- Education and Science»
Brain, Computer, and Mind
What makes human species so successful and dominating than any other living things on Earth is none other than that lump of grey flesh inside its skull called the brain. All living things depend on the environment to survive and reproduce to complete the life cycle. When the food sources are plentiful and the living conditions are ideal, life flourishes and some may even take time to be playful. When the opposite happens, life diminishes and some may even face extinction. The human species changes all that to a great extend. The human species still depends on the environment to survive and reproduce but it also tries to live a life of love, luxury, and longevity. All these out of ordinary occurrences after 3.5 billion years of evolution are due to the development of the human brain.
Most living things (fish, reptiles, and mammals)in Nature have a brain that regulates and controls all the body’s functions. What distinguishes human brain from the others is its learning and thinking capabilities. While the other living things only possess limited learning and thinking capabilities to adapt to the changing environment, the human brain’s learning and thinking capabilities are boundless by comparison. It is designed not only to survive the unpredictable weathers, the unforgiving landscapes, and the ferocious animals but also to outsmart them all to be the undisputed master on Earth. The human brain has also learned that its structure is the cumulative results of 3.5 billion years of evolution. It has retained all the characteristics and the basic animal instincts that the humans rule over. Without learning the civilized ways of behavior, the humans realize that they are no better than the 4-legged animals.
The information gathered from learning enables the brain to think of better ways to survive life’s many hardships and to escape a life at the mercy of the environment. The humans also learn that by working together, sharing information and thought process, they can accomplish anything that they can think of with the sky as the limit, literally. In a relatively short time geologically, the humans improve their life from living day to day in cave by hunting to living in environmentally controlled dwellings and contemplating to colonize the heavenly bodies in the sky.
The computer also called the electronic brain is a tool invented by humans to help tackling their ever complex daily activities. It is designed to process massive amount of information at lightning speed. Today, the computer comes in many sizes, complexities, and functions. To forecast weather, search information on the Internet, or studying subatomic behaviors, only the power of a roomful of sophisticated computers will do the job. For mobile phone and laptop, the computer must be small in size, light in weight, and consuming little power.
To offload the humans from the mundane and time-consuming tasks of food productions, business transactions, and product manufacturing, more advanced and automated computers are being designed and built. Tasks that used to employed multitude of human powers can now be managed by computers with only a few humans standing by to implement the constant upgrades. In the distant future, the computer will also be able to think like the humans, to manage and create its own power sources, and to improve upon its own design according to the changing tasks. A time will come when the computer will be independent and co-exist with the humans as equal. Together, the two entities will pool resources needed to face the challenges of venturing out of their birth place to explore an infinitely bigger and more hostile outer space.
The brain not only enables the humans to live a life free from the worry of day to day survival but also to have time to ponder the purpose of existence, the feelings of love and hate, and the importance of compassion and sacrifice. This ability of the brain to conceptualize the abstract and the sublime is called the mind. The mind helps the humans to see beyond the cycle of life and death and that there is more to life than just living in material comforts, succeeding in business at all costs, and winning in competitions at the expense of the others.
In the past, numerous books by the humans from every corner of the world began to surface to:
1) serenade love and sacrifice that triumph all in the end,
2) narrate how ideal and determination that conquer diversities in the darkest times,
3) expose selfless devotion and compassion that give hope to the poor and the weak,
4) analyze how hatred and intolerance that destroy all that around and self-destruct in the end.
The brain prepares the humans to overcome the hostile and unpredictable environment. The mind prepares the humans to live peacefully among themselves and to understand ideas and concepts that transcend death. No living thing exists forever, but the humans can achieve immortality through their minds.