Wednesday, November 10, 2010



I like your thoughts. I see the seeds in it of the way I often see the world as divided between these huge concepts which don't seem to exist in the world in a way that my senses can access and the real world that triggers my survival behaviors and make me an animal more than a philosopher..

I've had an idea for some time about the origin of time consciousness in the human species, how it evolved quite intimately connected to biology. It offers a sensory base to time that precedes conceptual ideas about time by locating time in the biology of the brain.

Here it is. Predation would be at the root of our time sense, in that any prey which escapes an attack before it is actually in the jaws of its predator, can, in a sense, be said to be seeing into the future. The fear that a prey feels and which causes its running, freezing or any escape procedure is an anticipation of a future event i.e. the arrival of a predator. Throughout geological time various species have extended the zone of anticipation, the contemplation of the future, so to speak. In a sense, humans are successful adaptions because they've run anticipation of danger out toward the farthest future to an astonishing degree. Doesn't this mean that the physical structures in our brains could be said to have naturally generated our sense of time?

But, our ability to anticipate danger far into the future seems to alleviate any sense of fear about those distant events... like the collapse of our global environment and loss of potable water. We poor humans still don't respond until the "predator" is at the doorstep. And, of course, what about war?

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