Creative Destruction

September 17, 2007

The Man With No Brain

Filed under: Ethics,Science — Robert @ 1:49 am




  1. brains come in different shapes and sizes, robert. this headline is sensationalistic and inaccurate. it should read “the man with a hole in his brain” or “the man with a donut for a brain.” no such thing as a 44-year-old man with no brain.

    Comment by greywhitie — September 17, 2007 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  2. The man’s IQ is a somewhat low 75, but he has managed to lead a normal life and holds a job in France as a civil servant.

    I guess it would be in bad taste to snicker at that, but I’m going to do it anyway.

    Comment by Brandon Berg — September 17, 2007 @ 5:27 am | Reply

  3. the article says most folks have at least an iq of 85. so, 85-75=10. not much of a difference, is there.

    Comment by greywhitie — September 17, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  4. An IQ of 75 is at about the 5th percentile. 85 is the 16th percentile, so think of going from 75 to 85 as improving a letter grade. Admittedly, from F- to D-, but you get the idea.

    Comment by Robert — September 17, 2007 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  5. most people with this condition don’t know they have it because they’ve never seen an MRI or PET or CAT scan of their brains. of course, doesn’t take this condition to have a low IQ, does it?

    Comment by greywhitie — September 17, 2007 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  6. greywhitie wrote:

    doesn’t take this condition to have a low IQ, does it?

    True, very true. I know lots of people with no brains.

    Comment by Brutus — September 18, 2007 @ 9:58 am | Reply

  7. by the way, i had an MRI done on my brain, and they found nothing wrong with it.

    Comment by greywhitie — September 18, 2007 @ 10:43 am | Reply

  8. I too have had a medical scan of the skull.

    My brain does indeed exist.

    And I can prove it.

    Comment by Off Colfax — September 18, 2007 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  9. There are actually a number of cases of this kind. They illustrate starkly both the adaptability of the brain and call in to question what we are getting out of the bulk of it. Some cases have involved people of considerably higher intelligence than this man.

    Comment by ohwilleke — September 19, 2007 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  10. Also worth noting from the story:

    “The condition is called Dandy Walker complex and is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs in one out of every 25,000 live births, mostly in females. Although many with Dandy Walker develop dramatic symptoms from the condition, such as an enlarged skull, jerky muscle movements and problems with the nerves that control the face, the condition also can develop unnoticed.

    Doctors believe this man’s condition could stem from surgery he had at the age of 6 months, when he suffered hydrocephalus or water on the brain and needed an operation to drain a buildup of spinal fluid.

    Subsequent tests have revealed that the man has an IQ of 75, with a verbal IQ of 84 and performance IQ of 70. The bulk of people in society have a minimum IQ of 85.”

    Comment by ohwilleke — September 19, 2007 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  11. ohwilleke: Some cases have involved people of considerably higher intelligence than this man.

    greywhitie: and these folks are probably more intelligent than some folks with “regular” shaped brains. we humans in general have a tendency to classify “differently abled” people as inferior than the “norm.” some don’t like to deviate from the norm. maintaining a sense of “normalcy” makes them feel safe and secure. no wonder their lives are so tediously dull and boring.

    Comment by greywhitie — September 19, 2007 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  12. Last I heard, the IQ test as a measure of one’s intelligence was on the way out. It doesn’t address imagination or creativity at all. It ignores emotional sensitivity toward one’s own situation, let alone everyone else’s. This, of course, doesn’t mean it’s altogether worthless. But to judge a person because he has a hole in his skull or a merely average IQ, to me, reflects primarily on the judge’s own limitations.
    The Mensa group used to, and perhaps still does, offer seminars on chocolate tasting and simulated jet-plane piloting. Well, yes, eat a few different varieties of 80% Venezuelan cocoa beans mixed with peppers and cinnamon and perhaps the chocolate-fueled geniuses–those above 180 only, please–may solve all those nagging questions still unexplained by string theory. Maybe they’ll learn how to cure MS and autism. Maybe they’ll discover chocolate makes cancer obsolete or, more likely, perhaps they’ll invent cars that fly on nothing but a satisfied, peaceful, and extraordinarily superior mind.

    Comment by Kathleen Maher — October 3, 2007 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

  13. couldn’t agree more with you, kathleen. there is also such a thing as emotional intelligence (EI), a recent term. folks who are more in tune with their own feelings and those of others and are good at managing both go much further in life, not just monetarily. EI-deficient folks don’t have a whole lot of friends and are often sorry loners. they don’t realize that actions carry consequences, so just carry on their pathetic little lives and actions. then they wonder why they end up with no friends.

    Comment by greywhitie — October 4, 2007 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  14. Stupid is as stupid does. Got any fried shimp?

    Comment by rob — January 10, 2008 @ 5:13 am | Reply

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