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Thread: Instincts

  1. #1 Instincts 
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    Are humans are evolving to do withought instincts? after all, when people feel afraid or scared, they don't always run from the source, they ignore the fight or flight instinct. Will this lead to a 'dulling' of the instincts or did we always used to be like this? did the begining of Homo sapiens as a sub-species mean the choice to overide instincts? is the reason to our successfullness as a species?


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  3. #2 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    Are humans are evolving to do withought instincts? after all, when people feel afraid or scared, they don't always run from the source, they ignore the fight or flight instinct. Will this lead to a 'dulling' of the instincts or did we always used to be like this? did the begining of Homo sapiens as a sub-species mean the choice to overide instincts? is the reason to our successfullness as a species?
    we dont "ignore" instincts. feeling scared at all is an instinct. i think that humans are just the first to be able to override instincts with conscious thought. such as a prisoner seeing an escape route but not taking it because if he escapes his friends will be executed.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    is this what makes us so succesful as a species though?
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    in trying to figure what changed from what should have been pure instinct to that of organized thought, someplace in mans history its occurred that what we can do was by motivation. surely for eons, mankind simple did what he saw other animals did for survival. either the brain evolved or something happened to bring on what is now. this should have been about 100k to 150k years ago.

    some animals have been observed teaching their young as well. how to perform certain things and so on, that has always been considered natural instincts. ants for instance should have neither instincts or intelligence but seem to know there duties or social positions from the larva state.

    i guess my point is all life has instinct ability and evolves to the limits of ability. even a tree instinctively absorbs energy and chemicals, reaches these by growing roots, discharges leaves, retains sap and so forth, but has no means for much more. mankind's abilities on the other hand, for reason has limits we probably do not yet know...
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    perhapse it has come from evolution of certain parts of the mind, The reptillian brain towards the back has shrunk and that is respnsible for instincts. Though why this has happened i am not sure and that is what i would like too know
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    perhapse it has come from evolution of certain parts of the mind, The reptillian brain towards the back has shrunk and that is respnsible for instincts. Though why this has happened i am not sure and that is what i would like too know
    my thought is instincts are natural reactions. the brain creates actions, which require a brains use. what has developed in one species may come from the use based on ability. if the reptilian, could do certain things or had ability that evolution may not have occurred. in man, the brain has pretty much increased over our short existence, because we utilized what was for ability. if we continue to use our brains the theory would say our brains will increase to our ability. say some really can move an object by thought or communicate thoughts, this would have from the brain. we either already have this or will develop it for purpose. the reverse would be the appendix or tonsils, which some feel will evolve out of our systems for lack of use.
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  8. #7 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    Are humans are evolving to do withought instincts?
    No. If we did, a marked decline in sexual activity would occur, followed shortly thereafter by a drop in the birth rate and subsequently an end of the species.
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  9. #8 Re: Instincts 
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    No. If we did, a marked decline in sexual activity would occur, followed shortly thereafter by a drop in the birth rate and subsequently an end of the species.
    But that is what is happening in MEDC's, countries are reaching stage five on the Demographic Transition Model which shows a massive drop in birth rate, already in MEDC's the birth rate is dropping and will soon reach the same level as the death rate. Also in MEDC's the dependancy ratio is increasing as the number of people reaching elderly status is increasing, and the number of babies born is decrasing, this is leading to a Top Heavy Population Pyramid and when this happens everywhere, it will be the end of the species
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  10. #9 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    No. If we did, a marked decline in sexual activity would occur, followed shortly thereafter by a drop in the birth rate and subsequently an end of the species.
    But that is what is happening
    Personally, I haven't noticed a marked decline in sexual activity. There is no evidence that the so called developed nations have experienced a decline in sexual activity.

    It is true that there has been a decline in birth rate. This is a reflection of our instincts to secure shelter and sustenance. People are delaying or totally avoiding having children in order to acquire greater physical
    (financial) security. They are still rutting quite happily like rabbits (or at least like homo sapiens).

    Our instincts are thus very much alive and well and active.
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  11. #10 Re: Instincts 
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    Are humans are evolving to do withought instincts? after all, when people feel afraid or scared, they don't always run from the source, they ignore the fight or flight instinct.
    Maybe its me but I'm not sure if that sentence makes as much sense as you might have intended. Perhaps you could give a more spacific example.

    If someone does not instantly flee in terror from a dangerous situation I would not automatically asume that to be an override on instincts.

    In some cases a climber or hiker has come face to face, literally, with a wild fully grown brown bear only to see that animal turn and run in the opposite direction.

    Yet in other cases a female brown bear has been known to track down a single human individual from no less than five hundred to even a thousand yards with the intent to frighten off, maim, or kill. Particularly if the bear feels strongly enough that her cubs are threatend by such an encroachment.

    The first example of course would be the instinctive response to flee from an unnatural, unfamiliar or potentially dangerous situation. Yet the second example, as well, demonstrates the instinctive drive to protect ones offspring. The mother bear will actually put herself in harms way to protect her young. This act could be seen as a preservation of the species.

    When a New York fire fighter rushes into a jet fuled-towering inferno you might be right to think that he is acting against his instincts to stay alive. However, he is acting in accordance to his basic duty and job discription that was issued to him by the city and state of New York. A basic job discription that is based off a very basic objective. That is, to save life. Again, eventhough it extends beyond the immediate family, this to can also be seen as a preservation of the species.

    I do not regard logic and rational thought as a separate thing from instincts. Instead, I would say that logic and rational thought are merely an "extension" of instincts. Think about it. It's not as if rational behavior is based off love or hate or faith. Your born yesterday, you put your hand into a pot of boiling water, you sense immediate pain, you dislike this sensation, your brain records this verdict and stores the information into your memory. From here on, every time you see a pot of boiling water your brain tells you - "Do not put your hand into that pot of boiling water because it will burn you" - and so you don't.

    It is a combonation of instincts fallowed by a newley formulized degree of logic and/or common sense that results in you protecting yourslef. Instincts and logic go hand-in-hand. On the flip side it seems that more complex emotional factors like morality or religion tend to be the determining factors as to why someone would stray from there instinctive behaviors. This I am still having trouble figuring out.
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  12. #11 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamilton333
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    Are humans are evolving to do withought instincts? after all, when people feel afraid or scared, they don't always run from the source, they ignore the fight or flight instinct. Will this lead to a 'dulling' of the instincts or did we always used to be like this? did the begining of Homo sapiens as a sub-species mean the choice to overide instincts? is the reason to our successfullness as a species?
    we dont "ignore" instincts. feeling scared at all is an instinct. i think that humans are just the first to be able to override instincts with conscious thought. such as a prisoner seeing an escape route but not taking it because if he escapes his friends will be executed.
    yea, i think that our instincts are always there, but because we are able to think about our action we dont always react the way our insticts would tell us to. For example, if someone jumps on you from behind then your (or mine at least hehe) would be to scream, but you might not because it may be embarrassing to scream like crazy in a public place!
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  13. #12 Re: Instincts 
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite

    It is true that there has been a decline in birth rate. This is a reflection of our instincts to secure shelter and sustenance. People are delaying or totally avoiding having children in order to acquire greater physical
    (financial) security. They are still rutting quite happily like rabbits (or at least like homo sapiens).
    You didn't read my entire post, or at least did not understand it, I was on about the birth rate, Are women losing the instinct for motherhood? after all, for alot of people sex is a thing for pleasure now, and no more children because of contrisceptives would mean the end of the species. Today women want to consentrate on there career and therefore overiding the instincts of motherhood.

    The first example of course would be the instinctive response to flee from an unnatural, unfamiliar or potentially dangerous situation. Yet the second example, as well, demonstrates the instinctive drive to protect ones offspring. The mother bear will actually put herself in harms way to protect her young. This act could be seen as a preservation of the species.
    I personally am scared of the moterway, i hate it, my family could find an alternate route which doesn't take us along it but we don't, is this not Ignoring instincts?

    When a New York fire fighter rushes into a jet fuled-towering inferno you might be right to think that he is acting against his instincts to stay alive. However, he is acting in accordance to his basic duty and job discription that was issued to him by the city and state of New York. A basic job discription that is based off a very basic objective. That is, to save life. Again, eventhough it extends beyond the immediate family, this to can also be seen as a preservation of the species.
    In this case the instinct would be self preservation, if i had to do that then i would be scared. A job description is not an instinct, it is not an instinct to go into a towering inferno, so the firefighter would be ignoring his instincts.

    we dont "ignore" instincts. feeling scared at all is an instinct. i think that humans are just the first to be able to override instincts with conscious thought. such as a prisoner seeing an escape route but not taking it because if he escapes his friends will be executed.
    excuse me but overiding instincts is the same as ignoring them, what you are saying is that they are there but we choose not too listen to them, this is the same as ignoring
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  14. #13  
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    um, just cos you ignore your instincts doesnt mean that they are not there!
    Although, i suppose if women still had the motherhood instincts then they'd have more children. The thing is though, is it an instinct to actually have children or an instinct to care for them and protect them when you already have them?
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  15. #14  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybird
    um, just cos you ignore your instincts doesnt mean that they are not there!
    I never said that they werent there, i meant that does our ability to overide and ignore instincts mean our successfullnes as a species? and will our continued ingoring of our instincts lead to the evolution of humans without instincs?
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  16. #15  
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    how does overriding instincts lead to success? No, i dont think overriding them would lead to humans without instincts, maybe we will evolve into humans with more ability to ignore instincts but thats about it.
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  17. #16  
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    instincts in humans and those of animals are considered different, with the ability to over ride as the cause. some go so far as to say humans have no instincts.

    also keep in mind, these features in most all life are from very young ages. at some point habit or copying others become the pattern.

    i have trouble with sex in humans being classified an instinct. feel good is an emotion which is purely provoked. the decrease, increase or stability of populations should have nothing to do with desire. likewise what stimulates this desire or feeling, are mental making which differ in all humans. instincts usually refer to a species overall actions, not individuals in that species. what generates this emotion is likewise different in each person, at least to degree. we are learning this is also true with many animals.
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  18. #17 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    I was on about the birth rate, Are women losing the instinct for motherhood? after all, for alot of people sex is a thing for pleasure now, and no more children because of contrisceptives would mean the end of the species.
    i think that the instinct for motherhood doenst kick in when we have sex for pleasure because the conciousness doesnt know that we are protected against having children. in our brains, our unconciousness thinks that sex=children. it doesnt know that condom=no children. and when a mother does have a baby, it is usually very attached to it. so no, we arent losing the instinct for motherhood. we are mearly avoiding activating it.
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  19. #18 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    You didn't read my entire post, or at least did not understand it, I was on about the birth rate, Are women losing the instinct for motherhood?
    I did read your entire post. I did fully understand it. Apparently you did not understand my reply. I shall repeat it then explain it.
    "][quote="Ophiolite"]

    It is true that there has been a decline in birth rate. This is a reflection of our instincts to secure shelter and sustenance. People are delaying or totally avoiding having children in order to acquire greater physical (financial) security.
    The drive is to have children that survive into adulthood. When infant mortality is high this drive expresses itself in a high birth rate. When infant mortality is low, as in the case of the 'developed' nations, birth rates fall. Women do not lose their drive to be mothers, but they tend to focus on satisfying their other instincts for security.

    Given that the world is grossly overpopulated with homo sapiens the fall in brith rates is some of the best news we have had for three or four centuries.
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  20. #19 Re: Instincts 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Given that the world is grossly overpopulated with homo sapiens the fall in brith rates is some of the best news we have had for three or four centuries.
    Are you quite worried about these brith rates then?
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  21. #20  
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    I think Kolt got right to the heart of the matter:

    """"I do not regard logic and rational thought as a separate thing from instincts. Instead, I would say that logic and rational thought are merely an "extension" of instincts.""""

    What we do is use logic to serve our instinctive wants. When we go to a football game, we explain to ourselves that we go because it is "fun." We are rationalizing, in a way, and our logic serves us that way. Actually, we go because we are evolved hunting-gathering group primates with male hunting team instincts. We love to see our team win (catch the game). We even make the ball a leather encased thing. The size of the teams equal about the same number of men in any hunting-gathering group and they still do function in some remote areas of the world.

    I notice in the social sciences that there is little emphasis on human instinct and most people, as a result, seem unaware we have them! But we are loaded with them and could not exist or survive without them. They dominate everything we do. HOWEVER, none of them are able to be expressed without first being conditioned by the environment. That is, we have to be taught as we grow up how we are to express them.

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