More Human Than Human

So as it turns out, the spindle cells in our brains that make us “human” (providing us with the ability to love, empathize, feel emotional pain) are now discovered to be present in the brains of some species of whales as well. Not only that – they have proportionally three times as many as we do, and they have had them for 30 million years – twice as long as we humans and apes have.

Humans have these cells to help with visceral reactions, like pleasure, and determination of the feelings of others. Wikipedia still classifies these cells as a strictly human and great ape occurrence – and also as only appearing in two restricted parts of our brains. The hominid fact now must expand to make room for the humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales and sperm whales in which it has been proven that these cells exist. Also, the only areas of the brains of hominids that have spindle cells are the anterior cingulate cortex and frontoinsular cortex. However, in whales, the cells are found throughout the entire brain and especially in the frontopolar cortex at the back of the brain.

This is a huge breakthrough. The actual function of the spindle is like having a brain synapse take the Wilmington express bypass rather than the business Ports of Wilmington route when driving on 95 South. Spindle cells allow our brains to skip unnecessary functions that would slow reaction time. That way we can act quickly on events that seem to us like “gut instincts” but in reality are complex procedures. This is especially useful in social situations – like say you are at the Empire Lounge and are having a conversation with a group of people but suddenly you hear your ex’s name called and you feel like you are about to be sick – it’s thanks to your spindle cells that you just felt that synapse fire off before the first syllable was even cognicized.

What this means is that whales probably feel nearly the same thing – which, as can be judged from behavioral studies of the big wonders – is true. Questions arise as to the purpose of the spindles that are peppered throughout the whale brain and in areas where humans don’t have them – is it some kind of sixth sense? The frontopolar cortex handles higher cognition – so why would whales need to speed that up if we don’t? Fort Saint Davids is jealous. What are they planning down there?

What if somehow whales are the actual kings of the planet and humans are just too far behind evolutionarily to figure it out? What if adaptation to life at sea in higherintellignces leaves them so docile, peaceful, and comfortable with their aquatic world that they couldn’t care less what higher mammals are doing on land? When we hunt whales and they lose one of their own to our harpoons, what if it is not unlike your cousin getting mauled by a wild dog? What if they have been so highly evolved for so long, that they have built secret technologies with their minds and evasively tunneled to the center of the earth to hide their advanced civilizations from us?

Fort Saint Davids bids you to go watch Hitchiker’s Guide and then, just for further meditation on possible future human evolution and the notion of comfort conditioning, Logan’s Run. Back to back. Then, get back to us on your thoughts on what these big guys could possibly be up to.

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5 thoughts on “More Human Than Human

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