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Thought Theory: Organisms

  1. Sep 3, 2005 #1
    I came up with a theory on a new way to perceive thoughts.

    Thoughts act very much like organisms.

    There's no such thing as the simplest organism. Studies into how to make the simplest possible organism have found that there isn't one; there's many.

    Two organism are almost never exactly the same. Small variations in DNA (and maybe other structures; I don't know a lot of biology). Breeding produces slightly different DNA. DNA also mutates

    Complex organisms are made up of many smaller organisms, but are still referred to a individuals. A dog is made up of skin, bones, muscles, etc, but is still called a dog.

    Organisms exist in the physical world and are part of it, able to change their whole environment in grand ways. Billions of years ago, certain bacteria started producing oxygen, changing life for the entire world.

    Organisms reproduce, spreading near-duplicates all over. Bacteria self-replicate and animals breed.

    Thoughts do all these things, just in a different form.

    There's no simplest thought. There's color, shape, intensity, etc.

    Two thoughts are almost never alike; everyone sees reality differently, leading to different interpretations of the same idea. Red to one person may mean mean love, to another heat, to another nothing. Even the intensity of these feelings would almost never be identical.

    Complex thoughts require many smaller thoughts to exist. "House", for instance, is "Living Place", "Building", "Roof, Walls, Floor", etc.

    Ideas like religion and freedom spread rapidly and affect which thoughts are accepted and spread and which ones aren't.

    Thoughts exist in minds. They travel through communication. When someone tells someone something, some of the initial meaning is lost. The newly acquired idea is different from the one that gave it birth.


    When I came up with this idea, I was thinking about why languages shouldn't die, why martyrs are so effective, why I believe it's wrong for nations to treat other nations harshly in the name of Social Darwinism, and why most hate people feel is for someone's ideas, not their physical being (though hate for another's physical being exists, of course).

    And so...

    If thoughts act like organisms, how should we treat them?

    By limiting our worldview, we disallow the survival of potentially useful ideas. For instance, let's say a particular idea could allow humanity to live on mars with little effort. When that idea first comes into being, it's a vast minority. If it can't compete with the combined effort of an opposing idea, it could die with its host.

    Language is the means of reproducing ideas. Perhaps producing a language that better compliments the spreading of complex ideas instead of making basic communication easier, we could accelerate evolution of ideas.

    Any thoughts to add? I'd really like to evolve this idea :wink:.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2005 #2


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    In some ways, your ideas here sound quite similar to the idea of memes. See for example the Wikipedia entry on memes.
  4. Sep 5, 2005 #3
    Thanks for the link.
  5. Sep 6, 2005 #4
    I would suggest you study the different mechanisms of evolutionary change that apply to organisms, and then see how humans could mirror these actions to serve as the selective agent for evolution of thoughts via language. Number one selective agent in the organic world of organisms is "natural selection", which by definition is the "non-random reproduction of genotypes". The concept of genotype refers to the DNA code which acts on phenotypes to change them. So, you need to develop the concept of "genotype" for "thoughts", then look to see how humans can serve as a force of change that would allow for the non-random reproduction of these "genotype-type-thoughts".

    There are three different forms of natural selection that you may want to see if you can develop into your idea of "thoughts" and "language", they are mimicry, camouflage, sexual selection. That is, how can humans use these methods to help the genotypes of thoughts evolve via language ? You asked about the concept of the "new idea" and how to develop it--consider--what does natural selection do with the "new genotype" formed by mutation and/or crossing over during meiosis ? It puts it through the filter called survival AND reproduction--must always have both to have selection.

    So, consider mimicry, perhaps a new color genotype emerges in organism [A]via crossing-over of chromosomes. Consider this new color in organism [A] has good match to another organism- (you must think thoughts A,B to help you with your example) that already has a selective advantage because it has this color (think advantage of color red if you have lots of toxic chemicals in your skin). It is then straight forward how natural selection allows for the new color to survive over time within the "population" of organisms [A] via a process of non-random reproduction of organism [A] that contain new color genotype.

    Now, the question you may wish to ask is whether or not the genotypes of "new thoughts" (ideas) can be selected by humans in such a way that they mimic other "well established thoughts" ? Such a process would allow the new thoughts to move forward in time through society as a sort of hidden variable "attached" to other well established thoughts. Do they need to stay attached or entangled ? No, at some point in the future the new thought may come to replace the old thought in a local area of society, if environmental conditions change in such a way that the new thought is adaptive--that is, has higher probability of survival and reproduction than old thought. One reason I like mimicry, camouflage, sexual selection for your project is because they are indirect mechanisms that allow for new ideas to be introduced in such a way that they are not in direct conflict with current ideas, which are usually very hard to change via paradigm shift. It is rare indeed when a new idea evolves quickly to replace an old idea, the key, as I see it, is to get them entangled. Then, either they will stay entangled and evolve into a third idea, or they will move apart in local areas to allow the new idea to get a foothold.

    Good luck with your project, it sounds interesting.
  6. Oct 15, 2005 #5
    The RIGHT way to perceive any thought is to be separated from that thought.

    First there is you-the true you, the point from which you refer from-then there is that which you do-the 'thought' you did, the point to which you referred to.

    The right way for an individual to perceive any thing is to NOT be synonymous with that thing.

    I recommend an individual make a constant conscious concentrated effort to become AWARE of the one CONSTANT point they refer from, rather than the many variable points they refer to.

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