Re: whale brains

Phillip Bigelow (
13 Nov 1995 16:40:23 -0800

>On 8 Nov 1995, H. M. Hubey wrote:

>> There are "house-keeping functions" that the
>> brain has to perform. Bigger mass implies more
>> muscle/flesh and more inputs to the brain and more
>> of the brain has to be involved in instant to instant
>> tasks. The brain of humans is not a scaled up version
>> of a chimp brain. Different parts of it have gotten
>> bigger at a higher rate. See Eccles.

So, are you claiming that because the human brain is bigger in certain
ways compared to ape brains, that that implies greater "complexity"? Is
there a fundamentally revolutionary change that took place in the structure
of the human brain compared to it's ape ancestor? No there isn't. All the
"complexity" is the same between the two groups; all that is different is
size. What *is* revolutionary about the human cortex? hmmmm?
Mark, you think like a classical Linnaean systematicist...not at all like
a cladist. I won't hold that against you too much, but you are hauling
along a lot of 18th century bio-centric egotism when you make claims about
humans being at the "top" (where-ever the "top" is) of the evolutionary
tree. From a biological point-of-view, there is no evidence to support such
a claim....unless you start citing passages out of the book of