Fuel Vs Oxygen Vs Kindling Point & Life Vs Nature Vs Nurture

We were taught in elementary science that three things are necessary for fire. One is fuel. The second is an oxidizer, such as oxygen. And the third is kindling temperature. Now we can discuss available oxygen and existing temperature when we speculate on the fuel catching fire. But to use such terms as “oxygen versus temperature” would make no sense when discussing such phenomenon, because the oxygen is not competing with the kindling temperature. Likewise, discussing nature versus nurture when discussing organism development is nonsensical, since behavior phenomena is impossible without both of these factors. The triad for organism behavior is first you must have nature (genetic coding), secondly you must have nurture (fundamental environment and treatment)), and thirdly you must have life. No organism behavior should be considered purely the result of genetic determinism, and no behavior should be considered purely the result of environmental circumstances. And of course, no living thing should be considered “free” from the effects of genetic-environmental interaction.

Say for instance you studied ants, as E.O. Wilson did. In order to logically state that ant behavior is genetically determined and thus free from the effects of environment, you would have to set up an experiment to put thousands of larva each into isolation chambers; then when individuals reached maturity, you’d have to release them into the ant-mound and observe how they functioned in comparison to the ants that had grown up being exposed to peers and other environmental circumstances.

You see, to genetically program an ant with every aspect of behavior necessary for survival is logically impossible. Circumstances change. And hardwired behavior couldn’t be modified. Instead, evolution has designed organisms brains in such a way that the organism has certain tendencies (aka, nature), and those tendencies are enhanced, extinguished, or otherwise modified by the conditions to which the organism is exposed as an individual (aka, nurture).

Now when one takes into consideration genetic drift and random mutation, along with the influences of nutrition and other environmental factors (to which the ant is (or has been) exposed as an individual), without doubt the likelihood of any two ants having brains wired identically would more impossible than two snowflakes being identical. This is especially true for an extremely complex organism, such as the human (would even be true for clones). But this uniqueness is as much the consequence of causality as the uniqueness of the snowflake is (or would be).

Oh, and by the way, an ant could not function effectively should it happen to be aware of all sensory input and brain processes. The ant would need to be unaware of certain factors but aware of factors of immediate importance. That is to say, the ant would need to have a form of ADD (attention deficit “disorder”). In humans, this form of ADD is called consciousness.

Also, the brain would need to function in modules. For instance, once the organism tendency for movement has been enhanced by personal circumstance (learning) to provide effective movement, then the movement-module developed to satisfy a need for water could also be used to provide movement to satisfy a need for food. Therefore, the organism would not require a set of wiring for the satisfaction of each need; instead it would simply be “consciously” stimulated with thirst or hunger and thus “consciously” act accordingly. In other words, at the most fundamental level, the human seeks out the banana for the same reason the fruit-fly does.


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