22008, A couple points for consideration..|
Posted by murph25, Thu Aug-31-00 11:11 PM
>but I doubt that's even
>the half of it..more like
>a fifth of it because
>hopefully we'll be able learn
>how to utilise more of
>that dormant brain matter before
Well this is basically a myth. There is no solid scientific evidence that there really is some vast portion of our brain that serves no known function. If anything, it is remarkable that with a brain this small and simple (in terms of wiring), we are able to do everything we do. I think our brains were designed to do what they do, and not to serve some other function we haven't discovered yet.
However, on the deeper question of whether my behaviorist theories articulated above are really the bottom line, or speak to the totality of the human experience, it's safe to say you're absolutely right. Science is valuable. But plenty of important theories on the nature of existence sit stubbornly OUTSIDE the walls of that scientifically defined world. Personally, I love Taoism and Zen Buhddism, specifically because they challenge the basic tenets of science by casting doubt and relativism into all endeavor to understand (or control) nature.
Ultimately, behaviorism is perhaps best understood as a technology. It is a powerful tool to understanding human existence. But it is not the only tool.
>say, are babies born able to
>process all of the stimuli
>that comes through their senses?
To a certain extent, yes. A newborn baby does not have fully developed vision, but once they start getting that sensory input, they seem to start using it. For example, at less than a month old, infants seem to be able to associate an object they explore by touch with a visual image of that same object. At the age of six months, infants with very little experience crawling can percieve and respond to depth (they will not go where they think there is a cliff.) As early as five months, babies seem to know that an object has permanence - that if the bunny goes behind a curtain, it is still a bunny. It seems like a lot of this is hardwired into our brain, which makes us remarkably prepared to learn from our environment even as an infant.