[eli5] Why can’t we control our body, other than using specific muscles?


Why I(me, awareness) can’t send signals to my body to create or destroy an organ, but can use muscles? (Both are electric signals)

In: Biology

You have both involuntary and voluntary nerves and muscles. Your heart is involuntary, and doesn’t require conscious thought to keep beating. Your lungs can switch back and forth between both! As to why? Well, it’d be pretty inconvenient if you simply died because you forgot to make your heart pump. Or if you stopped breathing because you stopped paying attention to it.

Is there an evolutionary advantage to an organism that can destroy it’s own organs at will?

We don’t evolve special powers just because “”it would be cool” (and uh, destroying parts of your vital organs is a very loose definition of cool). We do not even evolve abilities because we think it would be *useful*. We evolve characteristics by random change, and changes that are useful for survival lead to better survival of offspring, which leads to the trait passing on to more generations.

An animal that could think, “Hmm, today I will destroy my liver” is not an animal that is poised for success


There are animals that destroy parts of their bodies; tadpoles absorb their tails when they mature into frogs. Useful because they no longer need a tail. Lizards can intentionally cause their tail to fall off, useful this allows the lizard to escape a predator. Ants chew off their wings after mating because they no longer need to fly.

As the driver of the car there are only certain parts that you can or need to control, everything else works without direct supervision from the driver.

….well we can.

I mean with enough practice people are able to learn to control innvoluntary muscles, like heart – however it just takes far too much time to be a sensible thing to do for most folks.