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More Switches Than the Internet

Array tomography, yet another new biological imaging technology is yielding early results. Click here, for example, to see a video rendition of a mouse cortex. Here’s how one writer described the new results:  Read more

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4 Responses to More Switches Than the Internet

  1. Human Brain Has More Switches Than All Computers on Earth – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5516446/

    This four-minute video explores the pial (outer) surface of a mouse’s cortex through all six layers and subcortical white matter to the adjoining striatum:

    further notes:

    The Amazing Human Body – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5289335/

    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Glimpses At Human Development In The Womb – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4249713

    The Human Body – You Are Amazing – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5246456

    There are about….
    One-quadrillion “connections” (synapses) between the one-hundred-billion cells (neurons) of an adult brain. The brain’s one hundred billion neurons match the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the number of connections active in the brain’s functioning verge on the number of stars in the 1400 galaxies. To fill the capacity of all those synapses, a person would have to learn a one-billion volume encyclopedia (a million “letters” per encyclopedia). That’s enough to fill a bookshelf 10,000 miles long. In contrast, the Library of Congress (The largest library in the world) only has 17 million volumes. The brain is the most complex structure in the known universe, far surpassing, by many orders of magnitude, the most advanced supercomputers. One human brain generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world’s telephones put together. This is all done with the power equivalent of a single flashlight, 12 Watts. All of our senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, feeling) are transformed to electrical impulses which are sent to general regions of synapses in the brain where we, after complex transformations, finally become conscious of it. To accomplish all this thinking, the brain uses 20 to 25% of the body’s oxygen and 20% of its blood sugar, even though it is only 2% (3 pounds) of the body’s weight. You don’t consume any more calories studying for a test than you do gazing at a cloud.

    William Lane Craig – If Human Evolution Did Occur It Was A Miracle – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUxm8dXLRpA

  2. What is perhaps more amazing than the human brain itself is the fact that it has grown from just a fertilized egg. Pretty astonishing.

    (By the way, I don’t doubt the complexity of the brain, but does anyone know how they come up with these figures?)

  3. Really good post.

    The brain is at the top of the list of natural organs where my feelings of incredulity reach a maximum.

    Likewise I would imagine the darwinists are at their most credulous!

  4. Berceuse:

    What is perhaps more amazing than the human brain itself is the fact that it has grown from just a fertilized egg.

    I think you have touched a fundamental point. The origin and control of bodily form from one cell and one genome, the same in all cells, remains IMO an amazing mystery, even form an ID point of view.

    And there is no bodily form more complex than the Central Nervous System.

    I believe the numbers, although approximate, are derived from imaging techniques and histological studies. You count cells and synapses in a small volume, and then multiply for the similar tissue. Indeed, 10^11 neurons and 10^14 synapses seem to be, at present, the commonly accepted orders of magnitude. That would put the average number of synapses per neuron at 1000, but they are probably more. Therefore, the real number of synapses could be nearer to 10^15.

    And it is important to understand that the synapse is not at all a single “switch”. It is, as well said in the article, in itself a small computer. And the role of the neural cells themselves is probably still not well understood.

    With all that, we still don’t know what the physical basis of memory is!

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