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Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
torrence wrote
Re: "Do 'X' think/feel/smell/etc" recommended reading is recent "The Information" by James Gleick.

Cheers,
Torrence



Re "The Information" by James Gleick -- thanks for the information. I just browsed the comments at Amazon, most readers give five stars.


|-|
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 309
Location: Winchester, UK
Hi Torrence,

Thanks for the recommendation re James Gleick. I have now ordered my Xmas reading list from Amazon. It consists of The Information, Brian Cox's The Quantum Universe, and Nathan Wolfe's The Viral Storm.

As a long-term follower of Richard Dawkins, I would by default have ordered his The Magic of Reality, but the chapter titles looked as though they could be a little too 'preachy' for me.
_______________
Cheers, Richard
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Good morning,

we humans scratch our heads when we discover a problem that needs to be solved (or a difficult question that needs to be answered; but questions are problems too).

Do apes do this also?

Why has evolution introduced this behaviour? Is it supposed to stimulate the blood circulation in the brain? Or is it a social signal like "I don't know; help me"?


:-)

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 479
Location: EFTO
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Interesting. Thanks! :-)

To me, it seems a lot of those activities, which were originally just "substitute activities", have been established by evolution because it enriched the nonverbal communication with more "words", which then improved the social system of a group. Perhaps facial expressions (those hundreds of nuances in eye brow movement etc. pp.) may have been such random "substitute activities" originally.


Cheers,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 309
Location: Winchester, UK
I see such behaviour in apes. But I am wary of interpretations by 'scientists'. To me, it is just interesting to speculate.
_______________
Cheers, Richard
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 479
Location: EFTO
Hardy wrote
it enriched the nonverbal communication

True in general.

(Konrad Lorenz' first major work was to analyze the evolution of the "ritualistic" gestures in the courting behaviour of various species of duck and geese. The significance beyond ducks was that he proved that behaviour traits are subject to evolution, and can be analyzed in the context of evolution, in the same way that structural traits had been analyzed earlier already.)

In our specific case of head scratching the question is then of course, why one would "wish" to communicate a conflict situation to one's peers. OK, in social species it may be a request for support; and Homo sapiens is a social species.
But it remains to be seen for how long...
(If in a meeting, do not scratch your head, it communicates (in the eyes of your manager) incompetence. Giving a wrong answer in an assured and self-confident tone is a better strategy than honestly signaling ignorance... cf. "Imponiergehabe" ( ~ "showing-off behaviour") :oops: )

Cheers,
M
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 479
Location: EFTO
Richard McDonald Woods wrote
But I am wary of interpretations by 'scientists'

So are scientists!
(at least those without the quotes around them)
:mrgreen:

Cheers,
Martin
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
Quote
Homo sapiens is a social species


Some people over here don't believe this and think that social behaviour was introduced by the enemy to bring us down. But then, you're from Finland. :-)

Quote
it communicates (in the eyes of your manager) incompetence


More advanced species of manager correctly interpret it not as a sign of incompetence, but as a sign of "lack of data" and respond accordingly. :-)



Hoppie
« Last edit by Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers on Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:17:48 +0000. »

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