Notices
Results 1 to 34 of 34
Like Tree13Likes
  • 1 Post By shlunka
  • 1 Post By Dywyddyr
  • 2 Post By scoobydoo1
  • 1 Post By Dywyddyr
  • 2 Post By John Galt
  • 2 Post By Dywyddyr
  • 1 Post By Neverfly
  • 1 Post By Flick Montana
  • 1 Post By Dywyddyr

Thread: Define "Natural"

  1. #1 Define "Natural" 
    Forum Sophomore Busy Bee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    106
    I've yet to find a good definition of the word "natural". Any definition seems to have some sort of inference that there must be a lack of human influence but wouldn't that imply that human actions are not natural?

    Thoughts?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4,211
    We are natural too


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    There's a dictionary definition "Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind." for example.

    ...... and then there's the word appearing on labels and in advertisements.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,771
    Natural is simply the opposite of unnatural, right? Remember, the young couple seeing a marriage counselor when the young woman was shocked by her new husband's preferences, was told by the experienced expert, "If he asks for what you think is unnatural, that's perfectly natural!". jocular
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore Busy Bee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    106
    Ok, so define "unnatural", and don't say it's the opposite of "natural"!!

    So if we take the definition that adelady posted "...not made or caused by humankind" then doesn't that imply that humans and/or our actions are not natural?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,737
    'Natural' has several meanings.
    Here are a few of them:

    • Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
    • Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
    • Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.
    • Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.
    • Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.
    • Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.
    • Characterized by spontaneity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or inhibitions. See Synonyms at naive.
    • Not altered, treated, or disguised: natural coloring; natural produce.
    • Faithfully representing nature or life.
    • Expected and accepted: "In Willie's mind marriage remained the natural and logical sequence to love" (Duff Cooper).
    • Established by moral certainty or conviction: natural rights.
    • Being in a state regarded as primitive, uncivilized, or unregenerate.

    And the word 'Set' has over 450 definitions.
    (Surely we could have invented one more word and used it to halve the number of definitions for 'Set'?!)

    English is a funny ol' language.
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    13,152
    Natural, means...to me...not altered by humans.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    A part of me wants to say, "Found in nature." But all too often I find tires and spent shotgun shells in nature...

    I suppose the idea of something created without human intervention works well enough, but I've never really thought about it to be honest.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dogbox in front of Dywyddyr's house.
    Posts
    1,785
    Anything formed by nature without anthropic assistance.
    Dywyddyr likes this.
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,785
    Beat me to it!
    Although - given the possibility of "aliens" 1 I'd reword it to "Anything occurring without recourse to artifice".

    OTOH "natural" could be "anything that you can put a 50% mark up on and sell to the gullible".


    1 One day, possibly...


    Edit: and that also (more or less) gets round the "problem" of "human-assisted childbirth".
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; July 18th, 2013 at 08:48 AM.
    shlunka likes this.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,240
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Anything formed by nature without anthropic assistance.
    A dolphin giving birth to a new born calf is natural, but a human mother giving birth to a new born baby isn't? A nest built by an avian species is natural, but a condo isn't? I have to question the validity of removing our species from the list of what is natural. Are we not a product of nature?
    babe and Busy Bee like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    Don't we sometimes define "natural birth" as unassisted by doctors and medicine?

    The word is getting a little wishy washy.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dogbox in front of Dywyddyr's house.
    Posts
    1,785
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Anything formed by nature without anthropic assistance.
    A dolphin giving birth to a new born calf is natural, but a human mother giving birth to a new born baby isn't? A nest built by an avian species is natural, but a condo isn't? I have to question the validity of removing our species from the list of what is natural. Are we not a product of nature?
    Yes, we are a product of nature. However, are you suggesting that there is no need to differentiate between a species that builds simple nests out of things readily available, and a human being that manipulates natural things with man-made mechanical devices into things that exist nowhere else in the animal world? Also, definitions don't always apply ubiquitously in a flawless manner. Since most human babies are incubated by mechanical devices, as well as their mothers often eating man-made foods and drinks while pregnant that exist nowhere outside of the anthropic world, I'd say human babies are the anthropic results of natural processes. I.E, natural but altered. There is also "natural birth" but considering that the mother still ingests man-made food products prior to birth, and that the mother isn't giving birth in a natural environment, natural birth doesn't occur outside strong anthropic influence.
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,240
    I'd like to state that I'm looking forward towards a collaborative approach with regards to the thread subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Yes, we are a product of nature. However, are you suggesting that there is no need to differentiate between a species that builds simple nests out of things readily available, and a human being that manipulates natural things with man-made mechanical devices into things that exist nowhere else in the animal world?
    I'm not sure if we "need to" opposed to want to.

    Perhaps condos were too far ahead in terms of our environment manipulation abilities. Will a simple mud brick hut or an igloo comprised and built of entirely non-man made materials be a better comparison?

    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Also, definitions don't always apply ubiquitously in a flawless manner. Since most human babies are incubated by mechanical devices, as well as their mothers often eating man-made foods and drinks while pregnant that exist nowhere outside of the anthropic world, I'd say human babies are the anthropic results of natural processes. I.E, natural but altered. There is also "natural birth" but considering that the mother still ingests man-made food products prior to birth, and that the mother isn't giving birth in a natural environment, natural birth doesn't occur outside strong anthropic influence.
    Wouldn't that mean that early humans were natural, and evolved naturally into the "unnatural" (perhaps another way to word it might be "departed" the natural world) after we had developed more advanced technology and techniques that involved the participation of our peers in the preparation of food and birthing techniques.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    This is a problem that is common when we try to define a very complicated series of expectations with a single word.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4,211
    naked
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    This is a problem that is common when we try to define a very complicated series of expectations with a single word.
    There is no problem with it:

    Natural is that.

    Makes perfect sense to me...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    There is no problem with it:

    Natural is that.

    Makes perfect sense to me...
    But if reality (all of it) is that and reality includes the "unnatural" too then natural is only part of that.
    So natural is tha, or maybe just th.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    OK, true. Good point.
    In which case Natural is tha.

    But it really needs something to note the short cutoff there:
    Natural is Tha'.

    This proves Klingons are au naturale.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    13,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Don't we sometimes define "natural birth" as unassisted by doctors and medicine?

    The word is getting a little wishy washy.
    Natural birth is defined by every woman I KNOW as one not assisted by drugs, and vaginal.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    13,152
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    naked
    as in the term "au natural"?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    naked
    as in the term "au natural"?
    No, that's Klingons. We just covered this... (I use the term, "covered" subjectively...)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    This proves Klingons are au naturale.
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    as in the term "au natural"?
    Pedantry hat on.
    The phrase is au naturel.
    It's French.
    babe likes this.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    It's French.
    Mon Dieu!That's certainly not natural.
    Dywyddyr and babe like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    13,152
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    It's French.
    Mon Dieu!That's certainly not natural.
    Because, Mr. Galt? *chuckle*
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    It's French.
    I'm not.

    But in my defense, I do pronounce it "Coop-on" instead of "Kyoo-pon" since it's from the French word, "coupe- to clip."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    But in my defense
    Do you mean "defenCe"?
    Neverfly and babe like this.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    But in my defense
    Do you mean "defenCe"?
    U.S.American spelling vs. British spelling
    babe likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    But in my defense
    Do you mean "defenCe"?
    U.S.American spelling vs. British spelling
    If I'm not mistaken, we Americans prefer pictograms.

    RedPanda likes this.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    11,785
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, we Americans prefer pictograms.

    Thus making my point that it's "c" and not "s".
    RedPanda likes this.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,437
    Ask the average American football fan to spell 'fence'. You'd probably get more esses than a gay snake.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    13,152
    Not fond of frog legs, love foie gras, andall men urinate wherever, whenever if they think no one is watching....it's universal, cause they can.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Not fond of frog legs, love foie gras, andall men urinate wherever, whenever if they think no one is watching....it's universal, cause they can.
    Assumption. You assume that to be true and assert it.
    It is not necessarily.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    13,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Not fond of frog legs, love foie gras, andall men urinate wherever, whenever if they think no one is watching....it's universal, cause they can.
    Assumption. You assume that to be true and assert it.
    It is not necessarily.
    OK, there is truth in that. SO, I shall rephrase. In my experiences, in travel around the world, and in the US, that has been my observation.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Define "Trekkie"
    By seagypsy in forum Science-Fiction and Non-Fiction
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: February 7th, 2013, 01:56 PM
  2. Replies: 57
    Last Post: July 3rd, 2012, 06:43 AM
  3. How to define "species" of an organism if...
    By gattaca in forum Biology
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: December 18th, 2009, 05:06 PM
  4. Define "Guilty"
    By Wombat in forum Biology
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: June 23rd, 2007, 02:13 PM
  5. Define a "System"
    By leohopkins in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: April 15th, 2007, 01:52 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •