Do we have a reptilian brain? At last, a question we can easily answer.
|March 15, 2014||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Neuroscience, News, Naturalism|
No. “Forget all about the triune model of the brain.”
In her blog on the vagaries of neuroscience, Janet Kwasniak explains,
The reptilian brain is a myth that should not be taken seriously and yet is referred to by many writers and is even seen in educational sites for children. It is the idea that we have three brains: a reptilian one, the paleomammalian one and the mammalian one. The story goes that these were acquired one after another during evolution. The details differ with the writer. But it is all a myth based on an idea from the ’70s of Paul MacLean which he republished in 1990. Over the years in has been popularized by Sagan and Koestler among others.
It would be astonishing if they had not. Such a simple, naturalist answer. And so wrong.
The model presumes that birds and reptiles cannot feel or think, which is a preposterous idea. And early mammals could feel, it was supposed, but not think, again not believable. Birds and many reptiles (perhaps all) have a brain area which does not anatomically resemble the neocortex but which develops from the same part of the embryonic brain and has the same functions as the neocortex. All the descendants of amniotes have essentially the same architecture of brain with the same functions. There are differences in proportions, sizes, connections, fine-scale anatomy but not a gross difference of kind in the brains of land vertebrates.
Indeed, if what the alligator mom feels for the eggs she is protecting aren’t feelings, it’s hard to know what they could be. And people have died assuming that a decades-old gator was really stupid.
Wonder what science would look like, rid of all the junk accumulated through many decades of materialism.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose
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