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Wednesday, December 06, 2006
  It's easy...
I've figured it out - Ok, not on my own, not trying to take credit for this one, but I've listened, and I've learned and I like to share what I've come up with...

Look around at the world.... Look around at the organisms that exist around the Earth. Those have have been succesfull in an existential way. Those that exist have EVOLVED. They have adapted to the world around them... This is biological evolution, it has to do with variations within species, with heredity, with natural selection, but these things take hundreds of thousands of years to affect change.

How can we take this principle and adapt it to our own lifes to allow us to be successful in ways that we can measure? Surely it must be LEARNING. We (at this time anyway) do not have the ability to biologically evolve. We have the genes we've inherited from our parents, that much is beyond our control. But what IS within our control is our mind, our understanding of the world around us, and thus our reactions to events that are placed in our path.

How can we best cope and deal with the situations which are presented to us? To evolve with our brains, to learn, to grow, to experiment, to test, to fail, but to learn from that failure, to make NEW mistakes, learn from those and continue trying. In that process we affect our OWN personal evolution within our lifetime. We thus transcend the potential that we are born with and we CREATE a new, more fully realized existance.

Whew! I gotta jump on the treadmill now...
Our minds are within our control in the same limited way our bodies are.

You speak of the biological limitations of our bodies and assume the same does not apply to our minds. why?

You're right about learning - it can create a more fully realized existance. But we are limited at the individual level by our genetics.

You speak of evolving with our brains as though this is more possible than evolving our bodies. We can all choose to make the most or least out of our evolved selves. We can push the limits of our bodies and our brains but in the end true evolutionary change cannot happen in a single lifetime, by definition.
You're right, I'm not saying that just by thinking about it we can actually change our genes, I'm saying we can conciously apply the _concepts_ of evolution to our learning and our behaviours, thus changing our daily lives, I don't think I did a great job fully explaining my thinking correctly, but it's something I plan to think more on and see if I do a better job of articulating what I actually mean...
I now this is off track of your train of thought but what interests me about the genetics of intelligence is how it affects the probability of success for an individual. The definition of success is of course open for some debate but if we agree one marker of success is economic (salary, career advancement, etc) and also understand that the single best (though most emphatically not the only) predictor of economic success is Intelligence (IQ), then consider that current research strongly supports a very significant genetic influence on IQ.... then how does this balance with our society's value of equal opportunity. Following the current understanding of these items shows that a significant predictor of economic success is genetic..... this is hardly the stuff of equal opportunity.
now = know..... faulty 'k' key on my keyboard... :-)
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A personal blog by John Walter.

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I think a lot. Some people say I think too much... However, I don't want to be seen as being aloof or pretentious, it's just that I really enjoy philosophical questions and deep thoughts. That's not to say that I don't find pleasure in more down-to-earth or trivial things, like beer and soccer :) I'm happily married with 3 wonderful children. I'm a partner in a technology services company based in Toronto. Myers Briggs says I'm an ENTJ

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