18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Habituation and Novelty

Beginning in infancy and throughout the life span, humans are motivated by newness, change, and excitement. Habituation, the tendency to lose interest in a repeated event and gain interest in a new one, is one of the most fundamental human reflexes. If the thermostat were to suddenly turn the air conditioning on, you would hear the loud humming sound begin, but within minutes you couldn’t even hear it if you tried. Habituation, a fundamental property of the nervous system, provides mechanis...
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
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02 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Stand Alone Complex

Laughing Man: Who knew that copies could still be produced despite the absence of the original? If you had to give a name to this phenomenon, what would you label it? Motoko: It would be "Stand Alone Complex" Laughing Man: Yes, it's the stand alone complex. From the start the very nature of our current social system has contained the mechanisms to trigger such an amazing occurrence. Personally however, I feel this marks the beginning of a new era of despair. What's your opinion? Motoko: I ...
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The concept of many people getting the same idea, giving the appearance of either coordination or copycat behavior, but there is no originating even to copy.

09 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Biology and Civilization are Analogous

Every breath you draw, every accelerated beat of your heart in the emotional periods of your oratory depend upon highly elaborated physical and chemical reactions and mechanisms which nature has been building up through a million centuries. If one of these mechanisms, which you owe entirely to your animal ancestry, were to be stopped for a single instant, you would fall lifeless on the stage. Not only this, but some of your highest ideals of human fellowship and comradeship were not created i...
Folksonomies: evolution civilization
Folksonomies: evolution civilization
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In that our respiration depends on many biological features and our civilization is built on similar foundations.

25 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 "Adaptation" is Not Teleological

In its essence, the theory of natural selection is primarily an attempt to give an account of the probable mechanism of the origin of the adaptations of the organisms to their environment, and only secondarily an attempt to explain evolution at large. Some modem biologists seem to believe that the word 'adaptation' has teleological connotations, and should therefore be expunged from the scientific lexicon. With this we must emphatically disagree. That adaptations exist is so evident as to be ...
Folksonomies: evolution debate adaptation
Folksonomies: evolution debate adaptation
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It is not an end, neither is evolution, and this is not the best state of things there could be.

28 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Better to be a Perfected Ape than Degraded Adam

As for me ... I would much rather be a perfected ape than a degraded Adam. Yes, if it is shown to me that my humble ancestors were quadrupedal animals, arboreal herbivores, brothers or cousins of those who were also the ancestors of monkeys and apes, far from blushing in shame for my species because of its genealogy and parentage, I will be proud of all that evolution has accomplished, of the continuous improvement which takes us up to the highest order, of the successive triumphs that have m...
Folksonomies: evolution change
Folksonomies: evolution change
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A quote from Paul Broca about being proud of our evolutionary advancement.

04 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Genetics Grew Up an Orphan

In a sense, genetics grew up as an orphan. In the beginning botanists and zoologists were often indifferent and sometimes hostile toward it. 'Genetics deals only with superficial characters', it was often said. Biochemists likewise paid it little heed in its early days. They, especially medical biochemists, knew of Garrod's inborn errors of metabolism and no doubt appreciated them in the biochemical sense and as diseases; but the biological world was inadequately prepared to appreciate fully ...
Folksonomies: history genetics
Folksonomies: history genetics
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George Beadle in 'Genes and chemical reactions In Neurospora' describes out botanists, zoologists, and biochemists were uninterested in genetics as it dealt simply with the transmission of characteristics between individuals while there were greater things to study in the field.