Chapter 6 – Mind in ‘Evolution’ Theory
Unquestionably, the stage human mind has now reached before being owned by the pragmatic mammal should be taken to have evolved right from protozoa, if we hesitate to go beyond (protozoa).
Sir Charles Sherrington (Noble Prize Winner) – Mind is energy, Birth is energy transformation.
He asserts with admirable courage explains – Mind seems to emerge from no mind (during birth of a child from a small embryo). So conversely at death, it seems to re-emerge into no-mind. Mind seems to come from nothing and to return to nothing. But the devolution (degeneration) into nothing seems as difficult to accept as the evolution out of nothing. If mind is considered as same form of energy, the story (birth and death) would be one of energy-transformation.
2 Mind in evolutionary process
To understand the above, the study of few stages out of innumerable stages self-evidently meets our purpose.
Primordial form (elementary form)
One cell animal or amoeba
Cat – (Willy) #
Horse – (Hans) #
Apes/Monkey – (Trader) #
Training/Taming of various animals.
2.1 Mind in the elementary/original (primordial) form may have embraced matter – Earlier Aristotle and later Oliver Lodge, who ranks high amongst modern inventors, have formulated premise (proposition helping a conclusion).
2.2 First step of evolution/Single cell organism can learn
We consider the views of Sir Sherrington to see this step. ‘Amoeba has mind’ this statement is put forward by Sherrington ‘were an amoeba as big as dog, we should all acknowledge its mind.’ “The connection of the brain with mind seems to rest on the organization of the brain, and that organization is cell-organization. An observer’s only means of inferring mind is the behavior he can observe. Many forms of moving single cells lead their own independent lives. Some of them are free single-celled animals. They all are tiny but their motor behavior can be watched with microscope. They swim, crawl, they secure food, they unit together, they multiply. The amoeba, paramecium, vorticella and so on…. The observer at once says ‘they are alive’.
(i) The small particle of food swallowed, (ii) the movement towards a particle of liking, (iii) the withdrawal from a touch, (iv) the preferential seize of this particle, rather than that (v) the chemistry of the cell reacting to the chemistry of the little field around.
Considering the above activities in a single cell animal, observers of skill, who after devoting patient study of the motor behavior of such single cells conclude that microscopic single-cell life, without sense organ and without nervous system can learn”.
2.3 Plants – There are such bio-currents discovered from plants as well. Plant physiology attempts to discover the hidden mechanism guiding plant life. The questions reached are:
Do plants have sensory organs? Nervous system?
Are they capable of ‘conscious’ act?
Do they have reflexes?
Are they able to react to the outer influence of the environment?
Is it possible to diagnose what plants ‘like’ and ‘dislike’?
Whether the plant is healthy or ailing?
Can we learn the plants health before it begins to wither and perish?
The study on the above has already produced initially amazing results. It is seen that the plants sleep, feel vigorous, feed themselves and rest.
So the plants have also some sort of consciousness (or mind).
2.4 Fish/Vertebrates There seems no clear lower limit to mind.
The human mind can be easily observed and noticed. But; as we go on tracing downwards (in the animals hierarchy) along the scale of being, the defense (or well-founded confidence) of inference regarding mind fade. Ultimately mind so traced seems to fade to no-mind.
Thus in the series of organisms of our own stock (inventory), is mind recognizable in the cartilaginous (having skeleton of cartilage) fish? The reply comes ‘fish can learn’.
2.5 Proceeding to embryo frog, we reach to more encouraging information. “In the embryo frog, the cells destined to be brain, can be replaced by cells from the skin of the back, the back even of another embryo. These cells after transplantation become in their new host brain-cells and seem to serve brain purpose duly”.
Intelligence of bees is a common knowledge and so it may be left untouched. A book ‘Animal IQ’ is worth mention for further reading.
2.7 Cat –Willy – Time sense and fascination of an event #
The story is given on page 69 of the book (What Mind means) in details. This is about a cat namely Willy. Willy on Monday night at 7.45 would leave her usual place and start walking road. It would cross the signal light when green then after walking considerable distance from origin it will reach a typical spot underneath a window of nurses’ dining room. There it would spend two hours watching with fascination the activities going on inside, where a group of ladies playing bingo (lottery like game). When the game was over, Willy always went directly home. The cat, Willy seems to have a time sense and also liking for the ladies group playing bingo. He always appeared at the door for breakfast at about 8.10 each morning. He apparently knew that his master would leave for the day a few minutes later.
2.8 Horse – Hans # –
The book (What Mind Means) gives a detailed story of an ‘intelligent’ horse which can add, subtract, talk and could solve mathematical problem (pages 70-72). This was a story in Germany at the turn of twentieth century (End of 19th century?) After detailed study, though the intelligence of horse was reduced to receiving clues from his master.
Two points deserve a special mention that – (a) none has denied the ability of the horse to express and talk, (b) the horse undeniably possessed intelligence to accept the clues.
2.9 Apes – Scientists have long assumed that the use of symbols is an exclusive human talent. Their belief has been shaken by some fascinating experiments. Certain animals, it now appears, can not only understand the symbolism of money, they can become positively mad about money. In experiments at Columbia University it was discovered that even while rats can be taught to trade marbles for food. With the rats, however, the trading appears to be mere a matter of conditional learning than of getting them to regard marbles as money symbols worth treasury.
# Trader: The experiments conducted on a monkey called trader, who lived in San Diego zoo is given on page 73. ….. When the psychologist would extend his hand (to trader) and say, ‘Trader, give me something’. Trader would move around briskly until he found a paper piece or door stop and bring it to the psychologist. If that did not win him any food in return, he would hunt up something else. If, however, after giving the psychologists four of different items a swap (barter exchange) was still not forthcoming, Trader would throw a fit all over the places and holler (yell, start), that he was being exploited.
3. In recent years hundreds of psychologists have become curious to know the real facts about animal mentality and personality. They have devised all sorts of intelligent tests and strategies to get inside the world of different animals.
Can some animals really think and feel emotions? If so, which are the brainiest? Some of the findings of the psychologists have been astonishing. It is true that some of the animals are stupid and lacking in good judgment. But on the other hand, several psychologists have found themselves (scientists) out witted (surpassed in wisdom) by chimpanzees on their own tests! One psychologist, who marked a group of college students against a group of whole rats on a maze test, was astonished to find that the students came out poor second.
4. Certainly, organisms have always kept up pace with the developed mind, the size of the brain and so with intelligence. Apparent retrogression (backward movement) in the transitional (intermediate) stage, reflects the requirement of personality at a given moment. But the total effect was always amelioration (improvement).
Animals’ intelligence is comprehensible
5. Animal trainers experience on handling different animals indicate
Animal possess a good visual and auditory memory. The majority of the wild beasts can be made as tame as our domestic animal if they are captured at their early age. The gentle treatment yield favorable results. Animals have reflexes and behavior depending upon their usual staying place. Every animal has a personality of his own. Memory in animal is developed in various degrees.
There are wide ranges of temperaments
Trainer must ascertain character, memory and temperament of the animals
They have moods too!
The oral movements are received well if properly trained
(The details can be seen from 75 to 78 of the book).
From the above observations animals’ intelligence becomes comprehensible in its proper perspective.
6. Physiological evolution only along with psychical evolution.
At each landmark of development, manifestation (materialization) of mind varies in degree, but at no stage can it be forced back to total obviation (state of total lack of awareness to the universe at large).
Since Darwin’s thesis is stated exclusively in terms of physiological evolution forcibly divided or dis joined from psychical evolution by his own discretion, sound in-compatible or unsuitable. The evidence provides latter (psychical evolution) as the cause of the former (physiological evolution). The theory of continuity of mind throughout the evolution renders the matter more easy and understandable.
Individuality Presupposes Mind
1. Mind is the architect of what is styled as individuality.
- There are very numerous individuals.
- There is deceptive likeness amongst them but each is unique by itself.
The above peculiarities reinforce faith in our well founded or effective expostulation (objection).
2. There is no un-sophistical, boring, ugly repeating in Nature. There are no two organisms in the world that have any single character absolutely alike. How and why? The individualities manifest fine or wide distinction? Merely left to matter the phenomenon becomes erratically unexplainable. Mind taken into consideration facilitates (helps) to resolve the riddle of innumerable diversities.
3. Why, living under the same environment and consuming the same diet members in one family have different complexions and colors of skin consistently maintained? Hypothesis of mind alone provides a rational clue. Each man embodies (provides within body) a chemical factory of his own which takes upon it turning all the incoming stuff in a way suitable to his urgent requirements.
4. Science, on its part asserts that no two organisms in the past, present or future are likely to carry the same complement of genes. This phenomena import greater significant in the light of our hypothesis. Existence of mind alone explains prevalence of innumerable and unrepeatable qualities of every form (uniformities).
5. In other books on health written by S.V. and the book ‘Save Your Child from Yourself’ we see that the myth of heredity faces a categorical and serious challenge. What is the mechanism by which the acquired properties are transported to the next species if heredity gives unauthentic answers?
6. The present theory of evolution (Darwin Theory) pathetically fails to un-riddle the gap between the two species. How ‘ape’ shifted on to attain ‘human’ structure? We still have ‘apes’ surviving on the earth. Has anybody noticed them to develop from ape-hood to man-hood? Has any ape detected mere like human races by gradually or progressively bearing resemblance of human features? Or does anyone see certain other apes on the verge of losing tails and yet other having no tails at all and with smooth, shinning body skin? Why is there a straight sudden jump from ape-hood to man-hood as there are talent leaps in between rest of the species? While matter (say nitrogen atom), passing through most complex cyclic orders displays no ’improvement’. If it was matter alone which was evolving (improving) the nitrogen atom also should display sustained, gradual, mechanical advancement, which it does not. Mind alone can be considered to be accountable for the acquired characters during these various intervals. The secrets of these gaps in the evolution can never be unmasked unless – Mind is recognized as a vital force independent of matter.
7. These gaps – are unsolved riddles.
Engels calls ‘leaps’
Darwin calls ‘successive intervals’
Pavlov calls ‘short distinctions or addition’
All are unexplained. Regarding these jumps, Darwin says (on page 83 of book) ……… New species have come on the stage slowly and at successive intervals, and the amount of change, after equal intervals of time, is widely different in different groups. There is no reason except ‘mind’ which holds the acquired properties during the interval.
8. Elective capacity
Lysenko asserts that every organism incorporates an ‘elective’ capacity. Eddington adds (page 86) – It seems that we must attribute to the mind power not only to decide the behavior of atoms (in the brain) individually but to affect systematically large groups – (atom groups in brain) – in fact tamper with the odds on atomic behavior. This has always been the most doubtful (dubious) point in the theory of interaction of mind and matter. This view supports that ‘elective capacity’ admitted by Lysenko essentially speaks of non-natural origin i.e. mind.
1) Inevitable inference is then the ‘Mind’ need to come before the concept of individuals. To examine the concept of ‘Individuality’ the discussion on page 90-92 reveals as follows:
To cure the ‘asthma of a patient’, a crude so-called remedy followed in few countries is to swallow a living fish. The constitution of fish itself carries millions of bacteria during the time the fish remain animated (live) in the human body, what should the ‘individuality’ of the man convey? Is it any way absolute (perfect)? In such a case
(i) Millions of parasites that take shelter in and on his own person,
(ii) The fish, and
(iii) The microbes accompanying the fish
Compare his ‘individuality’. Every second, a fresh batch of micro-organism get introduced in the human personality replacing old ones. A personality in practice eventually includes millions and billions of individuality. This is because no creature can lose his identity being one-billionth of millimeter in length. Obviously, therefore, boasting of our ‘individuality’ amounts only to a conceptual hypothesis depending upon the balance (and requirement) of millions and billions of our tiny unseen guests.
Psych and not material brain (in the head cover) is personality or individuality.
Nevertheless, once the hypothesis of ‘individuality’ is taken to be true in the universe of discourse (discussion), it essentially refers to the ‘psyche’ and not to the material pericranium (the fibrous membrane covering the external surface of the skull)
The Siamese twins
(Pages 91-92) give in details of a ‘Hilton Siamese twins’. These cases of Siamese twins reassure the researcher that not matter but the role of the mind determines individual's relationship with the life, as well as with death.
My Remarks: The evolution theory will be able to explain many un-answered questions if the ‘evolution of the mind’ is properly understood and appreciated as written by S. V. in this book as well as other books related to the “New Way Philosophy”.
(Note: This is an attempt to make reader-friendly interpretation of the book “WHAT MIND MEANS” based on my perception. Readers are requested to refer to the original book to cross check their understanding.)
Vijay R. Joshi.