Broken, lovingly repaired survivors: How I see certain people…
Broken, lovingly repaired survivors: How I see certain people…
Go watch this on NETFLIX. “Odd” human behavior against the backdrop of spectacular volcanic forces. Don’t miss segment on north Korea…
Most people don’t choose their beliefs; their beliefs are culturally inherited.
SEE ALSO: “Religious States of America, in 22 maps”
Thirty years ago, something happened that would alter forever our understanding of how humankind came into being. Elaine Morgan was made fearfully cross. An avid reader of popular science books, borrowed from the library in the Welsh valley town of Mountain Ash, the prevailing tenor of the evolutionary debate left her cold.
“They were taking a very aggressive line, suggesting that the whole essence of humanity lies in murder and bloodshed. Also they were taking a terribly macho line, implying that everything evolved to benefit the male hunter. And it had nothing at all to say about children, when if evolution is about anything it’s about ensuring the survival of the child.” (Agreed) Three decades later, her voice still rattles with annoyance. A small woman with an infectious sense of possibility, in 1972 Morgan was not inclined to temper her vexation.
With no scientific training, the 52-year-old mother of three decided to pen a riposte to the grand theorists of the hour, singlehandedly – and single-mindedly championing a hitherto ignored alternative explanation for human evolution called the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. The Descent of Woman, part feminist polemic, part evolutionary bombshell, became a bestseller, translated into 25 languages and introducing a huge readership to this compelling hypothesis. “But I didn’t start out with the aquatic theory,” she confesses cheerily. “I just thought, ‘There is something wrong with what they are saying now – not only do I not like the feel of it but I think it’s demonstrably nonsense.’ So I just waded in.”
The aquatic theory of human evolution was first advanced by marine biologist Professor Sir Alister Hardy in New Scientist in 1960. (Wikipedia: Sir Alister Clavering Hardy (10 February 1896 – 22 May 1985) was an English marine biologist, an expert on marine ecosystems spanning organisms from zooplankton to whales. Hardy served as zoologist on the RRS Discovery‘s voyage to explore the Antarctic between 1925 and 1927. On the voyage he invented the Continuous Plankton Recorder; it enabled any ship to collect plankton samples during an ordinary voyage. After retiring from his academic work, Hardy founded the Religious Experience Research Centre in 1969.)
He posited what may have happened during the Pliocene epoch, which lasted about five million years and for which no fossil information exists – the “fossil gap”. In an emerging African continent scorched by drought, our ancestors entered the Pliocene as hairy quadrapeds with no language and left it hairless, upright and discussing what kinds of bananas they liked best. What happened in between? Hardy came up with a startling suggestion. (Yikes!)
It was generally accepted that apes evolved into humans when they were forced because of climate changes to descend from the withering trees to live on the arid savannah. Hardy thought instead that our ancestors’ physiology changed dramatically when a population of woodland apes became isolated on a large island around what is now Ethiopia. Although the waters eventually receded and the apes returned to land, their aquatic adaptions remained. This temporary semi-aquatic existence would explain why humans – genetically so close to the chimpanzee and gorilla – grew to differ from them in so many ways. So would intervention by Ancient Aliens.
Human beings are the only naked bipeds. We carry a layer of subcutaneous fat substantially thicker than in any other primate. We exude, through our eyes and sweat glands, greater quantities of salt water than any other mammal. We are the only species of mammal to mate face to face, other than aquatic mammals. So do Bonobos; aquatic mammals live in, and are adapted to water environments; humans are not. We are the only primate capable of overriding our unconscious breathing rhythms, alongside the elaborate use of lips and tongue, to produce speech ability which separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We are also the only primate with a descended larynx, thought to increase the variety of sounds we can produce.
Hardy argued that these features indicate a level of adaption to an aquatic environment. Thus, humans become bipedal to wade in water, and lost their hair to streamline their bodies for swimming. The fat layer kept them warm and buoyant, their secretions prevented build-up of excess salt from sea water and their larynx was protected against submersion. Language evolved because glare from the water meant signalling was no longer an efficient means of communication. Aye, yai, yai! The typical “backwards” version of evolution, in which the organism, (which de facto, must have access to a godlike supernatural sentience, in order to understand a complex set of relationships between itself and “future” circumstances) “intentionally changes itself” to accommodate a new, different or changing environment.
Morgan was alerted to the hypothesis by a slight reference in The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. “Conventional wisdom said everything that evolved in humans had done so to benefit the hunter, and if it might disadvantage his wife then she’d just have to trot along,” she says. “He got overheated in the hunt, for example, so he shed his fur, even though she was carrying around a great, fat, slow-developing baby that needed fur to cling onto. (Gibberish)
“Everything that was different about females was supposed to be a departure from the norm and its purpose was to lure her mate so that he would kindly give her a lump of meat.”
Hardy’s theory had been ignored by the scientific establishment. “Nobody had developed it or stood up against it. It had sunk like a stone. But as soon as I read it I thought, ‘Well obviously this is the answer to everything, why has nobody told me about it?’.” (A totally non-scientific reaction!)
At this time, Morgan was a successful television scriptwriter, winner of several Baftas, a Writers’ Guild award and a Prix Italia for her film about Joey Deacon, the disabled fundraiser. She had stopped her science studies after O level. Nonetheless, she wrote to Hardy asking if she could quote his theory. He agreed, and she sent the eventual product to her agent.
“He rang me up and said, ‘Elaine, you sat down and you wrote this book?’,” she recalls gleefully. “And the first publisher he sent it to snapped it up!” (A sure sign of scientific validity!)
What made The Descent of Woman doubly revolutionary was the way that Morgan wrote. She referred to our ancestors as “she” and considered the development of pendulous breasts and rounded buttocks without the context of sexual attraction. She also wrote in detail about the female orgasm, examining whether face-to-face mating serviced both clitoral and vaginal stimulation. It was the earliest days of the feminist movement, and women across the world were captivated.
“Up to then women had been afraid of science. They were told biology is destiny, and those arguments had been used to hold them down, and suddenly they could talk about it. Women’s lib was just taking off then, and I got to meet some of them, like Gloria Steinem. But they were very wary of me because I was old enough to be their mother and their mother was their enemy. I’d got married, brought up children, and this was no great way to break the system, they thought.” Wow! Bitchy fem on fem cliches and massive narcissism do not help the cause of female Homo sapiens!
She was never really part of the sisterhood, she giggles, surely aware of how significantly she contributed to it. “They were all tall and young and metropolitan, and I was none of these things. I liked them, but after that book they were racing ahead, feminism took off, and I thought, ‘I don’t need to say any more about that now’.”
The liberation of her gender secured, (bizarre conclusion, of course) she applied her campaigning vim to the science itself. Morgan is the first to admit that The Descent of Woman was a thoroughly unscientific romp riddled with errors and convenient conclusions. In the years after its publication, she set about a process of self-education that resulted in the more soberly executed Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, published in 1997.
It had become increasingly important to her to write something that would appeal to scientists. “The establishment had treated me with total horror and contempt, and also some resentment because it was a bestseller. I was an upstart, in it for the money, totally ignorant.” Well, by her own admission, she was.
She believes the upset was greater because she was contradicting those with a vested interest in the status quo. “If it had come from somewhere in their own seminars, they could have steered it along and had some input and got some credit for it.” The scientific community’s refusal to engage with her arguments remains a frustration.
Her methodology for recreating herself as a credible scientist was certainly individual. “I just starting reading the books that were available from Mountain Ash library,” she explains. “I’d look in the back at the bibliography and then I’d send away for those books. And then I’d look in their bibliographies, and that would be of an even higher academic standard. So if there was something I wanted to know about, like the larynx or the skin, I would work my way back to bedrock that way and find out what the original basis for the claim was.”
Of late, Morgan has garnered some high profile support. In his book Consciousness Explained, the American philosopher Daniel Dennet wrote: “When in the company of distinguished biologists, evolutionary theorists and other experts, I have often asked them to tell me, please, why Elaine Morgan must be wrong. I haven’t yet had a reply worth mentioning.” Wow. How feeble. Typical NT delusion that “no response” is proof of “proof”!
Sir David Attenborough used his recent presidency of the British Association for the Advancement of Science to organise the first full day discussion of Morgan’s “engaging” theory. “The one big difficulty is that there is no direct fossil evidence,” he says. “And if you postulate that humans were wandering in the delta for a sufficient length of time to modify then you would think that you would come across fossils, because it’s the ideal environment for them.” More nonsense; of course, a lack of “fossil evidence” (or any physical evidence) has never been an obstacle for anthropologists.
“It’s just the drip, drip, drip of the number of facts that could make sense in that context and are still making no sense at all outside it,” says Morgan. “I think an unknown number of scientists don’t need convincing but just need enough encouragement to stand up and be counted.” Neurotypicals believe that “science” is just another social belief system: get enough “scientists” to “agree” and BINGO – your narrative (TV script) becomes bona fide science.
There is inevitably a problem of proof, she adds, given that the hypothesis relies on soft tissue adaptations, which don’t fossilise. This lack of direct evidence concerns many scientists, says Peter Wheeler, professor of evolutionary biology at Liverpool John Moores university. “What is often said by proponents of the aquatic ape theory is that no one has looked at it seriously. The truth is that it has been considered and found completely wanting.”
In addition to the absence of fossils, says Wheeler, the hypothesis relies upon superficial comparisons between living species which don’t bear scrutiny. For example, although humans are fatty mammals their fat is distributed in an entirely different way to aquatic mammals. Nor are the majority of aquatic animals naked. Most have dense fur and only the largest and deepest diving are hairless. “Nor do you need the aquatic ape to explain bipedalism. There are about four other more convincing theories. You don’t need that extra complication.”
Whatever the truth, Morgan says that her championing of the aquatic ape hypothesis is over. Her next book, close to completion, Darwin and the Left, argues that advances in genetics and evolutionary biology are moving scientific debate to the right.
It is a while since she has seen an ape in the wild, she says. “I’m too old. I can’t see myself getting to the jungle now, but I still get an awful lot of mail. It’s been an undying interest – something to wake up for.”
Her three grown-up sons think she’s right, she says proudly, and her late husband Morien was similarly supportive. “He was a bit disconcerted at the beginning, especially in an area like this. It wasn’t the kind of thing somebody’s wife did. But he did all the typing and all that side of it, so I’ve been working a lot slower in the last six years [since his death].” Support by one’s family does not constitute scientific credibility. We might ask if a male would “use” family in this way; why is it considered important that “the husband” was behind her efforts?
She baulks at the suggestion that she’s a myth maker, propagating nonsense to deluded undergraduates. “I’m not telling Just So Stories. I’m not. (That’s EXACTLY what she does) There are very few books that have less of the subjunctive in them than mine. I’m just saying these are the facts, this is one possible explanation, draw your own conclusion.”
She rallies. People still get the basics of the theory wrong, she laughs. “A woman wrote to the Aberdare Leader [Morgan’s local paper] and said, ‘She’s mad, she thinks we’re descended from fish’. But then the New York Times once wrote that I thought we were descended from otters. Which goes to show you don’t have to live in Aberdare to get science wrong.” (The “idiot reaction” by random humans does not confer legitimacy to a “theory”)
A brilliant career (Really?)
Morgan grew up in Pontypridd, where her father worked as a miner. She attended school locally and won an exhibition to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford university, where she studied English language and literature. She married her husband Morien, a French teacher, in 1945. They had two sons, and adopted a third when he was six weeks old.
In 1952, she sold her first play to television. It was called Mirror, Mirror, and she remembers it as being “very basic”. She went on to win 10 awards for her screen-writing, culminating in a writer of the year award in 1980.
Then she became interested in the aquatic ape hypothesis – the idea that many of the things that make us human (such as speech, a lack of thick fur, and walking upright) evolved during a 10 million year period when Africa became very wet, and our ancestors were forced to spend a lot of time in the water.
She published The Descent of Woman in 1972, The Aquatic Ape in 1982, The Scars of Evolution in 1990, The Descent of the Child in 1994, and The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis in 1997. Morgan has long been a darling of the feminist movement, but in recent years her supporters have come to include people such as Sir David Attenborough and the American philosopher Daniel Dennet (Whoopdee do!)
From: Depression Research and Treatment
Full Article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989705/
The construct of entrapment is used in evolutionary theory to explain the etiology of depression. The perception of entrapment can emerge when defeated individuals want to escape but are incapable. Studies have shown relationships of entrapment to depression, and suicidal tendencies. The aim of this study was a psychometric evaluation and validation of the Entrapment Scale in German (ES-D). 540 normal subjects completed the ES-D along with other measures of depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and distress. Good reliability and validity of the ES-D was demonstrated. Further, whereas entrapment originally has been regarded as a two-dimensional construct, our analyses supported a single-factor model. Entrapment explained variance in depressive symptoms beyond that explained by stress and hopelessness supporting the relevance of the construct for depression research. These findings are discussed with regard to their theoretical implications as well as to the future use of the entrapment scale in clinical research and practice.
Assuming a certain degree of adaptivity of behavior and emotion, evolutionary theorists have suggested various functions of moodiness and depression. Whereas adaptive mechanisms may become functionally maladaptive [1, 2], there have been many attempts to explain potentially adaptive functions of depression. For example, Price  suggested that depression evolved from the strategic importance of having a de-escalating or losing strategy. Social rank theory [4, 5] built on this and suggests that some aspects of depression, such as mood and drive variations, may have evolved as mechanisms for regulating behavior in contexts of conflicts and competition for resources and mates. Hence, subordinates are sensitive to down rank threats and are less confident than dominants, while those who are defeated will seek to avoid those who defeated them. Depression may also serve the function to help individuals disengage from unattainable goals and deal with losses .
Social rank theory (e.g., ) links defeat states to depression. Drawing on Dixon’s arrested defences model of mood variation [7, 8], this theory suggests that especially when stresses associated with social defeats and social threats arise, individuals are automatically orientated to fight, flight or both. Usually, either of those defensive behaviors will work. So, flight and escape remove the individual from the conditions in which stress is arising (e.g., threats from a dominant), or anger/aggression curtails the threat. These defensive behaviors typically work for nonhuman animals. However, for humans, such basic fight and flight strategies may be less effective facing the relatively novel problems of living in modern societies, perhaps explaining the prevalence of disorders such as depression . Dixon suggested that in depression, defensive behaviors can be highly aroused but also blocked and arrested and in this situation depression ensues. Dixon et al.  called this arrested flight. For example, in lizards, being defeated but able to escape has proven to be less problematic than being defeated and being trapped. Those who are in caged conditions, where escape is impossible, are at risk of depression and even death . Gilbert [4, 10] and Gilbert and Allan  noted that depressed individuals commonly verbalize strong escape wishes and that feelings of entrapment and desires to escape have also been strongly linked to suicide, according to O’Connor . In addition they may also have strong feelings of anger or resentment that they find difficult to express or become frightening to them. (Or are NOT ALLOWED to express, without being punished)
Gilbert  and Gilbert and Allan  proposed that a variety of situations (not just interpersonal conflicts) that produce feeling of defeat, or uncontrollable stress, which stimulate strong escape desires but also makes it impossible for an individual to escape, lead the individual to a perception of entrapment. They defined entrapment as a desire to escape from the current situation in combination with the perception that all possibilities to overcome a given situation are blocked. Thus, theoretically entrapment follows defeat if the individual is not able to escape. This inability may be due to a dominant subject who does not offer propitiatory gestures following antagonistic competition, or if the individual keeps being attacked. (Relentless social bullying)
In contrast to individuals who feel helpless (cf. the concept of learned helplessness ), which focus on perceptions of control, the entrapped model focuses on the outputs of the threat system emanating from areas such as the amygdala . In addition, depressed people are still highly motivated and would like to change their situation or mood state. It was also argued that, unlike helplessness, entrapment takes into account the social forces that lead to depressive symptoms, which is important for group-living species with dominance hierarchies such as human beings . Empirical findings by Holden and Fekken  support this assumption. Gilbert  argued that the construct of entrapment may explain the etiology of depression better than learned helplessness, because according to the theory of learned helplessness, helpless individuals have already lost their flight motivation whereas entrapped individuals have not.
According to Gilbert , the perception of entrapment can be triggered, increased, and maintained by external factors but also internal processes such as intrusive, unwanted thoughts and ruminations can play an important role (e.g., [16, 17]). For example, ruminating on the sense of defeat or inferiority may act as an internal signal of down-rank attack that makes an individual feel increasingly inferior and defeated. Such rumination may occur despite the fact that an individual successfully escaped from an entrapping external situation because of feelings of failure, which may cause a feeling of internal entrapment. For example, Sturman and Mongrain  found that internal entrapment increased following an athletic defeat. Moreover, thoughts and feelings like “internal dominants” in self-critics may exist that can also activate defensive behaviors.
For the empirical assessment of entrapment, Gilbert and Allan  developed the self-report Entrapment Scale (ES) and demonstrated its reliability. Using the ES, several studies have shown that the perception of entrapment is strongly related to low mood, anhedonia, and depression [5, 19–21]. Sturman and Mongrain  found that entrapment was a significant predictor of recurrence of major depression. Further, Allan and Gilbert  found that entrapment relates to increased feelings of anger and to a lower expression of these feelings. In a study by Martin et al. , the perception of entrapment was associated with feelings of shame, but not with feelings of guilt. Investigating the temporal connection between depression and entrapment, Goldstein and Willner [25, 26] concluded that the relation between depression and entrapment is equivocal and might be bilateral; that is, entrapment may lead to depression and vice versa.
Entrapment was further used as a construct explaining suicidal tendency. In their cry-of pain-model, Williams and Pollock [27, 28] argued that suicidal behavior should be seen as a cry of pain rather than as a cry for help. Consistent with the concept of arrested flight, they proposed that suicidal behavior is reactive. In their model, the response (the cry) to a situation is supposed to have the following three components: defeat, no escape potential, and no rescue. O’Connor  provided empirical support in a case control study by comparing suicidal patients and matched hospital controls on measures of affect, stress, and posttraumatic stress. The authors hypothesized that the copresence of all three cry-of-pain variables primes an individual for suicidal behavior. The suicidal patients, with respect to a recent stressful event, reported significantly higher levels of defeat, lower levels of escape potential, and lower levels of rescue than the controls. Furthermore, Rasmussen et al.  showed that entrapment strongly mediated the relationship between defeat and suicidal ideation in a sample of first-time and repeated self-harming patients. Nevertheless, there has also been some criticism of the concept of entrapment as it is derived from animal literature .
To our knowledge so far, there is no data on the retest reliability or the temporal stability of the Entrapment Scale. Because entrapment is seen as a state-like rather than a trait-like construct, its stability is likely dependent on the stability of its causes. (Remove the social terrorism, or remove yourself) Therefore, if the causes of entrapment are stable (e.g., a long-lasting abusive relationship), then also entrapment will remain stable over time. In contrast, for the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), there are studies assessing temporal stability that have yielded stable trait-like components of hopelessness . Young and coworkers  stated that the high stability of hopelessness is a crucial predictor of depressive relapses and suicidal attempts. For the Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ), there are studies examining retest reliability. The PSQ has shown high retest reliability over 13 days (r = .80) in a Spanish sample . It is to be expected that with longer retest intervals as in the present study (3 months), the stability of perceived stress will be substantially lower. We, therefore, expect the stability of entrapment to be higher than that of perceived stress as a state-like construct, but lower than that of hopelessness, which has been shown to be more trait-like .
Previous research is equivocal regarding the dimensionality of the entrapment construct. Internal and external entrapment were originally conceived as two separate constructs (cf. ) and were widely assessed using two subscales measuring entrapment caused by situations and other people (e.g., “I feel trapped by other people”) or by one’s own limitations (e.g., “I want to get away from myself”). The scores of the two subscales were averaged to result in a total entrapment score in many studies. However as Taylor et al.  have shown, entrapment may be best conceptualized as a unidimensional construct. This reasoning is supported by the observation that some of the items of the ES cannot easily be classified either as internal or external entrapment and because the corresponding subscales lack face validity (e.g., “I am in a situation I feel trapped in” or “I can see no way out of my current situation”).
The entrapment construct embeds depressiveness theoretically into an evolutionary context. The situation of arrested flight or blocked escape, in which a defeated individual is incapable of escaping despite a maintained motivation to escape, may lead to the perception of entrapment in affected individuals . In this study, the Entrapment Scale (ES) was translated to German (ES-D), tested psychometrically, and validated by associations with other measures. This study provides evidence that the ES-D is a reliable self-report measure of entrapment demonstrating high internal consistency. The study also shows that the ES-D is a valid measure that relates to other similar constructs like hopelessness, depressive symptoms or perceived stress. Levels of entrapment as measured with the ES-D were associated with depressiveness, perceived stress, and hopelessness, showing moderate to high correlations. Results were consistent with those obtained by Gilbert and Allan . Entrapment explained additional variance in depressiveness beyond that explained by stress and hopelessness. Taken together, the present data support the conception of entrapment as a relevant and distinct construct in the explanation of depression. (And much of Asperger behavior)
The results of our study confirm the findings of Taylor et al. , thereby showing that entrapment is only theoretically, but not empirically, separable into internal and external sources of entrapment. The authors even went further by showing that entrapment and defeat could represent a single construct. Although in this study the defeat scale  was not included, the results are in line with the assumption of Taylor et al.  and support other studies using entrapment a priori as a single construct. However, although this study supports the general idea that escape motivation affects both internal and external events and depression, clinically it can be very important to distinguish between them. For example, in studies of psychosis entrapment can be very focused on internal stimuli, particularly voices .
The state conceptualization of entrapment implies that the perception of entrapment may change over time. Therefore, we did not expect retest correlations as high as retest correlations for more trait-like constructs like hopelessness . Since the correlation over time is generally a function of both the reliability of the measure and the stability of the construct, high reliability is a necessary condition for high stability . In this study, we showed that the ES-D is a reliable scale, and we considered retest correlations as an indicator for stability. The intraclass correlation of .67 suggests that entrapment is more sensitive to change than hopelessness (r = .82). Furthermore, the state of entrapment seems to be more stable than perceived stress, which may be influenced to a greater extent by external factors. Given the confirmed reliability and validity of the ES-D in this study, we therefore cautiously conclude that entrapment lies between hopelessness and perceived stress regarding stability.
Whereas the high correlation between entrapment and depressive symptoms in this study may be interpreted as evidence of conceptual equivalence, an examination of the item wordings of two scales clearly suggest that these questionnaires assess distinct constructs. However, the causal direction of this bivariate relation is not clear. Theoretically, both directions are plausible. Entrapment may be a cause or a consequence of depressive symptoms, or even both. Unfortunately, studies examining the temporal precedence so far have yielded equivocal results and have methodological shortcomings (e.g., no clinical samples, only mild and transitory depression and entrapment scores with musical mood induction) in order to answer this question conclusively [25, 26]. It remains unclear whether entrapment only is depression specific. Entrapment might not only be associated with depression, but also with other psychological symptoms, or even psychopathology in general. This interpretation is supported by research showing a relation between distress arising from voices and entrapment in psychotic patients [49, 50]. Furthermore, other studies show the relation between entrapment and depressive symptoms [51–53] and social anxiety and shame  in psychosis. The usefulness of entrapment as a construct for explaining psychopathologies in humans has been questioned . Due to the present study, it is now possible to investigate entrapment in psychopathology in the German speaking area.
HUNGER: The prime motivator of human behavior and technology. Primitive tools compensate for “puny human” lack of claws, reduced olfactory sense, and other assets possessed by the competition: other hungry animals, including many much smaller than humans, had superior strength, speed, meat-or tough vegetation-tearing teeth (cooking required), protective fur, athletic ability, specialized body parts and instinctive tactics. Early humans HAD TO develop tools!
Our type of brain most likely developed as a “tool” that compensated for (and competed with) the “equipment” of other animals in particular environments. The brain as technology – think about it! LOL
I’m working up to the problem of visual and sensory thinking being all but ignored (or even dismissed) by the “cognition and behavior sciences” as a primary mode of perception and cognition in evolutionary history. This ignorance or arrogance on the part of “researchers” is especially negligent on the part of those whose declared interest is ASD / Asperger’s and other non-typical diagnosis. The irony is that these diagnosis of “abnormality” may simply demonstrate the bias or outright prejudice that only the “social” language of scripted word concepts / formal academic constructs is “important” to human thought and behavior. That is, rigid restrictions have been placed on human thought, behavior and personal expression that may reflect the inability of the “social engineering class” to think in any other mode. Can this group have become so isolated from “natural” human behavior, that only individuals who are similarly limited to social constructs and rigid narratives are “accepted, selected for” inclusion in the class of those who dictate social behavior, thus increasingly diminishing the diversity of ideas about “what it is to be human” to their own impoverished experiences? The peasant classes are urged to function only on emotional reactivity and scripted social behavior, thus remaining powerless.
WIKI on Cognition:
“Cognition is “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses”. It encompasses processes such as attention, the formation of knowledge, memory, and working memory, judgement and evaluation, reasoning and “computation,” problem-solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language. Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.”
Note that “producing language” is only one of many thinking processes; the “expressive – action based” fields of art and music, dance and kinesthetic “thinking” must be assumed to be included under experience and the senses; otherwise these thought processes are missing from the list. Why? The stress is on “conscious” cognition; “unconscious” cognition is considered to be “low-level” cognition and has been segregated from “high-level cognition” – an error that has had severe consequences to the understanding of “how the brain works” in relation to the “whole” human organism and how it interacts with the environment. This “social conception” of human biology, physiology and behavior serves the western socio-religious narcissism of “man” as a special creation isolated from the reality of evolution.
“The processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts, notably in the fields of linguistics, anesthesia, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, education, philosophy, anthropology, biology, systemics, logic, and computer science. These and other different approaches to the analysis of cognition are synthesized in the developing field of cognitive science, a progressively autonomous academic discipline.”
Again, we must assume that “the arts” are included somewhere in this disconnected “chopped salad” of academic reserves, which often are “at war” with each other over “domains of expertise” (territories) without much flow of information or “honest” discussion between academics. Genuine scientific competition and progress requires constant questioning of assumptions (hypothesis, theories); this necessity is hampered by most of these disciplines being based on theories, rather than truly investigative “reality-based” research that is open to challenges by other researchers.
A severe problem with current concepts of cognition and intelligence: The 300,000 y.o. Jebel Irhoud Homo sapiens, considered to be the “earliest so far” true Homo sapiens. If judged on the decision / conceit that only “conscious social cognition and behavior” count toward being classified as Homo sapiens, how do we explain the survival of any hominid? The current explanation is that these early Homo sapiens were “cognitively and socially identical to modern social humans.” A reality based conclusion would be, that given the variety and range of difficult environments and conditions in which they survived and successfully reproduced, these humans would have had to be more intelligent than modern domesticated humans, who have the advantage of 300,000 years of collective human experience and culture HANDED TO THEM by default.
The “human brain and behavior” community would have us believe that this fellow survived by relying on modern social word-concepts and social theories of behavior.
Au contraire! Survival would have demanded the “action” intelligences of sensory processing: art and technology production, acute and immediate visual-sensory analysis of threats and opportunities presented by a wild ‘natural’ environment, memorization / mapping of geographical, geological and faunal-flora details of food availability; cooperation, sharing and mutual respect for individual skills and talents, and a precise (not vague or generalized) use of verbal language, gestures, imitative animal communication and graphic symbols.