Archive for March 26th, 2012

March 26, 2012

Information storage in the brain

by Neil Rickert

The problem of information storage is raised by Cornelius Hunter in a post at UD and at his own blog.  I’m not quite sure why Cornelius posted that.  He often posts arguments for ID or arguments critical of evolution.  But he fails to connect this particular post with his ideas on evolution and ID.  But never mind.  It’s something to comment on, because my response illustrates my disagreement with the conventional wisdom.

Cornelius poses the issue with: “The problem is that how the brain could store information long-term has been something of a mystery.”

My reaction – as best I can tell, the brain doesn’t store information at all.  So there is no mystery.

Suppose I hear a tornado alert on the radio.  I might react by becoming more alert to the weather conditions outside.  That can be thought of as reconfiguring things.  And that reconfiguration can be said to be a kind of memory.  But, as best I can tell, there would never be a need to actually store the received information (the alert).

The idea of storing information comes from the way that we use computers.  Perhaps it is implicit in the conventional view that knowledge is justified true belief.  I disagree with that view of knowledge, and I disagree with the information processing view of what the brain is doing.  My example of how we react to a tornado warning illustrates why I disagree.