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Do we possess intrinsic knowledge?

  1. Jul 26, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    If the universe acts and evolves according to hidden structure such as the theories of modern physics and mathematics, then if this cosmic structure manifest also as microstructures such as that of the human mind, then by this could we intrinsically recognize alleged truths such as the existence of God, the possibility of other realities, and the many things thought by many to be only imagined; or at best theoretical. I mean this within a similar context to Descartes proof of God, but with the modern application of concepts such as fractals, holograms, and the assumed possibility of a grand unified theory of physics.

    Perhaps we appreciate a flower because the beauty is really a familiar mathematical structure recognized only at a most primitive level? Mother Nature follows mathematical patterns as do planetary orbits. Could this recognition of pattern yield insights to truth?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2003 #2
    It may be possible that our distant ancestors who seemed prewired to sharpen stones into a point passed on a very basic concept, to make things into a point or sharpening things was good, it may be that the pyramid is a pyramid because a square wasn't very useful but this is far fetched I admit. We likely have basic understandings of things that reflect the evolution of the human brain to see nature as it truly is.
  4. Jul 26, 2003 #3
    Yes, we do seem to have the capacity to acknowledge things. If it's not inherent or, intrinsic with who we are, then how else do you explain it? Indeed the mind does seem to posses the key to unlock the mysteries of the universe, but even if such a thing as God could be ascertained -- by "one mind" -- how could it be verified by others, in the "scientific sense?"

    Perhaps if we all learned how to pracitce the Vulcan mind meld or something?
  5. Jul 26, 2003 #4
    Hm, patterns everywhere, that kind of thinking will cause you to drill a whole in your head:smile: he he he [pi]

    I think many things have a pattern and with this and symmetry we perceive things as beautiful, such as a flower. Although, we do tend to marvel over living things, i.e. some people think their pets talk. Perhaps instead of having, or lack of [or perhaps even because of, in some cases], intimate relationships with flowers, we simply look at them as beautiful.

    These structures and theories appear hidden because they require more than the naked eye to observe, they aren't hidden, we have simply used our intrinsic need for understanding to probe the inner-mechanics of the universe. This alone is the reason for all understanding, the need for knowledge, you cannot credit the discovery of advances in physics to the observation [alone] of patterns and innate knowledge of the universe. God is illogical, and apparently contradicts natural laws and such, we couldn't come about the discovery of it with intrinsic knowledge or patterns.
  6. Jul 27, 2003 #5
    And I say "pattern recognition" points the way to EVERY new theory and discovery.

    As to "intrinsic knowledge" ...I have often wondered why our species, in so many cultures throughout time, give rise to the "worship" of something "supreme". Would this be "intrinsic knowledge" of some Entity "greater" than ourselves of which we are a part?
  7. Jul 27, 2003 #6
    Patterns point the way to hypothesis', observation and testing point the way to theories.

    Example: If I observe dead animals in my yard, for one year at the rate of two dead animals a day; I have a hypothesis that two dead animals will be dead everyday in my yard. All I have done is observed the pattern of animals dying in my yard each day, but I have not found out the means. It could be a neighbor that kills them and puts them in my yard each day or I could have something in my yard that kills the animals. The theory comes about when you find proof to support your hypothesis with a) facts b) other theories not just hunches on patterns.

    We have the greatest means with which to think, it should be no surprise we find outselves doing things other species don't. I think we manifest this greater entity because many humans have the crazy idea that we have a SPECIAL purpose in life.

    Throughout history we have also observed many, many people that did not worship something 'supreme'. There is both ends of the spectrum, you can either not worship or worship, humans have done both, as we do in most every case [heterosexual/homosexual], and people draw conclusions from this when there is nothing to be drawn, except for the ignorance of people:smile:
  8. Jul 27, 2003 #7

    I regret that I was not comprehensive in my list of steps that take one from observation to theory to proof.

    My point is, if one never even notices that two dead animals per day are showing up on one's property, one would not even begin to ask "What could this mean?" nor even "Where might these carcasses be coming from?"

    Pattern recognition is a way of getting our ATTENTION!

    Well, you certainly make the case for you last point. :wink:
  9. Jul 27, 2003 #8
    The difference between my post you reference and what I meant was that I have not come across any truths, that is simply my opinion, an opinion that is supported by what I have learned, certainly not patterns I have observed; after all, how could I observe the past? I don't doubt that patterns lead to hypothesis which lead to studies which lead to theories. It is concievable, though, we could skip the observation of patterns and go straight to hypothesis and then study and then theory.

    EDIT: We could create theories on patterns we have not observed, such as the dead animals, I could formulate a theory based on hypothetical situations. This has also happened much in science, we hypothesize something and then create ways of probing the validity of the hypothesis.
  10. Jul 27, 2003 #9
    1. If you observed two dead dogs in your yard yesterday, you've observed the past.

    2. If you are not interested in observing patterns, you might
    miss a few life lessons along the way.

    3. I see a pattern developing already that will have us -- you and I -- chasing each other's tails into eternity.

    I don't recall saying that I have hit on any "truths." My offerings are purely speculations ...and when I seem to be speaking with certainty, it is just that I'm "taking the case" that such and such are so.
  11. Jul 27, 2003 #10
    Hm, how can observations today be the past when I observe them, only the memory of the observation is the past.
  12. Jul 27, 2003 #11
    Then technically, ALL observations are a "thing of the past" the moment you turn to ponder what they may mean ...and they're ANCIENT HISTORY by the time you make it to your theory.

    And note: our pattern continues. :wink:
  13. Jul 27, 2003 #12
    Their is no aging of the 'real past', therefore, no timeline, so no they are not, in fact, ANCIENT HISTORY when they are made into theories, they are the past. The observation was made in the past, but you haven't observed the past, that would mean that when you observed it you were observing the future.

    Yes, all observations are the past, not observed as the past though; they are not the past because you have no longer observed them, they are the past because the present is continuing forward. Observing the dead animals at point x in time will never allow you to again observe at time x, it will always be x+x[sub t] time from the point of observation.

    Response to note: this is a forum, perhaps we could sit and stare at the blank screens for communication?
  14. Jul 27, 2003 #13
    Because we are ignorant we may learn, this is intrinsic knowledge we need only accept in the moment in order to grow. No matter what happened in the past or how rigorously someone argues something, in the end we must accept our own ignorance before we can know anything. This is something even a newborn babe can do before it has learned so much as how to smile. :0)
  15. Jul 28, 2003 #14
    So maybe knowledge isn't so intrinsic, as our ability to accept the knowledge which is intrinsic? Even so, it doesn't rule out the possibility that intrinsic knowledge exists, in fact it probably goes a long ways to help substantiate the idea. :wink:

    And what about animals? ... lest we once again find the need to separate ourselves from them. What's the difference between intrinsic knowledge and animal instincts?
  16. Jul 28, 2003 #15
    ...tho certain topics get old fast. [zz)]

    No reflection on you, kyle_soule ...we/I just need another topic.

    Tried it. Doesn't work.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2003
  17. Jul 28, 2003 #16
    Now, here's a topic!

    Some animal behaviors that are deemed "instinctive" seem pretty sophisticated to me. Example: bees that can COMMUNICATE the exact direction and distance of a patch of flowers.

    What's YOUR response to your own question?
  18. Jul 28, 2003 #17
    To say that our ignorance is instinctual is absurd. Likewise, to say that our ability to accept or reject our ignorance is not innate is absurd. If we could not accept or reject anything we would not be having this discussion, and even a newborn can obviously accept and reject such simple things as nursing. As for animal instinct, humans are born with a fear of heights and the "rooting instinct" of shaking their heads back and forth with their mouth open looking for mamma's nipples to suckle. Whether or not such things constitute knowledge is debatable.

    What is not debatable is that we learn from day one and even previous to day one. We learn while inside the womb, for example, how to suck on our thumbs and therefore practice nursing before the first opportunity arrives. The question then is how do we learn? Is learning purely instinctual or does it require innate knowledge? What it requires is emotional context, that is what distinguishes us from my computer. Without emotional context everything is meaningless and learning is an oxymoron. Does water "learn" when it freezes? I think not.

    My son was born in my living with the help of a midwife. His mother danced all over the furniture and at one point I sat on the couch under her, and supported her buttocks while she shook her arms in pain. At that very moment our son's head seemed to pop out of her butt and stare at me from less than a foot away. A more serene and accepting expression I have never witnessed. Despite my face being right in front of his, his eyes seemed to look right through me and take in everything rather than just focusing on me.

    The ability to accept is intrinsic, but this implies then that knowledge is also intrinsic. You cannot accept something unless you have something to accept and possibility of rejection. Some babies enter this world kicking and screaming, while others make a more graceful entrance. From the moment they become capable of accepting and rejecting anything, from the moment we first consider them human beings rather than just an interesting collection of chemical reactions, knowledge is present.
  19. Jul 28, 2003 #18
    I don't even see how this fits in with what I was trying to say? Unless I missed something about the issue between animal instinct and intrinsic knowledge, because they pretty much seem to be one and the same or, allude to something similar.

    Yes, this is basically what I was trying to say here. And in bringing up the part about animal instinct I was trying to reiterate this, Okay?
  20. Jul 28, 2003 #19
    That is pretty amazing! And yet, there would seem to be a direct line of communication going on.

    Since people don't seem to be quite so instinctual as the rest of the animal kingdom, because we have a larger brain and have more to "learn" about our environment, which varies due to our ability to adapt, I'm just wondering if intrinsic knowledge is not just a higher level of "animal instinct?"
  21. Jul 28, 2003 #20
    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Universe isn't ALL ENERGY ALL THE TIME.

    Maybe It's all INFORMATION all the time -- or the exchange thereof -- via three interconnected networks: physicality, consciousness and spirit.

    The conduit -- in the physical -- must be gravity (and its kin)which serves to interconnect baryonic matter. I speculate there must be similar attractive forces within conscious and spiritual systems.

    The Universe is the Primary System ...and we are each sub-systems ...but I digress.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2003
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