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No brainer

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Not a poem, or even a riddle.

What came first, the brain or the senses?

 

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Me in a rare cheerful mood

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Sensing the surroundings or ones orientation does not require a brain.  A single light-receptor cell can function as an eye.  A single neuron attached to a hair is sufficient for touch.

Even plants can sense light and gravity and parts grow up or down or to the light accordingly.  One can argue that growing toward the light is merely a chemical reaction to the presence or absence of photons, but that is all the receptors in our eyes are doing when we look for a ripe apple or examine a Rembrandt.

A system can be sense-act such as flinching from heat or pain.  Sensory neurones and motor neurones are all that is required for that.

The brain comes in with the processing needed for a sense-process-act where one can see there is a gap and know from experience one can jump over it.  Or tasting food and not liking it but swallowing it anyway because the doctor said so.

A brain without senses is a useless device.  It is a processing engine and, like any other such device, has inputs, outputs and a black box in the middle where the logic acts on the inputs to provide outputs.  The inputs are our sensory receptors and memories, the outputs are movements and/or more memories.  Actioning those movements takes more sensory input such as detecting when to stop moving.

I cannot see how the brain cannot develop without there being a collection of sensory inputs providing data to process.

 

Unless you mean common sense.  Which is something we are born with and lose when we become teenagers.  smile

 

Me in a rare cheerful mood

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I wish it were possible to edit these posts.  I often spot a typo just as I click 'Add comment'.

I cannot see how the brain can develop without there being a collection of sensory inputs providing data to process.

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So senses came first and a brain developed later to coordinate the signals the senses supplied.