Saturday, 24 April 2010

New Scientist: ”The brain is a vast community of microscopic computers.”

The ribosome is not exactly simple. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, Nature acknowledged that life is complicated. This week New Scientist suggests that the human brain might be a trillion times more capable than we thought.

Brian J. Ford, a research biologist at the University of Cambridge writes in New Scientist:

For me, the brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and "artificial intelligence" a grandiose misnomer.“

We have come far from the days of Charles Darwin. The Father of evolution did not have a clue as to how complex a cell could be.

It is rather ironic that in the very same issue of New Scientist another article suggests that life must have originated by chance and evolved through Darwinian pathways.


Ford, Brian J. 2010. The secrets of intelligence lie within a single cell. New Scientist 2757 (26 April)