Philosophy is Just More Magical Thinking, Like Voodoo

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The core (false) promise of all magical beliefs is everyday language-based “Mind over matter.”  and “Action at a difference.”  Praying, to some god, is just subjective reports of individual experience.  So is voodoo, belief in the tooth fairy, belief in free will, philosophy, etc.

Well, philosophy is just more of the same.  It presumes that words and everyday language matter to human behavior and explain the world.  Well, it doesn’t and never really has.  But, it is a very popular marketing/sales promise – look at religion!  VERY profitable.   Economists make the same false promise.

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Jerry Coyne Gets It Wrong Again and Again…#1: The Atheist’s Fatal Dilemma

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Disclosure:  My comments have been blocked from the Why Evolution Is True Site from the beginnings pretty much.  Also, banned on many other sites and censored on Maestro Pigliucci’s site Scientia Salon, the master himself moderates my comments and requests for me to stop posting occasionally.  All in good humor.

Although I did make a dry ironic comment about JC’s shirt once, I just post on the latest brain science research I read.  That’s it.  I also ask probing questions of other statements.  I am direct and professional at all times, never an ad hominem or intemperate comment – wastes of time.

My experience is that website folks simply cannot tolerate the challenges to cultural and personal myths that just reporting brain research triggers.  Continue reading

Music Before Language Likely – In Monkeys 1st 30mm Years Ago

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Monkey-Human Ancestors Got Music 30 Million Years Ago :

Music skills evolved at least 30 million years ago in the common ancestor of humans and monkeys, according to a new study that could help explain why chimpanzees drum on tree roots and monkey calls sound like singing.

Continue reading

Humans Evolved to Basically Walk and Do Endurance Work All the Time – Not Tweet

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We mustn’t forget that those individuals [early humans] were also hunter-gatherers. They worked extremely hard every day to get a living.

  • A typical hunter-gatherer has to walk between nine and 15 kilometers a day.
  • A typical female might walk 9 kilometers a day,
  • a typical male hunter-gatherer might walk 15 kilometers a day, and that’s every single day.
  • That’s day-in, day-out, there’s no weekend, there’s no retirement, and you do that for your whole life. It’s about the distance if you walk from Washington, DC to LA every year.

That’s how much walking hunter-gatherers did every single year. Continue reading

“…human brains are fairly typical primate brains; they just became unusually large. “

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….it turns out also that the idea that brains got large early on in human evolution is incorrect as well. We now know that:

  • humans and chimpanzees split maybe around six to seven million years ago
  • and the very earliest hominins, those are creatures that are more closely related to humans than to chimpanzees, had really small brains.
  • In fact, early Australopithecus, like Lucy, also had quite small brains. Even the early members of the genus Homo had small brains.
  • Some tools first started appearing around 2.6 million years ago, and those hominins have slightly larger brains than Australopithecus.

But if you actually factor out the effects of body size, what’s called their encephalization quotient (the ratio of brain size to body size for what you expect for a mammal of a body size versus what you actually got) it was actually not that much bigger than chimpanzees or early Australopiths. To put it into perspective:

  • an EQ of one means that your brain size is exactly the size of a brain you predict for your body size.
  • Chimpanzees have an EQ of 2.1
  • humans have an EQ of about f5.1.
  • Australopiths have EQ’s of about 2.5
  • the earliest members of the genus Homo have EQ’s of about 3.0 to 3.3.

Their brains are a little bit bigger than a chimpanzee’s, but not hugely so, and it wasn’t until long after the genus Homo evolved that brains actually started getting really, really large. So increases in brain size were not really an early event in human evolution, and in fact, they didn’t occur until after hunting and after the invention of hunting and gathering, and not even until cooking and various other technological inventions, which gave us the energy necessary to have really large brains.

Brains are very costly. Right now, just sitting here, my brain (even though I’m not doing much other than talking) is consuming about 20- 25 percent of my resting metabolic rate. That’s an enormous amount of energy, and to pay for that, I need to eat quite a lot of calories a day, maybe about 600 calories a day, which back in the Paleolithic was quite a difficult amount of energy to acquire. So having a brain of 1,400 cubic centimeters, about the size of my brain, is a fairly recent event and very costly.

http://edge.org/conversation/-brains-plus-brawn