The Poetic Science of Brain Formation - The Marginalian

It appears inconceivable – that all the things we all know, all the things we love, all the things that ever was and ever will probably be, was created out of the singularity, and out of that close to nothingness mitochondria and music have been born. and “the straightforward all of all, in wick”. with the all of all the things else,” all of it conspiring within the marvel of consciousness – the way in which the universe understands itself.

Right here on Earth, as if the way in which life has developed weren’t miraculous sufficient, we have been handed down via billions of years of evolution the miraculous blessing of brains – these densely networked crucibles of thought and tenderness. , from which our capability for transcendence arises .

One of many groundbreaking mind drawings of the founding father of neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

In a singularly poetic passage from his novel The Echo Maker (public library), Richard Powers traces the evolution of this blessing from its mobile beginnings to its existential finish:

The vitality fell on an historic cell; the recorded cell. A surge set off a chemical cascade that incised the cell and adjusted its construction, forming a distribution of alerts that fell upon it. Aeons later, two cells joined, signaling one another, squaring the variety of states they may inscribe. The bond between them has modified. Cells ignited extra simply with every hearth, their shifting connections harking back to a hint from the surface. A couple of dozen such cells clinging to one another in a humble slug: already a machine to reshape advert infinitum, midway consciousness. A cloth that has mapped one other materials, a plastic document of sunshine and sound, place and motion, change and resistance. A couple of billion years and tons of of billions of neurons later, and these webbed cells have hardwired a grammar – a notion of nouns and verbs and even prepositions. These recording synapses, folded in on themselves – grafting themselves onto the mind and studying one another as they learn the world – exploded into hopes and goals, into recollections extra elaborate than the expertise that chiselled them, into theories of different minds, inventing locations which are as actual and detailed as doable. all issues materials, essential themselves, microscopic electro-etched worlds on the planet, a form for each form over there, with infinite kinds remaining: all dimensions springing from this factor through which the universe floats. However by no means sizzling or chilly, stable or gentle, left or proper, excessive or low, however solely the picture, the shop. Solely the sport of resemblance reduce by chemical cascades, all the time undoing the state that made the storage. Semaphores at evening, tinkering as much as the cliff from which they signaled… Unsponsored, unimaginable, nearly all-powerful and infinitely fragile.

Full with poetic scientist Lewis Thomas’ forgotten masterpiece Fragile species and the fascinating science of how we predict not with the mind however with the world, then revisit Powers on the facility of music, residing in confusion, and how you can start to rewrite our planetary future.

#Poetic #Science #Mind #Formation #Marginalian

By moh

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