Re: whale brains

H. M. Hubey (
13 Nov 1995 22:22:39 -0500 (Phil Nicholls) writes:

>>Ralph L Holloway <> writes:

>Is it known, Mark, or are there just "indications?" Don't suppose
>you know what a Golgi stain is, when it was developed and what it
>shows, do you Mark?

It wouldn't have been developed sometime during the last
century, would it :)

>>I don't know how much one cc of human brain equals.

>There are "indications" that it equals one cubic centimeter


Since it's mostly water, and since the original question
had to to with equivalence of cc of human brain to chimp
brain, I still don't know what 1 cc of human brain equals
in equivalent chimp brains.

If the whole point is about our lack of knowledge, it seems
you're on the wrong team :-).

When Iwrite this I get attacked for not making bio a
"real science" and defaming it; when you write it,then
it's better.

The simple things about science which some seem to forget
is not that we are proud of what we don't know or the
coplexity of what we study but rather our ability to
slowly pick our way through the complexity and find
some correlations.

That one particular correlation b/B (brain_mass/Body_mass)
is the best one so far that seems to give us a hint that
we are on the right track.

The fact that the things we measure might be grossly
inaccurate or still primitive compared to some of the
other better-developed sciences is not a secret. I've
been talking about bone-gazing and skull-eyeballing for
a while now. I guess you want me to go back to it :-).

Why is it OK to gaze at bones and not ok to measure sizes
of brains?

It goes without saying that they are roughly equivalent.
Are they not?

So then your bone-gazing is science and Eccles' brain
size measurement is not. Is that how it works in your
field of science?

>Given your response to the above I don't think I would consider
>anything you have authored abou the brain to be authorative.

It's not authoritative. It's not supposed to be authoritative.
WE in my field move to the beat of a different drum. We rely
on something called human reason. We expect that reasonable
humans can agree on reasonable arguments. It's supposed to
be read by those and only those who can reason, and reach
conclusions based on the evidence and their reasoning powers.

That's what it boils down to in the end. Humans who can
sift through all the evidence and look at the model and
agree that it could be used until a better one comes along
or that it reasonably captures the essence of the problem.

There's nothing more to it.

>I wonder if the bibliography includes anything by Holloway?

If there's something which can be put in it, I'd be happy to
include references to Dr. Holloway.


Regards, Mark