Natures wonders: fish electrolocation (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, June 27, 2016, 18:11 (1150 days ago) @ David Turell

Thank you for all these splendid articles. I shall put some of your comments together, as they serve to illustrate the same points.

QUOTE: "The elephantnose fish explores objects in its surroundings by using its eyes or its electrical sense -- sometimes both together. Zoologists have now found out how complex the processing of these sensory impressions is. With its tiny brain, the fish achieves performance comparable to that of humans or mammals.

David's comment: This fish with a tiny nervous system has the ability to learn. Not surprising when we know that neurons have many changeable abilities as shown in the brain plasticity studies. Even at this level evolution developed the cooperation between an organism's needs and neuron changeability. A point on the way to the human brain.

David's comment (on "Brain plasticity"): This is a human study. At some point ape brains will have this same study, and I can guess the result: no where near the variability. This is part of the reason why our brains are so helpful to our needs. One can only wonder how this developed in evolution without purposeful planning.

The elephantnose fish, just like our fellow primates, displays all the signs of intelligence, though of course on nothing like the level of our own. Both examples lead to the all-important question of the link between the neurons and the organism's identity. Is the fish/ape/human directed by the neurons, or do they each direct the neurons. You have no doubt that “you” direct your neurons,which serve "your" needs, but what are “you”? Why should we assume that the neurons direct the fish if the human directs the neurons? In other words, what is the seat of intelligence? The materialist will say the brain, but you say that is not so in the case of humans. Maybe it is not so in the case of the ape or in the case of the fish. But if it is not so, intelligence must in some way be independent of the brain. And if it is independent of the brain, there must be a different source. And that source may also be present in organisms without a brain.

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