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Sunday, May 29, 2011


Stan Gibilisco

Animals have instincts; one can debate whether or not they constitute "ideas." However, as a believer in the theory of evolution, I find it reasonable to suppose that humans have instincts too, notions that they're simply born with.

Ken Blanchard

That would be the argument, Stan.

Stan Gibilisco

"We come into the world like computers purchased at Office Max: with a lot of pre-packaged software."

Ah, yes! And now for the counter-suggestion: All the software in cyberspace carries with it no meaning, no utility, no substance if no input data exists.

Maybe a few sample photos, tunes, documents, videos come with it ...

According to one of my favorite philosphers, Osho, each and every one of us enters this world as a "tabula rasa" (blank slate). A fine slate, to be sure, but with nothing written on it.

I recommend Osho for good reading. Passing the eyes along the lines in one of his (non-pirated, paper-bound) books is like passing the ears along the bars of a well-written symphony.

Is the "argument over innate ideas" about to end? I think not. If nothing else, my own brain will conflict with itself until I pass out of this world as -- what? -- Another "tabula rasa"?

All the ideas, innate or otherwise, that we gather in this world will, methinks, prove useless in the next.

Billl Fleming

Not to quibble, but rather, fine tune, the whole notion of evolution was actually advanced by the pre-Socratics... Specifically Anaximander, circa 550 BC, when he reasoned that since the first human infant cold not have survived on it's own, humans must have somehow evolved from some other animal whose infants are more self sufficient. Now, if we could just persuade the 6,000 year old earth folks, KB.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: I am not sure about "the whole notion of evolution," but Anaximander certainly conceived the origin of living things, including men, by evolutionary or quazi-evolutionary processes. His thought was a bit mystical, in so far as it is represented by the fragments that survive.

Gary Bender

Not having a word for a concept doesn't imply a lack of understanding of a concept. I have successfully used many tools without knowing the English name of the tool, for example. And Meno had plenty of learning between his birth and his encounter with Socrates. One can understand basic mathematical concepts without formal training.

Donald Pay

The study does not have anything to do with innate ideas. It has to do with human abilities (due to brain development and experience with the environment) to learn basic math/geometry skills through life experience.

larry kurtz

Sorry, Ken, I don't believe you either: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/5/30/dr_gabor_mat_on_the_stress

larry kurtz

More: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/05/30/136798577/can-science-explain-religion?ft=1&f=114424647

Bill Fleming

For a quick rebuttal of the "Intelligent Design"/"First Cause"
argument see Stephen Hawking's new book, "The Grand Design."
You'll love the illustrations, KB.

Bill Fleming

The position taken in "The Grand Design" is called "Scientific Determinism", and the book explains quite well (if in the broadest of strokes) the effect you are referencing here, KB. Very interesting topic, by the way.

Ken Blanchard

Donald doesn't know what he is talking about. Larry doesn't even know what he is saying.

larry kurtz

Food and reproduction, Ken. Nuts and bolts. All the rest is self-preservation. Gardening is surrogate foraging. Quantum theory is about approximating numbers. Reincarnation? Genetics determines how humans interact with stimuli. Gabor Mate' ddictive personalities are products of inadequate parenting.

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