like computer software ..."!
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 5:1-2. 1This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."