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← The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

raytoman's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by raytoman

We learn because links are built between our brain cells (synapses) and pathways established that can persist.

We start by not knowing we can't walk or talk. We then learn we can't walk and talk, we then learn to walk and talk and then we just walk and talk. Examination of our brain s' pathways would show the associated growth in synapses (our billion braincells can end up with a trillion links if we are really smart).

Obviously we inherit a bunch of stuff (like how to circulate our blood) and only find oui about other stuff when we need it (shock to negate pain) but we can control some things and make decisions that effect things and can have free will within limits.

Genes evolved us as a means of reproducing themselves and have formed some new genes that are specific to our species (about 1.8% of out 23,000 or so genes). The new human genes have enabled us to learn faster and better than the other sentient species on our planet but also make it easier to make mistakes. We can learn bad things as well as good things.

Doing the right thing at the wrong time can be very bad or doing the wrong thing at the right time can be very good - sometimes just a matter of timing. Learning to do things autominously can enable an even higher level of capability or we can compound bad decisions to our detriment.

We have become complicated and our thoughts and actions are now controlled by our brain rather than just our nervous system. We are making memes that are more powerful than our genes and I suspect we are the only species that focus so much effort on killing each other and the only species that is superstitious/irrational.

Our brain and our learning capability comes at a high price. A perfectly fit and healthy human can be destroyed by their own brain or by how or what they choose to learn.

Still, who would rather be anything else but human?

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 22:15:07 UTC | #948873