By RazzaTazz 7 Comments
This blog is a companion to one that I wrote a long time ago, dealing with the complexities of the human brain. In that blog I argued that the human brain did not function exactly how it was being depicted because of a simplistic approach to the manner in which the different aspects of intelligence combine together. The newest issue of Supergirl sort of addressed this concept again, though in a less direct manner. The problem which arose was that of Dr. Veritas. Due to some anomaly of her interstellar travel, she was forced to place the Block at the center of the Earth, and everyone that had been on board her spaceship assumed her DNA, and thus her appearance.
As a soft science principle this works fine, but there are some gaps in the concept, namely that of the old debate between nature and nurture. The brain is a complex organ, the most complex in fact, but it is still nonetheless based somewhat on the genetics which make up the organism (the person.) Thus mental attributes, whether good or bad can be hereditary. They can also of course be nurtured that way. Take for instance two people that are intelligent in the same way, and if they are raised in different households, they are going to develop different abilities. The base of their genetic intelligence might be similar, but the end result is not. In general though, it is quite difficult to conceive of a world where humans have nearly identical genetic codes defining their intelligence. Even among siblings there are so many variables to make direct similarities almost impossible.
When extended to the sci fi concept of strangers taking on a consciousness of another where this doesn't really fit at all. Veritas is a super genius, and to push her mental ability on others wouldn't work, even if they were also super geniuses. The inverse also holds though, that putting other's mentalities in her genetic frame would cause much confusion (and this is what is described to have happened.) It would be like trying to pick up a building and putting it down on another foundation and expecting the electricity, plumbing and heating to still work perfectly accurately. In truth there are no such connections, as putting a person's mentality on another brain would lead to a mismatch. This is just a hard science approach to a soft science concept, but I had to say it after seeing it, as it was one thing about the issue which bothered me.