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Old July 10th, 2018, 05:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by deGanis View Post

Humans have reached their preeminent place in the world because they have in the past and still continue to show the ability to work together
Well, not nouveau republicans.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 06:46 AM   #12
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Well, not nouveau republicans.
Alas true - hence my comment about working together
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Old July 10th, 2018, 11:07 AM   #13
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Are we born humans or do we learn to be humans?

If we learn to be human's what do we have to learn to be humans?

Is our ability to learn unlimited or can we loose the ability to learn?

Here is a story of science and referral children.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cymZq1VblU0
born humans or do we learn to be humans - Both, I think. See Jane Healy Endangered minds : why our children don't think/ [book] (1990) - This one, especially, is an eye-opener.
Failure to connect : how computers affect our children's minds-- for better and worse / [book] (1998 )

N. Chomsky posits that babies are born prepared to learn language, & that we have some hardwiring to facilitate that - but that the language window is only open for so long. Interesting reading.

Human babies are helpless for a long time (compared to other primates), & our learning period is stretched out accordingly. A baby has a lot to learn - language, socialization, body language, expressions, gross & fine motor control, hierarchical considerations - when to speak, when to listen, who to defer to.

what do we have to learn to be humans - Language & culture. Language makes writing possible, the compilation & transmittal of information across generations. Culture helps orient the individual in the larger polity.

ability to learn unlimited - Theoretically, we're limited by the finite number of nerve connections possible in the human brain. But TMK, no one has come close to approaching that theoretical maximum. So we're on safe ground for the immediate future.

Technology may come to our aid on this front - there are experiments going on, to see if we can graft connections to data storage from the brain. If that works out, we can expect to upload personalities @ some near future date.

loose the ability to learn - Yes, that's possible - some head wounds, stroke, etc. The brain/mind is very plastic, it might be possible to find a workaround (a different pathway in the brain) if only part of the brain is affected.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 12:04 PM   #14
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Okay, what you wrote is not what I was thinking, but what you said gets a discussion going.

Humans are very vulnerable and it is their social skills that made it possible for them to survive. Neanderthals did not have the social skills of those who came out of Africa much later and that is probably why we survived and they did not.

The reason I want to talk about what makes us human is, I think we can make better decisions when we have a better understanding of how our brains develop and work.
Just read Almost human : the astonishing tale of homo naledi and the discovery that changed our human story / Lee R. Berger and John Hawks, c2017, National Geographic.

Subjects
Homo naledi.
Human beings -- Origin.
Human beings -- Evolution.
Human remains (Archaeology) -- South Africa -- Witwatersrand Region.

Summary
"This first-person narrative about an archaeological discovery is rewriting the story of human evolution. A story of defiance and determination by a controversial scientist, this is Lee Berger's own take on finding Homo naledi, an all-new species on the human family tree and one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. In 2013, Berger, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators--men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of "underground astronauts," Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species, and they called it Homo naledi. The cave quickly proved to be the richest primitive hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that shake the very foundation of how we define what makes us human. Did this species come before, during, or after the emergence of Homo sapiens on our evolutionary tree? How did the cave come to contain nothing but the remains of these individuals? Did they bury their dead? If so, they must have had a level of self-knowledge, including an awareness of death. And yet those are the very characteristics used to define what makes us human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us? Berger does not hesitate to address all these questions. Berger is a charming and controversial figure, and some colleagues question his interpretation of this and other finds. But in these pages, this charismatic and visionary paleontologist counters their arguments and tells his personal story: a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human"-- Provided by publisher.

"A story of defiance and determination by a controversial scientist, this is Lee Berger's own take on finding Homo naledi, an all-new species on the human family tree and one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. In 2013, Lee Berger, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators--men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of "underground astronauts," Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species, and they called it Homo naledi. The cave quickly proved to be the richest primitive hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that shake the very foundation of how we define what makes us human. Did this species come before, during, or after the emergence of Homo sapiens on our evolutionary tree? How did the cave come to contain nothing but the remains of these individuals? Did they bury their dead? If so, they must have had a level of self-knowledge, including an awareness of death. And yet those are the very characteristics used to define what makes us human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us? Berger does not hesitate to address all these questions"-- Provided by publisher.

Length 239 pages : photos, maps, index, bibliographic refernces

There's also a NOVA/National Geographic episode, same name. Excellent TV. & an excellent book - the excitement of discovery is palpable.
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