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malika
14-09-2005, 14:36
Something Im curious about, we all know that the Space Marines are the superhuman guys who could tear normal people into pieces with their bare hands, spit acid, have many extra organs, can keep on going for months without sleep, etc etc...

They are physically speaking super humans, homo superior, in a way. However Im curious about their brains, are they smarter than normal humans? Would their brain function more effectively, I once read that humans only use a very small percentage of their braincapacity (about 5% or something IIRC), do Space Marines use a larger capacity? Do they think quicker?

So my question is, would the mind of a Space Marine also be superior to the mind of a normal human?

Sojourner
14-09-2005, 14:44
Very difficult to define. I would presume for logical operations and reaction times the space marine brain would perform a lot faster. Being able to either rationalise a situation using mathematics, or even just visualising the mathematics intuitively, would be an asset and therefore is likely to be included. Reaction times are obvious. Another thing is memory and reliability - these are likely to be vastly increased. It's mentioned in Index Astartes that some marines develop photographic memories.

Another matter is the conceptual ability. Is this in fact variable at all? We don't really know. I personally don't think the average marine would have significantly greater conceptual ability than the average human.

malika
14-09-2005, 14:48
The thing is that the brain doesnt get any upgrades or extra parts during the upgrade progress of becoming a Space Marine, perhaps extra bionic hardware is added in the form of extra harddisks, perhaps hormones which could increase the numbers of neurons connecting the brain to the senses of the Space Marine (photographic memory for example)

The brain would also have to remain young, or do Space Marines that die from old age (which are a few already) have "old/dying" brains which would function waaaaaaay less effectively than a younger brain.

Sojourner
14-09-2005, 14:51
The brain is indeed altered; implantation of the catalepsean node for one. There's also the hypnotherapy used which could quite possibly stimulate the brain into adapting to the required abilities. There's a fair bit of evidence that usage tends to alter the physical structure of the brain network in that the connections between cells and between regions of the brain change.

Sai-Lauren
14-09-2005, 15:19
As Sojourner said, marine brains are altered with some implants.

IMO, yes they would be altered more subtly as well, it's pointless improving a marines physical abilities if he's unable to use them properly - so he would be able to react more quickly, and do the right thing when he does react rather than leap into an incorrect action for example. Knowledge is implanted through hypno-therapy so that they "learn" tactics and other things they'll need on the battlefield much more quickly - making their drills and excercises more about getting the body trained to do things, rather than teaching the marine the whole thing.

Plus some chapters have different "super-human" abilities - like the Space Wolves heightened sense of smell for example.

BTW, the figure of 10% of our brains in use is total rubbish (which is what you were referring to Malika), 10% may only be used for concious thought and control, but the remainder is running on automatic, making sure your breathing, circulatory system, digestion etc don't suddenly stop, or you don't collapse in a heap because all your muscles decide to stop holding you up.

precinctomega
14-09-2005, 15:50
The Inquisitor LRB indicates a level of intelligence in your average Space Marine equivalent to a normal, well-educated human.

R.

Khaine's Messenger
14-09-2005, 16:15
homo superior, in a way.

Erik Magnus on line one...Erik Magnus, line one.


However Im curious about their brains, are they smarter than normal humans?

Not really. Their only primary difference in the grey area even close to intellect is, iirc, that upon induction, they get an info-dump through psycho-doctrination rather than any sort of formal schooling. But that doesn't alter their intellect much beyond the theoretical inclusion of problem-solving algorithms. That is, any "apparent" boosted intellect probably stems from others' perceptions of their knowledge-base and instilled perceptions, which are not really the same thing. And most of this stuff is probably just alterations to the endocrine portions of the brain or the motor cortexes so the brain can learn to use all of these new abilities that are crowding its older functions out (another good reason for inducting marines as youths).


Would their brain function more effectively, I once read that humans only use a very small percentage of their braincapacity (about 5% or something IIRC),

Incorrect. Humans use almost all of the of their brains--just not all of it consciously, as a great deal of stuff happens beneath our "awareness."


Do they think quicker?

Just as fast as any old campaigner, I would imagine. The same sort of mental acuity and sharpness of sense that is born from making immediate life and death decisions for years...their attitudes kinda help, too. Especially when Space Marines usually aren't busy trying to find an excuse for their failure or some other mental disorder.


So my question is, would the mind of a Space Marine also be superior to the mind of a normal human?

Not in my opinion, no. A Space Marine brain is only altered insofar as it must deal with a Space Marine body and a Space Marine lifestyle. After that...they are entrusted with quite a bit of knowledge, which, in the Imperium, gives the illusion of "greater" intelligence. Anything else is others' perceptions or their own reflections of those perceptions....

Hebron
14-09-2005, 16:26
BTW, the figure of 10% of our brains in use is total rubbish (which is what you were referring to Malika), 10% may only be used for concious thought and control, but the remainder is running on automatic, making sure your breathing, circulatory system, digestion etc don't suddenly stop, or you don't collapse in a heap because all your muscles decide to stop holding you up.

It does NOT take 90% of your brain to -=run=- your automatic systems.

It seems to me that I read somewhere that Space Marines are actually quite a bit more intellectual than an average human... off hand I cannot think of where, time to look!

malika
14-09-2005, 16:30
But if they are more intelligent and more powerful than normal humans, wouldnt they know that the Imperium perhaps could be run in a better more effective way, wouldnt they try to obtain more power themselves, because right now, eventhough they have a certain amount of freedom, they have no power in Imperial politics.

precinctomega
14-09-2005, 16:46
It does NOT take 90% of your brain to -=run=- your automatic systems.

Indeed not, it's more complicated than that. But the old myth about humans only using a small percentage of their brain capacity is just that: a myth, a Khaine's Messenger has already pointed out.

The whole brain works, just not all at the same time - and we're not completely sure what some of it does at all...

R.

halo
14-09-2005, 16:50
Also cannot brain functions be heightend utilising chem treatment. The amount of stimuli a marine is exposed to would theoretically heighten certain
brain stem function.Synapses firing faster increasing sub conscious thought processes?
Also you can train your brain to retain more info. ( Read a good article about this in the Lancet a few years back).

Philip S
14-09-2005, 16:53
I once read that humans only use a very small percentage of their braincapacity (about 5% or something IIRC)
5%! Only if you have a very serious head trauma, even people in coma use more brain matter than this! (well, about the same, and not the kept alive by machine brain dead coma types though ;))

Every single neuron in your head gets used everyday (IIRC), unlike computer memory that store bits in single cells, our brains store in patterns, so a single neuron could be a member of many differing patterns. If anything our brains are overused, and we can keep adding more patterns everyday (quite something really).

I canít remember where the famous 10% quote is from, but I think it comes with Ďat any one timeí or something like that. I think the misquote is so popular in sci-fi because it implies that we have tons of brain power left that we donít use (for psychic powers!).


So my question is, would the mind of a Space Marine also be superior to the mind of a normal human?
They are superior in so far that they are chosen from the best of the best rather then engineering, probably similar to a top gun pilot or astronaut.

Philip

TheSonOfAbbadon
14-09-2005, 17:04
I once read that humans only use a very small percentage of their braincapacity (about 5% or something IIRC)

Utter rubbish.


So my question is, would the mind of a Space Marine also be superior to the mind of a normal human?

Yes. Through hypnoconditioning Space Marines would have a far better memory than a normal human. No more going into a room and forgetting what they went in there to do for Space Marines. Their reflexes are also faster than that of a human.

Also, Techmarines are highly intelligent. For one, the Adeptus Mechanicus, who trains them, highly revers all knowledge as holy. So therefore they would know alot about mechanics, and alot of other things.

Phyros
14-09-2005, 17:29
They are superior in so far that they are chosen from the best of the best rather then engineering, probably similar to a top gun pilot or astronaut.

Philip

They pretty much are the best of the best, but aren't really chosen for brainpower as much as martial skill and survivability. Who would you want to defend Earth? A bloodthirsty headhunter from a deep jungle with years of killing experience and his buddies or the top law school graduates of 2005?

I guess in the end it depends on what Chapter they are from. Ultramarines may take the above mentioned lawers and turn them into super-soldiers :eek: while Space Wolves pick the guys who died in a gruesome manner while inflicting some gruesome-ness of their own before they died. :evilgrin:

TheSonOfAbbadon
14-09-2005, 17:32
It's no use trying to save the galaxy if you're an idiot. Besides, Space Marines are chosen from the age of 12-13 and have almost continuous training and teaching. The Adeptus Astrates would provide an above average education and hypnoconditioning.

Helicon_One
14-09-2005, 19:45
They are physically speaking super humans, homo superior, in a way. However Im curious about their brains, are they smarter than normal humans?

Depends what you mean by 'smarter'. Its worth bearing in mind that Marines exist solely for the purpose of squishing the Emperor's foes, so there's no point teaching them anything other than how to do that. I imagine their education will be purely limited to military matters and religious indoctrination, most likely they'd be entirely ignorant of other factors. They'd be better able to work out the best way to storm a bunker, or how to kill an Ork with their bare hands, but I wouldn't expect them to be of much use on subjects which didn't involve killing things. Heck, would they even be taught to read?

Also, depends what you mean by 'normal humans'. All but the elites of Imperial society will receive no formalised education at all, they'll learn whatever menial task they carry out as their daily work by rote, and so won't develop their mental functions to any significant level. Your average Marine will be alot smarter than your average 41st Millenium underhive peasant, certainly. Whether they'd be smarter than your average 21st century developed world high school graduate is a different matter.

Tim

Marshal Draziel
14-09-2005, 20:14
Marines are quite quick, but their own will is the thing that is supressed. So that they dont get too bright idears...

Individuals such as Sergeants, Chaplains or generally every leader type is more independent and gets more and more experince...

Actually I don't like thinking about small miniatures being smarter than myself...

bertcom1
14-09-2005, 20:31
Marines have heightened mental abilities compared to normal humans in the fields of sensory abilities, pain endurance, and much faster reactions and thoughts. They have better ability to remember and recall information.

However, that does not mean they are more intelligent than normal humans. It just means they think faster.

A Techmarine would be able to diagnose and correct faults in a given machine far quicker than an Adeptus Mechanicus Magos, but the Magos is more likely to be able to devise a new machine.

A Chaplain would be able to come up with many more examples of the wisdom of the Emperor compared to a Cardinal, but the Cardinal is more likely to think of new ways of interpreting the meaning.

So Marines are not necessarily more intelligent, just faster.

This means that things in the background which say things like how long Marine characters struggle with a dilemma are more impressive. Given their normal 20/7 routine, or in extreme conditions 24/7, when they have to struggle with a dilemma for 3 days, thats an equivalent of a minimum 4 days for a normal 16/7 human, and quite possibly 8 or more days equivalent, meaning that the dilemma is large indeed.


As to the 10% of the brain issue, I dont know where it came from, but the version I am familiar with says that only 10% of the brain cells are Known to do something. The other 90% do something, but no-one Knows what. So when they say that a particular lobe of the brain is to do with vision, 10% of the cells do something measureable, 90% do nothing measureable. So whatever 90% of the brain does, there does not exist any way of measuring what it is doing, so it might as well be doing nothing as far as being able to determine function is concerned.

Kage2020
14-09-2005, 23:11
The Inquisitor LRB indicates a level of intelligence in your average Space Marine equivalent to a normal, well-educated human.

R.
Well, 'LRB' is the absolute worst source of information on the Marines in general, but in this case it also happens to correlate with the original 'fluff'. The Marines are not interested in just mindless brutes, but those individuals that are the 'perfect warriors'... Mind and body. Each Marine is a strategist as well as a duellist, as it were. After all, what would be the point otherwise?

Kage

shutupSHUTUP!!!
14-09-2005, 23:53
Blood angels encourage the arts, and in their long lifetimes master the arts and produce many beatiful banners, sculptures and whatnot. Given their long lifespans to practise, a gifted space marine could probably surpass the best ordinary humans in any field in my opinion.

Easy E
15-09-2005, 00:51
Depends what you mean by 'smarter'. Its worth bearing in mind that Marines exist solely for the purpose of squishing the Emperor's foes, so there's no point teaching them anything other than how to do that. I imagine their education will be purely limited to military matters and religious indoctrination, most likely they'd be entirely ignorant of other factors. They'd be better able to work out the best way to storm a bunker, or how to kill an Ork with their bare hands, but I wouldn't expect them to be of much use on subjects which didn't involve killing things. Heck, would they even be taught to read?

Also, depends what you mean by 'normal humans'. All but the elites of Imperial society will receive no formalised education at all, they'll learn whatever menial task they carry out as their daily work by rote, and so won't develop their mental functions to any significant level. Your average Marine will be alot smarter than your average 41st Millenium underhive peasant, certainly. Whether they'd be smarter than your average 21st century developed world high school graduate is a different matter.

Tim

This really hits it on the head.

By the way, of course they know how to read. It would be a necessary requirement to be a good soldier. You have to read be able to read the Codex Astartes at least.

A have a feeling that education is something highly prized in the 40K universe. After all knowledge is power. Knowledge can not simply be handed out to every citizen.

Wiseman
15-09-2005, 02:42
I always though a marine would be taught in the arts of war, but thats as far as their education would go, sure they would have some history mixed in, like the history of their chapter, but if you asked them who was the 11th member of the Highlord of Terra they couldnt say, but if you asked them whats the best way to hit a bunker in the jungle, they could give you a detailed analysis of the situation

malika
15-09-2005, 09:09
Blood angels encourage the arts, and in their long lifetimes master the arts and produce many beatiful banners, sculptures and whatnot. Given their long lifespans to practise, a gifted space marine could probably surpass the best ordinary humans in any field in my opinion.

This would mean that the "time table" of the Blood Angels is very different from the other chapters, since the Marines only have a very short time of the day to have "time off", like 15 minutes IIRC...

Sai-Lauren
15-09-2005, 09:55
This would mean that the "time table" of the Blood Angels is very different from the other chapters, since the Marines only have a very short time of the day to have "time off", like 15 minutes IIRC...

Well, if you work on the basis that it's combat stress and adrenaline that brings on the black rage (IMO, making it a cumulative, non-reversible effect, but the threshold would differ between individuals, rather than "oh, it's my turn to become a frothing loony, ok, raaargh" ;) ), the more time they spend calm and concentrating on something other than combat, the longer they'll be able to serve their chapter.

Eldar aspect warriors originally (WD 127 army list and background) became artists as well to counter balance their warlike nature and emotions.


Who would you want to defend Earth? A bloodthirsty headhunter from a deep jungle with years of killing experience and his buddies or the top law school graduates of 2005?
In battle, or in a court of law? ;)

Wert
15-09-2005, 10:34
They pretty much are the best of the best, but aren't really chosen for brainpower as much as martial skill and survivability. Who would you want to defend Earth? A bloodthirsty headhunter from a deep jungle with years of killing experience and his buddies or the top law school graduates of 2005?

I guess in the end it depends on what Chapter they are from. Ultramarines may take the above mentioned lawers and turn them into super-soldiers :eek: while Space Wolves pick the guys who died in a gruesome manner while inflicting some gruesome-ness of their own before they died. :evilgrin:

Considering that a marine chapter has at least one planets worth of people to choose from, the best of the best would be very smart aswell as very fit.

charlie_c67
15-09-2005, 10:36
Slightly off-topic, but did you know that the average human brain can power a 10 watt bulb? Wonder if with all their mental conditioning etc a marine can power a 40 watt one?

Helicon_One
15-09-2005, 10:48
By the way, of course they know how to read. It would be a necessary requirement to be a good soldier. You have to read be able to read the Codex Astartes at least.

Would a Marine neccessarily be taught the Codex Astartes by reading it, though? He could just learn it by having it spoken aloud to him and memorising it, or simply having its teachings directly implanted in his memory through hypno-indoctrination.....

Tim

Sojourner
15-09-2005, 10:49
He also has to be able to read materials he finds on the battlefield. Transcribed orders, manifests, communiques and so on.

Phyros
15-09-2005, 14:57
In battle, or in a court of law? ;)

Good question. I guess if the lawyers fail in court you could send in the savages, and vice-versa.

SM Capt: Well Mr. Evil Overlord Planetary Gov...you are proving to be one tough nut to crack, you have forced me to send in my best troops.

Mr. EOPG: HA! More uber-savages? I laugh at them!

SM Capt: No you fool! My elite team of SM Veterans...the UU Grads(Ultramar University)! Lawyers!

Mr. EOPG: GAH! NOOO! All right! You win! I give!

Kage2020
15-09-2005, 22:54
The 'timetable' of the Marines is part of the problem. It sounds all rather cool and interesting, but I for one would allow Marines a bit more... lattiude in their daily routines.

Kage

Minister
15-09-2005, 23:45
Fluff heretic you may be, Kage, but the sin of Latitude? A heresy too heinous to countenance!

Kage2020
16-09-2005, 00:28
LOL. The study of appropriate texts - or even reflection upon the texts that are jammed into their minds - would make them more effective killers. Do they parallel process when they are out training, perhaps? ;)

And lattitude of interpretation is the true tao of the 'fluff'. <snicker>

Remember, cynicism is not a state of mind but a state of experience!


Kage