Everyone knows the question of nature vs nurture, however I just read an article synopsis that got me thinking. Here's the link
Basically, it says that a finch in isolation from birth can't produce
the complex intricate songs of normal finches (elders of this type of
bird are known to teach young birds) but after just 4 generations of
birds, the terrible screeching sound of the first bird evolved to the
very specific song of birds in nature.
This has some serious implications (from article and my thoughts):
- Cultural information can be genetically encoded
- The encoded information wasn't immediately
available like some kind of genetic database, but as the baby birds
learned and improved what they saw they were all along being guided by
built-in information. At every point they "thought" they were working it out for
themselves while dancing to the genetic tune. That's the kind of thing
that would make you think very seriously about free will.
- Are innate tendencies like charisma, popularity, shyness, or even success built into us?
This brings me to my second thought. I sometimes sit in class and
ponder my current position. By position I mean everything about my
current state. Where I am, what I'm studying, what I want to do with my
life, my physical condition, my friends, my hobbies, etc. I sometimes
envision the path I'm on (how my quantum wave function, or whatever, is
collapsing...at each choice or point of probability, etc, the fork we
choose or are guided to take). When I start thinking like this, I can't
help but feel like my path through life, time, existence, is already
determined and I'm just along for the ride.
Think how much your personality determines the things you do. How hard
you try in school. How good you are with girls. How you react to
situations. Everything. Our closest friends and family who know exactly
what our personality is can usually predict how we'll do or react in
situations...and it's impossible to know (be able to read) another
person in their entirety. Now imagine trying to change your personality
- the most fundamental traits of your being. I don't think it's
possible. What I'm trying to get at is that everything we do on any
given day is pre-determined. There is no reason why we would react any
differently than we do currently to the situations that are thrown at
This is a very comforting thought. If you can think of life as a
beautiful ride that we have the opportunity of taking it makes it so
much easier to handle when things don't go right (meant to be for some
future event to take place) and it makes you appreciate the amazing
things that much more.
So yeah anyway, hope this brings up some discussion on genetics, destiny, etc! (posted this in ns thinkers also but I was curious to see how nsg reacts...)
Spark Notes: Culture is genetically programmed, our lives are too