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Hypothetical Situation about Cognitive Development


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While learning about Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration, I began to wonder how our minds would have developed if evolution took on a totally different course. What if our world evolved differently, more differently than we can imagine? Would our minds have developed in the same manner as they are currently? Or would our brains have a totally different function than what we are used to now? If the development of an intelligent mind is precipitated by experience, it would make sense to say that an individual who has experienced the force of gravity on the moon would have a slightly higher developed mind than the individuals who have remain earthbound for their entire lives.

 

Imagine a hypothetical scenario where only a certain amount of earthlings have inhabited the moon. While living on the moon, these individuals began developing a civilization (they began breeding, etc.). Would their offspring have a different form of cognition due to the environmental circumstances in which they have been born and raised? In essence, would they think differently than humans on earth? Of course, due to cultural limitations, they would have a different view of life, after-all having been born and raised on the moon. But the cognitive differences I'm referring to here have a much more complex nature than what certain cultures limit themselves to. I hypothesize that the environmental conditions of the moon would have a much more deeper, complex effect on the cognitive development of its natives than the cognitive differences due to cultural conditions. Therefore, humans born on the moon (or any other planet for that matter) would perceive and conceive of reality in an intrinsically unique manner than the persons born on Earth. I believe the environment can have a profound effect on the way brains develop in humans, or even chimpanzees or dogs or whatever.

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Oh, they'd be 'different', if by 'different' you mean 'dead due to chronic lifetime exposure to high levels of radiation'.

 

I suspect that, aside from that, the main differences would be sensory, rather than cognitive.

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Extremophiles 'till the the end though I do believe they would be pretty bland. If you started adding the nescessary elements to sustain life you would probably end up with earth, but on the moon. What exactly is the question? Would a living sentient entity living on a rock devoid of anything but dirt develop a cognitive response system that would be different from a living sentient entity in an environment rich in diversity? Is this like that hypothetical what if you kept a human in a room from birth, what would they develop like mentally?

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Oh, they'd be 'different', if by 'different' you mean 'dead due to chronic lifetime exposure to high levels of radiation'.

 

I suspect that, aside from that, the main differences would be sensory, rather than cognitive.

 

Maybe I should rephrase the question. Apologies for not making my hypothesis clear enough. The question can be restated as: How much do you think the physical environment influences the development of cognitive structures of the brain?

 

To illustrate: Imagine that nature's constants have all evolved and formed a different, but functional configuration than what they are currently. To what extent would this influence cognitive, including physical and chemical, development of species here on Earth?

 

I apologize if this question seems a bit monogonal from a certain perspective. From a broader, more general perspective, the answer may be strikingly obvious. But when we look at it more specifically, it can seem quite complex. Of course we wouldn't be able to test this hypothesis, but I proposed this question for the sake of mere speculation. From an evolutionary standpoint, we know that the Earth was vastly different in prehistoric times than it is in present times, and, that it is believed that species such as dinosaurs and the first mammals have become extinct due to the fluctuation of certain constants in the prehistoric past. So taking that theory into consideration you might be able to get the gist of what I'm trying to articulate here in this post.

 

I have already formed a possibly conclusive answer to this question, but I am still open to what others thoughts are on this hypothetical scenario.

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I think it depends a lot on selection I guess. For instance I notice you can get a lot more behavior out of a "jumping" or "crab" spider, or wandering type of spiders then just web builders. Its just conjecture, but for instance being a social specie will have impacts like being a solitary specie I think.

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Did Eskimos brains develop both physically and chemically different from the brains of say a Philipino because their environments differed? Not to mention their vastly different diets.............. I don't believe the moon or prehistoric environments are necessary to answer this question; unless there are more specific reasons to. I'm sure there are an abundance of studies on this and on the cognitive development of individuals who have been isolated from the rest of society throughout their existence. These are pretty extreme examples and in the case of humans they have adapted to their new environment. An Eskimo though has in no way developed a new genetically inherited trait with respect to evolutionary steps than has a Philipino. Is there any known development of life originating out of the Arctic? There's a moon orbiting around Saturn completely composed of methane. There are a few speculative individuals who are wondering if life has happened to have developed in the methane oceans. I wonder what the chemical structuring of their brains are like.......... I'm not that good at chemistry yet! :P

 

Bastos Batang Babae Lalake....................Ci no, no say??????

Edited by buttacup
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Did Eskimos brains develop both physically and chemically different from the brains of say a Philipino because their environments differed? Not to mention their vastly different diets.............. I don't believe the moon or prehistoric environments are necessary to answer this question; unless there are more specific reasons to. I'm sure there are an abundance of studies on this and on the cognitive development of individuals who have been isolated from the rest of society throughout their existence. These are pretty extreme examples and in the case of humans they have adapted to their new environment. An Eskimo though has in no way developed a new genetically inherited trait with respect to evolutionary steps than has a Philipino. Is there any known development of life originating out of the Arctic? There's a moon orbiting around Saturn completely composed of methane. There are a few speculative individuals who are wondering if life has happened to have developed in the methane oceans. I wonder what the chemical structuring of their brains are like.......... I'm not that good at chemistry yet! :P

 

Bastos Batang Babae Lalake....................Ci no, no say??????

 

1. (first bold) I'm guessing yes, both evolved and much more so individually adapted.

2. (second bold) What does this mean and how did you draw this conclusion?

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  • 3 months later...

My point of view is that a human born on the moon and subjected to different gravitational strains would still be a human. A single generation of genetic change is, of course, simply not enough to qualify that answer on. You would need to go back to our beginnings, wherever that may be, and place those identical ancestors on the moon and see if they evolve into humans or take another path. My guess is that they would turn out to be something different, just as all life on earth became something different depending on their environmental strains. Perhaps the question you are getting at is: would humans, or a similar species (in mental capacity, at least) evolve under any condition? And the follow-up question that's been posed before: are humans a necessary step in evolution's designs? And furthermore, does intelligence always evolve, and if so, would it be in bipedal creatures with society and culture?

 

I'll say this much, that I hope we can all agree on: if life evolved on the moon starting at the same time it did on earth, it would invariably be different morphologically and would have different thought patterns. My guess is that, in a harsher environment like the moon (this is all so highly hypothetical, of course), the development of instinct would be greater than the development of consciousness.

 

As far as the Eskimo and the Philipino: they have already developed some small genetic differences to adapt to their environments; Eskimoes have developed (or retained?) larger nasal passages to more effectively process the cold air they breathe; Philipinos have developed coarser hair that does not mat down as much as other humans to aid in the dispersion of heat. But moreover: does this mean that their brain chemistry has changed? Not much. We're all still human and have the same base needs and desires. With time, perhaps there would be some change.

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