Invention has freed the brain from its bodily constraints, leaving the imagination unencumbered to envision paths that lead to obtaining even our wildest dreams. Like a shark, the brain never stops swimming in thought (Leher, 2010), and as it seeks new discoveries, the brain’s architectural landscape becomes reshaped. Recent innovative tools capitalize on the brain’s adaptive malleability, blurring the separation between nervous and cyber systems and in effect creating a symbiotic relationship. It is this interconnection that will enable humans to thrive on other worlds.
The human brain reached its current size more than 250,000 years ago, yet it was less than 40,000 years ago that human innovation began its leap from “stone to silicon” (Husick, 2008), excelling beyond even our Neanderthal cousins whose cranial sizes exceeded our own. While the precise mechanisms that facilitated this profound change are still unfolding, it is clear that the brain’s characteristic malleability was a contributing factor, which ultimately may help us survive on our inhospitable neighboring planet.
|This paper was first published as part of Space Commerce, The Inside Story, published by the Aerospace Technology Working Group (ATWG) and included on this site through the courtesy of ATWG, ISU and the individual authors.
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