Reader poll: How did it all begin?
In a recent poll I asked readers to identify the origin of the universe. Here's how the voting came out:
A great feathered bird pooped everything into existence after munching some magic mushrooms: 33%
Turtle Mother carried everything out of nothingness on her back: 14%
One voter wrote in, "I'll let you know once we get started."
Thank you all for voting.
New reader poll: Synapse-rich conversation
In his 1985 book, "The Varieties of Scientific Experience," the great Carl Sagan wrote, "...The general view of neurobiologists is that consciousness is a function of the number and complexity of neuronal linkages of the architecture of the brain. Human consciousness is what happens when you get to something like 10 to the 11th power neurons and 10 to the 14th power synapses. This raises all sorts of other questions. What is consciousness like when you have 10 to the 20th power synapses or 10 to the 30th power? What would such a being have to say to us any more than we would have to say to the ants?"