Download In God's Image: The Natural History of Intelligence and by Gerhard Meisenberg PDF

By Gerhard Meisenberg

We're seeing explosive advances within the technological know-how of human evolution, to some degree the place our genome will be in comparison in molecular element with the genomes of alternative primates. whilst, the neurobiology of the better cognitive services has reached some degree the place we will be able to experiment the task of the residing mind to make ideas and emotions noticeable.

during this ebook, Gerhard Meisenberg explains the procedures in which the mind creates clever reasoning and judgments approximately right classes of motion. He illuminates the massive problems with human nature from the viewpoint of neurobiologist, evolutionary biologist, and molecular geneticist in flip. the implications are anxious. the writer descries people as crudely programmed robots with rather predictable habit, not able to go beyond the constraints that tradition and genes impose on their pondering.

the writer is aware how you can flip details into wisdom and data into knowledge. The e-book unifies the organic and social sciences, and indicates how this robust new technology solutions the massive questions about human life: the character of reasoning and challenge fixing, the best way moral judgments are made from a package of social instincts, the realm, why nations struggle wars, why Europe rose however the heart East declined over the past millennium, and masses, even more. This new technological know-how can expect the long run: Will our current civilization live to tell the tale, or will it self-destruct? And in what course is our species evolving biologically?

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Additional info for In God's Image: The Natural History of Intelligence and Ethics

Sample text

Or perhaps memory traces are still buried in the adult brain 24 The Nature of Knowledge but cannot be brought to life because the cognitive landscape of the adult brain is too different from that of the child. Also the source amnesia of children does not prove an absence of episodic memory. Conrad is a retarded patient with Down’s syndrome who learned to make palm frond brooms, after lengthy instruction by an old woman in his village. ’ Conrad has a mental age of two to three years, but he can recall episodes from his past life.

The concepts of death and compulsion are linked to strong emotions and instinctive responses because death and compulsion were 29 In God’s Image? omnipresent threats to our ancestors. But our ancestors did not know about abortion and therefore could not evolve instinctive responses to it. In the absence of tailor-made responses, we can form an opinion about it only by associating it with something that already has emotions and instinctive responses attached to it. This is how we grope for meaning in a world for which we did not evolve.

Even a single highly disturbing experience can lead a woman to conclude that all men want sex despite the unrepresentative sample size. This bias is wired into the brain because emotionally salient experiences are usually about something important. A failure to learn from them quickly is more dangerous than learning something that eventually turns out to be false. Aside from emotional salience effects, people can learn efficiently from repetitive experience. Social stereotypes are formed that way.

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