CogniFit's Science blog: Evolution vs. Revolution

Evolution vs. Revolution

The development of the scientific knowledge of the brain has been impressive, and looking today at the amount of research and daily news about this fascinating topic, one just wonders what will the next years will bring as a brain knowledge revolution.

Indeed, there are few periods in time when we all can see a revolution coming. I guess each decade can be defined by its technology, but few of them really change and reassess the whole way to live. In the past, these revolutions have come in different ways – the transport revolution was one that took a long and gradual time but it changed the world forever; the medicine developments overall changed the lifespan of the humankind and significantly improved the quality of life; looking at the most recent history, information and communication technologies have changed the way human beings live, work, interact.

There is one very important difference between “evolution” and “revolution”. The first is an improvement of the existing situation, but in continuity process, which means it doesn’t fundamentally change the way things are done – a simple example would be the improvement from DVD players to the BlueRay system.

The latter (revolution) is a disruption changing a whole paradigm, and clearly defining two periods – before the revolution, and after the revolution. A revolution has also another peculiar characteristic – it can define those who follow it and separate them from those who don’t and will be unfortunately left behind (eg. info-excluded, mobile-excluded).

As the years go by, it seems increasingly unlikely that such important revolutions will continue to occur, on and on. Yet, the scientific community doesn’t cease to provide new and surprising advances, which slowly connect the dots to become part of the revolutionary advances. There are no limits to knowledge, and that is the main conclusion to take from this dissertation.

Is the brain the “last unknown frontier” of the human being and the next revolution to occur? It is one and perhaps the most broad reaching one, although not the only or even the last one. We are living in the decade of the “brain revolution”. It is time to embrace it, take full advantage of its benefits. At the end of this decade, we will be able to define the period when brain training wasn’t widely used, and the period when it is a common practice for those who followed the revolution. The next decade will be different and a will be built over the advances of this one.