Strange Things

Hello everyone, anyone awake ?

Something on my mind i cant settle with, wondered if anybody knew the answer ?

I am watching the late night National Geographic program and its been showing strange creatures that live on the sea bed. I know there are a lot of wonderfully odd things there, but one tonight has my brain whirling a bit. Its probably very obvious, but its not to me.

The creature is one of those ailien looking part worm part jellyfish type of creatures. It is a simple creature, but still does things like, eats. It has sensors on the edge of its skin that alert it when to eat. Now, the program went on to say that its one of those creatures that doesn't have a brain.

No brain at all. How can this be ?

If i had no use at all of my brain like these little creatures I wouldn't live, i wouldn't be able to continue with the vital things that keep us alive, or would i ?

Breathing happens automatically, i dont have to think about it, eating happens because your stomach hurts.

Is it just a case of i need a brain to work out how to open a can of beans so i have food (whereas the little creature has food passing by its mouth in the sea) ?

But then, if it doesn't have a brain then how does it know when to open its mouth to swallow food ? And then also, continuing the species - how would it know how to do that ?

If we didn't have a brain then we wouldn't be aware of it would we - so is the creature aware he is even there himself ?

Last question, i promise - its got me wondering really, what is the purpose of my brain if the creatures dont need one and feel no worse off than me, because they are not aware they are there anyway ?

Boggling my brain.

Kind regards

Jules

x

11 Replies

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  • Wow, what an in-depth thing to think about so early in the morning! We'll all have to think about this but I bet someone knows the answer! Have a good day Jules. Jan

  • It's not all about the brain. You have an entire neural network that extends around your body. It's called the autonomic nervous system, and it handles automatic and instinctive processes - breathing, eating etc. The weird ocean floor creature is using it alone, whereas we have a brain too. That's where intelligent thought and decision-making happen.

    Why do we have a brain? Because we evolved in prehistoric times and we had to catch animals with brains to live. So we needed to be smarter than them. You don't need that if food swims into your mouth.

    There's a lot of really interesting research going on right now about different ways of thinking. People used to think it was reason (good) and emotion (bad). The actual truth is much more complicated. Since my symptoms started I've become interested in this area, and can give you book titles if you like. Various levels of difficulty. :)

    Lia

  • Lia, Love your answer ! I'm having a day off - going down to the river to float about and see what swims into my mouth for lunch. Gotta be easier than going to work today : )) x

  • Hi Jules

    ooh, um, don't know. Need a cup of tea first. :) Is the programme on BBC I player?

    Interesting stuff!

  • Oh Jules, this really has tickled me and got my curiosity going : )) If I remember rightly from Biology the smallest living organism is a single celled amoeba - I'm pretty sure it hasn't got a 'brain' yet it moves independantly and consumes food to sustain itself. So our concept of a master computer running the show must not apply to all living things. I will be delving into this ! x

  • Amoeba may be small, but the bacteria it eats are even tinier :) . I was studying microbiology when my symptoms hit. I still remember bits of it.

    Lia

  • Hello Lia Jules here

    Thank you for that, some of it is making a little sense, but some causes more questions doesnt it.

    Do you study to microbiology at all now ? It must be fascinating stuff - its not just about the things on this earth is it - it overlaps with beliefs, the meaning of or where life came from or is going to.

    have to stop now brain frying .

    Jules

    x

  • My head is far too scrambled to study anything these days. But yeah, it's fascinating stuff. I don't know any good books on microbiology that aren't dry university textbooks. There's one called "The Magic Of Reality" that people here might like, though - it's about nature and science, how it all fits together and where our knowledge comes from. It was written for his young daughter so it won't break the post-concussive brain too much.

    Lia

  • Sorry for bringing down the tone but NightBird has so eloquently explained the autonomic system. All I can say is................... that form of existence must be bliss ; no stress, no boredom, no pain and your dinner just swims into your mouth ! But most importantly, no brain injury !!

    Just hope I'm reincarnated as an invertebrate. ;-) xx

  • Hey Jules I guess it is evolution in the making, after all that's where the human race started- a small organism. Perhaps this creature is the future- a super species of marine life, an exotic mammal or maybe a new breed of human? The mind boggles- it really does.

    Not sure I would want to come back as an invertebrate though Cat? However you really did make me laugh as I had visions of slobbing about on the floor with my dinner swimming into my mouth. Then I got to thinking, but would I enjoy the food, taste it, be able to go mmmmn that was yummy? I think I might miss the pleasure of all the good and naughty food out there. Poor little invertebrate he is missing out on so much. Still if evolution does have its way his future perhaps in a couple of million years is looking quite bright. Not long for him to wait then eh?

    But then of course he might get a brain injury and this time round he would be aware of it and like you Cat he might just think hope I am reincarnated as an invertebrate.........

    Going now, to ponder further. thanks for the post Jules and waking up my creative thoughts, but I need a lie down now. This thinking can be exhausting. Thanks evolution!

  • Hi Jules, my head is spinning now whilst contemplating these theories. You certainly are a wonderful deep thinker. Hope you managed to get a good night's sleep afterwards.

    Speaking of strange, I have just created a post about strange sensations.... Claire xx

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