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Jackie Marano's picture

Everything happens for a reason

After some additional thinking about our discussion in class this past week I can state that I agree with our transition from 'stimulus' and 'response' to 'input' and 'output,' repectively. With respect to the relationship between inputs and outputs, I thought a very interesting question was raised in class: is there really a such thing as having NO input...and JUST an output? I have always firmly believed that everything happens for a reason, but as humans we lack the ability to consistently identify the reason. So, even when we say or do something that we would consider to be 'random' or 'without reason,' I am still convinced that biologically something occurred to make us act in that way (whether on the molecular, cellular, or organismal level) to produce an output.

Another related question that comes to mind is: "Is there a such a thing as having JUST an input and NO output?" If the female cricket chooses to be what we might call 'unresponsive' to the male cricket's call, do we or do we not consider that to be an output? If the female decides that she prefers to sleep or to search for food instead of seeking the male, we could consider her movement away from him and towards the location of these activities as an 'output.' And if she stays completely still, appearing to ignore his call (as if she was deaf), I think we could also consider that to be an output. I think it is cricitcal to associate output with both 'action' AND 'inaction.'

On Dictionary.com I found some definitions of the word ACTION: "the state or process of acting or doing," "behavior or conduct," "a function or the performance of a function of the body or of one of its parts." So I think that whether the female is active or inactive, she is still acting, behaving, conducting herself in a specific manner, responding, and "outputting." If we claim to observe JUST and input or JUST an output, I think we would be oversimplifying what is really occuring at some biological level. I think there is always an input and always an output (whether it is active or not). I think we are in the right place in our class discussion though with our focus not just on the existence of an input/output structure, but also on the relationship between the two.

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