The Accidental Mind Summary

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“The Accidental Mind”, by David J Linden, adequately covers the broad subject of human brain evolution by covering the intriguing concepts of love, memory, dreams, and religion. To make the non-fiction accessible to enthused readers, rather than advanced scientists, Linden separates the chapters by topic and evenly distributes his information by applying context to real world situations. His immense knowledge and research conducted shows through, with thorough explanations of some theories and concepts that are vital in biology.
Linden begins by stressing that the design of the brain, as suggested by the title, is a mess of most inefficient parts, or a “kludge”, as he puts it. The first thing one would realize about brain evolution is that while multiple parts of the brain do change over time, mostly new “parts” are simply stacked on old ones, leaving the old ones in the way (for example, the midbrain, which is only useful for evolutionary purposes). Linden uses the analogy that the brain, in regards to evolution, is like an ice cream cone. Through the agonizingly long process of evolution, new “scoops” and “flavors” are added on, but the original and lower scoops stay mainly unaltered. This explains the size increase from past hominids to our current 3lb symmetrical brain.
To get specific with location, the highest functions can be found at the relative top and front, while the lowest are at the bottom and rear. The spec between holds the subconscious where the limbic
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