Astronomy Look-alikes, No. 40

Obviously someone else has already noticed the remarkable similarity between the structure of the human brain and that revealed by computer simulations of the large-scale structure of the Universe.

Does this mean that dark matter is really just all in the mind?


7 Responses to “Astronomy Look-alikes, No. 40”

  1. maybe now we really do know the mind of God…

  2. Many years ago when I worked for the Science Photo Library I sent a transmission electron micrograph of a flu virus to Oxford University Press. A few weeks later I saw it on the cover of a book about cosmology. I phoned the picture editor to point out the error. Her response was, ‘oh it doesn’t matter, it still looks sciencey’. She was right – it didn’t make a huge difference to the book.

    My PhD research was on visual communication in science. I was particularly interested on how we make invisible things visible. The way it works is this: invisible things (including brain cells and clusters of galaxies) have a deficit of visual qualities. For instance they don’t have a colour, let alone a shinyness or transparency. So we have to ‘lend’ them visual qualities – arbitrarily assign colours, etc. But the choice is not so arbitrary – we tend to lend invisible things the visual qualities of things we are good at looking at, so it’s not surprising that very small things end up looking like very big things.

    True – there appears to be some fractal structure that clusters of galaxies share with brain cells, but our visualisation idioms are the main reason we think brains look like the universe.

  3. As a scientist and theoretician, I would answer the question, “Does this mean that dark matter is really just all in the mind?”
    as follows:

    Dark matter *is* the Mind.



  4. Funnily enough – we had a conference on astro-med – the link between astronomical and medical imaging, and what we do with the images is all very similar.

    >> theoretician – ????? Surely a theorist?

  5. I thought the brain was grey matter..?

  6. Anton Garrett Says:

    It really doesn’t matter any more – Buddy Holly

  7. There’s only one word for that: ganglions!

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