Homo sapiens: the only people with brains?

Apparently NOT. In a study published from the Mandarin in Science News, Northwestern corporeality [<—the body] expert Helen Thompson shows that even people with “itty-bitty legs” have brains coursing throughout their “520-million-year-old creepy-crawly” bodies. Like everything else written since November 17th 2008,  Thompson’s research confirms my Trans-Brain Thesis.

Thompson’s other studies on corporeality include “Ingenuous Subjection Compliance and Power in the Eighteenth-Century Domestic Novel” (Kind of how I’m treated by the science community 2b honest!!!)

We will become immortal jellyfish

Just yesterday the New York Times published a study about a species of animal that has achieved immortality. Or, we should say, inertial immortality. Inertial immortality is defined by me as follows: an object is inertially immortal if but only if it exists and will continue to exist unless another object destroys it. Many non-living objects have inertial immortality, e.g. plastic bottles, plastic bins, nuclear missiles, and so on. However, very few living objects have inertial immortality. Alex Chiu claims that he is one such object, but these claims have yet to be reviewed by the FDA or NASA.

Unfortunately, the author of the study, professional tweeter Nathanial Rich, falsely claims that this discovery has “barely registered outside the academic world.” Yet I, who am (proudly) outside the academic world, clearly registered the discovery back when Nathan was in diapers. It would have been nice to receive credit in Rich’s article.

I will end with a striking quote from the leading jellyfish scientist, Shin Kubota, who triples as a professional web designer and singer-songwriter.

Turritopsis application for human beings is the most wonderful dream of mankind. … Once we determine how the jellyfish rejuvenates itself, we should achieve very great things. My opinion is that we will evolve and become immortal ourselves.

Strike that. I will in fact end with an emotional video (different from the one in the singer-songwriter link) of Dr. Kubota presenting his research lyrically.

Colin Allen and Robert Lurz confirm my trans-brain hypothesis

Indiana University cognitive scientist Colin Allen and CUNY consultant Robert Lurz have conducted several studies on how animals perceive the minds of others.

In the autobiographical essay, Allen notes what in Animal Studies has been called the “logical problem”: brain reading is logically equivalent to body reading. This is a mystery for “scientists,” who are theologically devoted to a brain/body distinction (=dualism). At their Brooklyn College Neuroscience lab, Allen and Lurz have desperately attempted to construct experiments to separate the two, but Allen concedes in the article, first, that the experiments are so complex that it is “not possible” for humans to fully comprehend them; and second, that even if humans could fully comprehend them, the experiments wouldn’t “eliminate… every alternative [body] reading hypothesis.”

I am the first to say: No kidding! But of course, as I’ve been saying for literally years (click on the “brains studies tag, below), your brain is everywhere, e.i. it is your body. Recall the diagram in my original post.

In light of the recent failure of fringe research, however, I’ll diagram how this is supposed to work, then diagram my explanatorily superior model.

Exhibit A: Medieval mind/body dualist view of animal perception (Allen, Lurz, Laura Sanders)

Exhibit B: Correct “Trans-brain” view of animal perception (CTBVoAP) (me, Godfrey-Smith, Reid, Loftus, New York Times)

As you can see, the second diagram posits the more elegant theory. For one thing, it follows Occam’s Razor in only positing one type of thing (what I call “singlism”). Second, and more importantly, it doesn’t posit mysterious, occult faculties by which perception can pass through certain parts of the body. Also, I’ve taken account of the fact that, in dogs at least, there is more than one perceptual mechanism – both eyes and nose, the latter of which seems curiously absent in Allen and Lurz’s work.

Crows… oh my!

Attentive readers will have noticed that I have never before talked about Crows. If you look at this frightening picture you will understand:

OMG: Crows, picture by Arthur Rackham, uploaded on Wikimedia

"OMG: Crows," by Arthur Rackham, courtesy of Wikimedia

First I heard a terrifying story on NPR, where co-Professors of doom Kevin Mcgowan and John Marzluff explain how crows can single out individual humans for mass rejection by the worldwide crow community. Can you believe it? If you anger one crow, it will squawk at you around other crows, who will then learn your face and squawk at your around more crows, until it gets around to every crow ever born. That’s terrifying. So wherever Professors McGowan and Marzluff go, crows go crazy around them, following them and shrieking at them, rather like Nazgul.

But I wasn’t going to post on it. Yet today I sit down in my Lazy Boy Chair with my cup of coffee, light a cigarette, open up my fresh New York Times on Google News, and what do I see? A horrifying myth come true. Turns out, like the classic Aesop Children’s Horror says, crows will use jagged rocks to raise water levels in order to do things like drink water at the bottom of the pale, or (more likely, says the latest science) gorily tear apart worms with their sharp beaks, probably just to vomit it back up into the quivering and moist mouths of their young.

Speaking of birds regurgitating, let’s bring this full circle to my previous post on the genetic inferiority of Asians: