Love, human nature... and molecules
Date: 2002-10-08 19:46:39
Message Id: 3217
Hey everybody! I was thinking about our talk in class yesterday, and to the person who suggested love as an example of human nature, I don't think that's cheesy at all- I think it's a very valid point. Maybe not everyone feels love in the same way, or craves the same kind of love, but I think on some basic level the vast majority of people feel a need to connect to another person. I know that, personally, I get awfully lonely when I'm not around people who I love, or who (I think, at least:) love me. And isn't it funny that we want certain people to love us, and anyone else just isn't quite the same? Not necessarily worse or bad in anyway, just different. I don't just mean romantic love; it happens between friends as well, it happens in families- we want to be accepted and loved for who were are, but sometimes the love of thousands won't make up the lack of the love of one.
Oh, and an interesting article in the Inquirer. today, especially as we were talking about human nature:
Name: Anastasia Michals
Subject: Class Discussion
Date: 2002-10-08 22:29:50
Message Id: 3221
Chelsea, I am the one who brought up the whole love issue and I am so glad that you commented on it. I think there is such a thing as human nature. I mean, doesn't every type of species have characteristics specific to them or actions that are specific to them? Isn't that considered the nature of a species? All humans seem to need love and the connection with other human beings. It is this connection that often brings about reproduction and with out that our species can not survive. We are all brought up in different ways and have our own beliefs which influence how we react to certain situations, but this has nothing to do with human nature. Human nature is a constant, a similartiy among all human beings. It is a trait or characteristic that we all have and I think that many of the things we do involve human nature. The desire to succeed in life, or the desire to be unique is human nature. The things we see as success may be different but I think all human beings want to make something out of themselves. Human nature does exist.
Name: amanda maclay
Subject: human reaction/ a fever
Date: 2002-10-09 01:17:51
Message Id: 3223
In lab today, Will brought up the question Why happens to our bodies when we get a fever? Why do we get fevers when we are sick? After learning in lab that when enzyme reaction rates go up, temperature goes up as well. Therefore when we have a fever, it is due to the higher reaction rates of enzymes. Why then are the enzymes reacting faster? I am guessing that this is due to our bodies need to get the unhealthy bacteria out of our systems. For, it was also observed that when the reaction rates increased oxygen, or whatever the enzyme is catalyzing, stablizes quicker. Therefore, when we get a fever, it is our bodies reaction to assisting in getting the bad stuff out faster.
Name: kathryn bailey
Date: 2002-10-09 12:38:40
Message Id: 3224
I read the Inquirer article about attempting to profile the spree killer who has killed 6 people and injured 2 near DC. The author says, "Our need for closure can cause us to endow this method (psychological profiling) with magical properties, but it's based on human nature. Even the best of profiles may not tell us everything we want to know." Is the need for closure really part of "human nature" , and furthermore, does "human nature" really exist? I argue that the concept of human nature is our way to describe a similar pattern of behavior across a group of people. The need for closure, for example, is one such behavior that can be taught as a result of learned cultural preferences. This leads me to think that much of what is categorized as "human nature" is the result of learning. I am still not clear about "love"...can love be learned? I tend to think not, but I know that social interaction can be. Does social interaction lead to the feeling of love?
Name: Brie Farley
Subject: anti-human nature!
Date: 2002-10-09 13:13:09
Message Id: 3225
Class discussion coincides with my Anthropology Class once again! We have been reading articles on the subject of human nature, and disucssing the theories of recording observations in a foreign society. It is agreed among many anthropologists that human nature is purely cultural. This confirms the idea that everything we do as humans is a result of the culture in which we have been raised. We all know that there are millions of general cross-cultural similarities, such as eating a meal, or training children to use some kind of waste facility, but if we were to examine at all phenomena exhibited by humans, we would notice distinct differences in the way people do things. This conflicts with the notion that there is something common and predictable called human nature. How does this account for instincts? Perhaps we are just so susceptible to our surroundings as infants and while growing up, that we are able to pick up on certain nuances, feelings, and fears. When we grow up, this conditioning seems so natural that we find it hard to assume we may have been born a blank slate. Although it is "unromantic," it's possible that the feelings of love are culturally constructed, as well. Thus, I am in favor of the concept that culture creates who we are, and that there is no such thing as the commonly referred to, "human nature." Maybe we could instead name it, "human culture saturation?!"
Name: Brenda Zera
Subject: human nature
Date: 2002-10-09 17:30:48
Message Id: 3238
Well, although I am a firm believer that we (humans) are mostly created by the culture in which we are raised and live, I do think that there are some aspects of our lives which could be considered natural instinct. There are cases of people who have been left out in the wilderness, or in extreme isolation, for a period of time who have also developed some sense of being. I think that many facets of our lives (like the concept of what is 'love') are instinctual - but our various cultures allow them to be expressed in different ways. There must be some things that are inherited - someone didn't just wake up one morning and say: I think I'll create a learned society today!
And someone was talking earlier about serial killers - if the chemical balances in your brain are off, it can cause an individual to act strangely (but strange is only relative to what "normal" is considered). Unless you come from an entire family of killers, it's hardly likely that you 'learned' it anywhere --- I don't think that even television or video games can accomplish that! (although I do admit that they have some neurological and behavioral impacts)
Name: Kate Amlin
Date: 2002-10-09 20:02:08
Message Id: 3239
During the mad rush to finish everything before fall break, I actually learned something about biology. Let me tell you, amazing things happen when you actually OPEN and READ the Biology text! I've been preparing the "Motions at Microscopic Scales" lab but had some initial trouble understanding the connection between diffusion and turgid or plasmolyzed cells. Luckily, Campbell and Reece were there to help me out: When cells are immersed in a hypotonic solution (like distilled water) water flows into the cells so that they become turgid. The opposite is true for plasmolysis. Cells doused in a hypertonic solution (like a 25% salt solution) lose water so they shrivel up and become plasmolyzed. Wow, maybe I should start opening the book more often...
Name: Diana La Femina
Subject: Human Nature
Date: 2002-10-09 22:43:41
Message Id: 3240
When I was a senior in high school...oh, god, that was two years ago already?...I took government and politics. My teacher was fantastic, and we spent a lot of time on political philosophy and the different types of government that coincide with the different takes on what basic human nature is. Are they a clean slate? Are they basically bad or good? It's strange to think about really. I know many people who could be considered good who came from the same circumstances as (and are even related to) people who could be considered bad. So, is human nature generally good but corrupted by society or is it basically bad and kept in line by society? Probably a little of both. Society, I believe, makes us more "civilized" and forces us to gauge our reactions. So, instead of pure animal instinct we're forced to think on a larger scale about the effects of our actions. Society doesn't always pose a good model for us, though, and so it corrupts us.
Ok, enough of my rambling now. I'd be interested to hear other people's ideas on the subject.
Name: Laura Bang!
Date: 2002-10-10 19:52:23
Message Id: 3251
Personally, I believe in the so-called "human nature." But I also think that "human nature" is slightly different for each person, which is why we are all different, like snowflakes. My inclination is towards believing that humans are all basically good, but are corrupted by circumstances. But maybe I'm just a hopeless optimist.
"In spite of everything I still believe that people are good at heart." ~Anne Frank
On another note, a while ago people were writing about insomnia/lack of sleep and I found an interesting book on the subject of sleep. It's called Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress. I haven't read the book yet, but it sounds quite interesting. The premise of the story is that sometime in the future humans are able to genetically alter babies so that they don't need sleep. At all. Then there is a conflict between the "sleepers" and the "non-sleepers" because the "sleepers" are jealous of the extra 8+ hours each day that the "non-sleepers" have. Not having to sleep seems pretty cool now (especially during midterms), but I don't know if I would actually want to give up sleep. In giving up sleep, you would give up dreams too, and that would be sad.
Now we are off to wonderland,
You and I, you and I,
Into the harbor of happy dreams,
Oh how misty and fair it seems,
Rock, rock a-by;
Ah! no one but mama could understand
The way that leads to wonderland.
~ "The Way to Wonderland" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Name: Katie Campbell
Subject: Human Nature
Date: 2002-10-10 20:59:08
Message Id: 3252
Once I did a presentation to a group of adults on the peace camps I do during the summer, working with high school students from places like South Africa, Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, and US on communication skills and diversity issues, etc to promote more peaceful communities. It's clear when I talk about my work and the experiences I've had that I believe in the innate nature of humans to be kind and good towards one another and as brought up by Anastasia, crave love and affection from others. One woman, a product of WWII and segregation issues in Denver, etc, though, approached me after my presentation and commented on how hopeless "our situation" is today. She told me that it's just so sad that the nature of humans is greed and survival of no one other than their person. She said, it's evident in small babies who cry out because they cry out when they are hungry and therefore are only trying to get something. My theory on this woman's thought is that it stems from experiencing time after time when the world has betrayed itself. I feel fortunate to view a baby's cry as something different and more similar to Anastasia's idea that we all, as humans, crave something like love, affection, and care from others and in turn want to reciprocate all of these feelings. A baby does not only cry when it is hungry, but also just to be held by the people it associates with safety and kindness and love. And it seems that maybe the idea of human nature might ring true in other species which show such established relationships between one another, like kittens and their mother and maybe even schools of fish that stay with one another. So is it human nature or something that is a common thread in life? I'm sure there are many species and animals I'm not looking at in my examples and ones that could "destroy" my idea, like in our lab gatherings...
But I'm the eternal optimist and I think it'd be nice if we had something like such nature to connect all of life together...
Subject: Human nature
Date: 2002-10-10 22:45:37
Message Id: 3255
I have a question - which one is stronger, instincts or nature?
I'm tired, I'm cold, I haven't eaten all day and all I want to do is sleep but not until I finish this lab report.
Have a wonderful break, everyone!!
Subject: bio and chem
Date: 2002-10-10 23:49:59
Message Id: 3256
I was wondering, how much do biology and chemistry overlap, and so how much chemistry are we going to learn in this biology class?
Date: 2002-10-11 13:03:21
Message Id: 3257
on occasion, what's more interesting about this course is not the biology, but the method. we're learning a natural science through discussion and a lab session that i, for one, consider to be more play than toil. and we write lab reports in "the spirit of science" rather than the rote textbook fashion we hammered out in high school.
i don't know. i just think it's kinda nice. kinda great, actually. i wish that college on the whole was more in the spirit of education and not the spirit of schooling.
have a good break, y'all.
Name: diana dimuro
Date: 2002-10-11 13:18:55
Message Id: 3258
Last year my older sister went to an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in NYC and after going told me she had read that all humans, no matter what race, ethnicity, or gender are 99.9% genetically the same. Siblings from the same parents are 99.95% the same. How crazy is that? I think it's crazy that humans who often feel they can be prejudiced against each other based on race, sex, class, etc. are actually more alike across the world then they think they are. In the same token, that last 0.01% creates so much diversity. And the small similarities between me and my sisters that I always wondered about (like we have very similar handwriting)could be because we are 99.95% genetically the same! Crazy! It blows my mind! I just wanted to share and see what everyone else thought.
Have a good fall break everyone.
Name: Adrienne Wardy
Subject: Human Nature
Date: 2002-10-11 14:30:54
Message Id: 3263
I think that the idea of "human nature" overlaps with the study of psychology. It relates to the idea of nature vs. nurture. For those of you who don't know, this is the question whether humans develop as a result of their innate nature ie. biological causes, or if they develop as a result of the environment they were raised in. As a a person in the teaching certification program, I've taken a few courses on human development and this question has always fascinated me. I believe that our personalities are a result of the two causes together. There are most definitely biological reasons that influence who we are.
Name: Diana La Femina
Subject: nature or instinct?
Date: 2002-10-20 22:37:07
Message Id: 3288
Well, I think that neither is stronger because both of them are the same. The nature of an animal, whether it be a human or a panther or what have you, is based on what it's insticts cause it to do. It is the nature of a deer to run away when they see a human. This is because their instincts tell them to do this to avoid getting killed by a predator. So, I don't think the real question is whether nature is stronger than instinct or vice versa, but instead what besides our instincts dictates our everyday behavior and which of those is stronger?
Subject: instinct vs. nature
Date: 2002-10-21 10:18:43
Message Id: 3295
I didn't have much thought on this human nature idea for a while until I read Diana's last comment. Diana was talking about instincts, and how deers run away from humans. I think instincts must be different from the nature of an animal. Instincts can be changed: before deer came to recognize humans as predators they did not take much heed to us. Now for the most part they stay away. However, there are deer today that have re-learned that instinct and search out humans becuase they have become dependent upon food humans provide. So if instinct can change, I don't think we can call it the same as the nature of something. The nature of an animal has to be something that will never change in a species (at least until the species evolves further). I can't think of an example, because there always seem to be exceptions to the rules, but humans as social animals is about the closest I'm going to get. Save the few hermits holed up somewhere, humans do have the need for social interaction and these interactions are a large part of our society, culture, way of life, even evolution.
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