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If human beings are slowly evolving from an instinct based reality to a more consciously aware reality?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2010.09  

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Kasey pink is LOVE 
Asked at 2010.09.01 22:51:22
do you feel that in the future it will be possible to tell our individual cells what to do? Of course a person wouldn't want that responsibility at all times...but to have that ability available by choice would help a person defend against cancer, viruses, locate back pain....etc. (not to mention what might happen if we could consciously be in control of our sensory neurons)
answer Doctor Why  Answered at 2010.09.01 22:51:22
What you have to keep in mind is that brains are expensive. Our brains use about twenty percent of the our bodies' energy even though they weigh only two percent or less of our body weight. Thinking is work!

And since food is never guaranteed to be around, any time you can economize on brains you usually end up ahead of the game. Which is why most creatures don't have a lot of extra brains hanging around even if they may have a lot of other vestigal evolutionary holdovers.

Now it's worth mentioning that we CAN consciously control a variety of our body's systems. Some individuals have demonstrated an ability to control things like metabolism, blood flow, heart rate, digestion and the like, and many claim that it is just a matter of training and practice.

To extend that out to an individual cell level, however, would require orders of magnitude more interaction and not generally produce orders of magnitude greater benefit. So no, I wouldn't count on it arising naturally. But I wouldn't put it past future engineers to design artificial systems to do it to some extent.

I am also rather dubious of your notion that people are evolving 'away from instinct'. Not only is implying any kind of direction or purpose to evolution is almost always a mistake, but I can pretty easily think of dozens of instincts which people have. Language and walking to name a prevalent few. People without such instincts would have major disadvantages, not the other way around.

I think that a better way to express our current development is that our freakishly large forebrain (a recent occurrance, evolutionarily) allows us to OVERRIDE instinct. Studies show that it is this that can dampen emotions and habits and is responsible for a lot of conscious thought. But pretty much all the instincts are still there, lurking in the background.

And again, I would think that future engineers would actually develop NEW instincts for people... just ones that could be changed at the drop of a hat. Think about how much people would pay to instinctively eat less, not smoke, enjoy their job, or know French without study.
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