Cognition

The science or study of primitive societies and the nature of man.

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Ishtar
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Cognition

Post by Ishtar » Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:52 am

There is a new book out that questions the scientific basis of the theory of the evolution, and it has some interesting points to make about early cognition.

The book is called The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions by David Berlinsky who, despite the publisher's choice of title, claims not to have any religious beliefs.

This is from a review of the book:

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/20 ... insky.aspx

Most modern scholarship neglects the contributions of Alfred Wallace to the theory of evolution perhaps because, in contrast to Darwin, he soon after began to have serious doubts about its validity. In an essay published in 1869 Wallace gave voice to his skepticism.

In it he detailed several human characteristics that he believed natural selection failed to explain. These include the human brain, the organs of speech, the hand, and the upright posture and bipedal gait of human beings.

Wallace was particularly interested in the workings of the human mind and language, which to him appeared as a latent power inherent as much in a modern European as in a tribesman from the Amazon.

But how does natural selection account for latent powers? It holds that useful genes are selected for perpetuation and useless ones fall into oblivion.

The apparent fact that these abilities were “frontloaded” into the species long ago runs counter to evolutionary dogma. Indeed, it seems to point to an immutable aspect in human nature. Contrary to what the scientists would have us believe, according to Berlinsky, the conflict persists to this day. “It has not been resolved.”

That human beings possess powers and abilities that surpass all other creatures is obvious to most observers. All it takes is a look around. The proposition that we are merely a product of random evolutionary process, Berlinsky asserts, “requires a disciplined commitment” to a worldview that owes “astonishingly little to the evidence.”

... According to Berlinsky, “the facts are what they have always been: unforthcoming. And the theory is what it always was: unpersuasive.” A Nobel laureate in biology once remarked to Berlinsky, “Darwin? That’s just the party line.”

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Post by Minimalist » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:37 am

In an essay published in 1869 Wallace gave voice to his skepticism.

And what? Evolutionary science has made no progress since 1869?

When Darwin published the Origin of Species the fossil record was incomplete...in fact it was barely a record at all. No one knew shit about genetics or mitochondrial DNA or plate tectonics or austraolopithicus, etc...etc.

Morons like you-know-who rant and rave about "Darwin" but act as if because the Wright Brothers invented powered flight that they also invented the Space Shuttle. They didn't. Unlike religion, science moves on.

Darwin established an idea and generations of other scientists have picked up the flag and carried on. It is unlikely that Darwin would recognize his "theory" today but he would not be displeased.

You have to understand the religious mind, Ish and Arch is a prime specimen. Science is never satisfied. It keeps asking questions. Religious twits like you-know-who think they already have the answers. There is no common ground between the two.

YOu should ask him about archaeologists who were digging in 1910 and telling him what he wanted to hear. Modern archaeology has demolished his bible tale and his reaction is "they were right before." But would he go to a doctor who followed methods in vogue in 1910? Would he fly on a plane or buy a car based on 1910 technology? No.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by Ishtar » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:10 am

Can you not examine anything that seeks to take another perspective on science without rushing to blame Arch for it?

Admittedly, the source for this review is Arch ... but thereafter, all linkage ends. As soon as I started reading this my brain took over, and my brain is my own.

This author is not a religious person, let alone a religious nut. However, I think you're behaving like a religious nut by rushing to defend science before even reading this book. By taking such a dogmatic stance, it only confirms to me how like a religion so much of science has become.

Despite your quoted fossil record, still as much faith is required to believe in the ape common ancestor as is required to believe in God.

I once offered Beagle a small bet, about £50 I think, and the proposition was that I would have to pay him if the ape common ancestor was found within 20 years, and if it wasn't, he would have to pay me.

Beagle really knows about this stuff ... and he wouldn't accept the bet. That told me everything I needed to know about how close - or rather, not close - scientists are to finding the so-called ape common ancestor.

And yet only yesterday I was reading an article (on here) where the journalist was glibly accepting that we are descended from apes. And this was not just a one off...

I think these things are worth examining and worth airing. The development of cognition is an area that the theory of evolution has so far failed to answer, and that is why I set up this thread.

And I don't think you can accuse me of not understanding science with all the threads I've done on the new sciences lately.

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Post by kbs2244 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:23 am

"As much faith is required to believe in the ape common ancestor as is required to believe in God.”

You have impressed me with that statement Ish.

My opinion is that belief in evolution is, at the bottom, an ego trip.
It is for people that cannot accept the concept that humans are not the most intelligent things in the universe.
That we do, in fact, owe our existence to something more powerful than us.

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Post by Minimalist » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:08 am

Admittedly, the source for this review is Arch

Right. And you know what reaction that will produce.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by Ishtar » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:05 pm

I don't care about Arch or his reaction.

I want to talk about early cognition, and this article gives us a good starting off point.

If you think that the Darwinian theory of evolution adequately explains the development of man's cognition, kindly tell us why here.

Or if you think that, since Darwin, it has all been adequately explained by scientists' work regarding genetics or mitochondrial DNA or plate tectonics or austraolopithicus, as you say, then kindly make your case by giving specific examples within those disciplines.

And if you can't stop thinking about Arch, kindly don't bring him into this thread.

Thank you. 8)

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Post by Minimalist » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:52 pm

Ish, we both know who brought him into the thread.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by Ishtar » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:00 pm

Minimalist wrote:Ish, we both know who brought him into the thread.
Yes, you dear.

I fail to see what Arch has got to do with this.

The author is not even religious, although admittedly the review of the book is written by a Christian which, last time I looked, was not a crime.

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Post by john » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:13 pm

Ishtar wrote:
Minimalist wrote:Ish, we both know who brought him into the thread.
Yes, you dear.

I fail to see what Arch has got to do with this.

The author is not even religious, although admittedly the review of the book is written by a Christian which, last time I looked, was not a crime.
All -

Let's leave certain historical personalities out of this;

We've got much bigger fish to fry.

Like you, Ishtar, I am convinced that Western Science

Is just another belief system, which,

When you strip it down, depends to an amazing extent

On "Faith."

Now, from age five (and by the way, not a boast, I was fluent

In reading the English language by age three)

I was right in the middle of an amazing group of scientists,

Day in, day out,

With unlimited access and encouragement to

Scientific literature and practise.

Kind of a mascot.

So I got the deep training in science from a very early age,

And ate it up voraciously.

I say all this to say to you, I know whereof I speak

With regard to the systemic morphology and processes of science.

Now,

Here's a very interesting cognitive cleavage line which

Is apropos to this argument.

Ishtar, you are correct that sypnapses and

The acts of neurotransmission do not follow

Euclidian/Newtonian mechanics,

Despite that fact that they occur millions of times

A day within our physical envelopes.

They follow, as best we can understand,

The parameters of quantum mechanics.

So here we've got a physical body which

Is born, eats, shits, breathes and dies within

Generally recognized scientific parameters.

However, in the case of humans,

This body - for lack of a better word - is

Infected with quantum phenomena,

For which there is no genetic "proof."


By definition

The helical coil of DNA

Does not inherently possess the ability of neurotransmission

Because neurotransmission is a quantum event,

Not a physical, Euclidian/Newtonian thing.

We do know that we have entities within our physical envelope

Through which the events of neurotransmission occur.

So the point is - and this is a poor metaphor -

Our physical bodies and our cognitive abilities utilise

Two absolutely distinct "operating systems".

Despite many attempts to cram the two into

The visage of the classic "missing link", nobody that I know of

Has succeeded, or is likely to. Ever.


I'm going to stop right here for now.


hoka hey


john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain

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Post by Ishtar » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:43 am

John

In this abstract from an article written by Berlinksy, he explores the "missing links" in the theories of evolutionists with regard to the common ancestor, and it puts some flesh on the bones of your post:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewa ... gaps-11275
The idea that human beings have been endowed with powers and properties not found elsewhere in the animal kingdom—or, so far we can tell, in the universe—arises from a simple impulse: just look around.

It is an impulse that handily survives the fraternal invitation to consider the great apes. The apes are, after all, behind the bars of their cages, and we are not. Eager for the experiments to begin, they are also impatient for their food to be served, and they seem impatient for little else.

After undergoing years of punishing trials at the hands of determined clinicians, a few have been taught the rudiments of various primitive symbol systems. Having been given the gift of language, they have nothing to say.

When two simian prodigies meet, they fling their placards at each other. More is expected, but more is rarely forthcoming.

Experiments—and they are exquisite—conducted by Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth indicate that like other mammals, baboons have a rich inner world. Simian social structures are often intricate. Chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas reason; they form plans; they have preferences; they are cunning; they have passions and desires; and they suffer. In much of this, we see ourselves.

But beyond what we have in common with the apes, we have nothing in common, and while the similarities are interesting, the differences are profound.
What Berlinsky means is, despite the “education” we give to those poor apes that we subject to our trials, they are not evolving. They are not developing a greater intelligence. Their brains are not forming synapses enabling them to think, speak and behave like adults - let alone produce artwork of the quality of the cave paintings that were produced by the Neanderthals, despite having the added advantage of not having to invent their own paintbrushes and paints. A few of them can slowly and painfully learn party tricks in exchange for treats. That’s all.



Image



We don’t see apes evolving over tens or hundreds or thousands of years. The common chimpanzee (great ape) of today is the common chimpanzee of 2-3,000 years ago. In fact, as far as I can see, there is no evidence that apes have evolved at all in the last 5-6 million years – and so there is no evidence that this (below) ever happened. Unfortunately, it is an image that's burned into our psyches now.... as much as any Messiah hanging on a cross.



Image



Man believing that he has a common ancestor with the apes is another way of saying that he and the apes are part of the same species. But how would you define species? How did Darwin – who, remember, only had a degree in theology and not science – define species when he wrote the Origin of Species? And how can we even talk about specific types when the theory of evolution decrees that we all come from the same cell.

As anti-creationist scientist Stephen Gould points out, if all life forms have been produced by an incrementally gradual expansion through selected mutations from a small beginning gene pool, organisms really should just grade into one another without distinct boundaries.

He says, “For an evolutionist, why should there be any species at all?”

Another scientist agrees:

In his book, Evolution – A Theory in Crisis, molecular biologist Michael Denton says:

http://www.forananswer.org/Top_Ath/Michael%20Denton.pdf

“Molecular biology has shown that the basic design of the cell system is essentially the same for all living systems on earth, from bacteria to mammals. In all organisms, the role of DNA and mRNA and protein are identical. The meaning of the genetic code is also virtually identical in all cells. The size, structure and component design of the protein synthetic machinery is practically the same in all cells.

In terms of the basic biochemical design, therefore, no living system can be thought of as primitive or ancestral with respect to any other system. Nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an evolutionary sequence among all the incredibly diverse cells on the earth.”
Here's another version of image we’ve all been brainwashed with – but there is no evidence within the fields of genetics or molecular biology or the work done with the cognitive processes of apes that this chronological, hierarchical progression ever took place.



Image



Therefore, the theory of evolution with regard to our descent from a common ancestor only exists as a matter of faith. Not only that, but imo the person who is objectively examining the scientific evidence, instead of blindly chanting liturgies at the shrine of the demiurge Darwin and his high priest Dawkins, will probably cognise that it never happened.

.

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Post by kbs2244 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:29 pm

Ish, are you saying that the “missing links” everybody is looking for are physical ones when the real differences are mental?
If so, I agree.
And your concern about “cognition” goes to the need for us to worship something.
That need is fulfilled in many ways.
Sprits, science, sports heroes, a car, your job, whatever you think is worth your time and attention.
(Maybe the Internet?)
I do not know of any studies that have found the need to worship in any animal species.

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Post by Ishtar » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:31 pm

kbs2244 wrote:Ish, are you saying that the “missing links” everybody is looking for are physical ones when the real differences are mental?
Actually, I wasn't. It was just me trying to be clever with a play on words.
kbs2244 wrote: And your concern about “cognition” goes to the need for us to worship something.
That need is fulfilled in many ways.
Sprits, science, sports heroes, a car, your job, whatever you think is worth your time and attention.
(Maybe the Internet?)
I do not know of any studies that have found the need to worship in any animal species.
So why do humans feel the need to worship something, in your opinion?

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Post by john » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:18 pm

Ishtar wrote:
kbs2244 wrote:Ish, are you saying that the “missing links” everybody is looking for are physical ones when the real differences are mental?
Actually, I wasn't. It was just me trying to be clever with a play on words.
kbs2244 wrote: And your concern about “cognition” goes to the need for us to worship something.
That need is fulfilled in many ways.
Sprits, science, sports heroes, a car, your job, whatever you think is worth your time and attention.
(Maybe the Internet?)
I do not know of any studies that have found the need to worship in any animal species.
So why do humans feel the need to worship something, in your opinion?

All -

Because of the incredible inferiority complex brought on

By not being born an ape.


hoka hey


john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain

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Post by kbs2244 » Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:07 pm

We originally had the need to worship because we were the only creation with the ability to realize there were things bigger and smarter than us.
The whole history of astrology / astronomy convinced us of that very early on.
You cannot study the regularity of the stars and the number of them without soon realizing they are beyond human ability to make or control.
We are pretty small on a pretty small piece of dirt.
When the concept of “god” became passé we still had that need and it has been diverted toward many objects, organizations, theories, people, etc.

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Post by Ishtar » Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:59 pm

I hear what you say, KB, and those are all interesting points.

But do you mind if we park the 'god' bit of this discussion until another time.

I've been trying to discuss this on another board, and they're finding it impossible to see the issues clearly - reason being that they cannot decouple the evolution debate from the creationism one. They think that if they find holes in the evolution debate, then that means they'll have to become creationists. That that is a total non sequitur is lost on them, I'm afraid.

So what I'd like to do here is to examine the theory of evolution separately to whether there's a God .... at this stage of the discussion anyway. The two, in any case, are not mutually exclusive, so it should be easy to do this.

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