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Racial Memory, And The Forbidden Fruit.


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#1 PersonalPronoun

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 08:01 PM

This idea has been in my thoughts for years. I've written about it at other forums, and I was wondering what you guys might make of it.

Could the forbidden fruit have been meat?
What are the chances that the story of the garden is a racal memory?

There's evidence that we humans were exclusively vegetarians at some point of our existence.
It's been postulated that australopithecus began to develop bigger brains, and greater puzzle solving skills only after they began eating meat.

If ignorance is bliss, then it might be said that our state of ignorance before our brains changed was a blissful state.
Further, if we went against our basic nature, (of eating veggies only,) then lost our state of bliss, it would be like losing Eden.

Now, we know at there are species who have young that are encoded with all of the parents memories.
I think it must be at least possible that our parents memories could be passed to us through DNA.
(I believe that the field of Epigenetics has found evidence of this. At the very least, it as shown that the consequences of extreme living conditions have been passed directly from mother to child through DNA.)

So, I thought it possible that some of the stories in the bible might be apocryphal and based in some sort of reality.
(indeed, I feel that many writings of people probably contain something of the "deep-time" racial history of our species.)

(I apologize if this should be posted in a different sub-forum.)

#2 Eclogite

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 02:34 AM

It is an interesting question. Let me explore it via two questions:

 

1. What evidence is there for the speculation?

2. How would you go about testing it?

 

Evidence

Anthropology has tended to have a higher proportion of speculation than some of the other sciences and the cause of the increase in brain size and intellect are still, I think, the subject of much debate. While some researchers argue for the role of meat eating as the cause, this is certainly not the consensus, or even the majority view. So there is a connection that makes your suggestion plausible, but not - I think - likely.

 

Now, we know at there are species who have young that are encoded with all of the parents memories.

This is not my understanding. Can you cite some research that supports this assertion. I suspect you may have been "taken in" by some of the more colourful, but less than accurate, reporting by certain science journalists, or Discovery Channel documentaries.

 

I think it must be at least possible that our parents memories could be passed to us through DNA

There is a wealth of evidence that this is not the case. No plausible mechanism for how it might occur has been proposed. The epigenetic effects are very specific, constrained and do not extend across multiple generations.

 

So, I thought it possible that some of the stories in the bible might be apocryphal and based in some sort of reality.

I think it is plausible that such stories might be based, in a time of hardship and famine, on recollections of "happier times". No genetic memory is necessary for this kind of relationship. Oral histories will be sufficient.

 

Testing

I throw this over to you. Numerous experiments have established there is no link between the germ cells and memory. You will need something elegant and discerning to demonstrate otherwise.


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#3 Racoon

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:25 PM

People are meant to eat meat and fruit..

Its that simple.



#4 PersonalPronoun

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:33 PM

Oh, ok Racoon. Thanks for explaining that to me. :)
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#5 Racoon

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:37 PM

Oh, ok Racoon. Thanks for explaining that to me. :)

You're Welcome



#6 Grains4

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:53 AM

 

 

There's evidence that we humans were exclusively vegetarians at some point of our existence."

Where?  Please don't be an idiot and post like a sentence from something you vastly dispute without understanding the whole context....whoops.



#7 Eclogite

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 03:37 AM

Where?  Please don't be an idiot and post like a sentence from something you vastly dispute without understanding the whole context....whoops.

Why don't you follow your own rule? Please provide the evidence that we were either carnivores, or omnivores throughout our existence. Suggestion: you might want to make sure how the OP is defining human. It could make a difference to which one of you is right.



#8 Moontanman

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:44 AM

Our closest relatives, chimps, eat meat as do many primates further removed from our evolutionary line. 



#9 PersonalPronoun

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:42 AM

Where?  Please don't be an idiot and post like a sentence from something you vastly dispute without understanding the whole context....whoops.

Ok man, I'll stop being an idiot directly. :)

I am about to tackle Eclogite's post now, and I think It might answer your question, but I'm not sure.
In which sentence did I vastly dispute something?

#10 PersonalPronoun

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:02 PM

It is an interesting question. Let me explore it via two questions:
 
1. What evidence is there for the speculation?

I've based it upon evolution, specifically on autonomic fear response. Instinct, and most specifically, emotional memory.

I propose that the same mechanism that creates instinct, is capable of creating racial memory. 
In short, the amygdala.

The only difference between "racal memory" as I use it here, and an autonomic fear response, is that "fear" is missing from the racial memory. 

I think I can show that the fear of snakes in primates is not essentially different from any other kind of memory. 

In a fairly recent study (http://www.pnas.org/...0/23/1312648110) it was shown that chimps raised in captivity, that had never seen a snake, responded to images of a snake with a weak -but present- elevation of fear. 
The chimps were shown four different images on a computer screen. 
They were shown a snake, an image of an angry monkey face, monkey hands, and one of several geometric shapes.

"Of the 91 neurons tested with all stimuli, 37 were more sensitive to snake images, 26 to angry-face images, 17 to hand images, and 11 to shape images." https://whyevolution...volutionistrue/

The image of a snake was recognized as a fearsome creature even though they had never seen an actual snake. 
I admit that it's possible that there could be something in the image alone that might cause a fear response, but evolution suggests that the fear is hardwired. 

If we assume for a moment that it is hardwired, then there must be a genetically impressed memory of the danger of a snake in the brain of the primate. 
If that is possible then -regardless of likelihood- it must be possible for genetics to encode something that resembles a memory. 

2. How would you go about testing it?

Unfortunately, I think we could not test my exact speculation.
The waters are muddied by time, and by the fact that the bible is still the highest selling book in history.
However, we might test racial memory in the same way as the chimp's test.
Instead of showing an image of a snake, we might show them images of their evolutionary ancestors.
If, for example, they show a preference for primotomorpha over the tree shrew it might be significant.

This is not my understanding. Can you cite some research that supports this assertion. I suspect you may have been "taken in" by some of the more colourful, but less than accurate, reporting by certain science journalists, or Discovery Channel documentaries.

Yeah, I asked google this question: "Are there any animals that are born with their parents memories?"
I found many interesting articles, but none that agreed with me.

However, as I mentioned in a different thread, aberrant behavior speaks loudly to these questions.
Consider savants. 
Children who can play musical instruments when they'd never had any training. 
Particularly "gifted" children like Mozart. 
These abilities come from something that is presumably inside the individual. 

There is a wealth of evidence that this is not the case. No plausible mechanism for how it might occur has been proposed. The epigenetic effects are very specific, constrained and do not extend across multiple generations.

That may not be true. In a recent study on mice, it was discovered that a certain smell attached to a pain response, was indeed passed from father to children. 
Then they discovered that the same fear was passed from the children to the grandchildren, even though the children had never experienced the smell/pain.
http://www.nature.co...ll/nn.3594.html

There's certainly a lot of disagreement in the science community about this experiment. 
We'll have to see how it pans out.
 

I think it is plausible that such stories might be based, in a time of hardship and famine, on recollections of "happier times". No genetic memory is necessary for this kind of relationship. Oral histories will be sufficient.

I agree. 
It's just more interesting to me to speculate something deeper.
I have an ulterior motive, but it's considered fairly insane by most people. 

I have three specific memories from the womb and I believe that one of them is a racial memory. 
Of course, I can't prove it, and I can't prove that I have any memories from the womb. 
However, I also have specific memories from when I was 2 years old on up. 
http://news.sciencem...nize-words-womb

While the hippocampus is not fully developed at birth, the amygdala is. 
The amygdala is thought to be where emotional memory is generated. All three of my womb memories are extremely emotional, (intense curiosity, extreme jubilation and crippling fear.)and so were the memories I have from when I was 2 and three years old.

I remember the birth of my sister, and the death of my uncle, both of which happened when I was 3.
I remember my mom and dad taking me to see ice capades In Philadelphia when I was 2 years old. When we got to the arena it was closed. I was so disappointed I cried. Vietnam was still going on and my dad was a navy sailor. We'd gone to Philly to pick him up on a leave. I vividly remember the ship he came off of. It was the biggest thing I'd ever seen, and it was ugly. 


 Testing
I throw this over to you. Numerous experiments have established there is no link between the germ cells and memory. You will need something elegant and discerning to demonstrate otherwise.

Oh, I don't have anything that is likely to convince you. It's just an idea that I wanted to explore here. 
I have far far more evidence, -or at least lines of reasoning- for my theory, but there are two problems in presenting them here.

1) I'm fairly horrible (in case you have not noticed) at organizing my thoughts.
2) I simply don't have the skills to write a brief, and concise paper. 

#11 Eclogite

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:42 PM

Your interpretation of the monkey experiment shows you are confusing the evolution of instinct with the impression of memories. I know of no serious biologist who would agree with your interpretation of the experiment. If you do, please provide citations. If not, then you really should accept that you can only argue the case if you twist the normal usage of the word "memory".

 

However, we might test racial memory in the same way as the chimp's test.
Instead of showing an image of a snake, we might show them images of their evolutionary ancestors.
If, for example, they show a preference for primotomorpha over the tree shrew it might be significant

I take it you mean primatomorpha. If so, which primatomorpha are you going to show? Here's a suspicion: the reaction will be to which looks the cutests, or - if it is say a baboon - which looks the fiercest. Plus we find it easier to read the body language of fellow primates - so another opportunity to generate reactions.

 

Overall, not a very good test. In science, if you cannot test the hypothesis, you can't really call it science. (String theorists please take note.)

 

However, as I mentioned in a different thread, aberrant behavior speaks loudly to these questions.
Consider savants. 
Children who can play musical instruments when they'd never had any training. 
Particularly "gifted" children like Mozart. 
These abilities come from something that is presumably inside the individual

I was able to play the piano "by ear" with no training. I do it very badly, but I suspect I was using the same inbuilt skills as Mozart - I just didn't have them as well developed. Nothing strange here. There are outliers in most abilities.

 

And the mouse/fear/inherited experiment is an example of the narrow, constrained instances I spoke of. These are epigenetic. They are not influencing the DNA. They do not last for indefinite generations until modified by mutations.

 

As to your early life memories, so what? Not especially unusual. I have several memories from three onwards and a couple of possibles that go back to 18 months. I repeat, so what?

 

1) I'm fairly horrible (in case you have not noticed) at organizing my thoughts.
2) I simply don't have the skills to write a brief, and concise paper.

Then this is your opportunity to practice.