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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > what do you think we are "born" knowing???      Home login  
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 27
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what do you think we are born knowing???Page 4 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

I'm very skeptical of the claim about the number of synapse declining. How did the source of this claim manage to count them? Last I heard, the technology wasn't capable of seeing that much detail.

A lot of the claims made by researchers about babies are DEDUCTIONS they have made from their test results. This is because they can't ASK babies to confirm the information. That doesn't mean that NONE of their deductions are valid, but it DOES mean that one must be very cautious about accepting them as given.

The statement "Our minds just aren't designed to deal with so much information in the long run, so between years four and six the number of synapses in our neurons gets trimmed by more than 2/3rds. " is an excellent example of a PHILOSOPHICAL JUDGMENT MASQUERADING AS A SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION. We REALLY need to watch out for THESE things.

Well, research synaptic pruning.

Over the first few years of life, the brain grows rapidly. As each neuron matures, it sends out multiple branches (axons, which send information out, and dendrites, which take in information), increasing the number of synaptic contacts and laying the specific connections from house to house, or in the case of the brain, from neuron to neuron. At birth, each neuron in the cerebral cortex has approximately 2,500 synapses. By the time an infant is two or three years old, the number of synapses is approximately 15,000 synapses per neuron (Gopnick, et al., 1999). This amount is about twice that of the average adult brain. As we age, old connections are deleted through a process called synaptic pruning.

Synaptic pruning eliminates weaker synaptic contacts while stronger connections are kept and strengthened. Experience determines which connections will be strengthened and which will be pruned; connections that have been activated most frequently are preserved. Neurons must have a purpose to survive. Without a purpose, neurons die through a process called apoptosis in which neurons that do not receive or transmit information become damaged and die. Ineffective or weak connections are "pruned" in much the same way a gardener would prune a tree or bush, giving the plant the desired shape. It is plasticity that enables the process of developing and pruning connections, allowing the brain to adapt itself to its environment.

The brain is a bit like a muscle, and it has to be used. This neuroplasticity is what accounts for people being able to overcome things like strokes - if proper rehabilitation is done.

Even something like meditation may influence it.

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, has led experiments in cooperation with the Dalai Lama on effects of meditation on the brain. His results suggest that long-term, or short-term practice of meditation results in different levels of activity in brain regions associated with such qualities as attention, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, the ability of the body to heal itself, and so on. These functional changes may be caused by changes in the physical structure of the brain.
Joined: 7/25/2009
Msg: 28
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what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/20/2010 12:18:07 AM
Considering how complex life is, and how complex the brain is and considering that computers require some basic programming in order to work and its clear there is some basic programing in our brains like the ability to breath, pump blood and so forth, I think some basic personality traits and abilities get passed down to babies from the parents as well. I wouldn't go as far as to say we get our parents memories.
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 29
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/25/2010 10:52:48 PM
I was born how to insert attachment (A) into slot (B) and connect it to the power supply first, then the P-type F-connector should be inserted into the V-well. After some gyrospic cranking, a slow, audible, deep "moooooooo" sound is heard, to which the third tangential harmonic distortion is applied by vigorous rubbing.

That's one. Another one I remember never having learned but knowing all along is that Chopin's "Allegro Alla Turca" is better played in B-minor if the faggot horns are a bit damp from the winter's morn's chill.
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 30
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/26/2010 4:20:02 PM
How much of automatic capability can be called "knowledge"? This might throw a monkey wrench at the topic.

I mean, this is important. What can we call knowledge? Knowledge how to breath? How to eliminate? How to cry? or is knowledge a thing of mental familiarity with a factual thing?

Knowing? Is it the source of all action? Like I know how to cry when I am born? I cry because I have a cognitive familiarity how to perfom that task?

I think not.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 31
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/26/2010 5:26:47 PM
So what other things could be inborn in us?

Capacity to feel

Capacity to interpret feelings

The ability to think without external language.

Wonder if its possible to retain that last capability?
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 32
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/26/2010 7:22:12 PM
^ This is exactly what I am talking about, IslandHome. Is capacity a knowledge? The question of this topic is, what knowledge we are born with, not with what faculties, capacities, whatever. Knowledge.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 33
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/26/2010 8:26:19 PM
^^^This is an interesting Monkey wrench foshfish
Because even a voluntary action
doesn't require full knowledge of the how
nor even the why

Which leaves me with
At birth I knew what it was like to be born
Just can't remember any detail

Perhaps "I" wasn't there?
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 34
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/26/2010 9:34:58 PM
Interesting diversion you show.

You are right, knowledge does not have to precede action. Absolutely.

I guess the question or answering it is of no consequence, èh?

Ask a straight question and watch people talk about anything but answering the question.

The important thing is to give the participants a reason to express their views, even if non-congruent to the question, because it fosters more questions and makes people happy.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 35
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/26/2010 9:53:37 PM

I guess the question or answering it is of no consequence, èh?

I look forward to your answer
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 36
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/27/2010 11:14:14 AM

Did ma a lil experiment.

"Bobby (3 month old), What is the Sound of a one-handed man clapping in the woods?"


"Goo Goo Gaa Gaaa"

Doooooood!! That's like SOOO deep! How soon till his faithful followers show up?
Joined: 8/8/2007
Msg: 37
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what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/29/2010 12:05:34 PM
no one taught us how to cry or smile, we will spend our life avoiding one while embracing the other.

So maybe we can say that to "Feel" is something we are born with.
Joined: 2/15/2006
Msg: 38
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what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/31/2010 12:57:06 PM
were we born,,knowing about sex? like with early man,did they know this was necessary to have babies? i have often wondered how early man knew to stick his penis into a vagina? has anyone ever thought about sex in the early stages on humans?
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 39
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/31/2010 4:57:38 PM
I did! I did!!

The early man knew where to stick it coz the early woman told him where.

If an early man lived from birth to sexual maturity without any human contac, or early human contac, he was a late riser.

So should he have encoutnered an early woman who would be unable to communicate to him where to stick it, because she was, for instance, dead, then I imagine he'd stick it into the knothole in the pinetree like all days before, while slobbering over her dead body.

I can tell you that I lived a sheltered life, I learned the facts of life after my first ejaculation, and dude, I did not have a clue what makes a child. I was a sexually mature late human, yet, I had no clue.

But Celtic people did know, as early as 20000 years before Christ. Is that early enough for you? By the way, the Irish are the direct descendants of the Celtics. This should tell you something.

My favourite child-making folklore comes from sub-Saharan West Central Africa. There, when a woman is noted as having started a pregnancy, all the men give it to her, coz they believe (or used to) that it's semen that literally forms the baby. They figured that not enough semen, and the baby would stop growing. Somehow the semen went through a well-planned metamporphosis to become components of the baby, like lego blocks make a lego airplane.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 40
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/31/2010 5:45:25 PM
what do you think we are born knowing???

I'm not even sure if we knew we were aware

i have often wondered how early man knew to stick his penis into a vagina? has anyone ever thought about sex in the early stages on humans?

I wonder which came first
the sticking of the penis
or the fore play of picking up a club
Joined: 10/15/2010
Msg: 41
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/1/2010 11:11:36 PM
they are born knowing the voices of the mother and the father if present...they know hunger...discomfort...however knowledge is built from a social structure...their social structure is only more rudimentary
Joined: 10/15/2010
Msg: 42
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/1/2010 11:12:28 PM
knowledge is not hardwired...the ability to learn is...knowledge stems from learning
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 43
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/3/2010 4:57:41 PM
The concept of unconscious or sub-conscious knowledge is harder to get ones head around than the concept of unconscious or sub-conscious thought.
I shall live with that thought in my consciousness for a bit
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 44
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/9/2010 11:12:09 PM
Thinking is related to the way you were raised and valued. If you were not valued you have a problem with thinking and self esteem. Much talent is wasted right from the beginning. But then again you may have had a support in the way of a lone individual who valued your spark. We are born knowing nothing. But we pick up the thread pretty quick. The age of reason has nothing to do with the age of our birth. We can overcome much but the fundamental home we were born into marks every last one of us that inherits the earth.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 45
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what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2010 2:20:24 AM
Very, very little.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 46
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Why We Are Not Blank Slates
Posted: 11/15/2010 3:50:35 PM
RE Msg: 92 by Kardinal Offishall:

^ I read a very interesting article in the latest issue of New Scientist, dated 13th November 2010, called "Who's the oddball?" on pages 42-44. Scientific studies in cognitive science have performed many studies on their students in their home countries, and in other Western countries, which are the basis for many conclusions in cognitive science, and many conclusions which I also assumed were true for all humans. However, when they tried the same tests on other peoples in non-industrialised nations, they discovered entirely different results, even for very basic tests, which we would all expect to be independent of one's background.

One example was the classic Müller-Lyer illusion, when you take 2 lines, both with arrows on either end, but with one line having arrows facing inwards, and the other having arrows facing outwards. It's been proved conclusively for decades that we see the inwardly-arrow-facing line as shorter than the outwardly-arrow-facing line, which everyone has accepted. But when they did the same tests on aboriginal San people who live in the Kalahari, they saw the lines as equal, when they were almost equal, which means to the San people, they hardly seem to see any illusion at all. Moreover, the amount that one shortens one line less than the other, seems to depend on what country one is raised in, Americans having the highest percentage at 19%, Europeans at 13%, Sengalese at 11%, the Philipino Hanunóo people at 8%, the Australian Yuendumu people at 6%, the Nigerian/Congolese Songe people and South African Zulus at 5%, Ivory Coast Bete at 4%, and South African miners and the San people at 1%.

There are other weird differences. German children taught a dance routine, and spun around to face the opposite direction, repeated the dance routine in the same movements relative to the body, as we would expect. But Namibian hunter-gatherer children who were put to the same test, repeated the dance routine, but replacing the left hand and left foot for the right-hand and right-foot movements, and the right hand and right foot for the left-hand and left-foot movements, maintaining the same movements relative to the environment, but not the body.

It's also been found that in Western environments, people make self-centric language references, but when it comes to non-industrialised people, they make language references in relation to the environment, rather than the self.

It's led to some scientists questioning if the studies that we rely on, that are based on WEIRD people (people raised in Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic nations), are not in some way biased towards that particular minority, and do not reflect the behaviours of homo sapiens in general, as when put to the test, many of these accepted and repeated results of known experiments produce different results, and sometimes wildly different.

It might just be that our understanding of cognitive science is Western-centric. If so, it might explain why so many people, even in Western countries, seem to show anomalies in their cognition, and why cognitive science has not managed to sort out issues of cognitive dysfunction where there is no clear sign of brain damage. They might be operating under a non-WEIRD paradigm.

Just thought you might like it.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 47
Why We Are Not Blank Slates
Posted: 11/15/2010 4:56:32 PM
A baby is born with the knowledge of their genes

Is only in recent times that some (adults) have come to know this

I for one, don't know very much of what my genes know
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 48
Why We Are Not Blank Slates
Posted: 11/15/2010 5:42:36 PM
I would say that without a doubt, both sets of children had watched the adults in their "tribes" do dances many times, and what they were doing was mimicing HOW the adults did them, and not attributed to genetic makeup as the article seems to be insinuating. There are times when very smart educated people come to very silly conclusions.

Paul K

1.While sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2.Now while doing this, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand.

3. While noticing that your foot changes direction (no matter how hard you try to maintain clockwise) when following instruction #2. Ponder the certainty of your conclusion above.
 Page 2u
Joined: 1/30/2008
Msg: 49
Why We Are Not Blank Slates
Posted: 11/17/2010 5:29:46 PM
We Are Blank Slates --Because—Nature has evolved a more complex system of adaptation.

How much we know when born?
As compared to, an ant, I don’t know—

We are born knowing very little – but we are ‘by far’ the best at learning.
I would say, the less a species is programmed to know, the more adaptable it becomes.

IMO—we could rate the IQ of different species by studying how much it knows when born,, compared to-- how much it relies on communicating / learning from parent and population.

Action - reaction / fright - flight ----
An egg laid and left to it’s own instinctive survival> is basically a programmed conditioned response;
Instinctive response is limited in its variance. Example—An ant may have survived unchanged for millions of years, however it’s still doing the same old thing.
Basically it’s unchanged in its life cycle.

However, when an egg is laid, and the offspring is ‘taught’ survival,
We see a more complex and intelligent creature.

The more a species departs from natures instinctive / chemical response, the higher consciousness it develops. Free will !!

Communication is the key word, it allows for an exponential growth in possibilities.
The more a species relies on communication to survive-- the more ‘intelligent’ we should assume it is.
 Page 2u
Joined: 1/30/2008
Msg: 50
Why We Are Not Blank Slates
Posted: 11/28/2010 9:47:28 AM

Once again, we are most certainly not blank slates.

Bona fide associationist/empiricist connectionist networks in artificial intelligence (blank slate models of cognition, in the purest sense) don’t do anything. They don’t learn a thing, mainly because they just sit there, idling. This has been demonstrated quite clearly.

Ok we’re not blank—but pretty darn close.
A human child is equipped to suckle and that’s just about it..

To continue on the theme of AI, a computer can be functionally equipped to sense—visual, audible, smell, taste, sound—etc. these are mechanical functions.
A software needs to be loaded to stimulate the functions.

Similar--The newborn human has the functions, but, needs to be programmed.

A less complex species-ie. Ant-- comes equipped with the program to stimulate the function. IMO—that is a condition innate response reaction.
The difference is—the human has a functional domain with a blank slate ready to be programmed by its environment. The environment stimulates neuron growth that interconnects functions, creating response.

The less,, per-conditioned the functions are, the greater the opportunity there is for free will.

Example—we can see a bear cub emulating its mother to a degree that the next generation will be seen standing on the same rock-- fishing, as its mother had done a generation before.
However, it also has the ability to move onto another space if it thinks there is greater opportunity to catch fish. Free will—

An Ant has no ability to change on its own, because of precondition--its functions are confined to a much more narrow conditioned reaction, to its environment.

The less a species is preconditioned the more it is capable of responding to the environment. The more it’s capable of responding to its environment, the more aware it is, of its environment---the high its consciousness..
 Page 2u
Joined: 1/30/2008
Msg: 51
Why We Are Not Blank Slates
Posted: 12/3/2010 5:19:03 PM

It might turn out that we have hundreds or thousands of innate mental “modules,” many of which are implicated either directly or indirectly in various “learning” tasks, that have been tuned by evolution to solve numerous “adaptive problems” (mainly the problems that we recurrently faced as a species throughout our evolution during the Pleistocene in Africa).

Its my understanding that, the brain is plastic—meaning that it doesn’t contain pockets as much as --- it develops areas of-- more or less—receptiveness / communication, for various functions...

‘We really won’t know what the final count is until the science is done,
Ideas—is what drives science.. waiting for it to be done, would be like –stopping thinking. –smile..

We already know that there is a rather significant amount of innate structures and processes in the human mind. So, in line with the nativist and evolutionary revolution in psychological science that has been underway for the last few decades, it’s probably more accurate to say that we’re “not even darn close” to being blank slates.

Might be best if you just name ONE—we can take a look at it – and focus on the defined..
I think there is most definitely a trail of human evolution within us.
Most likely stored in the junk DNA—basically a program of our evolution.
So if we came from the ocean—we would have all records of that past within us.

The point is –which species-- relies on the innate response comparatively to, the One that learns the response.

Personally, so far as “learning” is concerned, I’m partial to an argument first advanced by the pioneering evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, which implies that we can learn nothing without directly tapping or indirectly leveraging evolved “Darwinian algorithms” in the mind-brain.

I’d have to agree with that—we are a product of our past..As are, all species
The difference is, we are not ‘ born ‘ tapping into it—we need to ‘learn how’ --
There’re lots of case studies of—humans raised in isolation that, demonstrate a total lack basic functions.

No doubt, humans are the most “free” of all the species that evolution has ever crafted, thanks in large part to the evitability bestowed by the frontal cortex especially. Higher cognition, in this sense, allows organisms, to the extent they possess it, to halt rigid “stimulus-response/fixed action patterns” and pursue a more widened scope of potential behavioral options.

Well said—and I agree—and that’s the point—we are born with everything in our past.
The fact is—we’re the worst at knowing it—comparatively we are born knowing very little.
The beauty is we have the ability to know more than all the rest—evolution evolved to a more complex state—in that; it developed a cognitive function that diverges from the innate, and relies on input as opposed to per-loaded software.
Communication is the key word—simple put—we are born with one thing that rivals all others. The ability to learn—and that is done by the brain not taking up space as in a large olfactory, or visual cortex—medulla etc—What we have is a big empty cerebral –waiting for instructions to run the innate processes.

What do we do, better than, all the rest —we learn.. ‘’if’’ we were running on innate response –we would not be learning..
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