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Yes, That Makes It Clear

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on June 23, 2001 17:19:46 UTC

Hi Mario,

Thank you for the clarification. I don't think your ideas are "hacky" at all, but then again, I am no biologist either.

I think our ability to quantify and deduce plays a very recent and very small role in human behavior. At least directly on an individual level. By that I mean that very few people make very many measurements in an ordinary day and they make even fewer calculations based on those measurements in order to decide any of their actions. Most day-to-day actions by ordinary people are driven by their emotions just as they have been for all animals for eons.

The few people who make deliberate measurements, study them, deduce consequences, and then make adjustments to nature in order to exploit the derived knowledge, are the people who have produced the cars, computers, and boom-boxes that the rest of the people use without a second thought.

To paraphrase you, "the ability to describe and quantify [physical phenomena almost] never arose because [emotional, or intuitive response] was an integral part of what we evolved from."

We only recently broke free from Aristotle's chains in order to study nature objectively, and then only a relatively few scientists have at that. What we haven't done as yet is to break free from similar chains preventing us from examining subjective phenomena.

>>>Maybe feeling isn't inherently indescribable, it is just inherently indescribable by us. It could be different, maybe.

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