Notices
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Evolution has not prepared us for this

  1. #1 Evolution has not prepared us for this 
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    924
    Evolution has not prepared us for this

    Humans are animals with self-consciousness. This self-consciousness may show it self to some small degree in other animals but this capacity for self-consciousness makes our species different in kind from other animals and this difference makes all the difference in the world.

    Natural evolution produced the human species but there is more than a degree of difference between humans and other animals; there is a difference in kind between us and our animal cousins.

    All other animals are creatures of naďve action determined strictly by emotions, i.e. instinct that is obeyed by non reflective programmed action. Humans however are aided or hindered, depending upon the situation, by self knowledge.

    Otto Rank informs us that for man “knowledge about himself interferes with naďve action, restrains him and torments without affording him the satisfaction and liberation which the deed grants. He cannot accomplish through action any more because he thinks, because he knows too much. Now man longs for naďve unconsciousness as a source of happiness.”

    Evolution by natural selection depends upon naďve preprogrammed action; without this form of unmitigated action natural selection can no longer be a significant factor in human development. Through “too much self-knowledge” we are restricted in our actions. However, through this capacity for abstract thinking, we have a creative side.

    Knowing can be a substitute for living; itself a form of experiencing. Human will, resulting from self-knowledge, is the cause of an equal and negative deficit. The active hero resulting from self-knowledge can come to grief because s/he lacks the knowledge of the results of action. The passive individual cannot act because of self-knowledge restricting the will thus developing a feeling of guilt.

    “The artist solves it for himself and others since he transposes the will affirmation creatively into knowledge, that is, expresses his will spiritually and changes the unavoidable guilt into ethical ideal formation, which spurs him on and qualifies him for ever higher performance in terms of self-development.”

    Quotes from Truth and Reality by Otto Rank


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    you have accurately reported on the analysis of observations made by others. and perhaps added some of your own spin. it sounds like a great little article in some magazine, however you've posed almost nothing to talk about.

    i've got a question for you though, is it all that bad that we're not evolving in tune with animals? i don't remember the name of the program, but some Ph D sociologist was saying on the science channel that evolution through genetics has been replaced by evolution through the spread of information and culture. the new type of evolution occurs far faster and has more profound consequences than natural selection, and in itself is a type of natural selection favoring those ideas which help us to truely understand the world and do work upon it.


    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    924
    Saul


    The big problem for all creatures is that, generally speaking, the evolution caused by natural selection is now of little consequence because human capacity for abstract thought, which makes technology possible, has created realities that change far faster than biological evolution can react.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    yes, this creates very unfortunate ecological problems. natural selection cannot keep up with the rate at which we are destroying the environment. this however doesn't really look like philosophy as much as it looks like it belongs in the environmental issues forum.

    fortunately we've recently developed the ability to create synthetic life (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_a...t/10134341.stm ) and in the future biotechnology such as this should help the environment cope with our destructive actions towards the planet, as well as help us to sustain our currently unsustainable society as well as reduce the damage we do in the future.

    all in all you're quite right, evolution through natural selection doesn't prepare the world for an "intellegent" species to screw around with it. however intellegent design(by us, not "god") should work fast enough to keep the world in tune with us.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    924
    Extended consciousness

    Antonio Damasio is a scientist who has set out to organize a scientific study of human consciousness. Damasio utilizes a rather unique method that involves careful observation of individuals who have been deprived of some aspects of consciousness because of brain lesions caused by accidents. He studies brain dysfunction caused by such things as strokes and accidents.

    Damasio finds that “nearly all the sites of brain damage associated with a significant disruption of core consciousness share one important trait…these structures are of old evolutionary vintage, they are present in numerous nonhuman species, and they mature early in individual human development.”

    That is to say that his evidence indicates that core consciousness is centered about the brain’s physical areas that developed very early in the evolution of life on our planet, i.e. human core consciousness is directly evolved from early animal forms.

    The basic facts made available for analysis give testimony to the hypothesis that consciousness is not a monolith. Most importantly there is an abrupt division between what is identified as core consciousness and extended consciousness. There are also distinguishing levels within extended consciousness it self. When core consciousness fails then extended consciousness follows.


    Many non human creatures have emotions—“human emotions however have evolved to making connections to complex ideas, values, principles, and judgments”—thus human emotion is special—the impact of feelings on humans is the result of consciousness—a distinct difference between feeling and knowing a feeling—“neither the emotion or the feeling caused by the emotion is conscious”—these things happen in a biological state—there are three stages here; emotion, feeling, and consciousness of feeling—consciousness must be present if feelings have an influence beyond the here and the now—consciousness is tooted in the representation of the body.

    We need not be conscious of the emotion or the inducer of the emotion—we are about as effective in stopping an emotion as in stopping a sneeze.

    “Emotions are about the life of an organism, its body to be precise, and their role is to assist the organism in maintaining life…emotions are biologically determined processes, depending upon innately set brain devices, laid down by long evolutionary history…The devices that produce emotions…are part of a set of structures that both regulate and represent body states…All devices can be engaged automatically, without conscious deliberation…The variety of the emotional responses is responsible for profound changes in both the body landscape and the brain landscape. The collection of these changes constitutes the substrate for the neural patterns which eventually become feelings of emotion.”

    The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation. The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

    “It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.”

    Damasio proposes “that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.” This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

    Core consciousness—“occurs when the brain’s representation devices generate an imaged, nonverbal account of how the organism’s own state is affected by the organism’s processing of an object, and when this process enhances the image of the causative object, thus placing it saliently in a spatial and temporal context”

    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes core consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

    Humans have extended consciousness, which takes core consciousness to the level of self consciousness and the awareness of mortality.

    Extended consciousness is the consciousness we normally speak of and that is the autobiographical consciousness possessed by humans.

    “Extended consciousness goes beyond the here and now of core consciousness. Extended consciousness places these same experiences in a broader canvas and over a longer period of time. Extended consciousness still hinges on the same core “you”. But that “you” is now connected to the lived past and anticipated future that are part of your autobiographical record…autobiographical memories are objects, and the brain treats them as such, allows each of them to relate to the organism in the manner described for core consciousness, and thus allows each of them to generate a pulse of core consciousness, a sense of self knowing.”

    This is why we have the ability to learn and the ability to retain records of experiences. “The ability to reactivate those records in such a way that, as objects, they, too, can generate “a sense of self knowing,” and thus be known”.



    Quotes from The Feeling of what Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness by Antonio Damasio
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    again, i'm not sure what anyone is expected to say to that. it doesn't appear to relate to what i said, or what you've said before in the topic...
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    it's coberst. It's expected of him at this point.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    while this may be true, i was hoping that we could have a normal forum discussion on a topic without pulling in anything irrelevant. it was going well untill that last post.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    You should feel honoured that you actually managed to get a couple of cogent, intelligible and relevant replies out of him. It's possibly a world record.

    (If it was up to me coberst would be banned from every forum on the net. His arrogance and agenda driven preaching make the now banned cypress look like the epitome of modesty and humility.)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes core consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.
    Have you ever considered that emotions, effectively don't even exist in reality? Sure they feel like they do, and also serve a genuine purpose, however it could well be argued that they are fundamentally ephemeral and illusory - not at all worthy of the domination they seem to enjoy upon our consciousness and subsequent actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Humans have extended consciousness, which takes core consciousness to the level of self consciousness and the awareness of mortality.
    I would argue that mortality, as a concept, is taught. I very much doubt we have any creeping/emerging awareness of mortality, in general - apart from the tuition that comes our way from society.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    You should feel honoured that you actually managed to get a couple of cogent, intelligible and relevant replies out of him. It's possibly a world record.

    (If it was up to me coberst would be banned from every forum on the net. His arrogance and agenda driven preaching make the now banned cypress look like the epitome of modesty and humility.)
    actually, the count of legitimate replies from coberst in this thread was 1. He always has a knack for raising great topics, without, sadly, the ability to intelligently discuss his points without constantly referring to either critical thinking or reiterating himself. Ah well, we can still discuss his topic though.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12 Re: Evolution has not prepared us for this 
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    All other animals are creatures of naďve action determined strictly by emotions, i.e. instinct that is obeyed by non reflective programmed action.
    Nonesense. Mammals learn, then pass that to the very next generation. Humans have broadened this parent-to-child post-genetic evolution to operate also between adults.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by "Arcane_Mathematician
    actually, the count of legitimate replies from coberst in this thread was 1.
    I was trying to be kind. My doctor says I will live longer if I am nice to idiots.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6
    I disagree, and think you are giving humans too much credit. From a universal perspective, we are just another animal in the environment, and as such are no more limited by evolution and environment than any other animal. Of course the evolution of modern society has affected our natural selection, but its a bit egotistical to say that we are no longer bound by it simply because of our seemingly more complex state of consciousness. Its just more complex than your typical simplified animal model.

    As much as I agree that humans are the most intelligent form of life on earth, I also believe that we are just further developed. I feel like the majority of the ideas proposed by Damasio are way too presumptuous and seem to dismiss the idea of any form of complex thought in any other organism (which imo is ignorant). Our conscious brains are all about connections and associations, just like any other animal with a developed brainstem.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by eternalmetal
    I disagree, and think you are giving humans too much credit. From a universal perspective, we are just another animal in the environment, and as such are no more limited by evolution and environment than any other animal.
    Your post certainly makes some essential and enlightened observations, however this precursor seems to somewhat miss the mark. Unlike any other animal, man certainly has the highly intelligent side to his nature to control his environment to a decent extent, and coupled with his highly egotistical aspect, would seek to control it in entirety.

    In fact, we see in the current catch-cry of a complex and arrogant animal, having profoundly lost himself in his unfettered ego; man now flagrantly declares himself to be the (physical) saviour of his planet, in his cherished but vulgar ignorance of the eternal fact - that the planet has been his (physical) provider and saviour - forever!

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalmetal
    As much as I agree that humans are the most intelligent form of life on earth, I also believe that we are just further developed. I feel like the majority of the ideas proposed by Damasio are way too presumptuous and seem to dismiss the idea of any form of complex thought in any other organism (which imo is ignorant). Our conscious brains are all about connections and associations, just like any other animal with a developed brainstem.
    I would go further, and suggest that all life is intelligent to some degree, and the term/concept we've enjoyed for a couple of hundred years - "instinct", only came into our vocabulary due a failure at the time to recognise this fact. We have since, surrendered ourselves over to some new 'invention' of humanistic ego, and therefore continued our failure to recognise and honour the plain obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by eternalmetal
    its a bit egotistical to say that we are no longer bound by it simply because of our seemingly more complex state of consciousness. Its just more complex than your typical simplified animal model
    Precisely! Generally speaking, man's overriding motivation is - the egotistical, and his complexity does a grand job of hiding this obvious but painful fact from his eyes. Surely, the prime difference between man and any other (less complex) form of life, is his boorish arrogance, pride and ego.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
    Reply With Quote  
     

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
  •