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Why Our Brains May be Different

We share a majority of our genes and abilities with chimps, so what makes us different? (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). And here's another provocative question: If the Visitors come from another world, would their laws of physics be DIFFERENT from ours? Lots of contactees say they see them do extraordinary things, such as walk through walls, for instance (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this interview, too).

In the September 1st edition of the Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley quotes UK royal astronomer Martin Rees as saying that different universes could be governed by different rules and that our "laws of nature" may simply be local bylaws. Could there be a world where, like the film series "Planet of the Apes," CHIMPS are the most intelligent species?

But in the meantime, about life down here on Earth, Matt Ridley writes: "(in the) 1960s, they discovered the startling fact that we had one-third as much DNA as grasshoppers and one-tenth as much as salamanders. For a while we stroked our egos by telling ourselves that we must have special genes to build and run our special brains. But it turned out not to be true. When the genome was sequenced at the turn of this century, and the genes counted, it transpired that we have the same number of genes as a mouse. Indeed, give or take a handful, we have the same genes as a mouse, just switched on in a different order and pattern."

New research may have identified why we're different: in humans, more genes are active in the human frontal lobe, especially involved in letting brain cells link with each other, and some of these brain "hubs" appear to be crucial to the development of language.

And while chimps can gesture, they still can't talk.



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