Are brains a prerequisite for consciousness? Holoprosencephaly is a cephalic disorder in which the prosencephalon fails to develop into two hemispheres. In lay terms, there is no brain atop the brain stem. What of a baby with no brain? Could it think? Could it form language? The answer is yes. Baby born without most of… Continue reading The Case for Plant Consciousness
“Brain Art” by Ars Electronica, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The story goes that in 44 BC in Rome, Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of his own senators, crumpling to the floor with a final gasp. This last breath contained around 25 sextillion (that’s 25 followed by 21 zeroes) air molecules, which would… Continue reading Caesar’s Last Breath and ESP
When asked, on Waking Cosmos, about the prospects of AI become self-aware, Dean Radin suggested [quote to follow], any system with a sufficient number of connections might become self-aware. Which got me thinking… humanity is a system. It has billions of nodes and trillions of connections. Humanity meets Dean’s thought-experiment criteria for being self-aware. But,… Continue reading Is Humanity a Self-Aware System? How Might We Know?
Alan Lightman begins his article, “Nothing but the Truth; Science’s and Greatest Weakness Is Also Its Greatest Strength” (Popular Science, May 2015) with an anecdote about Richard Feynman. “40 years ago, the legendary physicist Richard Feynman gave the commencement address at my graduation from the California Institute of technology… Feynman told us that before we went public with new… Continue reading Our Greatest Failing
Marc Folcher and other researchers from the group led by Martin Fussenegger, Professor of Biotechnology and Bioengineering at the Department of Biosystems (D-BSSE) in Basel, were able to tap into brainwaves and convert genes into proteins (gene expression) using a new gene regulation method.
“If you are sure of your facts, you should defend your position.” – Cecilia Payne Cecilia Payne was an astronomer and astrophysicist who discovered how to understand the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundance of hydrogen and helium. Her thesis was attacked by a superior claiming it could not possibly be true that… Continue reading Defend Your Position