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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934868 - 06/22/13 03:55 PM


Unfortunately all evidence points against spiritual agency, and is in favor of biological reductionism. Spiritual agency is the role of philosophy, and not science. I wish there were such a thing as spiritual agency, but it would be illogical to assume something like that for me personally because it is a social construct. We can observe, quantify and predict human behavior based on neurophysiology, and have gotten quite good at it. But to all the sudden make a leap in logic and try to bring in some metaphysical element into the equation really makes no sense, because there is no need to. It defies rationalism. It would be similar to studying construction of the Pyramids, and rather than calculating materials and manpower, suddenly saying aliens or an unseen force built them. There is just no need to bring metaphysics into it, because it diminishes out own intellect and is a somewhat "lazy" way to go about problem solving. If we start down that path, then metaphysics will be a part of our thinking as it was post-library of Alexandria era, and we would essentially be in the dark ages. So I really cannot comment beyond what we can verify, because it is irrational, and the realm of philosophy.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: scopethis]
      #5934871 - 06/22/13 03:59 PM

Quote:

so if humans are at the top of the scale, why did people start worshiping animals?



Why would that preclude them from worshiping animals? It cannot be denied that we are biologically the Apex predator, so the question makes no sense.
Actually the animals were symbolic of the hunt. Humans also worshiped the Venus fertility goddess. That was a human construct.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5934884 - 06/22/13 04:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

This new energy from cooked meat created a rapid increase in brain size, from 800cc to around 1100 cc. That is why we have the ability other animals lack; A well developed neocortex.





That's Richard Wrangham's thesis in "Catching Fire -- How Cooking Made Us Human". My wife and I read and debated the book, and we felt that while the idea makes sense to a certain extent, he overstated his case, and made a less than compelling argument. As a nit, I would rather say that cooking enabled the continuation of a trend in human brain size expansion that was already ongoing. The consumption of raw organ meats has been popular among many human populations even after the mastery of fire and cooking, so it's not an all or nothing proposition.




I think you are missing the point. There is no other explanation for the rapid growth in brain size. and we are talking about cooked meat, not raw meat. raw meat takes 10 times the calories for the human body to digest, an inhibitor leaving no energy budget for brain increase over generations. If one counts the calories needed for hunting ,and then digesting raw meat, only the use of fire can explain the sudden brain increase. This happened form Homo erectus through Homo Ergaster, and there is archeological evidence in the form of fire pits in the strata to back that up. It is simply a matter of calorie counting. The lipids were already broken down by the fire, increasing calorie delivery and decreasing calorie use for digestion.


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scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934894 - 06/22/13 04:12 PM

so is that why the human animal sacrificed non-human animals to appease the gods?

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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: scopethis]
      #5934901 - 06/22/13 04:15 PM

Quote:

so is that why the human animal sacrificed non-human animals to appease the gods?




The question makes no sense in context of what the topic is, but If it makes you feel better, humans probably sacrificed more humans than animals.


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scopethis
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934920 - 06/22/13 04:23 PM

then if we stop eating cooked meat and become vegetarians we become less smart

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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: scopethis]
      #5934937 - 06/22/13 04:29 PM

Not really, cooked Meat led to the increase in brain size, but certainly vegan diet if one is getting the calories needed will supply all that is needed, but the human brain has decreased 300 cc's in the past 24,000 years anyway, and we have moved to a much more diverse diet with the advent of the agricultural revolution. Our brains have essentially reached the max size due to how it is structured, namely myelin sheathing needed on axon to prevent loss of electrical signal. Nature has pretty much reached max potential in our case, regardless of what futurists and sci- fi writers imply with ideas of "huge brained people" ;-)

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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: scopethis]
      #5935108 - 06/22/13 06:18 PM

I thought of a better way to put the idea of carnivore vs. herbivore lifestyle in the context of evolution:

Take a look at a cow and Paranthropus Boisei.

Grass ain't hard to catch :-)

Hence, niche adaptation ( too well adapted) and no evolutionary pressure.
Boisei went extinct with the loss of the Sahara pump in Africa. and Cows certainly aren't smart either ;-)


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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]
      #5935262 - 06/22/13 08:13 PM

UND, like Jarad and Dave and a number of others here, I really-sincerely-appreciate your conviction, the courtesy with which you express it, but especially the clarity of your explanations.

I do believe that some type of spiritual agency or immaterial spiritual addition was needed for the animal pre-human to become human. There are assumptions and experiences which lead me to this belief. Should this thread ever get to the point of me expressing some of those, I would be appreciative to read your logical analysis of any inconsistency you might find in the conclusions I draw from the assumptions made.

Now, I want to pick a bone with you, us together. Here goes, you wrote of the assumption of a spiritual agency, " It would be similar to studying construction of the Pyramids, and rather than calculating materials and manpower, suddenly saying aliens or an unseen force built them."

First of all, you used an analogy. I like that. I can get my mind around analogies.

It seems to me the analogy is a false analogy. We are pretty sure we know the engineering techniques which could have been used to build the pyramids. We are pretty sure we could build the pyramids ourselves. But we still have not been able to create life, much less human life, in the lab from mere chemicals and energies. Further, we do not yet know what the proper mix of chemistry and energies are to accomplish this.

Thus, I don't think the pyramid analogy was a good one.

What do you think of my comment about your comment? Point out to me anything you see lacking in logic and, well, just mere thinking things through.

Otto

P.S. anybody else, jump on as well


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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]
      #5935263 - 06/22/13 08:14 PM

UND...300 cc less? Really! And we are talking about some pre-human who was definitely part of the evolutionary line that becomes homo sapiens (us)? Yes?

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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5935268 - 06/22/13 08:17 PM

Quote:

Steve,

You wrote, "Consequently I disagree with the premise that the word 'human', used to describe our self-defined values, is inappropriate for application to any other sentient entity."

Did you mean "appropriate" instead of "inappropriate"? I got a bit confused because, so far no one has argued the appellation of non-terran beings possessing mind as human to be inappropriate. Also, I got a bit lost in the double negative.

Your position then: Is it or is it not appropriate to use the word human, to describe beings possessing minds whose origin is not of earth?
Otto




My apologies, for the confusion and my delay in response. I left the post in the middle and when I returned began in the middle of the sentence. What I meant to say was that I disagree with the premise that the word 'human' could be applied to any other sentient entitity. As we use it to describe out self-defined values, it is inappropriate and anthropomorphic.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5935280 - 06/22/13 08:22 PM

.

Yes 300 cc less. Cro Magnon was AMH human, their brains were 1650 CC, ours is 1350.. we are the direct descendants of AMH H. Sapiens and Cro Magnon.

Spiritual agency is not science. it is a man made construct, I do not see why you keep trying to lead the conversation in that direction. To speculate on intelligence is one thing, but when we start talking about spirits, that is like conjecturing about the tooth fairy, because people do not want to look for valid evidence, the want to believe something, and only consider clues that lead them to a biased conclusion. Intelligent design tried the same half baked logic. "Well, we don't know all the answers, so it must be some mystical power" To put it politely, that is not only rubbish, but unscientific and dangerous.
The idea of some spirit is not the realm of science. and to jump to a conclusion like that is very similar to conspiracy theorists who give humans less credit than they really deserve, and do in many cases published, televised and other claim UFO's or some mystical being are responsible for the pyramids. I love astrophysics and science, but Science broke with metaphysics 300 years ago, and I am certainly not going into the dark ages to discuss spirits, fortune telling and astrology. This is the 21st century.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5935292 - 06/22/13 08:27 PM

I understand your post, Steve.

Try this...would this be acceptable to you; suppose we came up with a new word which had never been used to speak of humanity/humanness/humans. Could we then, comfortably in your thinking, apply this word to where-ever and under what-ever conditions we find "mind" in the universe; be it that product of a specific animal evolutionary path on earth called homo sapiens, be it the advanced computer programming that wakes up and displays "mind", be it the product of chemical and energy engineering in a laboratory that develops "mind", and finally, be it those beings of a totally different chemistry and evolutionary path on some planet circling some distant star?

In your opinion, is "mind" (self-awareness, choice, understanding, reasoning) something of which you would be comfortable giving the material substrate of that mind (e.g. human evolution or/and programming or/and lab-product or/and extra terrestrial) a common name? a common designation? indicating that they truly are remarkable and significantly alike?

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: UND_astrophysics]
      #5935296 - 06/22/13 08:31 PM

And though our craniums are now c. 300 cc less in volume, our brains are capable of as much and more?

Walk me through the physiology. How has that become possible? Was that what you were referring to by talking about the fat coating (myelin) thing?

Otto


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5935310 - 06/22/13 08:37 PM


The Mind is a result of biological processes and dies with the death of the brain. I am not sure why people are too fearful to admit this fact. there is mo magic energy or some psychic convergence that created awareness. To speculate on other races around other stars while trying to rationalize metaphysics and "ghosts" is missing the bog picture. If we refuse to acknowledge ourselves as physical entities, then we should probably not get into the business of speculating on others.


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5935319 - 06/22/13 08:41 PM


Because people automatically believe in a false analogy of brain size equaling intelligence. It is not IQ it is EQ that is the way to look at it. Brain mass to body mass ratio. Neanderthals Brains were even slightly bigger than Ours (H. Sapiens/ Cro Magnon). Does it mean they were Smarter? Nope. They had not even invented the needle.


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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]
      #5935324 - 06/22/13 08:47 PM

UND...what's EQ? Seriously, I believe your conclusion is correct; that our smaller brains work better. How is that accomplished? What is the physiology behind it? (chemistry? biology?)

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (06/22/13 08:48 PM)


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5935326 - 06/22/13 08:50 PM

Otto,

I suppose we could find a word, or invent one, that would apply to 'mind' wherever we found it in the universe (and I think I know where you're going with this question). I would suggest 'intelligence' or 'reasoning entity'.

My point is that we use the word human to describe ourselves. Applying the term to anything 'not us' is anthropomorphism. The values, traits, characteristics, thought processes, etc. of non-human reasoning entities is pure speculation, and while some or all of those may parallel humanity, it would likely be a mistake to consider such reasoning entities 'human'.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5935332 - 06/22/13 08:53 PM

I agree with the concern attendant to engaging in anthropomorphizing.

This discussion with you has caused me to clarify a piece of my mental wonderings and wanderings. Will "mind" always be "mind" where ever "mind" appears? And, is "mind" the summit of what biology and engineering can produce?

Speaking of individuals, of course. Communities might have other, equally valuable summits.

Otto


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5935336 - 06/22/13 08:56 PM

that quote of Hubble's you have attached to your posts, "The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons," reminds me of something once written by a neo-Thomist metaphysician named Emerich Coreth. He wrote that the ultimate effect of every correct answer to any question is that the number of unknowns is greatly increased.

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