Cosmic Evolution Project Submenu Links - click to expand or collapse list

                click on underlined bold text to jump to another page






origin of the Universe


cosmic web




Milky Way Galaxy


primordial overdensities

Big Bang


Early cosmic inflation

protons and neutrons

photons and neutrinos

Stars and Galaxies

Solar System






Ice Giants

Trans-Neptunian Objects

Asteroid Belt

Moons and Rings

Earth and Geobiosphere

Global Catastrophes

Ocean Science Quest

Darwin In the Garden

Origin of Life

Diversity of Life

Complexity of Life







Organism Life Cycle

Ecosystem Evolution

Ecosystem Life Cycle

Brains and Tools


Brain Structure

Brain Cell Building Blocks

Brain chemistry and neuroplasticity

Brain Development

Brain Evolution

Brain Emergent Properties


Brain Life Cycle


Tools to expand sensory powers

Tools to expand physical powers

Tools to expand mental powers

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Selection

Socio-economic Evolution



Brains and Tools

What is the sequence of events that produced biological neural networks and ultimately brains?

How is it possible for an assembly of molecules interacting with energy to develop emergent properties like consciousness, self-awareness, and free will? Or is there more to the story?

How did brains gain control over multicellular organisms? How did brains develop tools to extend their powers to sense and control their environment? How is this process leading to artificial neural networks with ever growing powers?


Brains and Tools

Brains and tools involve the composition, structure, and evolution of neurons and biological and artificial neural networks from the simplest animals to the human brain, their ability to process sensory input and to control motor functions, and the development of tools to analyze, observe, and control the environment and transform the Earth and its lifeforms. A reverse order logarithmic timeline covers the evolutionary history of brains and tools from 3.4 billion year old bacterial membrane proteins that controlled the flow of ions to two billion year old eukaryote cells that generated electrical signals to 600 million year neural networks to complex animal brains to modern machines with exceptional computational powers.

"Prove you're not a robot" - lecture on artificial intelligence, consciousness, and free will

Dr. Bob Field presented a research scholar's talk on November 1, 2016 entitled "Prove you're not a robot". The description of the talk is as follows: Our planet and our species evolved from elements  that were formed in and dispersed by supernovas. Now our fate depends on rapid advances in robotics, genetics, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience. Where are we going, physically, mentally, and spiritually? Do you have free will? Can robots have free will? The 25 chart RUA Robot PowerPoint slide lecture can be downloaded.

A 30 minute narrated video of the lecture is embedded below. When you play the video, you can go to full screen and adjust the setting to 720 HD. Be prepared to turn the sound volume down when the Big Bang and Sophia Robot video clips play.The author's narration is a bit muffled and monotonic due to the quality of the laptop microphone. If you have any trouble with the embedded video, go to





rotating brain animation

rotating brain animation gif



Brains like these developed tools like Mathcad which feature animations including the one below of amplitude modulated and frequency modulated cosine curves.

YouTube embed of video on origin of brains – click to expand or collapse

The original video author says "The human brain contains over 100 billion neurons, and roughly 1 quintillion synapses. But how did it all get started? How did the first nervous systems, the first brains evolve? How did a bunch of simple cells evolve into a biological computer?" Below the video is a link to the original author.

To download this video copyright free please go to:
the author's channel is at


Brains created this animated Mathcad model of varying waves – click to expand or collapse

Brains created this animated Mathcad model of a cooling sphere – click to expand or collapse

Use your brains to survive – click to expand or collapse

Can the brain of one predator outwit the brains of dozens of prey?

The lioness in this home made video paced back and forth on the near side of the watering hole trying to decide what the best approach would be for a surprise attack on the herd of antelope in Tanzania. Ultimately the lioness failed.


The shaky video was produced from the safety of a range rover at some distance.



Jabiru in flight on river heading toward Mayan ruins at Lamanai in Belize in December 2018

Back to top



Related Content