My last week’s blog in this series hopefully enabled us to at least catch a glimpse, provided by this admittedly crude and simple schematic representation or model, as to just how the brain has responded – is responding – to and thereby successfully handling the entirely new challenges of every given age. (Indeed, it is also worth noting that as the foetal brain develops in the womb, these very same structures are quite apparent. At its core, is what is similar in appearance to the brain of modern reptiles and as, still unborn, it continues to develop, each stage in the transition of millions of years referred to above, is re-enacted in this miniature form).
As well as contributing hugely to the development of mankind, it should also be noted in passing that as a side-product, such progress has also greatly heightened and intensified the pressures in the form of stresses and strains of daily living, in a manner hitherto unknown to mankind. Learning to cope with the contingencies of modern life is very much part of present activity in the brain’s long and painstaking evolutionary journey. We can also readily perceive from our model, i.e. pyramid, how the overall time factor affording opportunity for experiment together with the ever-evolving plasticity in and adaptability of the human response, has successfully ‘planed’ things out to newer and better meaning and significance for every successive generation.
Finally – and as for a moment we draw back somewhat to behold our model – I suppose that if one could somehow imagine a never-ending scene of such small white pyramids side by side but becoming joined to each other from about the top of the blue slice and below, i.e. into the brown and green slices (if you see what I mean) this would – again in a purely schematic and diagrammatic way – provide a useful projection of both our individuality and uniqueness, as well as our common, i.e. (shared) heritage. The problem with this independent “white pyramids” analogy is that it portrays every individual as being a “carbon copy” of the next, which indeed we/they are not. We shall continue this incredible and fascinating story of what truly is, yours and my rightful inheritance in my next blog. (C)SB..