It takes a mind to know one. Can cognizant, sentient minds evolve from slime? Most of the secular science press takes it for granted. Here’s a journey into storybook land, where imaginative reporters see visions of slime climbing out of the mud to look back at an unobservable history of matter becoming mind.
A brief history of mind: In “A brief history of the brain,” New Scientist reporter David Robson began with an unknown cave artist 30,000 years ago creating art that would rival today’s skilled artisans. Then he makes a daring promise:
How did we acquire our beautiful brains? How did the savage struggle for survival produce such an extraordinary object? This is a difficult question to answer, not least because brains do not fossilise. Thanks to the latest technologies, though, we can now trace the brain’s evolution in unprecedented detail, from a time before the very first nerve cells right up to the age of cave art and cubism.
The latest technologies he spoke of appear to be crystal balls. Robson took onlookers for a view back into the shadowy past, where his story began: “The story of the brain begins in the ancient oceans, long before the first animals appeared.” Somehow, he tells us, simple cells became able to create electrical currents. “Recent studies have shown that many of the components needed to transmit electrical signals, and to release and detect chemical signals, are found in single-celled organisms known as choanoflagellates.” In his trance, he sees these cells becoming neurons, then axons, then a clump of neurons with hopes of becoming the first brain. “Our view of this momentous event is hazy,” he admits, but later all becomes clear: “What is clear is that the brain size of mammals increased relative to their bodies as they struggled to contend with the dinosaurs.” Apes and Chauvet Cave artists are only a matter of slime plus time….
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