Part I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX
In Part IV, I wrote that I derived my understanding of the brain from my interpretation of a handful of occult (symbolic) passages in the Bible, mainly from the books of Revelation and Zechariah. I then explained why Animal's brain is monospherical and has no cerebellum. Finally, I gave a brief introduction to the tree of knowledge. The TOK, symbolized by an olive tree in the book of Zechariah, is a hierarchical storage system for temporal information. In today's post, I want to talk about the functions of memory but first, a word about trees.
The Trees of Eden
I think that, since I am writing about a particular symbolic tree, that I should bring your attention to other symbolic trees found in ancient Biblical texts. I'm talking about the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, which are mentioned in the book of Genesis. Several questions come to mind. First, is Genesis referring to actual trees in the garden of Eden or symbolic trees? Second, can we make a connection between the TOK in Genesis and the two olive trees in Zechariah's vision? Finally, and more importantly, what does the tree of life represent if it's not a real tree? At this time, I can only tell you what I personally believe in. I cannot go into the reasons because it is beyond the scope of this series. I just think it's something that you should keep in the backs of your minds, as I intend to get back to this subject some time in the not too distant future.
Unlike many (most?) Christians, I believe that the garden of Eden story is purely symbolic and that the two trees in the garden are metaphorical trees. I believe that the TOK in Genesis is the same as Zechariah's olive tree and that the tree of life has to do with genetics. My current understanding is that early man was allowed access to various fields of knowledge (the garden of Eden) but was forbidden, for whatever reason, to learn the secrets of (partake of the fruit of) intelligence (the tree of knowledge) and genetics (the tree of life).
This begs a final question. Why do I write that the tree of life has to do with genetics? Well, for one thing, it is also mentioned in the book of Revelation in connection with the brain. I believe that the message to Ephesus is referring to the fact that a part of the brain (Ephesus) regulates internal body functions. This is something that I only recently figured out but there is something else about the symbolic meaning of the tree of life that is much more important in my opinion. I am now convinced that information in the genome (and consequently, the body's structure) is organized and controlled hierarchically (like a tree), just like memory.
This is another prediction of my Bible hypothesis that I am making on this blog now as a matter of record (you heard it here first). I don't think anybody in the genetics community is saying this or even suspects it. Sure they talk about a tree of life or phylogenetic tree, but what they are really referring to is genetic inheritance from one species to the next. This genetic tree is supposedly based on common descent (an increasingly challenged principle of Darwinian evolution), which gives rise to so-called nested hierarchies. I believe that the tree-like, internal hierarchical nature of the code structure/organization of the genome will soon be discovered as we continue to use computers to analyze the growing database of genetic information. More on this in a future post.
It turns out that geneticists have already detected gene hierarchies (tree-like control structure) within various genomes. I'll have more to say on this in my next post.
The Functions of Memory
The tree of knowledge is the most important part of the brain because it contains all of the knowledge that we accumulate in life. It is used primary for the storage and retrieval of temporal information arriving from the senses. But it serves other purposes as well. It is the main mechanism that is responsible for several cognitive functions such as recognition and attention.
For examples, a single branch in the brain's TOK may represent a particular person such as one's grandmother. What this means is that every time grandma appears in the brain's field of vision, the branch will activate to indicate a positive recognition. However, something else may come into view that catches the subject's attention. This will cause a different branch in the tree to activate, thereby deactivating grandma's branch. This is the mechanism of attention. It turns out that only one branch can be activated at a time. Each branch, however, controls up to seven sub-branches. This is why our short-term memory capacity is limited to seven items. The branch structure is also the reason that psychologists say that memory is organized in chunks. Each branch of the tree is a chunk of memory. As I will explain in a coming post in this series, the TOK is also ideally suited for anticipation and goal-seeking behavior. Anticipation is necessary for conditioned learning and behavior, which is called classical and operant conditioning in psychology.
In Part VI, I will describe a special mechanism in Animal's brain called the memory builder. Its function is to use the discrete signals arriving from the first layer (the signal separation layer) to construct Animal's tree of knowledge.
The Brain: Universal Invariant Recognition
Artificial Intelligence From the Bible