Questions on memory storage...

Richard Kerr kerrr at CRYPTIC.RCH.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Sun Sep 1 18:46:58 EST 1996


well done jerry!
I've had enough of the pseudoscience posts that are progressively choking
this newsgroup.
Richard



At 14:25 30/08/96 -0700, you wrote:
>Zegun wrote:
>> 
>> Jerry Larson wrote:
>> 
>> > >  Not anywhere else outside the brain, as far as I know -- in
>> > > humans, at least.
>
>
>No, I didn't.  Somebody else wrote that, and someone else said there was
>evidence for limited learning in spinal cord, and I said there was also
>some evidence for learning in the enteric nervous system (gut).
>
>Zegun continued:> WHAT!!!!!
>> Does any where beside the brain harbor memories???
>> Id say every cell within us has "memories"....if our genetic makeup had
>> no memory, we would not mutate and evolve
>
>Your equation of memory and learning with genetic makeup and evolution
>is pretty questionable.  Learning in the usual sense is something an
>individual does.  If your own individual DNA could learn something and
>pass it on, that would be Lamarkian evolution.
>
>Change and adaptation is not necessarily the same thing as learning.  A
>cell doesn't "remember" the evolutionary history of its species; it only
>"knows" how to do its job, at best.  You might as well say, because one
>layer of rock stays under another one, that it "knows its place"!
>
>If you're going to say, for example, that when the ancestors of whales
>evolved into land dwellers, they "learned" how to live on land; then
>when they returned to the sea they "learned" a new way of living in the
>water, but "forgot" how to live on land.  If the ocean dries up, they
>can't decide to go back to their old habits; they have to reinvent land
>dwelling, or perish.  If you learn something and forget, OK, you learned
>and forgot; but if you "learn" and totally forget what you know before,
>that isn't learning, it's just change.
>
>The human species is putatively capable of learning _as_a_ species,
>because we have a way of passing on what we learn to future generations,
>but that isn't happening on a cellular level.  Even learning in the
>usual sense _probably doesn't happen on a cellular level, but by means
>of new connections being formed _between nerve cells.  I wouldn't swear
>there isn't any chemical learning on the cellular level, but I don't
>know of any evidence for it either.
>
>Jerry
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>Jerry
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