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#14582 - 06/30/06 09:02 AM re: evolution
y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 49
Loc: everywhere
where does guilt fit in?
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y

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#14583 - 06/30/06 01:42 PM Re: re: evolution
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
I could come up with a scenario on how guilt fits into evolution, but I'd have no real evidence for you. It would be what Gould described as a "just-so story."

So, you want a "just-so story?" Let me know.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#14584 - 06/30/06 07:38 PM Re: re: evolution
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Get a copy of a book titled: "The Moral Animal" if you want the answer to that question. It is a very good read.
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DA Morgan

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#14585 - 06/30/06 08:01 PM Re: re: evolution
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Guilt and other emotions make plenty of evolutionary sense. Thinking, selfish yet social animals need something like guilt. If Y wants solid evidence though, I haven't got it.

Why do you ask, Y?
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#14586 - 07/01/06 04:11 AM Re: re: evolution
anyman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 134
I could come up with a scenario on how guilt fits into evolution, but I'd have no real evidence for you. It would be what Gould described as a "just-so story." --soilguy

well said...probably for different reasons but well said all the same :-)

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#14587 - 07/01/06 02:27 PM Re: re: evolution
Peter Bmn Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 35
Loc: Canberra
Is Gould in the "Selfish Gene" camp, or has he broken out of that straightjacket?
(i.e. it limits evolution to a single strategy which is only suitable for zero sum games).

The argument for most genes being cooperative is much stronger. Individuals are produced by the (mostly) cooperative contribution of many genes. Natural selection normally operates on individuals, not their genes. Genes can't be the "fittest" by themselves (unless there was selective copying of genes) - they have to be expressed in a individual.

The concept of "fitness also applies to social groups, populations and whole species. i.e. a species which is well fitted to its ecological niche, but is not able to adapt to environmental change, is not the fittest in the long run.

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#14588 - 07/01/06 08:07 PM Re: re: evolution
Pragmatist Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 84
Loc: N.W. U.S.
While I would hesitate to take a definite stand as
to whether guilt is a matter of nature or nuture,
I submit that since we have been part of cooperative
groups since the 'tree swinging` days, and since we
are a species with a long rearing period, that
cooperative culture has become part of our
evolutionary baggage in either case.
If you doubt how difficult it is to change habits
of thought & behavior we picked up in rearing,
consider the acrimony of the religious debates
we see in here.

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#14589 - 07/01/06 11:08 PM Re: re: evolution
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Y, "where does guilt fit in?"

You have been given some good replies.

When speaking of evolution I can not equate things like love, happiness or guilt to any thing related to evolution. I see people with a main board that was provided by evolution. It had some basics like how to walk and eat and do the obvious things nature will mandate. We, us and others like us, created emotions like programs that made the basic machine human.
Just a thought.
jjw

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#14590 - 07/03/06 12:31 AM Re: re: evolution
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Pragmatist wrote:
"While I would hesitate to take a definite stand as
to whether guilt is a matter of nature or nuture...."

Well time to get with the program:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060630100140.htm

Wiping out ignorance. One fact at a time.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14591 - 07/04/06 10:13 AM Re: re: evolution
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Wiping out ignorance. One fact at a time?

Empathy is not guilt.

Wiping our error. One mistake at a time ;-)

Blacknad.

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#14592 - 07/04/06 10:41 AM Re: re: evolution
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Are we under the impression that every human trait has an evolutionary basis?

What is the reason I find a sunset beautiful?

What is the reason I find anything beautiful besides the opposite sex?

What is the evolutionary drive to enjoy pornography?

What is the evolutionary drive to make some people enjoy being spanked and experience pain?

Why the crossover some people feel between pain and sexual pleasure?

What is the evolutionary basis for self-mutilation?

Or suicide - and don't mention lemmings (great game and maybe believable in 'Wild Wilderness' but not actual fact).

Evolution accounts for much but we should not make the mistake of believing it accounts for every complex behaviour found in a complex brain.

Blacknad.

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#14593 - 07/04/06 06:04 PM Re: re: evolution
Pragmatist Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 84
Loc: N.W. U.S.
I call that anxiety, not empathy, D.A.,
and something similar has been observed
in forms as low as lobsters.

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#14594 - 07/04/06 06:11 PM Re: re: evolution
Pragmatist Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 84
Loc: N.W. U.S.
P.S. - A better argument would have been
Lorenz's observations in 'On Aggression`,
of the response of dominant individuals to
submission behaviors, but I think 'guilt`
is still a bit more complicted than those,
occuring, as it does, after the fact.

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#14595 - 07/04/06 11:32 PM Re: re: evolution
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Blacknad wrote:
"Empathy is not guilt."

My response:
http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.po...00000b80044f1 1

Perhaps not but they are related.
================================================
Blacknad asks:
"Are we under the impression that every human trait has an evolutionary basis?"

No. We are under the impression that the underlying chemistry in the brain is the result of evolution. There is a difference.

So lets get to your questions:

Q1: What is the reason I find a sunset beautiful?

A1: Can't answer that question. What I can tell you is that there are places on this planet where sunset is associated with the onset of terror and evokes a very different set of emotions.

Q2: What is the reason I find anything beautiful besides the opposite sex?

A2: Because you associate it with the release of hormones in your brain such as oxytocin.

Q3: What is the evolutionary drive to enjoy pornography?

A3: This is a family friendly web site. If you really don't know contact me off-line and I'll explain "the birds and the bees" to you. BTW: Not everyone enjoys pornography. Your assumption contains a basic fault.

Q4: What is the evolutionary drive to make some people enjoy being spanked and experience pain

A4: I was hoping you'd ask this one. The human body finds mild pain pleasurable. One example is the fact that the exact same mechanisms are stimulated by capsicum (chili peppers) as by being burned by something very hot. When we can control the amount of nerve ending stimulation (different for different people) the end result is pleasure. I, for one, enjoy hot Thai, Mexican, and Indian food. Hot to the point that others would find it painful.

Q5: hy the crossover some people feel between pain and sexual pleasure?

A5: Just answered that one for you.

Q6: What is the evolutionary basis for self-mutilation or suicide

A6: http://www.biopsychiatry.com/suifit.html
There are many more good references. This is
just the first one I found.

Evolution accounts for much but we should not make the mistake of believing it accounts for every complex behaviour found in a complex brain.

I disagree. It is only via evolution that it is possible to construct something capable of such complexity.

Look at the evolution, for example, of thinking machines. The smartest ones are the ones capable of rewiring their own circuitry.
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DA Morgan

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#14596 - 07/05/06 07:53 PM Re: re: evolution
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Bmn:
Is Gould in the "Selfish Gene" camp, or has he broken out of that straightjacket?
No, Gould was definitely NOT in the selfish gene camp. He believed some traits came as a package.

Dawkins is the selfish gene guru. When Gould was alive, the two of them went at it quite a bit.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#14597 - 07/05/06 08:21 PM Re: re: evolution
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
I do wonder about the capacity to appreciate beauty. Perhaps it arose as a motivation for our species to thrive?
_________________________
~Justine~

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#14598 - 07/06/06 03:25 AM Re: re: evolution
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Good shot Justine but our appreciation of beauty serves many different purposes.

A beautiful woman is one whose physical symmetry and other attributes are biological indicators of good reproductive potential and a healthy immune system. That which makes a man beautiful is the same indicators transcribed into how they would work were our species still dodging saber toothed kitty cats.

A beautiful painting, sunset, music, etc.? Different things to different people. I like Bach, others like Snoop DoggieDoo.
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DA Morgan

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#14599 - 07/06/06 09:26 PM Re: re: evolution
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Beauty can have a calming effect. Maybe the effect that beauty has on us offers a health advantage.

I like to sit on mountaintops and cliffs and enjoy the view. Enjoying vistas could also have the survival advantage of being able to see enemies or other dangers approach long before they arrive.

Whatever the case, don't get too caught up in such questions. Just enjoy the view.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#14600 - 07/06/06 10:35 PM Re: re: evolution
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Good thinking that I will attempt to extend.

Standing on a mountain top and looking out a vast areas that are uninhabited ... plains, mountains, valleys, sunsets, oceans ... is considered beautiful.

Sitting on a hill top looking down at a city or town rarely, if ever, is described using the same verbiage.

That which is "beautiful" is that which offers potential. That which is already inhabited, occupied, does not.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14601 - 07/07/06 12:29 AM Re: re: evolution
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Blacknad wrote:
"Empathy is not guilt."

My response:
http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.po...000b80044f1 1

Perhaps not but they are related.
How closely related? One is purely a matter of immediate perception ? the other is an after the fact event that requires thought & reflection.

Blacknad asks:
"Are we under the impression that every human trait has an evolutionary basis?"

No. We are under the impression that the underlying chemistry in the brain is the result of evolution. There is a difference.


If that is all you are saying then of course there is no disagreement, but that isn't all people here are saying. It is being said that guilt has an evolutionary function. I am simply saying that it is an emergent property of a complex brain.


So lets get to your questions:

Q1: What is the reason I find a sunset beautiful?

A1: Can't answer that question. What I can tell you is that there are places on this planet where sunset is associated with the onset of terror and evokes a very different set of emotions.

Q2: What is the reason I find anything beautiful besides the opposite sex?

A2: Because you associate it with the release of hormones in your brain such as oxytocin.


Oxytocin release may occur when I look at something I perceive as beautiful and that's fine, but why? Why does it release when I view a painting or listen to certain music or examine an intricate pattern in birds eye maple or read a stunning piece of literature? What advantage did that give me in evolutionary terms? All I am saying again is that why is there a movement to attribute all human traits to evolutionary development? I have seen it time and time again ? 'What is the reason we laugh? Ah there must have been an evolutionary benefit.'

Q3: What is the evolutionary drive to enjoy pornography?

A3: This is a family friendly web site. If you really don't know contact me off-line and I'll explain "the birds and the bees" to you. BTW: Not everyone enjoys pornography. Your assumption contains a basic fault.


Gosh ? you Americans are such prudes ;-) I may well PM you and ask you about the birds and the bees and see how you deal with that one :-) Of course you're right, not everyone enjoys pornography and men are far more likely to, as they respond to visual sexual stimuli more than women. But I was pointing out that enjoying pornography would seem to offer no evolutionary advantage and would hardly be selected for, and there is therefore no reason why it would survive as a trait. Therefore I feel that it has nothing to do with evolution, which backs up my point that not all human behaviour traits have a basis in evolution.

Q4: What is the evolutionary drive to make some people enjoy being spanked and experience pain

A4: I was hoping you'd ask this one. The human body finds mild pain pleasurable. One example is the fact that the exact same mechanisms are stimulated by capsicum (chili peppers) as by being burned by something very hot. When we can control the amount of nerve ending stimulation (different for different people) the end result is pleasure. I, for one, enjoy hot Thai, Mexican, and Indian food. Hot to the point that others would find it painful.

Q5: hy the crossover some people feel between pain and sexual pleasure?

A5: Just answered that one for you.


Have no issue with this. The question was not simply about the mechanism (I know why), but again was about the evolutionary basis or benefit of such a trait. I can't think of one.

Q6: What is the evolutionary basis for self-mutilation or suicide

A6: http://www.biopsychiatry.com/suifit.html
There are many more good references. This is
just the first one I found.


We don't see suicide in the animal kingdom ? it's unique to humans. If it arose as an evolutionary benefit then it came late if the theories are correct. People would have to have been sufficiently well advanced in terms of perception and reflection to realise they were of no benefit or even a hindrance to kin and then end their lives. It seems that evolution managed to function very well without suicide. Much suicide is due to existential angst. It seems to me that for some people life is simply too painful to continue with so they make a reasoned decision to opt out. It doesn't need an evolutionary driver.

It's one of those things that gets blurred for me. It could be either. A reasoned response to a life too full of pain, or a residual effect of an evolutionary advantage to remove your mouth from consuming valuable resources etc. It can fit either of them ? so why plump for an evolutionary reason ? it doesn't need it?

Evolution accounts for much but we should not make the mistake of believing it accounts for every complex behaviour found in a complex brain.

- I disagree. It is only via evolution that it is possible to construct something capable of such complexity.

Look at the evolution, for example, of thinking machines. The smartest ones are the ones capable of rewiring their own circuitry.


I think you are defending evolution ? but I am not attacking it.

Blacknad.

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