Michio Kaku, one of the most famous physics theorists and futurists of today, explains how human intelligence is unfinished and puts forward his new theory about the quantity of consciousness.
Across the universe, the two greatest scientific mysteries are, first and foremost, the origin of the universe itself, and the other is the origin of intelligence. Believe it or not, this thing on our shoulders is the most complex object Mother Nature has made in the universe we know. You have to go at least 24,000,000,000,000 miles to the nearest star to find a planet that may have life and intelligence. On the other hand, our brains consume about 20-30 watts of power while making better calculations than any huge supercomputer. So he’s a mystery. How is the brain networked? If we can figure it out, how can we use that discovery to improve our mental capacity?
When you look at the brain and all its parts, they don’t seem to be connected at all. The visual part of the brain is far behind, for example. Why is the brain made this way? Is this just a coincidence of evolution? Well, one way to look at it is through evolution. That is, the back of the brain is so-called. the reptilian brain. The oldest primitive part of the brain that maintains balance, territoriality, mating. Thus, the outermost part of the brain is also the type of brain found in reptiles. When I was a kid, I used to go to a science museum, sometimes look at snakes, and in turn they stare at me. And I would ask myself: What do they think? – Well, I think I know now. What they were thinking was: Is this lunch?
Then, we have a central part of the brain going forward that is so-called. monkey brain – mammalian brain, brain of emotions. The brain of social hierarchies. Then, finally, the front of the brain is the human brain, especially the prefrontal cortex. There is a rational opinion. When you ask yourself where I am at all, the answer is right behind your forehead. That’s where you really are.
I have one theory of consciousness that is trying to capture all that. About 20,000 papers have been written about awareness but no agreement. Never in the history of science has so many people devoted so much time to such little effect. I’m a physicist, and when we, the physicists, look at some mysterious object, the first thing we try to do is create a model – a model of this object in space. Then we hit the play button and speed it up in time. So Newton was able to come up with a theory of gravity. So Einstein came up with the idea of relativity.
So, I tried to use this in terms of the human brain and evolution. What I’m saying is that I have a new theory of consciousness based on evolution, which is that consciousness is the number of feedback loops needed to model your position in space in relation to other organisms and finally in relation to time.
Consider the awareness of a single thermostat. I believe that even a low thermostat has one unit of consciousness – more precisely, it senses the temperature around it. Then we have a flower. A flower has maybe ten units of consciousness. Must understand temperature, weather, humidity, gravity direction. Then we finally go to the reptilian brain that I call the first level of consciousness. And reptiles practically have a good understanding of their position in space, especially since they have to throw themselves at the victim and grab her. Then we have another level of consciousness – monkey consciousness. Awareness of emotions, social hierarchies, the place we occupy in relation to the tribe, and then where we are as human beings.
As human beings we are on the third level. We do simulations of the future. Animals obviously don’t do that. They do not plan to hibernate, they do not plan what everything will do tomorrow, they have no concept of tomorrow – as far as we know.
But, this is what our brains do. Our brain is the machine that predicts. When we look at evolution from the reptilian brain, across the mammalian brain to the prefrontal cortex, we realize that it is a process of understanding our position in space, having regard for others – that is, emotions – and finally doing the stimulations of the future.