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Thread: Human behaviour it's all in nature

  1. #1 Human behaviour it's all in nature 
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    I watch quite a lot of science programmes and read quite a lot of ideas on animal and human behaviour.

    Some people seem to believe that all human instincts can be shown in the behaviour of animals. for example choosing a mate, or doing whats best for the individual and the grup etc.

    but i don't believe this too be true, i think that as humans we are completely isolated from the animals. our highly developed brain yes retains our ancestors instincts but i think our ability to analyse and make moral decisions sets us apart completely from animals and nothing of what we do can be shown in the animal kingdom.

    i'm probably going to get flamed for this post but its just my opinion on the matter.


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    Sounds reasonable, made of exactly the same stuff, evolved in exactly the same way almost identical in appearance all the same habits, identical physiology and repro systems, but totally isolated. Yeah no connection at all.

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    I'm no expert yet, but the evolution of primate and human behavior is my particular interest, and I've been applying to grad schools to get a PhD in this field. From what I currently know, I would say that humans are more affected by their genes and their "instincts" then they realize on a day to day basis. The influences of these factors are of course not conscious, and usually function through emotional reactions and gut feelings that people feel all day every day.

    It is very likely that we have a greater degree of conscious control over our behavior than most other animals, but the exact level of difference between us and other animals really remains to be seen. My educated guess would be that the difference is not nearly as great as you make it out to be. Along the lines of what Megabrain said, when you compare human behavioral trends and brain structures to those of other animals, you find a great, great deal of similarity.
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    Sounds reasonable, made of exactly the same stuff, evolved in exactly the same way almost identical in appearance all the same habits, identical physiology and repro systems, but totally isolated. Yeah no connection at all.

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    Yes i admit that humans do have the natural instincts that animals posses, however as paralith said. we have a greater degree of conscious control over our behavior than most other animals.

    I think this control is enough to overcome natural instinct, at a primary level at least. Sub consciusly it is plausible that instincts come into play.
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  6. #5 Re: Human behaviour it's all in nature 
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacketate
    Some people seem to believe that all human instincts can be shown in the behaviour of animals. for example choosing a mate, or doing whats best for the individual and the grup etc.

    but i don't believe this too be true, i think that as humans we are completely isolated from the animals..
    I read this that you are suggesting that human instincts are somehow completely different from animal instincts, have I mis interpreted you post?

    THen in your second post you seem to have watered it down to just some trait of human consciousness.
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    Yes sorry you misinterpreted it, it is my fault for not phrasing it particularly well.

    I am saying that although we may share the same instincts as the animals we evolved from, the greater conscious control we have means we can resist these instincts and thus just saying natural instincts is perhaps a poor way of interpreting human behavious
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    Human instincts are animal instincts, however human behaviour is different. Instinct controls/influences behaviour in both animals and humans but humans have a veto over instincts which usually works.

    Our instinct may be to attack/injure/maim or even kill a person who has in some way harmed us yet most of us would not actually kill, if we are hungry we do not go and slay the nearest none human or tear up the nearest plants.

    It's is my earnest belief that we truly have an angel and a devil one on each shoulder but that they represent our animal instinct and our civilised 'side' thus we may like the idea of stealing a cake when hungry but we show self restraint, whereas a rapist or murderer 'listens' to the wrong 'shoulder', no I do not think it is fear of punishment that restrains us, as we all have opportunities to steal knowing we will 'get away with it'

    Incidentally there are many creatures out there who also demonstrate remarkably similar qualities these are the social groups such as bees, termites ants etc even some species of higher animal.

    Is this what you are trying to say?
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    Yes i'd say thats a good summary. =)

    Except i'd consider going as far as to say that our reasoned thought or "angel" in your analogy wins in every scenario.
    In the rapist/murderer case i don't believe he listens to your devil, i believe it is his angel that has become morally evil, he still listens to his conscious thought but it is bad conscious thought
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Human instincts are animal instincts, however human behaviour is different. Instinct controls/influences behaviour in both animals and humans but humans have a veto over instincts which usually works.
    I would not go that far, Megabrain - at least not yet. I think the effectiveness of a human's conscious "veto" is largely unknown at this point. Especially considering, as I mentioned above, that a great deal of the genetic influences that effect us are unconscious and go unnoticed by most conscious human minds. If you don't even think about it, how can you veto it?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    I equated 'angel' to civilised side and 'devil' to animal instinct, therefore you are suggesting the murderer loses his civilised side for a second 'animal' side this I disagree with. We all listen to the 'devlish' side occasionally whether a practical joke or something more sinister yet we return to our starting point (the ability to listen to both sides then decide). Surely if what you say was true then the murderer could only perform to the tune of his 'devil' or animal instinct. Clearly murderers do not behave this way the overwhelming majority of murderers kill only once. I do not believe any person can actually be 100% evil (though in Stalin's case I am struggling ....)


    Paralith, my explanation is a theory, to my mind it fits the facts, I know I weigh things from both sides I know either side can win. I accept it may not be the real reason for the veto, at least we all seem to agree there is or maybe a veto whatever it's source.
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    therefore you are suggesting the murderer loses his civilised side for a second 'animal' side this I disagree
    this is not exactly what i am saying, i mean to say that his angel/civilised side becomes less civilised but it still controlled by his conscious.

    Look at a rapist, in many cases the rapist is picky about his victims, or the location of the rape or the time of day, i believe this can show how his conscious thought has worked on the idea and it is not an instinct idea
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacketate
    therefore you are suggesting the murderer loses his civilised side for a second 'animal' side this I disagree
    this is not exactly what i am saying, i mean to say that his angel/civilised side becomes less civilised but it still controlled by his conscious.

    Look at a rapist, in many cases the rapist is picky about his victims, or the location of the rape or the time of day, i believe this can show how his conscious thought has worked on the idea and it is not an instinct idea
    Flamed? Yes Acetate, how dare you start such an interesting discussion on this forum

    I agree that we have a connection with animal instincts, the development of the human brain demonstrates that (and so do many humans unfortunately) I think we have an 'animal' side whether we like it or not (ggrrr...) it all depends i guess on how we use it and what it's being controlled by.
    People who allow the animal side to take over and commit crimes such as rape and murder probably give precedence to this instinct and instead of using the conscience to divert this instinct into something more civilized, they instead use the conscious as a tool for 'how best to do it and get away with it'

    I think belief has a foothold in here also. The rapist obviously believes he has a right to do what he does. People who behave civilized tend to believe in civilization and therefore consider others.

    Rapists and murderers perhaps allow their desires to steer their beliefs. They are purely selfish.
    Most people desire to live in a civilized world and so follow that belief.

    I think part of being human which makes us different to animals is being able to ponder all these options, (which is why we've got this wonderful forum) consider ourselves in the equation and then choose.....

    Being human and having a more parts of our brain than an animal gives us more potential.....and i guess the ability to waste that potential by complications, hesitations and procrastinations from too much choice!

    Now i am sitting here and wondering what a cow sitting chewing cud in a field all day might be thinking about when i should be doing my washing up!

    See just look what you've started

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  14. #13  
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    Why am I participating in this forum?
    An instinctive desire to communicate with fellow humans.
    Why do I sometimes provide detailed responses to questions?
    An instinctive desire to help develop fellow humans.
    Why do I occasionally rip another poster or his arguments to threads?
    An instinctive desire to weed out the weak amongst my fellow humans.
    Why do I post on so many topics in a manner that suggests I know what the **** I'm talking about?
    An instinctive desire to dominate my fellow humans.

    There isn't a single thing I do on this forum or in my daily life that is not guided by my instincts and controlled by my genes. Research has demonstrated that many actions are initiated subconsciously before a conscious decision is made. We are complex beings, but we ignore at our peril the huge role played by automatic and pre-programmed, or conditioned processes.
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    Three out of four aint bad.
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    Why am I participating in this forum?
    An instinctive desire to communicate with fellow humans.
    Why do I sometimes provide detailed responses to questions?
    An instinctive desire to help develop fellow humans.
    Why do I occasionally rip another poster or his arguments to threads?
    An instinctive desire to weed out the weak amongst my fellow humans.
    Why do I post on so many topics in a manner that suggests I know what the **** I'm talking about?
    An instinctive desire to dominate my fellow humans.

    perhaps the reasons you do those things are instincitve perhaps not. what interests me though is that this is the manner you choose to carry out these events.

    for example an instinctive desire to dominate my fellow humans, wouldnt it be more animal like to fight another human.
    or to weed out the weak, why don't you just go to a mental hospital and set fire to it. or drown lame children in the river.

    however rather than that you choose to use a forum. this decision would have been reasoned through. it is more ethical to make harsh comments on a forum than torching a mental hospital. and perhaps you are not the strongest human meaning you would't be able to dominate the fight.
    I don't know the reasons, i just know that the civilized brain made the decisions and so your overall reasons for participating in the forum are driven by a civilized decision
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Why am I participating in this forum?
    An instinctive desire to communicate with fellow humans.
    Why do I sometimes provide detailed responses to questions?
    An instinctive desire to help develop fellow humans.
    Why do I occasionally rip another poster or his arguments to threads?
    An instinctive desire to weed out the weak amongst my fellow humans.
    Why do I post on so many topics in a manner that suggests I know what the **** I'm talking about?
    An instinctive desire to dominate my fellow humans.

    There isn't a single thing I do on this forum or in my daily life that is not guided by my instincts and controlled by my genes. Research has demonstrated that many actions are initiated subconsciously before a conscious decision is made. We are complex beings, but we ignore at our peril the huge role played by automatic and pre-programmed, or conditioned processes.
    REVELATIONS!
    Perhaps there must be a God after all?????

    Thankyou so much Ophiolite for weeding out the 'weak' amongst us and making the world, oh so much a better place for it.
    It's so much better for having such strong minded all knowing people to guide us.

    I have a confession. I am weak! I care about others who are weak! I believe that those that consider themselves strong should hold out thier hands to the weak, instead of pushing them over into the abyss where they deserve to rot on the festering heap of the rest of the crappy weaklings, and..i want...to help them....because i believe that for all of us to survive and live good lives...we must all survive and live good lives.....(gosh that makes kind of logic sense? But i must forget all this logic nonsense in favour of the strong)...oh i have sinned...oh God....prophet.....please punish me for being so weak!

    I place my hands upon the table of disgrace, head bent in shame and await the hand of those who know best.
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    In my opinion for humans. civilised mind >> animal instinct

    if you want to find a reason for a humans behaviour animal instinct is only a very small part of it, il admit that it still has to be taken into account but it is by no means the full story
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    We're all animals. Lets face it!

    We just have additional hardware that gives us the option to be human

    To be honest i think we need more animals in the world and less humans
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacketate
    In my opinion for humans. civilised mind >> animal instinct

    if you want to find a reason for a humans behaviour animal instinct is only a very small part of it, il admit that it still has to be taken into account but it is by no means the full story
    It's not the full story, but it is most of the story. We differ only from animals by degree. Other animals have problem solving capabilities like us, we're just probably a little better at it. Other animals have a certain level of self awareness, we just probably have a little more. The template that the great majority of your brain is built off of is very, very similar to that of other animals.

    Like I keep saying, you're not conscious of most of the influences acting on what you think is free willed behavior. Ophiolite, by coming to this forum, feels that he is making a civilized choice towards learning, teaching, and understanding. Yet his behavior while he is here is still effected by the basic emotions and reactions that are hardwired into a human's brain.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Why am I participating in this forum?
    An instinctive desire to communicate with fellow humans.
    Why do I sometimes provide detailed responses to questions?
    An instinctive desire to help develop fellow humans.
    Why do I occasionally rip another poster or his arguments to threads?
    An instinctive desire to weed out the weak amongst my fellow humans.
    Why do I post on so many topics in a manner that suggests I know what the **** I'm talking about?
    An instinctive desire to dominate my fellow humans.

    There isn't a single thing I do on this forum or in my daily life that is not guided by my instincts and controlled by my genes. Research has demonstrated that many actions are initiated subconsciously before a conscious decision is made. We are complex beings, but we ignore at our peril the huge role played by automatic and pre-programmed, or conditioned processes.
    REVELATIONS!
    Perhaps there must be a God after all?????

    Thankyou so much Ophiolite for weeding out the 'weak' amongst us and making the world, oh so much a better place for it.
    It's so much better for having such strong minded all knowing people to guide us.

    I have a confession. I am weak! I care about others who are weak! I believe that those that consider themselves strong should hold out thier hands to the weak, instead of pushing them over into the abyss where they deserve to rot on the festering heap of the rest of the crappy weaklings, and..i want...to help them....because i believe that for all of us to survive and live good lives...we must all survive and live good lives.....(gosh that makes kind of logic sense? But i must forget all this logic nonsense in favour of the strong)...oh i have sinned...oh God....prophet.....please punish me for being so weak!

    I place my hands upon the table of disgrace, head bent in shame and await the hand of those who know best.
    Hmm...

    I guess you would put me in the camp of strong along with Ophiolite.
    All I can say is this, I once chanced upon a person who was about to commit suicide, for a few seconds the bizarre circumstances totally confused me but when my brain finally cottoned on to what was about to happen something kicked in and took over my behaviour to the point where I placed my own life in jeopardy to save this person. About three years ago I was contacted by her daughter who informed me that her mum had passed away through a long term illness (Huntington's chorea/disease) which was the cause of her original desire to end it.

    Yes for my part I may mock some stupid little kid for topping themselves but it is because they have thrown away a good life without a good excuse and also because it is frustrating that nobody was ably to stop her.

    We are also pretty useful when it comes to the homeland being threatened where other may appease and be led to the slaughter.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Quote Originally Posted by Minxy
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Why am I participating in this forum?
    An instinctive desire to communicate with fellow humans.
    Why do I sometimes provide detailed responses to questions?
    An instinctive desire to help develop fellow humans.
    Why do I occasionally rip another poster or his arguments to threads?
    An instinctive desire to weed out the weak amongst my fellow humans.
    Why do I post on so many topics in a manner that suggests I know what the **** I'm talking about?
    An instinctive desire to dominate my fellow humans.

    There isn't a single thing I do on this forum or in my daily life that is not guided by my instincts and controlled by my genes. Research has demonstrated that many actions are initiated subconsciously before a conscious decision is made. We are complex beings, but we ignore at our peril the huge role played by automatic and pre-programmed, or conditioned processes.
    REVELATIONS!
    Perhaps there must be a God after all?????

    Thankyou so much Ophiolite for weeding out the 'weak' amongst us and making the world, oh so much a better place for it.
    It's so much better for having such strong minded all knowing people to guide us.

    I have a confession. I am weak! I care about others who are weak! I believe that those that consider themselves strong should hold out thier hands to the weak, instead of pushing them over into the abyss where they deserve to rot on the festering heap of the rest of the crappy weaklings, and..i want...to help them....because i believe that for all of us to survive and live good lives...we must all survive and live good lives.....(gosh that makes kind of logic sense? But i must forget all this logic nonsense in favour of the strong)...oh i have sinned...oh God....prophet.....please punish me for being so weak!

    I place my hands upon the table of disgrace, head bent in shame and await the hand of those who know best.
    Hmm...

    I guess you would put me in the camp of strong along with Ophiolite.
    All I can say is this, I once chanced upon a person who was about to commit suicide, for a few seconds the bizarre circumstances totally confused me but when my brain finally cottoned on to what was about to happen something kicked in and took over my behaviour to the point where I placed my own life in jeopardy to save this person. About three years ago I was contacted by her daughter who informed me that her mum had passed away through a long term illness (Huntington's chorea/disease) which was the cause of her original desire to end it.

    Yes for my part I may mock some stupid little kid for topping themselves but it is because they have thrown away a good life without a good excuse and also because it is frustrating that nobody was ably to stop her.

    We are also pretty useful when it comes to the homeland being threatened where other may appease and be led to the slaughter.
    By 'helping hand' i mean to actually prevent someone even considering the option of comitting suicide. If they didn't feel so alone abandoned and isolated the idea perhaps wouldn't even have entered their heads.

    This could also apply to the lady with the illness. Why wasn't she given more help? Perhaps she didn't have sufficient medical insurance in a society that only provides for the paid up, or nobody took the time to really understand the pain or distress she was in to give her some help?

    And as i pointed out before. I don't think it was a 'stupid' act of the child who committed suicide, but probably more like a desperate act from a youngster experiencing abandonment and isolation.

    Scapegoating and expulsions were a ceremony used by tribes in the past as trials for initiating young people into adulthood. This was fully understood and done compassionately for good reason. Nowadays we seem to have lost touch with this compassion and reason, yet still have this instinct, which now takes the form of blind aggression and ugly behaviour which holds no meaning and has no advantage to the victim and purpose other than blood glory for the perpetrators.

    Parts of society and civilization appears then not to be regressing into past behaviour but rather advancing into future horrors.
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    The lady in question was a very intelligent level headed woman, she knew that the disease would kill her, there is no cure and no alleviation for this illness (I took the trouble to research it out of curiosity), It simply devastates the brain by randomly closing down nuerons from all parts continously until the whole brain is dead or until the sufferer dies of pnuemonia or chokes to death as muscles tissues, vital organs are irreversibly disconnected from the brain, I'd urge you to look it up It is a very rare disease and I think if I had it I'd say goodbye and blow my brains out, in fact it horrifies me that by saving her life I condemmed her to an horrific, long and painful end. It is the act in my life I would reverse if I could. Incidentally the reason this lady did not attempt suicide after this was because her doctor asked if she would like to take part in research into this illness and undergo regular tests which she agreed to.

    I think it naiave of you to suggest that would be suicides can all be helped with a little love and tenderness or that suicide is a result of loneliness, believe me life isn't one great bowl of maple syrup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    The lady in question was a very intelligent level headed woman, she knew that the disease would kill her, there is no cure and no alleviation for this illness (I took the trouble to research it out of curiosity), It simply devastates the brain by randomly closing down nuerons from all parts continously until the whole brain is dead or until the sufferer dies of pnuemonia or chokes to death as muscles tissues, vital organs are irreversibly disconnected from the brain, I'd urge you to look it up It is a very rare disease and I think if I had it I'd say goodbye and blow my brains out, in fact it horrifies me that by saving her life I condemmed her to an horrific, long and painful end. It is the act in my life I would reverse if I could. Incidentally the reason this lady did not attempt suicide after this was because her doctor asked if she would like to take part in research into this illness and undergo regular tests which she agreed to.

    I think it naiave of you to suggest that would be suicides can all be helped with a little love and tenderness or that suicide is a result of loneliness, believe me life isn't one great bowl of maple syrup.
    maple syrup? Isn't it? Well i guess i'm glad about that because it would be very difficult to move around if it was.

    The option of euthenasia and helping someone who wishes to die is also a compassionate loving act.

    The trouble is there are too many 'hard' 'strong' people in the world who would consider this an act of the 'weak', just as people consider a young girl taking her life because she was being bullied as being weak.

    You can't have it both ways pudding (but i'll let you lick the spoon)

    I don't think you should beat yourself up about that lady.
    You're not bloody psychic and you acted honourably because you thought you were doing the right thing.

    I think it illustrates that each and every situation is different and so are people and so there never is a hard and fast right or wrong, there just is.

    QED
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  25. #24  
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    i agree with you OP!
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  26. #25 Re: Human behaviour it's all in nature 
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacketate
    I watch quite a lot of science programmes and read quite a lot of ideas on animal and human behaviour.

    Some people seem to believe that all human instincts can be shown in the behaviour of animals. for example choosing a mate, or doing whats best for the individual and the grup etc.

    but i don't believe this too be true, i think that as humans we are completely isolated from the animals. our highly developed brain yes retains our ancestors instincts but i think our ability to analyse and make moral decisions sets us apart completely from animals and nothing of what we do can be shown in the animal kingdom.

    i'm probably going to get flamed for this post but its just my opinion on the matter.
    You art right. We are only 'half' natural
    Guns and cannon are not natural.
    These deadly weapons are our crutches to the top of the power structures.

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  27. #26 nothing of what we do can be shown in the animal kingdom? 
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    Then why do so many women choose the wrong man over and over. No job, abusive, unfaithful, lazy, etc? It totally goes against nature to want that guy. But so many of us want that bad boy.
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  29. #28  
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    Bad boy? Hehe. Lets start that again :wink:
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  30. #29  
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    lol. you find the old threads for her svwillmer, i'm tired of looking them up all the time. I think there's a couple where we talk about this and other aspects of it.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    LOL, I missed something, didn't I? :-D
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    OH yes. :-D :-D :-D. You should have known better given your intelligence.

    (Was that bad or jerkish?)
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  33. #32  
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    In response to the opening post:

    Babies show a crawling a sucking behaviour that is typical for all babies.

    Put them on your belly (if you are a pregnant lactating female) and they crawl up, find a nipple, latch on to it, and suck.

    I can assure you that this behaviour is not learned.

    And this is just one of many, but I thought I might start with the beginning.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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