The question of the nature of mental processes in humans still has no satisfactory answer. In science, many attempts were made to build working models of human thinking, but none of them can boast of completeness. We still do not know how the man thinks. This ignorance does provoke making external analogies between mental processes in humans and in animals. It is widely believed that there is no difference in principle and everything is a matter of anatomical features. In other words, reason is a property of brain, which in humans is more developed. The support of this theory comes from many experiments in which animals exhibit different degrees of intelligence. Interestingly, in the sciences dealing with these issues, no one pay attention to the difference between sense and reason. To understand the fundamental difference between humans and animals, we need to go back to the description of living systems and in particular the evolution of their information components.
The life itself is possible only when we have a separate system components (molecules) that can store and transmit to other system components information about the whole system. Very distinct, however, is the increase of information in the system, which should also be described by its data elements and forward the other (object-energy) elements. The consequences are twofold. On one hand, this triggers a spiral process of increasing the information in the system: increasing number of separate elements that import energy from the environment leads to a more complex system description. On other this triggers is a need for coordination of coordinating elements themselves. The first reflects the quantitative expansion of organic systems, and the second reflects the process of formation of hierarchies of organic systems. Let’s ask why?
The coordination of coordinating elements also requires its substrate that takes a shape as a new class of object-data elements. A new level of differentiation of some cells arises that have a specific system function: to coordinate the metabolism at cellular level. However, maintaining this system function has its energy requirements, which leads to the formation of a new class of energy-object elements that take care of the maintenance functions of the new information and object elements. Thus, the emergence and development of the nervous system is suggested by cellular metabolism, but also the emergence and development of the internal organs is suggested by the presence of the nervous system. In this way, the organic body emerges as a second stage of the development of organic systems.
Each individual organism, however, must be coordinated with both fellows – other organisms (it can serve as element organic reproduction process), and with objects from macro-systems environment. This leads to further complication of the information-object elements constituting the nervous system, and profiling parts of the body for coordination with the environment – i.e., central nervous system. But how the central nervous system does this coordination?
In fact, the central nervous system acts as a mediator between the changes in the organism and changes in the environment. Changes in the body reach the central nervous system in the form of nerve signals (here we deliberately are not dealing with role of the various subsystems of the nervous system in general). At the same time, the central nervous system receives signals from the external environment, converted from the sensory organs in organic nerve impulses. In this way, the brain receives two types of signals, and the resulting signal reflects both sources – internal and external. Most likely, this resulting signal has the shape of wave processes, producing a resultant wave of nerve impulses in the brain, which is stored as a matrix to the point where such an external or internal stimulus does not come into resonance with this matrix and make it dominant process. At this point, it transmits reverse signals to the body to bring it into that energy state, which best matches the saved image wave as a form of instinct or memory.
This is the process of thinking, which in one way or another is present in any complex organism. Spiral of coordinating information and object elements of organic systems do not stop there and doing another, this time a fundamental step in its complexity. This occurs when the nervous system is forced to begin to coordinate not only the body with random objects from the environment – other living organisms and natural phenomena, but constantly available undead (thermodynamic) systems from the same environment. Why is this so important?
Nervous system so far has coordinated other system elements, thanks to their common object element base and the consequent ability to exchange information on electro-chemical level. However, it cannot carry out such information exchange with undead systems, as they cannot distinguish the interaction signal. Therefore, the nervous system in the presence of constant interaction with such thermodynamic systems began to allocate some of its system resources to maintain specific brain waves, which have only one function: to serve as a starting organic reactions under the presence of certain constantly available thermodynamic system conditions. Thus arises the symbolic thought and the ambiguous language that is not available to those organisms that are not forced to live in symbiosis with thermodynamic systems. It is important to understand that animals have language and thinking, too, but their language has entirely organic origin and nature. At animal level, there is an exchange of signals, rather than an exchange of symbols. In this way, information and carrier of information are inseparable when we are speaking about animals. On other hand, at human level, the elements of the data carrier may be different from the information itself. The information may be transmitted by different carriers, and a carrier can transmit different information.
As we see, the merge of internal and external signals is focal point of understanding the process of thinking, whenever we are talking about animals or humans. The mechanism of this merging should be a theme of another article.
Project Founder and Manager
Jordan Yankov works as a consultant for development of different types of power generation projects, energy planning and development. Jordan has experience as manager in advertising, multimedia, marketing and technology projects. He has graduated philosophy but he never persuaded an academic carrier. Despite that, he maintained his strong interests in fundamental sciences, philosophy and social problems. For several years, he helped d-r Ivan Punchev in his efforts to develop non-classic dialectical logic in mathematical form. As a result, he elaborated his own ideas in the fields of fundamental sciences, artificial intelligence and social prognoses. All of this inspired him to start The Human Future Project as an ongoing streamlined effort to create new paradigm for understanding of the human nature.