Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Thinking Earth Brain

Our brains use electrical impulses to create thought and awareness. “Neurons generate electrical signals that travel along their axons. When a pulse of electricity reaches a junction called a synapse, it causes a neurotransmitter chemical to be released, which binds to receptors on other cells and thereby alters their electrical activity.” – From Wikipedia

Organic Brain uses Electricity

Organic Brain uses Electricity

What if organic brains are a relatively new player in the use of electricity/energy to create thought? Lightning is electricity. There are approximately 30-100 lightning strikes on the earth per second. That comes out to millions of strikes every day.

Lightning Strikes 30-100 times per second

Lightning Strikes 30-100 times per second

In addition to lightning discharges, there are lesser known discharges called Sprites. “Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground.” –

Earth's Cerebral Cortex

Earth’s Cerebral Cortex…maybe

Furthermore, there is an electromagnetic field that surrounds the earth and permeates everything on it.

Electromagnetic Brain

Electromagnetic Brain, Scaffolding, Grey Matter?

Over the course of thousands or millions of years, the number of lightning discharges approaches the number of electrical signals generated in a living brain. Could the earth-brain be working at a slower rate than ours? In other words, operating over a longer time span. Would this earth-brain necessarily contain only one consciousness? Or even consciousness at all?

A thinking organism need not have an immediate or timely way of physically manifesting it’s will. Or maybe it does not need to manifest it’s will at all. We tend to think that intelligence evolves only when Darwinian, survival of the fittest scenarios force it to.  Maybe intelligence can emerge from a series of complex natural processes.

Imagine this series of events. A “slow” working planetary brain emerges. The resulting environment within this planetary brain allows for a faster organic brain to evolve. The life forms with the organic brains invent faster computer brains. We, our brains, our intelligence could be one rung on a ladder of intelligences.

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