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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bigger Not Necessarily Better, When It Comes to Brains




                                                Image:shows the brain sizes of various mammals


ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2009) — Tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite only having a brain the size of a pinhead, say scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

  • "Animals with bigger brains are not necessarily more intelligent," according to Lars Chittka, Professor of Sensory and Behavioural Ecology at Queen Mary's Research Centre for Psychology and University of Cambridge colleague, Jeremy Niven. This begs the important question: what are they for?
Research repeatedly shows how insects are capable of some intelligent behaviours scientists previously thought was unique to larger animals. Honeybees, for example, can count, categorise similar objects like dogs or human faces, understand 'same' and 'different', and differentiate between shapes that are symmetrical and asymmetrical.
"We know that body size is the single best way to predict an animal's brain size," explains Chittka, writing in the journal Current Biology. "However, contrary to popular belief, we can't say that brain size predicts their capacity for intelligent behaviour."

To read the remainder of this article please click on the following link:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117124009.htm

It is fascinating how we humans develop our ideas concerning what  intelligence is, and especially how we have come to erroneously believe that the larger the brain of an animal the more intelligent the species of animal is. Take for instance our own human species. Many human beings believe our species is the most intelligent species on the planet, however if  this is the case why then do some humans engage in self-destructive behaviors, behaviors which are criminal or harmful towards others, and behaviors which damage the environment we live in and share with other species on this spacecraft we call Earth?

Source of Photo: University of Wisconsin and Michigan State Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections and National Museum of Health and Medicine (see http://www.brainmuseum.org/




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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.