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originally posted by: solomons path
a reply to: Astyanax
Something else occurred to me about the evolutionary importance of this particular bias. In terms of our understanding of the natural world, it has only been recently that humans have even had the time to "figure out" why things work the way they do.
As hunter/gatherers, those that simply didn't accept things are the way they are because they were designed that way, wouldn't have been seen as "built for survival". Those that would have spent their time trying to figure out "why trees are green" or "why the sky is blue" or "why rocks are pointy" wouldn't have been doing what they needed to do on a daily basis to survive and provide for the survival of their group, mainly hunt, gather, provide shelter, avoid predators. While those that did have this natural bias simply would have chalked those answers up to the simpler teleological arguments and wouldn't have wasted the time on them.
As an agrarian society, humans still did not have the time to worry about such things. Each day was tending to crops, looking after livestock, providing for the community. As technology has increased, humans spent less and less time, daily, on "survival". This presented the opportunity to move cognitive development further toward examining natural explanations. So, if we were going to predict further development, those that have an easier time shaking the teleological for the scientific will be better suited to "survive" as technology plays an ever increasing role in our daily lives and survival. However as we are very communal and generally empathetic as a species, those that are stuck in the teleological will still "survive" do to the rest of the group not allowing them to "die out", as they would naturally.
The concept of an actual "creator" has to be instilled in the young by their authority figures. From the "Why Rocks are Pointy" examples . . . Children don't agree that "rocks are pointy" due to a specific entity, just that they were "designed that way" for a purpose. The example given to the students was "so animals have some place to scratch themselves". It is the mature developed mind that seeks the answer of "who" was responsible. And, it's why we see every culture coming up with a different "who".
Or, whatever . . .
originally posted by: AnuTyr
a reply to: Moresby
ritual burials are based on the principals of remeberance.
As they are often marked with the name of the person usually, or left with worldly belongings that would of identified the person.
its all based on the process of remeberence and aknowledgement, the fundamental principals of advanced consiousness.
Which allows us to create all things of the mind. It allows technology to be created, passed on and studied. It is what drives a species to procreate, it is what drives plants to create seeds.
For what is reproduction? but not a process of repeated remeberance?
Exactly. Is your mind blown yet?
It is the driving force, it is the law.
originally posted by: solomons path
a reply to: Moresby
And . . . I never claimed humans did not ponder the nature of things
My responses were to Asty, as to why a bias to teleological explanations would have been of evolutionary importance to the still developing mind. A mind that is trying to understand the world around them, while balancing that with the knowledge to survive.
You are conflating that with the behaviors those with a fully developed brain, who would sit and ponder on their down time or around the camp fire at night.
So, I don't disagree with you about asking "hard questions about existence". But, the fact remains that the answers to those questions were teleological in nature and not based on experimentation and testable hypotheses.
Early man probably relied much more on his animistic view of the world. He likely used this to seek metaphysical analogies rather than teleological ones.
Definition of TELEOLOGY
a : the study of evidences of design in nature
b : a doctrine (as in vitalism) that ends are immanent in nature
c : a doctrine explaining phenomena by final causes
: the fact or character attributed to nature or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose
: the use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena
ADJ: exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature
Full Definition of METAPHYSICAL
: of or relating to metaphysics
a : of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses
b : supernatural
: highly abstract or abstruse; also : theoretical
often capitalized : of or relating to poetry especially of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional imagery
They usual prefer fanciful explanations usually derived from a bizarre use of analogy. Neither teleological nor logical conclusions are of any interest to them.
It's come as a series of epiphanies beginning in the mid-90s and continuing to the present day. Attenborough's Private Life of Plants was a profound moment for me and the incomprehensible busyness of natural selection leaves me with a greater sense of wonder than childhood half-thought notions of what God might be.
it's been fascinating to read about parasitology as it can be indicative that we and other life-forms aren't just biological 'robots,' we're even more complex than that. Our own sense of conscious sovereignty can be false when our behaviour becomes dictated to by parasites. By extension, these relationships are more daunting evidence of diversity through natural selection because a small population pool of hosts can accommodate many generations. A single host can move miles from the infection site and become host to something that evolves into a new taxa.
To my surprise, I discovered that (my fascination with evolution) was converging with my growing interest in computers... The connection lies in the counter-intuitive observation that complex results arise from simple causes, many times over. It's terribly simple to see this happening in a computer. Whatever complexities a computer produces — modelling wind turbulence, modelling economies or the way light dances in the eye of an imaginary dinosaur — it all grows out of simple lines of code that start with adding one and one, testing the result, and then doing it again. Being able to watch complexity blossom out of this relative simplicity is one of the great marvels of our age.
It's much more difficult to see it happening in the case of the evolution of life. The time scales are so vast and our perspectives so much more complicated by the fact that it's ourselves that we're looking at, but our invention of the computer has for the first time let us get a real feel for how it works — just as our invention of the hydraulic pump first gave us an insight into what the heart was doing and how the circulation of the blood worked. Source
Human beings always asked the hard questions about existence. And some of the other hominids probably did too. The existence of decoration and rituals (especially ritual burial) makes this very clear.
originally posted by: Astyanax
In fact, I believe the roots of magic and religion lie in this soil. From what you say, it seems you think so too.
originally posted by: undo
i have a few problems with the theory so that resolves to not having a very handsome frame for the setting, is what you mean?
this is my issue.
the theory is that either natural selection will pick the strongest traits from each available option or it will not. if it does not, the species effected will decline in strength instead of upgrade. if this continued long enough there would be few if any species left on the planet because eventually those random downgrades would accumulate and produce unviable lifeforms. on the other hand, if it was constantly upgrading, we would never lose useful traits like regenerating limbs, water breathing, night vision, wings, fur, scales, feathers, hermaphrodism, eagle vision, talons, claws, and so on. mammals would retain features from their evolutionary tree that were most useful for survival.