Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators

Chris Lofting (
Thu, 2 Sep 1999 00:35:39 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 00:35:39 +1000

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Spight <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, 1 September 1999 3:18
Subject: Re: Dawkins' Mutation Test for Replicators


>Many thanks for the references. Verrrry interesting! <s>
>I see that I did not quite understand what you wrote.
>Quoting from your page:
> "There are observations that sound as well as visual objects evoke
> spatially coordinated eye movements in neonates. . . .
> These observations are not explainable by
> mere arousal effects or traditional learning theories, and suggest a
> prenatal link between vision and audition, at least in terms of
> spatial relations." p14 (Stein and Meredith 1993)
>This says less than "babies will turn all senses to the one stimulus."
>I think this also argues *against* the idea that the senses are
undifferentiated. Turning towards a sound seems to me to be something with
obvious survival value. But that is because it is advantageous to see as
well as hear. What is the advantage if seeing and hearing are

the concept is that there is no distinction. Stein etc assume that the eye
movement is triggered by a 'need' to see. I think it is more of a reaction
and there is no conscious distinction of audition from vision, that only
comes about through training. Go to a day care center and you will hear
expressions such "this tastes red!". Adults encourage the differentiation
(and so to some degree reduce creativity in doing so making it more
adaptive, within context, than innovative, a novel context).

Add to Stein and Merideth the interdigitations we see in frontal lobe areas
(that develop after we are born) and we seem to be witnessing a process of
moving from a genetically 'pure' whole that goes through differentiation of
parts to then be re-integrated through education; we refine the 'pure'
genetic elements with nurture experience. The neuron culling process at
about age 10-12 seems to be a function of this in that once you have the
early experiences so 'customisation' takes place to make things more

>Having raised this question, let me add that I lean towards the idea that
the qualia of perception differentiate over time. After all, the brain takes
many years to structure itself. Plasticity is the rule.




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