Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Brain Rule #2 SURVIVAL
Continuing with the second chapter of Brain Rules.. is Rule #2 Survival. The brain is designed to solve problems while in an unstable environment, in nearly constant motion with survival as the goal. The basic survival premise is to pass our genes to the next generation. So it all comes down to sex! It is our brains not our brawn that have enabled our species to survive when scientists estimate that 99.99% of all species that have ever lived are extinct today.
Humans are the only species that are able to use symbolic reasoning. As an example, a vertical line can be a vertical line, or the letter l. Put a dot on it and it is an i. Basically a line can mean anything we want it to mean
the only thing it requires is that everyone agrees on what it means. With dual representation we have capacity for language, writing, art, music. mathematics, culture. No other creature is capable of doing it. With words and language we can pass on knowledge without having to experience directly. Scientists have estimated that in 100,000 years, we have evolved from creating fire and cooking food, to 40,000 years ago taking up painting, creating jewelry and sculpture. 35,000 years later we were making pyramids, then 5,000 years after that rocket fuel. But back to survival. Instability in the weather seems to have had a powerful effect on humans. Without stability or consistency within your environment you must adapt to change. Being able to apply previous knowledge to new situations is critical to survival.
Our brain is really 3 brains. The first is the brain stem which functions pretty much the same in all animals. The second is the Mammalian brain which is sort of like the control tower. It is pivotal in memories, emotions and our senses. The third brain is the human brain. Symbolic reasoning, understanding intentions and motivations are all unique to the human brain.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog... next up... Brain Rule #3