Department of Redundancy Department

exploding 90 percent

As I understand it, our bodies come with all sorts of redundancies. Some things we can lose, like a lung or a kidney, and we are still able to function fairly normally, because other things, like the other lung or kidney, will make up for the loss. Of course, our bodies cannot function without some other things, no matter what. You damage that heart of yours, and that might just be that.

Some kinds of brain damage is irreversible, especially in regards to disease. But sometimes it’s a miraculous thing to watch a person come back from a brain injury that was originally diagnosed as permanently debilitating. So, It makes me wonder if a large part of that gray mass of ours is designed to be there as a reserve in the event of injury, like a second string player always at the ready just in case the star player is hauled off the field with a dislocated shoulder. Has Mother Nature reserved a large part of our brain function as a redundancy in the event of injury?

It’s all conjecture, of course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation of medical science discovers we are, in fact, using all of our brain function. We have discovered how some of our brain works, and at what level, but I bet the rest of brain functions as well, just at a very miniscule level. Otherwise, what’s the point? We may have built in redundancies, but they still function, so why assume all of the brain is not also functioning? Does only part of the heart beat? And, it’s not as though our “extra” lung or kidney lies dormant until it’s called into action. Even the gallbladder, an organ that is considered neither here nor there, is working at some sort of purpose when it’s in place, doing its thing, giving us leave to use the phrase, “Well, of all the gall!” The appendix, wisdom tooth and foreskin also serve a purpose, as long as they function properly (I’m guessing their casual removal inspired the first notion that “downsizing” was an easily manageable thing).

Frankly, what I think would happen to our brains if we were to be able to use all of it—by that I mean, consciously, and at the same high functioning level we have been able to detect—would be nothing short of total and conspicuous overload. I think our brains would explode, just like anything that goes into overload. I don’t think our biology could handle it (though, I think transcendentalists would probably disagree).

The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Brain Power.”

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