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#21148 - 05/01/07 10:26 PM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
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Hey, I said people, not creationists. smile

ooops, guess I should'a said "most people," but I was thinking as if in a poll of people.

Good point though, about "convinced that they understand evolution."

I debated about using that word, 'understand.' I thought about saying 'understand the basics,' or 'somewhat understand,' and opted for brevity; but if I were composing a poll question....

wink
~samwik
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#21154 - 05/02/07 01:18 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: samwik]
Ellis Offline
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The ability to hold onto 2 ideas at once is something that humans who live in a community (ie 99%) of us) deal with each day. An example of this is that I think that I believe that absolute freedom is good, however should I decide to exercise it as my right I would be causing chaos. Also in the realm of ideas, I believe it is possible to live a moral life, not upsetting too many, and actively helping and improving the lives of others without needing to believe in a god. Others feel that only the possibility of a god checking behaviour and promising eternal life keeps people "good". I entertain both these ideas, and choose the one that appeals the most. But I do not insist that others who reach a different conclusion adopt my views. And I can see many advantages for both sides.

I have heard many people talk about evolution without the angst referred to here. They still believe believe in god and see him the Evolutionist over all of measurable time. Thinking through 2 opposing views is the human thing to do. Then consensus and cooperation can achieve a balanced result. It's cannot always be either /or.

Such certainties that do exist, confirmed after years of research make for happy scientists, and possibly Nobel Prizes. For the rest of us, we just have to keep trying to unravel the knot, as best we can.

PS-
Nobody has explained the etymology of pneumology and it's not posted anywhere as far as I can see.

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#21155 - 05/02/07 01:29 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Ellis]
Blacknad Offline
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The brain seems to have a peculiar ability to hold two opposing, even contradictory ideas at once. It is called 'Cognitive Dissonance'. It find it interesting that the brain can do this with no real tension. It is probably necessary.

Blacknad.

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#21164 - 05/02/07 04:05 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Blacknad]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis comments:
Quote:
PS-
Nobody has explained the etymology of pneumology and it's not posted anywhere as far as I can see.
The word is 'pneumatology'. I will bring up the thread, for you, which I started on it.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#21168 - 05/02/07 04:30 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rev wrote;
The word is 'pneumatology'. I will bring up the thread, for you, which I started on it.

I don't want to know everything about pneumatology, just its dictionary-type definition.

Blacknad- Is there any evidence that animals other than humans can make choices based on reasoning? Or is Cognitive Dissonance a purely human trait? It seems to me to be a very basic human specific characteristic, as without this ability wouldn't reasoning be impossible?

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#21179 - 05/02/07 08:12 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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TheFallibleFiend wrote:

"I *would* agree with this except that most creationists are absolutely convinced that they understand evolution."

And many people who accept humans have evolved from an ape-like creature don't understand how it happened.

Ellis wrote:

"Is there any evidence that animals other than humans can make choices based on reasoning?"

It so happens I read in today's newspaper that crows do it. I'll have a look for a link, perhaps tomorrow.

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#21186 - 05/02/07 08:53 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: terrytnewzealand]
samwik Offline
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Ellis wrote:

"Is there any evidence that animals other than humans can make choices based on reasoning?"

~There is this from the links on SAGG: monkey metacognition....

"The results demonstrated that there was a strong correlation between high-risk bets and correct responses, and between low-risk bets and incorrect responses. "The pattern of the monkeys' bets provided clear evidence of their ability to engage in meta-cognition, an ability that is all the more remarkable because monkeys lack language," noted Columbia's Herbert Terrace."

~sa
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#21188 - 05/02/07 01:51 PM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: terrytnewzealand]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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terry: "And many people who accept humans have evolved from an ape-like creature don't understand how it happened. "

All too true. My own understand of the subject has evolved over time. The purpose of the redux is to make the ideas more accessible to everyone - creationists and evolutionists, as well.

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#21215 - 05/03/07 04:53 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Ellis Offline
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samik wrote:

"The results demonstrated that there was a strong correlation between high-risk bets and correct responses, and between low-risk bets and incorrect responses. "The pattern of the monkeys' bets provided clear evidence of their ability to engage in meta-cognition, an ability that is all the more remarkable because monkeys lack language," noted Columbia's Herbert Terrace."


Humans who are unable to communicate by using language can make decisions. They are unable to communicate in a meaningful way with others but are able to make considered choices. I find this research challenging as it implies that the monkeys' lack of language would be evidence of their lack of reasoning.

There are conditions that humans suffer fron that preclude them from ever aquiring language, and indeed they often do not wish to interact and commumicate, however they can reason, not always as you or I would, but it is reasoning. An example would be some people with autism, a condition that now everyone has heard of and is now (I feel) a fashionable diagnosis. Some people with severe autism have little desire to communicate and aquire little or no language of any sort, but still make decisions which show evidence of choice.

It is indeed remarkable that the results show that the monkeys were capable of making an informed choice with regard to placing their bets, and answers my question about the ability to make choices being uniquely human. It isn't!

Now all I need is the etymology of pneumatology.

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#21220 - 05/03/07 08:15 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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And Ellis. As promised here is the good oil on crows:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1209_041209_crows_apes.html

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#21235 - 05/03/07 10:51 PM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
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Thanks terry. It seems that not only humans can think. What do you think about the assumption that the aquisition of language is necessary to achieve what is described as meta-cognition? I don't think it is, or actually I think that as quoted it is a flawed definition.

There is a great story about crows from an Asian city (can't remember details and have no facts to back this up!). The crows enjoyed the kernel of a hard shelled nut but they had difficulty cracking the shell. So they were dropping the nuts on a busy intersection in the city and watching as the traffic cracked the shells open, then flying quickly down to pick them up. They then had the sense to take them to the side of the road to eat them, (maybe some sad lessons learned there!). I remember seeing some great footage on TV of the whole thing.

We have come a long way in our knowledge of behaviour since I was taught that humaans were the ony tool-using animals.

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#21236 - 05/03/07 11:09 PM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Revlgking]
Mitthrawnuruodo Offline
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"Science, through its objectivity, has the potential to unify humanity. Ignorance has the potential to destroy it".

Blacknad, Ignorance of what..science? Are you asking if science alone can unify humanity or that humanity can unite without..or in a combination of science and religion..or not religion? I suppose science on its own has no morality; rather the people behind the science have moral responsibility. Of course, I am sure, many scientists will tell me they have no moral duty; they just report the process and the facts.
_________________________
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Carl Sagan

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#21246 - 05/04/07 05:11 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Mitthrawnuruodo]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Ellis asked whether "the aquisition of language is necessary to achieve what is described as meta-cognition?". I've never been sure of any definition of what meta-cognition means. The word was used often enough when I did my teacher training. I suspect we often think in language because we can. A lack of language might not alter our subsequent actions though.

I seem to remember those crows now you come to mention it.

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#21262 - 05/05/07 01:40 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
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Ah! teacher training. They taught me then that cognition was about the aquisition of knowledge through sensory perception, and therefore of itself 'cognition' would describe the use of all the available senses appropriate for the task in hand. I think Meta-cognition is a posh way of saying "lots of sensory input"--sounds brilliant, but I'm really not sure it means much, and I still question whether language, as such, is necessary for reasoned choice to take place. Language must always include communication, but communication does not need language to suceed in conveying its message. Then there are the people who do not communicate in any way and have no language ..but they can still make choices. The aquisition of language and its use in communication are things that we take for granted and we really shouldn't.

PS I am using the term language as I think the reseacher does ie written or spoken words.

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#21266 - 05/05/07 02:06 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Ellis. For what it's worth, I agree with all that. Language is usefull though.

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#21269 - 05/05/07 03:25 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Revlgking Offline
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Playwright, George Bernard Shaw said: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

I agree. IMO, this ability to acknowledge our unique selfhood is what makes us human, spiritual or pneumatological beings.

As a spiritual (pneuma) being I not just the product of my heredity and my environment--my nature and nurture; I am also the result of what I call pneumature. I am personally responsible for the kind of self I am now, and for the kind of self I will have tomorrow.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#21272 - 05/05/07 07:00 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ellis
The aquisition of language and its use in communication are things that we take for granted and we really shouldn't.


I think languange causes lots of problems, because of 'misunderstandings.' It's surprising how often two people think they're talking about the same thing, and yet...not (and usually, nobody ever knows).

Hey, re: "I think Meta-cognition is a posh way of saying "lots of sensory input..."

I see the term as "thinking about thinking." Could also be 'thinking about knowlege, or thinking about learning.'

I think that's why the monkeys "betting" was a good example. It requires holding many possibilities or outcomes in mind at once, and then judging risks/rewards, odds, etc.; meta-cognition.

As for language, it's useful (as ttnz says); but it sure is quicker to think in pictures.
"One picture is worth a thousand words"-?

thus the qualification re: "...the reseacher does, ie written or spoken words."-Ellis

~SLater

_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#21297 - 05/06/07 01:34 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: samwik]
Ellis Offline
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But doesn't thinking occur beacuse of sensory input? Or do you see thinking as sensory nput of itself? In the case of the monkeys. I agree they are a good example, they are indeed holding many ideas/inputs/outcomes at once but I am hsppy to call that thinking and/or reasoning. I do not thik we need the word 'meta-cognition'. It is a very good example of jargon, and unnessary because there are perfectly good words to describe what we assume is meant by it.

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#21383 - 05/08/07 09:30 PM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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IMHO, language is one of the tools we language-using human beings use to create ourselves, agreed? No wonder that the Gospel of John begins with the words: "In the beginning was the word..."
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#21395 - 05/09/07 07:26 AM Re: Is Science the answer? [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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Hiya Revl~
Well, I still stand by what I said above (including about metacognition), but I do agree that we wouldn't be what we are without language; especially it's contributions to our civilizing and socializing processes. You can't communicate using just thoughts, so language is critical. Language facilitates metacognition, like math (statistics) facilitates meta-analyses.
You can read the Bible, and be cognizant of what it says; but to think about what it means (literally, metaphorically, symbolically, etc., is a HNL (whole 'nother level) -metacognition.
I always took, "In the beginning was the word..." to mean that when words came about, it marked the beginning of civilizing and humanizing processes, and recognition of other potentialities (like religion, laws, and science). Words marked the beginning of being human, sapient.

~SA
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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