9 January 2009

Imagining the unimaginable

I am not sure about this from Marc Hauser:
Thanks to work by neuroscientists such as Evan Balaban, we now know that we can combine the brain parts of different animals to create chimeras. For example, we can take the a part of a quail's brain and pop it into a chicken and when the young chick develops, it head bobs like a quail and crows like a chicken.

Functionally, we have allowed the chicken to invade an empty space of behavior, something unimaginable, to a chicken that is. Now let your imagination run wild. What would a chimpanzee do with the generative machinery that a human has when it is running computations in language, mathematics and music? Could it imagine the previously unimaginable? What if we gave a genius like Einstein the key components that made Bach a different kind of genius? Could Einstein now imagine different dimensions of musicality?

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