"Just as a common laborer's body altered according to the work he did, so a person's brain altered according to past experience. The change, like the calluses on a worker's body, persisted after the experience ended.

In that sense, the brain incorporated past environments. Our brains were the sum total of past experiences - long after the experiences themselves were gone. That meant that cause and cure weren't the same thing. The cause of behavior disorders might lie in childhood experiences, but you couldn't cure the disorder by eliminating the cause, because the cause had disappeared by adulthood. The cure had to come from some other direction. As the Development people said, "A match may start a fire, but once the fire is burning, putting out the match won't stop it. The problem is no longer the match. It's the fire.""

From" "The Terminal Man", by Michael Chrichton, republished 1994, Wing Books

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