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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: EJN]
      #5933059 - 06/21/13 01:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I lean toward the opinion humans don't have instincts.



I disagree. Just watch the reaction of guys in a bar when a fabulous
babe walks in.




Take sex as the most obvious example. It is dirty, wet, grimy, disgusting physical maneuver yet even the most extreme germophobes (Howie Mandel) instinctively overcome this revulsion.

Pesse (Germophobes theme song: 'Can't touch this' by M.C. Hammer) Mist


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933076 - 06/21/13 02:00 PM

Quote:

First, as I said to a post by Hank, I am seeking here to get at a simpler way to express that of which we are speaking when we are speaking of extra-terrestrial-intelligences. I.e. instead of some long drawn out phrase such as sentient-intelligent-self-aware, I was wondering and hoping it would be found acceptable to just say "human".





Brevity and simplicity are virtues, but it really isn't necessary to distill the essence of every concept down to one word.

Edited by ColoHank (06/21/13 02:52 PM)


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5933140 - 06/21/13 02:52 PM

I duuno about the not having instincts thing Otto, seems kinda silly to me...
If I push you off the cliff, you will grab for me, by instinct right? Your'e drowning and the dolphin comes to you, you will grab onto it, pure instinct. Instinct has driven people to drink sea water and eat each other.
We are animals, don't forget that.
I became very territorial and aggressive towards other males when I met my wife, it was weird. We like to pretend we are so high and mighty in the brain, but much of what we do is driven by instinct.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5933166 - 06/21/13 03:16 PM

The type of examples you gave, are the kind of things, Shawn, which make me think that humans do have instincts.

For example, when I noticed you lived in Tennessee, being a UK Wildcats fan I had the almost ir-resistable urge to disagree with anything and everything you said.

Seriously, I am undecided on the human and instinct thing, though, I still lean toward the not having instincts; but, to repeat, the examples you give do evidence the existence of instincts or something darn close to them in humans.

Otto


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933188 - 06/21/13 03:31 PM

.

Yes we do have "survival" instincts. One element is called the "fight or flight response". this is activated through the sympathetic nervous system, and the reaction takes place before the stimulus even has time to generate emotion. A dangerous stimuli will happen, the person will flee out of the way of a car for example, and emotion will then generate 10-20 seconds later. If you hear someone say "I did not even think about it, I just reacted", this is fight or flight response in action. Because this is happening through the sympathetic nervous system, they are not even thinking about it when a traumatic sudden event happens. So I can confirm Otto's original assumption leaning toward existence of human instinct is correct.


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933202 - 06/21/13 03:42 PM

Quote:


For example, when I noticed you lived in Tennessee, being a UK Wildcats fan I had the almost ir-resistable urge to disagree with anything and everything you said.
Otto



Irony alert, my wife is UK alumni and we met close to campus. We get a Hot Brown at Ramsey's a couple times a year.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5933230 - 06/21/13 03:53 PM

Quote:


I became very territorial and aggressive towards other males when I met my wife, it was weird. We like to pretend we are so high and mighty in the brain, but much of what we do is driven by instinct.




Yes, you are correct. This is evolutionary behavior that is even in primitive neocortex of the brain. All of these behaviors you speak of are designed to give evolutionary advantage. Women also have them, it is called the "sexy son" it is a trait where a woman will mate with a guy who would be considered a philander or "swinger" the point being that all other considerations aside, the primary goal is the best chance at spreading genes of the female through the offspring. Many women are not even aware of this behavior, but this is an evolutionary instinct.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5933239 - 06/21/13 03:58 PM

UND,

you said it was an "evolutionary instinct" this "sexy son" thing....

my understanding of instinct is that it is a behavior which the animal cannot choose not to do

yet many men and women become celibate by choice

Please take a moment to explain to me what I am missing; what I am failing to see as to the nature of an instinct.

Otto


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5933241 - 06/21/13 03:59 PM

Don't repeat it, but I think Bruce Pearl was cool as the coach at Tennessee.

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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933377 - 06/21/13 05:18 PM

making a choice in a social context does not rule out instinct. The behavior in question is where instinct plays.
For example, mating by H. Sapiens is instinctual regardless of social constructs. We are by biological definition:
Animalia Kingdom
Chordata Phylum
Mammalia class
Primate order
Hominidae family
Homo genus
H. Sapiens species, With left handed Amino acid chirality, and the same DNA coding protocol as cyanobacteria, a product of close to 4 Billion years of evolution from the common bacteria colonies from black smokers.
Thus we are animals, and even though we can reason there are evolutionary instincts that control or influence our behavior whether we know it or not. When we start to consider ourselves as apart from the world of nature, we start to move into one of the three zones of Philosophy:
Ethical, Ontological, or Social approach. And that is where science and empiricism become muddied... as we consider our thoughts and conscience. We can Choose the Dualist approach, such as the idea some have of spirit and body coexisting, thus ruling out animal instinct. But the primary problem with the dualist approach to human existence is how can an immaterial spirit influence a material body, and versa vice. It cannot due to conservation of energy. Thus there is only one rational conclusion, and that is we are not special, we are not of divine provenance, we are an accident, and our reality is based on the choices we make, and how we influence the world around us. I know it sounds heavy, an unsettling to some, but this is the only logical conclusion that has any evidence.


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dyslexic nam
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/28/08

Loc: PEI, Canada
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5933393 - 06/21/13 05:34 PM

The ghost in the machine. Now you're speaking my language.

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Joad
Wordsmith
*****

Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5933410 - 06/21/13 05:45 PM

Quote:

making a choice in a social context does not rule out instinct. The behavior in question is where instinct plays.
For example, mating by H. Sapiens is instinctual regardless of social constructs. We are by biological definition:
Animalia Kingdom
Chordata Phylum
Mammalia class
Primate order
Hominidae family
Homo genus
H. Sapiens species, With left handed Amino acid chirality, and the same DNA coding protocol as cyanobacteria, a product of close to 4 Billion years of evolution from the common bacteria colonies from black smokers.
Thus we are animals, and even though we can reason there are evolutionary instincts that control or influence our behavior whether we know it or not. When we start to consider ourselves as apart from the world of nature, we start to move into one of the three zones of Philosophy:
Ethical, Ontological, or Social approach. And that is where science and empiricism become muddied... as we consider our thoughts and conscience. We can Choose the Dualist approach, such as the idea some have of spirit and body coexisting, thus ruling out animal instinct. But the primary problem with the dualist approach to human existence is how can an immaterial spirit influence a material body, and versa vice. It cannot due to conservation of energy. Thus there is only one rational conclusion, and that is we are not special, we are not of divine provenance, we are an accident, and our reality is based on the choices we make, and how we influence the world around us. I know it sounds heavy, an unsettling to some, but this is the only logical conclusion that has any evidence.




Good post.

I'd like to add the large amount of experimental evidence that makes it very clear that "mind" is an epiphenomenon of "body." Change the "body" (brain) in any way (surgically, chemically) and the "mind" (consciousness, thought) changes.

No one (and I mean no one, not even the most knowledgeable and renowned researchers*) is even close to a description of the precise connection between biochemistry (body) and consciousness (mind), and there is no point in our speculating on the question. But there is no reasonable doubt about that connection.

*This is not a criticism. In fact, the world's preeminent researcher on the biophysiology of consciousness is the first to state, with great humility, how he isn't close to any theory of consciousness. I really admire both his knowledge and his humility.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Joad]
      #5933417 - 06/21/13 05:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

making a choice in a social context does not rule out instinct. The behavior in question is where instinct plays.
For example, mating by H. Sapiens is instinctual regardless of social constructs. We are by biological definition:
Animalia Kingdom
Chordata Phylum
Mammalia class
Primate order
Hominidae family
Homo genus
H. Sapiens species, With left handed Amino acid chirality, and the same DNA coding protocol as cyanobacteria, a product of close to 4 Billion years of evolution from the common bacteria colonies from black smokers.
Thus we are animals, and even though we can reason there are evolutionary instincts that control or influence our behavior whether we know it or not. When we start to consider ourselves as apart from the world of nature, we start to move into one of the three zones of Philosophy:
Ethical, Ontological, or Social approach. And that is where science and empiricism become muddied... as we consider our thoughts and conscience. We can Choose the Dualist approach, such as the idea some have of spirit and body coexisting, thus ruling out animal instinct. But the primary problem with the dualist approach to human existence is how can an immaterial spirit influence a material body, and versa vice. It cannot due to conservation of energy. Thus there is only one rational conclusion, and that is we are not special, we are not of divine provenance, we are an accident, and our reality is based on the choices we make, and how we influence the world around us. I know it sounds heavy, an unsettling to some, but this is the only logical conclusion that has any evidence.




Good post.

I'd like to add the large amount of experimental evidence that makes it very clear that "mind" is an epiphenomenon of "body." Change the "body" (brain) in any way (surgically, chemically) and the "mind" (consciousness, thought) changes.

No one (and I mean no one, not even the most knowledgeable and renowned researchers*) is even close to a description of the precise connection between biochemistry (body) and consciousness (mind), and there is no point in our speculating on the question. But there is no reasonable doubt about that connection.

*This is not a criticism. In fact, the world's preeminent researcher on the biophysiology of consciousness is the first to state, with great humility, how he isn't close to any theory of consciousness. I really admire both his knowledge and his humility.





Thank You.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5933439 - 06/21/13 06:07 PM

Quote:

I'd like to add the large amount of experimental evidence that makes it very clear that "mind" is an epiphenomenon of "body." Change the "body" (brain) in any way (surgically, chemically) and the "mind" (consciousness, thought) changes.




I forgot to add, what you just cited is called biological reductionism, and I am a firm believer in that


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5933598 - 06/21/13 07:54 PM

UND and Joad, thank you for taking time to explain in some detail and clearly what your understanding is of instinct, and of the biological and evolutionary source of those characteristics we call self-awareness, intelligence, choice.

I understand your positions are that these functions of self-awareness, intelligence, choice are the result of materialistic factors only; i.e. they are a matter of biology (evolution), chemistry, and physics; and that the human is no more than an animal of a particular line of evolutionary development.

As I understand the history of the development of the theory of evolution, the concept of instinct arose before we had any understanding of genetics at the molecular and chemical level. Fabre in the 1820s or so and Wundt in the 1870s or so defined instinct as an act without choice. In short, and for our purposes here, instinct was a term of psychological origin used to describe behaviors in non human animals. Between Wundt and today, the debate, as you know better than I, has wavered back and forth between whether or not humans have instincts. I read some guy catalogued some 4,000 human instincts. On the other hand the psychologist Abraham Maslow said humans had outgrown instincts. Back and forth.

Now, I want to press a point I made earlier and request of you a response, for my own understanding.

An instinct is defined psychologically as a behavior without cognitive choice over which the animal has no control. Using the example you gave that the “sexy thing” is an “evolutionary instinct” in humans, why then can human animals choose to not do/not give into/not be controlled by the “sexy thing” whereas the non-human animal is controlled by the instinct without exception?

Is the original, what I am calling, the psychological definition, incorrect?

If it is not incorrect, again, how does human cognition over power instinct?

thank you

Otto


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Joad
Wordsmith
*****

Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933648 - 06/21/13 08:37 PM

Dangerous ground here. Let's just say that a lot of claims to have abrogated the sex instinct are not, um, truthful.

And a successful (and complete) repression of the sex instinct usually is paid for psychologically in some way or another. Certain forms of hysteria come to mind.

Freud is not always wrong.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Joad]
      #5933678 - 06/21/13 08:57 PM

"And a successful (and complete) repression of the sex instinct usually is paid for psychologically in some way or another." I think I sometimes witnessed something like that when I reflect back on some of the persons I knew who chose a celibate life; not all and not many by any means, but some.

Let's by pass the "sexy thing" instinct. Choose any supposed human instinct you wish,

An instinct is defined psychologically as a behavior without cognitive choice over which the animal has no control. Using the example of your choice, why then can human animals choose to not do/not give into/not be controlled by the given instinct whereas the non-human animal is controlled by the instinct without exception?

Is the original, what I am calling, the psychological definition, incorrect?

If it is not incorrect, again, how does human cognition over power instinct?

Again, thank you for the courtesy of responding to my questions.

Otto


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933703 - 06/21/13 09:16 PM

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

Any more questions?

-drl


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: deSitter]
      #5933714 - 06/21/13 09:19 PM

Forgive me. I do not understand what the poem was meant to say. If it was a response to my last post to Joad, could you tell me what you were saying...in prose.

Thank you

Otto


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Joad
Wordsmith
*****

Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933790 - 06/21/13 10:08 PM

I'm not certain, but that has a Zen look to it, which is altogether appropriate for this topic.

At any rate, the answer to our most important questions about human being and consciousness is that "we don't know." We may never be able to know because the knowing subject is simultaneously subject and object. Talk about a "Complementarity" dilemma! Every time we think about thinking (or any mental act) we are interfering with the object of our subjective thought. We can't disassociate the two.


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