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Thinking without language?

kenneth Collins kpaulc at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 22 18:24:10 EST 1999


dag.stenberg at helsinki.nospam.fi wrote:

> In bionet.neuroscience kenneth Collins <kpaulc at earthlink.net> wrote:
> > Jure Sah wrote:
> > > Don't forget how long was a 3 year old child been "programed". Not only the 3
> > > years, but millions of years trough the human (and non human) evolution.
> > > Trough your life you do not make many new connections you only activate them.
>
> > this's just wrong. all of the stuff of the nervous system, including stuff like
> > immune system function, is dynamically configurable via experience. that it's so is
> > why we send our Children to school. (the connection to immune system function is
> > easy to see. the immune system, innately, 'learns' to recognize and, mostly,
> > overcome disease agents. learning about disease processes enables optimal immune
> > system function because behavior co-operates in minimizing exposure to disease
> > agents).
>
> > the whole nervous system is like this, all highly dynamical. that it's so, is the
> > foundation of our survival as a species (a dynamic nervous system can adapt to
> > environmental change.)
>
> Surely it is wrong that we do not make any new connections during life,
> but on the other hand it is surely also against known facts
> (observation, experimentation) that ALL of the stuff ... is dynamically
> configurable. Surely the genetic code directs a lot of the development
> in a way that environmental experience cannot change.

sorry, Dag, it's subtle, but i disagree.

via learning, born of experience, behavior selects environmental stuff that gets right
down into the realm of DNA's energy-transformations.

for instance, when one chooses to marry, one's choice of spouse 'selects' the degrees to
which various 'traits', encoded in the DNA will be manifested. analogous things occur
with respect to 'ordinary' choices with respect to the environment in-general... choosing
to live near a toxic-waste dump is likely to have deep, and intergenerational,
consequences with respect to DNA's energy-transformation stuff.

then there's stuff such as the choice of schools that one's Children will attend... such
can, and does, 'select' traits within the DNA. (folks who doubt need only compare
statistics with respect to families that've experienced tragedy which 'renders useless'
formerly-affluent lifestyles; all of this stuff is discussed further in AoK, in
particular, Ap4 ("inversion"), and Ap8.)

in this way, there's nothing that's 'outside the scope' of our nervous systems'
dynamicism.

it's subtle, but it matters immensely in these days when, all around, Chemistry is being
so-greatly pressed into action, and in which folks are so highly-mobile, in which, at
least here in the U. S. A., there's such enormous disparity among schools to which
Children have access.

this stuff, at first, seems a bit "Lamarkian", but that's not it. it's 'just' that life
choices affect the efficacies inherent in the DNA (trust me, i've reason to comprehend
such, first-hand, because it's been my lot to have to 'make-do' with what was available
to me, which was pretty-much just left-over scraps. i'm not 'complaining'... just
followed what i'd learned at my Father's knee in his cellar workshops. he could take
scrap wood, salvaged just before being dumped, and make just about anything (out of
mostly nothing). but the living hand-to-mouth 'selects' for 'coarseness', and although
i've advanced Science, most folks only 'see', and respond to the 'coarseness' that my
experience has 'selected'.

the seeming 'Lamarkian' stuff comes into play, intergenerationally, because that which
Parents choose determines, to large degree, what their Children will experience, which
'selects' the range in which they can experience, which determines what they'll be able
to enable their own Children to experience... and all the while, each behaviroal decision
that's made, further 'selects' the traits that'll gain sway in Life, down through
generations.

the DNA doesn't just 'sit-there', 'orchestrating' everything. it responds to
experientially-derived 'inputs'.

if it's still too-'subtle', choose an extreme example... say one chooses to go to
Antarctica and live in an igloo. right there, one has determined a lot of stuff. not many
women will want to accompany one, for instance, and that affects reproductive outcomes.
the harsh climate, might affect life span, and will affect nutrient intake, which
translates directly into limitations upon the energy-transformation stuff of the DNA.
and, surely, the knowledge one accumulates, and passes on to one's Children, will be
vastly-different from that which one would've acquired had one chosen to live, say, in
Boston, MA, and so forth, through the Children, to their Children.

the DNA and life's choices, are 'partners'.

everything's dynamic.

that's why Choice, especially with respect to the establishment of the basis for Choice
(i.e. re. the schools, and learning opportunities we provide the Children) is such
important stuff. and why Choice, itself must be 'protected'... given 'safe-haven' in
which there exists room-to-grow.

experience alters outcome, despite genetic predisposition.

Choose Well.

ken (K. P. Collins)






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