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The Tearful Ape

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Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


0 posted 08-17-2005 12:11 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


What evolutionary purpose do human emotions serve?
How do they prosper the survival of any, much less the fittest?
Why do  they exist at all?

Midnitesun
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Member Empyrean
since 05-18-2001
Posts 29020
Gaia


1 posted 08-17-2005 12:47 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Q#1 Answer: maybe none?

Q#2 Answer: sheer luck.

Q#3 Answer: see number 2.
Hypatia
Junior Member
since 03-22-2004
Posts 18


2 posted 08-17-2005 05:06 AM       View Profile for Hypatia   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Hypatia

The answer to all three would be dependant upon one's opinion to a fourth question:

Is instinct a quality exclusive of emotion?
Alicat
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since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


3 posted 08-17-2005 09:56 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Thing that I never could figure out is why, if evolutionary theory is true, did every critter stop evolving into a higher life form?  Yeah, ok, fish walks on land, over time lungs replace gills.  So what about the next fish that wants to try walking a decade later?  It all appears that every critter that was going to evolve into something else all did it with one great exertive push, then stopped for a cigarette and celebratory beer, never to budge again.

See, to me, evolution means a continued process.  Protazoa developing more cells and becoming flatworms.  Flatworms becoming tubers.  Tubers becoming very small fishes.  Fishes becoming lizards.  Lizard becomes car salesman.

In other words, it should keep happening.  Yeah, the pundits talk about millions of years of evolution, but it's always going to be a million years.  It's like when a teen says he did a chore 2 weeks ago.  The chore will have always been done 2 weeks ago, irrespective of the actual passage of time.  Tomorrow is always tomorrow, 2 weeks is always 2 weeks, and a million years is always a million years.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


4 posted 08-17-2005 01:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Thing that I never could figure out is why, if evolutionary theory is true, did every critter stop evolving into a higher life form?"

Alicat,
The earth cannot always "afford" the same changes.  It is not as hot and unstable as it used to be, therefore such changes that come out of such heat and instability that used to be over the earth, simply don't come out anymore.  As simply as an initial reaction doesn't take place in the same way, forever.  It takes place in different ways.  Thus what took place yesterday, takes place today, but in a different way, different in some shape or extent, but neverthleess still taking place.  
Heat and instability seem to conduct more changes, and then the heat and instability become cooler and more stable and have less changes.  The reason for this I think is because the sun shrinks and sends less fire into the earth, and the amount of fire also settles into the earth and cools down even further with the earth.  Fire and earth become "more comfortable" with each other, more stable, and therewith, also, less mutable.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (08-18-2005 02:24 AM).]

fractal007
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since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


5 posted 08-19-2005 11:37 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

This is a question which smacks of the naive reductionism I held for so long.  I do not mean to offend, and I am sorry if I have already, but one must be careful when trying to determine how emotion fits into the picture of evolution.  If one subscribes to evolution, and indeed to the psychological extensions that it seems to bring with it, then obviously emotion does indeed have some benefit.  However, I think that it is important that we do not try to question the existence of something which so characterizes our lives as humans.  Rather, emotion should be experienced as it is, discontinuous from its past history.  

I have not answered your question, but to suggest that it does have an answer.  But I hope this helps

Any idiot can see that the result is true.
-- argumentum ad idiotum
Me!

Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


6 posted 08-20-2005 04:01 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Man has an inferiority in instinct to all animals, but this was made up for because human has superiority in insight over them.
And thus what animals have not in insight, they make up for with instinct and what humans have not in instinct, they make up for with insight.
But in man, the small instinct can't touch such great insight, nor such great insight touch such small instinct, without some delay, transition, compromise in between, and that it seems where emotions happened.  They are like a "sea" between instinct and great insight.   They not as pure as instinct, but not as manhandled as insight.    They are like a sea swallowing a civilization.  Where the civilization is still there, but not completly, and the sea's flow is still there, but a bit less naturaly while the civilization sinks half way into it.  Animals have this "sea" too but it is not as interefed by the civilization of insight, and therefore is always swifter in instinct.
Hypatia
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since 03-22-2004
Posts 18


7 posted 08-20-2005 05:21 AM       View Profile for Hypatia   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Hypatia

Even should we seperate ourselves from "Darwinsim" and consider evolution as a maturity of becoming, in one "mere" human life, I feel that my fourth question has not of yet been answered.

What thing has seperated us, from those (animals) who did not evolve?

It wasn't mere invention.

Monkeys have been recorded as to the use of (utilization of reason) simple tools--taking a stick and placing it into anthills to partake a snack. Other mammals as well have been noted to utilize environmental opportunities.

The presence of chemicals, hormonal balances and the conclusionatory -imbalances?- in the human brain represent, I believe, the Last Frontier.

What invention (and I am behooved to call fire "invention"--it was discovery) that propelled the evolution of mankind, beyond the simple manipulation of environment, to being in control, and thus achieving the enhancement of advancement, and our bodies followed suit.

Think.

Fire

It sparked society. And so much more than that.

The natural enemy of all animal flesh -- fire -- it could be managed, controlled, and it was "reasoned" (in other words, there was reasoning function in our brain) that not only changed the way that mankind lived, but the very utilization of our bowels.

(Cooked meat simply digests more efficiently than raw meat. The body adapted--resulting in a more upright skeletal framework and enabling us to more exploration, and thus, more situations requiring adaptability.)

This wasn't always a successful evolution. (For reference, just hit the google search engine and type in Goliath evolution, and then Hobbit--both are the legitimate names for the anthropology.)

Now -

Let's assume for a moment that you do not follow the Darwinist Theory of Evolution.

Someone should explain to me the differences in the skeletal-muscular system, and how, even now, as I type, we become a much more well-fed (fattened)population, and thus the size of our body mass index increases, and so does the size of the typical foot?

Perhaps we adapt....here?

For example, I am Hypatia, and I am a woman. A typical waistline in the 1800's was 15-17 inches. A typical shoe size was a four. (Any woman who has bought vintage clothing knows this is underestimation.)

The typical shoe size for women in the seventies was 6/7.

Today? It is 8/9. Wide

For now, I shall leave that as the lot of my physical evidence.

But now, let's explore evolution as a simple rite of maturity of a human being, from newborn to, what we would hope would be a natural death at say, typically, between 75-90 years of age.

I submit as fact that a newborn may be bottle-fed, with a formula of nutrition that matches (in some cases surpasses) that of the natural teat of the newborn's  mother. And yet, it has long been emphasized from doctors to mothers that "bottle-propping" is not only unacceptable, but it could result in a de-socialized behavior--and lack of human contact is cause specific in cases of "failure to thrive".

In other words, even infants who have never known such will get lonely and will mourn the lack of touch.

We are all born with the innate ability "to suck", and yet not all of us are suckled.

We hire people to rock babies in hospitals, and yet, we continue to deny our need for intimacy.

I maintain it's a question of nature and nurture, and not an ultimate equation of either/or, but a fine balance of the two.

We can take the emotions and isolate them, and dissolve them into finite microscopic entity, but it takes an "x" factor to replicate the total devotion of that which is given to us, (and some be burdened by) the mysterious factor of algebraic "x":

love.

Instinct or emotion?

I suggest our instinct drives us to seek out emotion.


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