Joker, selflessness

I was using it as an analogy, but now that I think about it, it’s more than that. If DNA was all we were, we’d be lumps of goo. To be more correct, our DNA is formed into chromosomes which are contained withing the nucleus of our cells (which perform specialized functions, gather food and excrete for the cell including the nucleus). It directs the use of external material for the cells, the DNA differentiates which materials go to which cells depending on their purpose. It’s the blueprint for our bodies, but it is only a small portion of them.

Whether analogy or not, our DNA only determines a portion of what we think and the choices we make. What are you leading up to, DNA=determinism?

A chromosone is just a long stretch of dna

DNA is the key to functioning/development of all living organisms on earth. It has that genetic information.

Uh…what do you mean DNA only determines a portion fo what we think and the choices we make? People don’t do anything outside of DNA, and that includes having thoughts or choices.

It contains all the genetic information. All of the instructions for life/function. The other stuff is a result of those instructions being carried out.

Yes, and a chromosome is just a part of our cells.

And therein lies the crux of our differences–whether we have a will or not.

I believe that’s what I said.

People have ‘will’ and thats because of dna.

I am of the mind that we are all completely selfish and the facts (I assume they’re facts) concerning DNA that you mentioned simply serve to reinforce that point. (Conversely you could argue that DNA is the selfish one and we are, wittingly or no, serving the best interest of our species by engaging in these outwardly altruistic-but-actually-selfish-but-actually-altruistic-in-a-way behaviours)

Nevertheless, the question persists: if our DNA controls us in a bid to survive (personifications aside), why does it do so* if it is not conscious, or aware, or an organism in itself?

*the ‘why’ here is a why of causality or motive, or both.

Yes but ironically, in our case, that will gives us the ability to override our DNA instinct programming. Will gives us the ability to re-program certain aspects of our psyches, to understand that the source of good and evil comes from our self-recognition, and even to create a self-destructive endless loop of fooling ourselves or even to commit suicide. We are the only life form on Earth that has demonstrated such characteristics. (Contrary to popular opinion, lemmings don’t commit suicide They are merely unable to override their programming that was originally a strategy for survival.)

You ask why organisms follow such blueprints, the design for which evolved through random selection, driven by success at survival. If there is a why, we need to know whether the process that favored the origin of such blueprints was initiated or happened spontaneously, but we have no evidence for either.

We can over-ride instinctive reactions because of DNA, because of the type of minds we evolved, even though the ability to cooly reason is an instinct itself.

I think in this case there is no answer to “why”, only “how”. Why DNA does what it does is usually considered to be for the sake of survival. But then one may ask, why survive? Why live? Hell, why are we even here at all? Evolutionary psychology wasn’t meant to answer these questions; that’s more of a subject for existentialism.

This is why I’m contentious with the homogeneity of Nietzsche’s will to power. There is not one overarching will but rather an assortment of competing intentions that make up our minds. Whichever combination of intentions works best, survives the most. As evolution advanced into the complexities of consciousness, it developed an immense wad of gray matter to conduct experiments in and shorten the amount of generations needed to manifest any significant mutations. This really alludes to Dawkin’s meme theory. Could selflessness be more memetic than genetic?

By the way, where the hell is Joker?

I agree

[…even though the ability to cooly reason is an instinct itself.
[/quote]
I don’t know about “cooly”, but the process of reasoning is not an instinct, it’s an act of free will.

If you define an instinct as an adptation to an ancesteral home (I can’t see of any other way to define instinct) then ability to reason is an instinct. Ability to sit back and cooly analyse to come at conclusion A, B, or C. Its a genetic capability that humans have, the reason we can think like this, is because somewhere in our brains is complex neuromachinery devoted to doing exactly that task(s) which was programmed into us through a history of evolution.

For example, to engage in any sort of abstract reasoning we use language, language itself is an adaptation, its an instinct, people aren’t ‘taught’ languages in a convential sense, their mind assumes massive regularities in which humans evolved, this is the only way in which a system could learn a language. This is beyond doubt in scientific circles, the evidence is massive (legitimate circles anyway).

Let alone the ability to reason about abstract things after learning the language.

Why is a human capable of reasoning/rationality and not a fish? Its our GENES, ouR DNA, the differences in that which produce functional differences and physiological differences in the brain and brain development.

our free will doens’t come out of thin air, its the result of a handful of adaptations.

humans don’t need to be taught to engage in free-will or ability to reason (to an extent anyway) it happens naturally as they age. A human doesn’t need to be taught that tigers will eat humans, if they eat buffalo too. We can naturally infer that.

To even suggest that ‘reasoning’ isn’t a result of the adaptations we have is ignorant. Theres no reason to suggest it.

We have big brains because of our genes/dna, we have general intelligence to some degree because of genes/dna, we can reason/engage in rationality because of genes/dna.

Biology doesn’t constrict, it enables. Its absurd to make it seem as though the ‘less’ biology the more flexibility, and the more biology the more deterministic. Thats insane, doesn’t make any sense.

The absolutely most limited our biology can be is every action performed by any human that has ever live, and thats probably not even close to the amount of ways in which we could potentially act, but whether or not that is the case, its an issue of absurdity to ever claim that our ability to reason isn’t an instinct.

It is, you’re wrong. Biology doesn’t constrain.

We’re not more able then animals because of less instincts, its because we have a lot more, and the ones we have are a lot more intricate and complex.

You’re working to hard to deny human volition and free will. Or, put another way, to rationalize a totally deterministic universe.

I’m not working hard at denying free will, you’re working hard at denying free will requires extremely complex specialized neuromachinery, which is the result of adaptation. You’re being nonsensical.

As to a ‘deterministic universe’ as far as natural selection goes things which survive the best just happen to pass on genes, after a huge amount of time adaptations to environments take place (or in the case of lizards and which-ever other organisms, not so long.). Our ‘free-will’ is certainly the result of adaptations working together. Like self-awareness for example, ability to look into the future and remember the past, etc.

i’m sorry that you apparently believe that a soul or some other nonsense gives us the abilities we have, but its biology.

As to why dna exists theres an anwser to that, its not really existential, for the same reasons that genes the best at surviving survive, is the same reason DNA came into existence. the forming of the most stable patterms of molecules, which naturally happens, can naturally lead to a self replicator, say raindrops form naturally as its a stable pattern, you take the right types of molecules, under the right types of circumstances, and its theoretically possible. (more then that as preliminary results of ancient earth conditions produce the building blocks of life, amino acids)

I’d be sorry too, if I did. In fact, if we do have a soul (a spirit that survives our bodies), it, like our self-aware consciousness, evolved via our DNA, which then exceeded itself. When sentience finally springs from our computers, what DNA will it be able to point to?

A deterministic universe, by definition which results in our decisions being determined by our genes, is incompatible with free will.

Not with any sensical notion of free will.

Our free will is limited due to biology, but what freewill we do have, what flexibility we do have is due to biology.

For example, I didn’t choose my sexual orientation, most males don’t choose their sexual orientation, sexuality, is largely, largely biological controlled, there is one example of a biological ‘constraint’ on ‘free will’. I can’t will myself through force of will alone to turn homosexual right now, no matter how hard I willed it, it just wouldn’t happen.

Theres plenty examples of ways in which the human mind is limited because it evolved to do specific tasks. Math doesn’t come as easy to humans as social exchange (because where we evolved, the ability to manuever through social circles/among peers was more important then abstract math) humans (almost universally) have an easier time learning a language then complex math skills, this is once again a limit on our ‘free will’ we can’t do every mental task with the same ease/effiency. Theres thousands of examples.

But the point to remember is that biology enables it doesn’t constrain.

  • The Adapted Mind.

What you’re saying makes no sense, that is the paineful truth.