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Thread: Very rough idea on consciousness and evolution.

  1. #1 Very rough idea on consciousness and evolution. 
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    Before reading, be warned this was basically a quick "ramble-typing" session, so I could get my thoughts down quickly without dwelling on them. If you're frustrated by the lack of punctuation/clarity etc. I would be too, it's just I wanted to post this as I wrote it. Not really sure why but that's just what I feel I should do. This is also my first post on this forum. Thanks for having me!

    Could it be that the sole purpose of "life" is to continue? and as the continuity of life is dependant on our genes, the passing on of these genes is our sole purpose. life as a collective being is reliant on all life forms continuing to pass on their genes, and evolution is the best (and only?) way this can happen. many ancient human cultures place utmost importance on a recognition and knowledge of the ancestors, because they recognise (maybe through some unconscious feeling of all the DNA molecules?) that they are the origins of their genes and through the recognition of this importance they place more importance (maybe unconsciously or consciously, i'm not sure) on the passing of their own genes. and they recognise that they in fact will be ancestors of the future, or something like that. i would like to develop this theory further, any help? our consciousness may be so much farther advanced than our society understands. then again it may not.

    I'd love to read any ideas or hypotheses that relate to these questions, and thanks for getting through the muck

    Marley


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  3. #2  
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    Well those who treat it as the sole purpose of life will likely try harder to make sure they reproduce and will be more common in the future. I pretty much agree with you in the continuity though I would throw in a side purpose of experiencing things.


    just wondering
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    Yes that's a good point about selection. I agree, to experience is one of many human purposes, and one that is important to most of us. I would love to see human evolution take us to a point where we are able to experience from a perspective other than our own. Not that I'll exist when and if that ever happens, but I like to think about it. Carl Sagan emphasises the importance of viewing our planet from space and I think that relates to this idea.
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    'living' AS the purpose
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    'living' AS the purpose
    Exactly! And questions arising from there tend to be the most popular philosophical ideas...
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  7. #6  
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    'living' IS the purpose
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    You're right. Now it seems all my original idea really meant was, "Living is the purpose of life." It felt like I was onto something but really I'm just going around in circles. I'm thinking where this could go is: humans have lost this sense of purpose, this need for survival of not only ourselves but our environment and fellow life forms. Further evolution of our culture should take us back to when we lived in greater harmony with life and the planet. Were some previous cultures of humans more evolutionarily 'positive' (I regret using the word advanced) because they were able to exist in this way?
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    You're right. Now it seems all my original idea really meant was, "Living is the purpose of life."
    Actually I think it was to continue
    Could it be that the sole purpose of "life" is to continue?
    which is somewhat different to living as the purpose.

    humans have lost this sense of purpose, this need for survival of not only ourselves but our environment and fellow life forms
    I agree with you on the latter but Im pretty sure our desire for survival is still strong today.

    Further evolution of our culture should take us back to when we lived in greater harmony with life and the planet. Were some previous cultures of humans more evolutionarily 'positive' (I regret using the word advanced) because they were able to exist in this way?
    Not quite sure what you mean by evolutionarily positive, could you expand?
    just wondering
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    Thank you for analysing my thoughts, I actually find this quite helpful in developing my own understanding!

    1. As living is continuing, the purpose of continuing life and living mean basically the same thing. So "continuing to live" as the purpose of life and "living" as the purpose of life seems to me to be the same purpose. In saying that I was actually representing my own silliness

    2. What I mean when I say humans have lost this sense of purpose: I agree we maintain our own sense of purpose, but we have lost this sense of purpose for all life as a connected organism.

    3. I regret using these terms as they are not widely used by science. By evolutionarily negative I refer to an organism's traits that would be detrimental to their genes' survival, and by evolutionarily positive I refer to traits that would be necessary or beneficial to an organism's survival and the survival of their genes.

    If you can find more inaccuracies and/or inefficiencies in my ideas feel free to present them, but I understand if you can't be bothered .
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    1. not nececessarily, I think many animals actually die after planting their eggs. The mayflay( at least one species) only lives a for about a year but their mass reproduction ensures they continue as a species. Though if you are talking about individual humans then yes I agree living is continuing.

    2.Fair enough

    3.The fact that we are here today means we are probably quite evolutionary positive, if we manage to expand out of our own solar system I would consider us a good success.

    I wondered the same thing when I went atheist. Not expecting some sort of after life can make you question what the whole point is.
    just wondering
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    I very much agree with your last point, venturing to the stars would be a great achievement, something our species could really look forward to. I hope we can overcome the challenges of war and destructive power and one day focus on things like that.

    I've always been atheist, and the purpose of life actually hasn't seemed important. Until recently (leaving school), I just lived. The new program Wonders of the Universe (BBC, incredible!) put forward a great concept the other night, about how lucky we are to exist in this time and space. I think that is a great point to life, to take advantage of the time that we exist in.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marley View Post
    Could it be that the sole purpose of "life" is to continue? and as the continuity of life is dependant on our genes, the passing on of these genes is our sole purpose. life as a collective being is reliant on all life forms continuing to pass on their genes, and evolution is the best (and only?) way this can happen.
    That would be the theory of evolution to intelligence, in a nutshell. Intelligence only came to exist because it lead to successful reproduction. Instinct is that part of your intelligence that was programmed by evolution, and therefore the part that has only one goal.

    Humans have the ability to exchange memes as well (ideas), which leads to a whole other type of evolution, where ideas can evolve over time and survive the death of the host(s), continuing through generations. The evolutionary trait of the memes is the desire for the meme to survive. We humans have a desire to be remembered after we're gone. Martin Luther King, for example, may be dead, but his memes (ideas) still survive. For him, that may be just as great an accomplishment as seeing his genetic grand children live on.

    Quote Originally Posted by marley View Post
    You're right. Now it seems all my original idea really meant was, "Living is the purpose of life." It felt like I was onto something but really I'm just going around in circles. I'm thinking where this could go is: humans have lost this sense of purpose, this need for survival of not only ourselves but our environment and fellow life forms. Further evolution of our culture should take us back to when we lived in greater harmony with life and the planet. Were some previous cultures of humans more evolutionarily 'positive' (I regret using the word advanced) because they were able to exist in this way?
    Older cultures placed a much higher value on "EQ" (Emotional Quotient), because people possessed of that trait had the ability to organize a large number of people to march to a common purpose (usually war). Nowadays, IQ is taking over as the desired trait people want in their children, because it has been shown that machines can do almost anything a large number of workers and/or soldiers can.

    Now when we elect a leader on the basis of their EQ, it's just "Strong Man" politics. He/she is powerless to do us any good because the economy is governed by mathematics, and requires a high IQ to understand very well. Its limiting factor is more to do with the unchangeable abundance of natural resources and less to do with available labor. The remaining human/labor component of that economy that still figures strongly is "skilled labor" which mostly involves people with high IQ who don't respond to EQ very well, preferring to be lead by logic instead of emotion.

    And there you have it. The logic side of the brain is overtaking the emotion side. If we don't already, then soon we will look like robots from the perspective of our ancestors. Perhaps eventually, we will become so similar to them that it will be hard to say if we still even count as "alive" or not, but our bodies won't be dying.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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