the liver and the brain

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Sun Sep 5 15:53:58 EST 2004

On 5 Sep 2004 10:11:48 -0700, feedbackdroids at yahoo.com (dan michaels)
in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>feedbackdroids at yahoo.com (dan michaels) wrote in message news:<8d8494cf.0409041712.499ef6eb at posting.google.com>...
>> lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<413a0722.10678522 at netnews.att.net>...
>> > The baby zebra wouldn't have to learn to discriminate lions. It would
>> > just have to learn to stay with its mother, a much easier task for
>> > which it is presumably born pretty much ready.
>> > 
>> > Regards - Lester
>> So, it comes out and immediately "imprints" on its own mother, like a
>> duck on the first thing it sees? And then over time, it finally does
>> learn about the lion? Motor activity is precocial, but general
>> perception is altricial? - to use RN's terms.
>In case you didn't understand quite what I was getting at ... how does
>the new-born baby zebra know what its mother is?

I don't think it knows what its mother is. But don't forget the
problem is bidirectional. The mother is also figuring out who its
offspring is and if bound to its offspring through maternal instinct
provides offspring with considerable help knowing who its mother is.
I think an offspring knows where its food comes from, who licks it,
cleans it up, who's looking after it. Maybe there's something more to
mother-offspring bonding, possibly genetic or an instinctive bond of
some kind that isn't obvious. But I doubt there's comparable
instinctive knowledge of what lions are. If a precocial offspring can
figure out who its mother is and vice versa, chances are it can avoid
considerably more danger following its mother than trying to know the
myriad potential predators and dangers in objective terms and trying
to avoid them individually and collectively. It's a question of
numbers in addition to subjective knowledge of mother-offspring bonds.

Regards - Lester

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