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Thread: Humans as Non-Animal: Can any inferences be drawn?

  1. Top | #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Humans can mentally masturbate endlessly about all kinds of things, but humans don't seem to be able to know how to establish peace or to keep our habitats from being destroyed by our own actions.
    Is that really a question where being or not being an animal is important? The universe is a process of self destruction.
    Sure, the universe self destructs, but humans have a way of speeding up the process. Not that we have any control over it, but I don't have to be happy about it.

    Who said that being an animal was important? "It is what it is" to quote a moronic president.

  2. Top | #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    A skyscraper is the product of human cultural evolution. It is not innate.

    A bird's nest is the product of natural evolution. It is innate.

    Two completely different processes at work.
    A dam is a part of beaver evolution. It is not innate.
    The beaver makes it without instruction.

    It is innate behavior.

    Building a skyscraper is not innate human behavior.

    It took a lot of cultural evolution before any human could do it.

  3. Top | #43
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    A skyscraper is the product of human cultural evolution. It is not innate.

    A bird's nest is the product of natural evolution. It is innate.

    Two completely different processes at work.
    A dam is a part of beaver evolution. It is not innate.
    The beaver makes it without instruction.

    It is innate behavior.

    Building a skyscraper is not innate human behavior.

    It took a lot of cultural evolution before any human could do it.
    Is it culture, or evolution, that you credit with the human variations in domicile? There is no such thing as "cultural evolution" per se, as they used to seek in the 1960's-70's; cultural transmission and biological inheritance ultimately follow very different rules, except insofar as culture itself is a result of the natural evolution of complex, symbolically communicative neural networks.

    I wouldn't describe either process as not being "innate" to our species, as if culture is not an innate property of ours I've no idea what is.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  4. Top | #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post

    The beaver makes it without instruction.

    It is innate behavior.

    Building a skyscraper is not innate human behavior.

    It took a lot of cultural evolution before any human could do it.
    Is it culture, or evolution, that you credit with the human variations in domicile? There is no such thing as "cultural evolution" per se, as they used to seek in the 1960's-70's; cultural transmission and biological inheritance ultimately follow very different rules, except insofar as culture itself is a result of the natural evolution of complex, symbolically communicative neural networks.

    I wouldn't describe either process as not being "innate" to our species, as if culture is not an innate property of ours I've no idea what is.
    The word "evolution" is different in both cases. Cultural progress is not evolution. Evolution is when the genes change.

    You are right.

    Demonstrating the processes are different.

    One is innate. Like the human ability to develop a language.

    It is not an inevitable progression from small hut to a large steel building with elevators, electrical wiring, glass and plumbing. None of those things are something humans can innately create.

  5. Top | #45
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post

    The beaver makes it without instruction.

    It is innate behavior.

    Building a skyscraper is not innate human behavior.

    It took a lot of cultural evolution before any human could do it.
    Is it culture, or evolution, that you credit with the human variations in domicile? There is no such thing as "cultural evolution" per se, as they used to seek in the 1960's-70's; cultural transmission and biological inheritance ultimately follow very different rules, except insofar as culture itself is a result of the natural evolution of complex, symbolically communicative neural networks.

    I wouldn't describe either process as not being "innate" to our species, as if culture is not an innate property of ours I've no idea what is.
    The word "evolution" is different in both cases. Cultural progress is not evolution. Evolution is when the genes change.

    You are right.

    Demonstrating the processes are different.

    One is innate. Like the human ability to develop a language.

    It is not an inevitable progression from small hut to a large steel building with elevators, electrical wiring, glass and plumbing. None of those things are something humans can innately create.
    I certainly agree that any particular cultural process cannot possibly be inevitable. This should be self-evident given the great diversity of cultural trajectories in history. I would argue that culture and its effects are prompted by and to some extent bounded by the naturally evolved properties of the body, though. We have innate tendencies and requirements; we just exercise considerable ingenuity and variability in how we choose to meet them (and ascribe value to the solutions we've found).
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  6. Top | #46
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    I think that human language changed the game. Along with the human intellectual capacity.

    But the intellectual capacity was not enough.

    The species that directly led to humans probably had a pretty good intellectual capacity. It probably used vocalizations for communication.

    But it did not have language so it did not have cultural advancement at nearly the pace or scope of humans.

    Language and human cultural advancements made possible by language separate humans from all other species.

    Of course humans are a sadistic and easily misled species too.

  7. Top | #47
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    I suspect we really started to separate ourselves from the animal kingdom during the agricultural revolution. Hunter gatherer people associated themselves with earthly gods, animals and rhythms.

    The agricultural revolution taught people to connect with the “heavens” as their farming calendar was so closely associated with it. The signs of the zodiac is a farming calendar essentially.

    At this point people disassociated with nature.

    This is just a theory, probably oversimplified, but I’ve always meant to research the idea.

  8. Top | #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
    I suspect we really started to separate ourselves from the animal kingdom during the agricultural revolution. Hunter gatherer people associated themselves with earthly gods, animals and rhythms.

    The agricultural revolution taught people to connect with the “heavens” as their farming calendar was so closely associated with it. The signs of the zodiac is a farming calendar essentially.

    At this point people disassociated with nature.

    This is just a theory, probably oversimplified, but I’ve always meant to research the idea.
    I recall reading a similar argument at one point, and I believe there's something to it. The more we literally remove ourselves from nature via technology, the more disconnected we'll become from it. Look around today and many of us are afraid to do things as simple as drink water out of a tap, or eat vegetables that aren't slathered in sauce or seasoning.

  9. Top | #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
    I suspect we really started to separate ourselves from the animal kingdom during the agricultural revolution. Hunter gatherer people associated themselves with earthly gods, animals and rhythms.

    The agricultural revolution taught people to connect with the “heavens” as their farming calendar was so closely associated with it. The signs of the zodiac is a farming calendar essentially.

    At this point people disassociated with nature.

    This is just a theory, probably oversimplified, but I’ve always meant to research the idea.
    With farming you have science.

    You have prediction.

    I plant this seed and wait and I will have food in the future.

    With farming you learn about probability.

    Not all the seed will grow. You plant more than you need knowing this.

  10. Top | #50
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    There are some common misconceptions about foraging ("hunter-gatherer") lifestyles floating around here; foragers don't just randomly wander around the landscape, they also have to plan extensively and pass down quite a lot of information to the next generation about what Westerners would call botany, biology, ecology, geology, fire science, and so forth. You'll starve to death just stumbling around hoping to run across food sources, if you don't know how to predict what will be available at what times, in what places, what is available raw and what must be processed, what plants have medicinal properties, etc. If anything, agriculture lowers the bar on how much information you need to carry in your head in order to survive, though this may be one of the things that made it attractive to our Mesopotamian forebears.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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