'Is the mind of a new born a blank slate?'

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'Is the mind of a new born a blank slate?'

Postby parsoff on August 22nd, 2018, 3:50 am 

My answer YES it is a blank slate. In my view the universe formed random and that makes that there never will be or will be found 'a source' that provides information or guidelines.
There is no source so the mind is a blanke state.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blanke slate?'

Postby doogles on August 22nd, 2018, 5:42 am 

My opinion is that the cerebral cortex has no memory stores when we are born and that to all intents and purposes it is a blank slate waiting for sensory input.

Apart from that, we do have many hard-wired primitive 'drives' that enable us to function in the same manner as most other animals from reptiles upwards.


Few of us remember anything that happened early in our lives before the age of three, although I've met a couple who claim recall of events at the age of 18 months.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blanke slate?'

Postby parsoff on August 22nd, 2018, 6:39 am 

doogles » August 22nd, 2018, 11:42 am wrote:My opinion is that the cerebral cortex has no memory stores when we are born and that to all intents and purposes it is a blank slate waiting for sensory input.

Apart from that, we do have many hard-wired primitive 'drives' that enable us to function in the same manner as most other animals from reptiles upwards.


Few of us remember anything that happened early in our lives before the age of three, although I've met a couple who claim recall of events at the age of 18 months.

I don't remember, if it was important maybe this was made possible.
It can be that because of the large volume the body has to grow to from a tiny sperm cell and egg cell this is simply not possible. You maybe remember something when you are 1 year till you are two years and then this get's lost as the body volume and brain increases really fast. Cells take over they have to carry out tasks.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blanke slate?'

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2018, 9:12 am 

The newborn mammal is not really new. The human infant has been gestating for six to nine months before it makes its debut as an independent life-form. In the 2nd to 6th months of gestation, rapid brain development takes place; millions of synapses are formed. By this time, the foetus can orient itself in space, control its limbs and register sounds. BTW, this is when thumb-sucking generally begins.
So, every baby is born with what it's already learned about its own body and environment, as well as personal memories, along with its genetic heritage and the set of instincts we all brought down from the primordial soup.

The brain registers everything that happens inside, to and around the individual, but only the significant information is stored in long-term memory. We can't recall very early memories, because it takes longer to establish a reliable retrieval system. The rate of development of various neural functions differs quite widely: some people have vivid event memories from even before their second birthday, while some can't recall anything before age five or six, the average being around three for sporadic impression, four for particular episodes and six-seven for coherent narrative. However, almost all infants retain such information as distinct sounds and individual voices, chronology, language, learned skills, places, colours, names, etc. on a continuous basis, and have on-demand access to all of that information.

Because evolution and life are continuum, there is no such thing as a blank slate.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blanke slate?'

Postby mitchellmckain on August 22nd, 2018, 10:35 am 

In agreement with Serpent, I say no. There is no such thing as a blank slate.

But I would like to add a distinction between the mind and the brain.

The brain is a biological construct produced by a long history of species learning by which it can do a lot of different things. Now, one of the things that has been learned in that long history of the species is the value flexibility, adaptation and the power of the individual to learn for itself how to live in the particular place and time he finds himself because the environment is constantly changing.

The mind is a construct of language, which is a product of a long history of learning in human civilization. It greatly enhances the flexibility and adaptation capabilities of the brain by adding another layer of complexity -- another interface between the organism and the environment. This adds the ability of abstraction by means of linguistic symbolization to the tools we have for interpreting data and this both expands our awareness of the environment and allows for a greater degree of long term planning in our responses to it.

In both of these there is an advantage to being a blank slate to some degree because this increases the adaptability. But since both are built from a long history of learning it can never be truly blank slate. In fact you wouldn't want this to be the case. In order to construct your own way of dealing with the world you have to start with some building materials. It is not an advantage to start with nothing so that you have to reinvent every wheel, lever, and gear for yourself. That would be wastefully inefficient.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blanke slate?'

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2018, 11:57 am 

This is why social species are more complex and more capable of surviving sudden environmental change:
The young - who start out with plenty of available data storage and plenty of connecting potential* - learn from their parents and members of a family, clan, pack, herd or flock learn from one another. Not only do they pass down skills and knowledge to succeeding generations, but they also pass new innovation laterally, within the same generation. Thus, methods of coping spread very quickly across the whole species.
This, in turn (or feedback loop, if you like) can speed up the evolution of the species by creating fads: suddenly, the monkey who's learned how to crack nuts with a stone is the most desirable mate in every tribe; the whale who's learned a new song gets to invest his DNA in the best cow. Their offspring, then, is noticeably quicker and brighter than the previous cohort, or noticeably more dexterous, or has noticeably better pitch.

* so let's say "clean slate", rather than blank slate. When I went to school, we had chalk-boards in every classroom. Usually, down one side or across the top of the front board, there were some rules, instructions and basic information with a solid line border and DNE printed in big letters underneath. These were permanent, but the rest of the boards were clean every morning. Like that.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blank slate?'

Postby parsoff on August 22nd, 2018, 2:54 pm 

Hear interesting views, those i could not have because i have only my view.
I do make a separation of body and mind. Mind controls the body. The body is made from materials and the mind is not.
If i have a person in my mind then that person is not there he/she is in his/her material form somewhere.
In the physical system that interacts with another human's physical system, the human is a theory, the body is not a theory, the body is in pure form food as it originates out of the food chain, the body is day and night present in the food chain. The body can be eaten at night or at day because it is in the food chain that is why for safety at night chimps sleep high in the trees.

The body separated from the mind, the human is a theory in the mind, the mind that controls food/the body.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blank slate?'

Postby BadgerJelly on August 22nd, 2018, 3:16 pm 

I don’t understand this thread’s title.

It is not a questoin that needs to be defended anymore. The mind is absolutely NOT a blank slate. If you think otherwise then you’ve failed to do basic research.

We are, without a shadow of a doubt, born with certain preset patterns of behaviour. The blank slate argument was to say we’re born with nought and that everything is learned - this has been proven wrong from numerous directions multiple times. The idea of “blank slate” was put to bed decades ago.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blank slate?'

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2018, 4:49 pm 

parsoff » August 22nd, 2018, 1:54 pm wrote:Hear interesting views, those i could not have because i have only my view.

You're not stuck with that; you can always learn something different.
https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Timeline_human_development

I do make a separation of body and mind. Mind controls the body. The body is made from materials and the mind is not.

That could use a little updating, too.
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Re: 'Is the mind of a new born a blank slate?'

Postby wolfhnd on August 22nd, 2018, 9:47 pm 

Anyone who thinks humans are the only animal without instincts needs to examine their bias detection algorithms.


The long story is that tabula rasa was a reaction to eugenics and 20th century racism etc. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The moral being tell the truth.
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