Brain size (was Save the Whales)

The Low Golden Willow (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 11:47:50 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 25, 7:20am, Mark Crosby wrote:
} and Hara Ra’s recent comments about John Lilly disliking silicon
} brains, some might enjoy reading Dr. Lilly’s letter to the Wall St.

} higher-thought language, and self-awareness. Presumptions derived from
} simple correlation between brain weight, body weight and body length
} simply have no relevance to brain survival. The idea that a large body
} requires a large brain is entirely backward--it is the large brain
} that needs a large body to survive.

A large brain may require a large body, but by what I've skimmed from
Churchland a large body might well need a large brain to function.
There's a distorted map of your skin on the surface of your brain. More
skin, more map.

I've often thought that for a given brain/body ratio flying birds and
bats should be dumber than mammals. X amount of brain is going to run
the body, but for the flyers Y brain would be needed for flight control
and modelling 3D rather than 2D reality, and thus less would be left
over for being generally intelligent, whatever that means. Has anyone
ever studied this?

Whales would have to be 3D, but they don't have to throw things. Sonar
I roughly assume is comparable to vision in processing difficulty.

} Paleontological evidence shows that the whales and the dolphins have
} been on this planet a lot longer than has man. Dolphins (like the

So what?

Side note: 9 May _Science_ had a piece on estimated Neanderthal bulk and
body size: yes they had brains as big or bigger than we do, but their
bodies were even bigger, so their brain/body ratio was estimated to be
10% less than that of Homo Sapiens.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"Foreign aid could be delivered by ICBM."
-- Larry Niven, "The Roentgen Standard"