principle discussed in this item may be already be familiar to the reader.
puzzle in the familiar debate between ‘nature and nurture’ is this. How can
traits be innate, as a result of evolution, as well as the result of
experience, in upbringimg, education and action and response in the world?
answer lies in ‘prewiring’ of the brain or ‘virtual innateness’, where we are
not born with ready-made features of thought and feeling, but with a potential
to develop them in a certain direction, depending on the environment. That
gives the malleability and adaptability conducive to survival.
example, according to Chomsky, but this is controversial, humans have a
universal ability to acquire a language when young, with common features,
across languages, concerning a structure of verbs, nouns and adjectives.
Individual languages vary, but the underlying structure does not. This also
yields a human bias in the construction of language, in conceptualizing
abstract things in metaphor to concrete things moving in time and space and
being acted on, which were most crucial in the early developmen of Man. Earlier
in this blog I called that the ‘object bias’.
example is that people have an internal, general disposition towards fear, and whether
this develops into fear of snakes, spiders or crocodiles depends on the
malleablity arose as a quirk of evolution, when Man started to walk upright as
it also developed a larger brain, narrowing the pelvis, and this necessitated
premature birth, to let the enlarged head through before full development,
which then could be geared to the environment. A disavantage of that was that
the human baby needed more care and protection than animals who were more fully
developed at birth. However, humanity learned to deal with that, with he aid of
social coperation in kinship groups and widening communities, with the aid of
language. The larger brain was needed for that.
similar potential to produce features rather than giving a full, repertoire of
pre-formed ones, was offered in ‘Object OrientedOntology’, discussed earlier in this blog. A
fixed, predetermined repertoire requiresa large capacity of memory and lacks adaptivenss to unforeseeable
as the potential to develop becomes wider, less specific, the time to develop
something useful takes longer, and the period of vulnerable infancy takes
longer, and this becomes an evolutionay trade-off.