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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > what do you think we are "born" knowing???      Home login  
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 Dale 09
Joined: 5/21/2009
Msg: 1
what do you think we are "born" knowing???Page 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Birds build nests with out being taught by parents.

ants build colonies, again with out foreknowledge.

Socrates' geometry/ algebra experiment with an unknown youth "Proving" we have the basics of math hard wired in the brain/mind.

So what other things could be inborn in us?



Dale
 andso.itgoes
Joined: 11/1/2009
Msg: 2
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/7/2009 4:17:28 PM
Odd. Animals, even plants have innate "knowledge", yet humans do not. A human infant will not find food, build shelter, defend itself, hide, run away, etc... Perhaps we are born only knowing how to be dependent. Good news is, if another cares for us and we survive, we learn to take care of the next. As a species, we're kind of screwed if we don't.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 3
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/7/2009 4:18:29 PM
Eat, poop...there are some indications the development of our brain gives us the tendency toward religious thought, the ability to recognize faces, cooperation.
 DartmouthRunner
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 4
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/7/2009 4:56:56 PM

Animals, even plants have innate "knowledge", yet humans do not


Not completely true. There are many examples in nature where animals take considerable amount of time to raise their young and have to show their young how to survive. Bears are a good example. They show their young how to hunt and catch prey by example. A good example is when bears hunt salmon during spawning runs, they are teaching them how to do it by example.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 5
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/7/2009 7:14:12 PM

Perhaps we are born only knowing how to be dependent.

This is not an insignicant trait. We're possibly THE most social animals. Interdependency--and the ability to RELY upon others--makes humans stronger. No one person can be good at everything, but we have specialists. You build my house, I grow your food, he makes our energy, etc. We rely upon each other in order to make the whole of us stronger than any individual can be.

I also think that part of our innate ability is to trust and to read each other. I saw a guy today who I felt was creepy! I trust my instincts in this regard--but I wonder how many men do? Maybe that's why men are more likely to be victims of stranger crime--they don't listen to or have their "reminine intuition".
 Chosen2nd
Joined: 11/3/2009
Msg: 6
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/8/2009 12:37:00 AM
I believe we are born with all the knowledge of everything. we just have to become aware of the world and what part we wish to advance in. it can better be know as a Discovery, break through, or revolution. might be wrong but its what i think.
 Dale 09
Joined: 5/21/2009
Msg: 7
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/8/2009 4:02:14 PM
Twinki,


genetic not past lives, though I do find it interesting to hear about how many people accept PL and of course they were the ones that were famous, like Shirley McClane lol.

but really, there may be something something to it, I don't know.

but for this thread, it is the genetic "memory" of things that we do from birth on. Not the Past Lives we may have had.




Dale
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 8
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/8/2009 4:53:06 PM
Where the boobs are to get fed! Any mammal just "knows this" even if born with their eyes closed!
 gamin
Joined: 10/29/2009
Msg: 9
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/12/2009 8:45:19 PM
What do you mean by know?

Because a baby behaves a certain way, does that necessarily imply knowledge, or are we simply seeing instinctive behaviour? It's unlikely that a baby 'knows' it will drown if it inhales water, yet human infants will hold their breath when submerged (don't try this at home). Similarly the search for a nipple; babies will do that to men, women, anyone; does that really indicate they know what they're doing?

Is there a way to distinguish between conscious knowledge and an unconscious reflex?

BTW, the person who suggested that dogs learn to roll over more quickly because an ancestor of theirs did: that's Lamarckism, and it's a fallacy.
 forumologist
Joined: 2/23/2008
Msg: 10
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 5:46:42 PM
Right from wrong.

It's society that befuddles us on this one.
 Vancer
Joined: 10/29/2006
Msg: 11
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 6:08:13 PM
Would pattern, and discrepancy recognition count?
Babies come fresh out of the oven with those skills.

I think we also know how to acquire more information from things. Although when we are babies that usually involves putting something in our mouths.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWdL8TAM1Cw
lol
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 12
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 9:02:57 PM
-for the first six months or so of life, and infant can swim if dropped in water (one of many survival reflexes that disappear as babies learn to control the movements on their own, or become unnecessary)
-one school of thought of human language acquisition asserts that humans are born with the ability to hear, and later reproduce all sounds in all human languages, but over time synaptic pruning removes the synapses responsible for the sounds required for languages NOT spoken in the home
-babies are genetically programmed to be cute, to prevent abandonment by it's mother, and therefore increases chances of survival
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 13
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 10:15:43 PM

-babies are genetically programmed to be cute, to prevent abandonment by it's mother, and therefore increases chances of survival

And to be ugly to non parents to encourage them to leave them alone lol
 grantorino88
Joined: 9/7/2009
Msg: 14
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 10:19:41 PM
Would you drop your infant of 4 months into a swimming pool to test that?
I bet the baby drowns.
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 15
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 10:38:44 PM
You can actually watch videos of it on You Tube (and the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind album)...there are mom-and-baby swim classes for newborns, in which new parents are encouraged to bond with their baby by placing them gently in the water, and encouraging them to swim towards them over a very short distance...and parents who choose a water birth experience this first hand, as the baby swims to the surface of the pool post birth to take their first breath of air...of course they're not going to swim laps, but they can do enough to keep themselves afloat for a short time...no BS dude, Google it!
 grantorino88
Joined: 9/7/2009
Msg: 16
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/14/2009 10:53:02 PM
Hm I watched one online. The baby lived, but it was in about a foot of water, and it was picked up from the water by a nurse immediately. I watched some baby swimming lessons, true they can do it but its so minimal.

Either way, Im never ever letting my kids be born underwater!
It just seems crazy to me! I am a land animal!
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 17
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/15/2009 10:02:29 AM
LOL babies and other baby animals are not "genetically programmed to be cute"--WE are genetically programmed to think they are! There is something about women, too, that is different than men in this area. I think some hormone gets released when we look at babies (of lots of species, and I think this goes for female mammals across the board); the hormone makes us "love" them.

Yeah, the babies don't exactly "swim", they DO automatically hold their breaths, though, and pop to the top of the water.

ARGH my T key is sticky
 indefatigabilis
Joined: 11/10/2009
Msg: 18
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/16/2009 7:49:55 AM
I was born knowing everything, and from that original omniscience each new fact and experience has robbed me of some knowledge. By now I am left with only the few scraps of wisdom that allow me to distinguish between the two kinds of holes that one is in the ground and the other, behind myself. When that goes, I am up for grabs as a house plant.
 hereshecomesagain
Joined: 11/13/2009
Msg: 19
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 11/17/2009 8:26:06 AM
I guess I define "knowing" a little differently than most.

A baby's instinctive behavior to survive is different from knowledge. On the bird example, yeah, they build nests, but without instruction, does the bird build the nest well?

Babies can swim and suckle and knead a mother's breast. They begin learning to control bowel and bladder movements very early, and, when we teach them, they later learn to control them to please the adults.

Infants learn in the womb. They are born with knowledge that their mother's voice conveys her feelings- the feelings the child was once connected to by chemical reaction. They are able to differentiate types of music from the kind that please their mother to the kind that did not. They are able to determine what people in their mother's lives are hostile/safe based upon knowledge of those voices and the chemical reaction of their mother to those voices while the infant was in utero.

Babies gather/learn many preferences while in the womb. Their mother's reaction to things may define this, or, there may be something like familiarity that causes a child to like or dislike some things. Vibrations and motion of varying types are within these preferences and dislikes.

Some people recall being born, they recall a short existence within the womb and they can define time quite well by day and night, rest and activity, hunger and satiety, discomfort and pleasantness. Babies have a clock in their heads, they can see the light- possibly some color, through their mother's belly, and they know that one thing will follow the other due to the experience of time passing and experiencing these things in the womb. Is it a conscious knowledge? I think so, because I recall these things and have spoken to others who have. Interestingly enough, this knowledge of time and knowing that rest follows activity follows rest, that a full belly follows hunger, etc., gets forgotten and becomes subconscious and must be retaught to children as they grow.

I am thinking that the mother's chemical reaction to scents may also be communicated to a child, so that even though they have not used their noses to smell prior to birth, they have knowledge of various scents and what they may mean. Taste is another sense that they surely use, as a mother's amniotic fluid would have taste changes according to her chemical reactions to experiences, such that perhaps strong preferences for salty or sweets may come from this learned experience.

So I'm saying that knowledge would be quantifiable and learned, instinct something else altogether and that "knowing everything" bit, is an "understanding" more than knowledge. A semantic debate, I know, but it's all I've got right now. I'm leaving y'all with that, I have a bed waiting for me, us soulless vampires gotta get our beauty rest.
 late™
Joined: 2/1/2010
Msg: 20
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 9/2/2010 6:17:38 PM
Newborns (and probably before that), can recognize the enharmonic diatonic sale intervals of a 4rth and 5th.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 21
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 9/3/2010 12:12:08 AM
I was born knowing that the sun, a sandbox, immersion in what I was doing was nirvana. All else did not matter. For many good reasons.
 x_file
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 22
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 9/20/2010 10:48:31 PM

Socrates' geometry/ algebra experiment with an unknown youth "Proving" we have the basics of math hard wired in the brain/mind.


Ref: Meno, 82a - 85b

There is NO proof that the slave-boy knows the length of the diagonal - he only points to the diagonal and that could be for several reasons - including that Socrates eliminated every other possibility, but the diagonal.



So what other things could be inborn in us?


In the Meno, the dialogue in question, Socrates explorers if virtue (or knowledge) can be thought.

The slave-boy demonstration was not to show that geometry/algebra is "inborn", but to show that virtue (or knowledge) can be recollected (from the immortal soul). The reason for this is because Meno asked Socrates a set of really interesting questions, namely:

80d: How will you look for it (referring to virtue), Socrates, when you do not know at all what it is? How will you aim to search for something you do not know at all? If you should meet with it, how will you know that this is the thing that you did not know?

If Socrates is right, then what's inborn in us is the ability to recollect knowledge, not just algebra, geometry, or some other subject, but the whole of knowledge.

It's like having the Britannica Encyclopedia of everything at your disposal, and to know, you simply have to read it (and in the case of Socrates, recollect it).
 Mercurius_shadow
Joined: 9/16/2005
Msg: 23
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 9/22/2010 4:02:35 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say everything. We are born with a part of ourselves in touch with the collective unconscious. We quickly loose touch with this due to societal programming, er "teaching". Teaching involves grounding us in this reality, the conscious world, as it were, and we relegate the unconscious part of us to dreams, deja vu, paranormal phenomenon, etc. Only through the process of individuation may we seek out the unconscious part of us and become balanced and whole again. It is then that all knowledge will be revealed.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 24
view profile
History
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/2/2010 12:12:51 AM
How to cry.



[Messages this short may not be posted.]
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 25
view profile
History
what do you think we are born knowing???
Posted: 10/8/2010 9:51:21 PM

I'll go out on a limb and say everything. We are born with a part of ourselves in touch with the collective unconscious. We quickly loose touch with this due to societal programming, er "teaching". Teaching involves grounding us in this reality, the conscious world, as it were, and we relegate the unconscious part of us to dreams, deja vu, paranormal phenomenon, etc.


This is close to, but not quite, something I've been thinking on for a long while.

While I don't think the human brain at birth is that developed in what it perceives, I do think that as a child develops it may have some abilities to perceive things that are later "turned off" for various reasons. Part of this is due to teaching "rational" things, and another part may be that certain "switches' may be turned off simply because if they weren't the brain and senses might in fact overload with sensory data.

I've seen things that seem to indicate some possibility of this :


For instance, mind reading. It isn't really mind reading, but scientists have found that babies are able to read subtle facial expressions in the adults in their lives so acutely that it verges on supernatural.

In 2007, the team at the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences conducted an experiment with 18-month old toddlers found they become so sensitive to the subtlest psychological changes in a person's expressions that it might actually explain why they always cry when you come anywhere near them. They can feel the deep-seeded hatred for all things baby under that fake smile of yours.

This strange power even extends to animals, according to a Brigham Young study that discovered that babies under six months could match a dog's bark to its picture without ever coming into contact with the animal. Bizarre!

How about extreme eyesight? Another study, conducted on a herd of six and nine month old children found that the younger babies could discern between two different monkeys, while the older babies could not. This tells us that somewhere between six months and nine months, babies get stupid. How does that happen?

The thing is, adult brains are very busy and don't have time for such trifle things as actually "seeing" colors. From the time we acquire language (seven to nine months old), our brains start perceiving only the "idea" of a color rather than the real thing, unlike all the toddlers who see the world for what it really is. It's like us adults are living in a perpetual Matrix where everything we see is a lie, and all infant babies are Neo.

Babies also have hypersensitive hearing. Unlike adults that have developed the ability to filter out non-essential sounds, like air conditioners or our bosses asking us when this article will be ready, to babies, every sound is essential, and they can hear things happening in the next room as if it were happening right in front of them, hence all the crying.

Babies even have stronger brains than adults.
Humans are born with around 100 billion neurons, same as the number of stars in the Milky Way. However, without a large number of synapses, having lots of neurons is like owning an impressive gun collection with only peas and carrots to load them with. By age three, babies have around 15,000 synapses per neuron... three times as much as an adult in his prime.

Thanks to that, their supercomputer brains can constantly suck up data from their surroundings, then store, analyze and compare it relentlessly trying to understand the world they live in. The infant's capacity for gaining and processing knowledge easily surpasses that of a genius adult mind, making all babies giant nerds by nature. See? Your secret desire to punch them in the face has been perfectly natural all along!

But all good things must come to an end. 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.

Ever notice that infants don't have such weight problems? What's their secret? Why, a pile of borderline-magic fat, of course.
Around five percent (or six ounces) of all infants' body mass is Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), or brown fat. Unlike the hideous "white fat" around your belly, chest, arms, neck and feet (seriously eat some vegetables), brown fat is specifically designed to take in calories and burn them for heat until our infants are hotter than Scarlett Johansson's *** that one time it caught on fire. It does so by cranking the babies' metabolism all the way up to 11, effectively turning them into adorable furnaces for surplus calories.

In an adult body, three ounces of brown fat would be enough to burn 400 to 500 calories of white fat a DAY, or around 10 pounds a year, just from sitting on your increasingly sexier behind. Unfortunately, people lose most of their brown fat before they hit adulthood while babies just sit there, stupidly sitting on top of an amazing experience they don't even deserve because they can't appreciate it.

http://kotaku.com/5542610/we-all-had-super-powers-once
http://www.cracked.com/article_18538_5-superpowers-we-all-had-as-babies-according-to-science_p2.html


That comment on neuorns and synapses may indicate that "shutting down" aspect I was referencing earlier . Between four and six they start to shut down, which might make some sense as they are becoming more and more aware of the world around them.

It may be a possibility that we are born supermen, but start to become more like Clark Kent as the world acts like kryptonite upon our brains.

Just look at some young autistic children, and you sometimes see some amazing abilities that may handicap them in some real world sense - but give them amazing advantages in doing highly specific things.

And that young brain can do some pretty amazing things, like learn Mandarin (or any other language) and start speaking it when the ability for speech appears. For a human adult to learn a foreign language, it's rather difficult, even when surronded by people speaking the language.

That's how every infant learns , before they even go to school.


Last year, Fei Xu and Vashti Garcia at the University of British Columbia proved that babies could understand probabilities. Eight-month-old babies were shown a box full of mixed-up Ping-Pong balls: mostly white but with some red ones mixed in. The babies were more surprised, and looked longer and more intently at the experimenter when four red balls and one white ball were taken out of the box — a possible, yet improbable outcome — than when four white balls and a red one were produced.

Interestingly, Gopnik stresses in her NY Times piece that the research on how babies brains work suggests that -- rather than loading our kids up with Baby Einstein and "smart toys" -- we should just allow them to play in their own way:

Babies’ intelligence, the research shows, is very different from that of adults and from the kind of intelligence we usually cultivate in school. Schoolwork revolves around focus and planning. ...

This approach may work for children over the age of 5 or so. But babies and very young children are terrible at planning and aiming for precise goals. ...

The learning that babies and young children do on their own, when they carefully watch an unexpected outcome and draw new conclusions from it, ceaselessly manipulate a new toy or imagine different ways that the world might be, is very different from schoolwork.

http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/parenting/archive/2009/09/28/inside-baby-s-brain-how-newborns-perceive-the-world.aspx


Pretty interesting concepts to ponder...
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