Babies can tell if yer good or bad

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Choccy's picture
Choccy
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Nov 22 2007 15:11
Babies can tell if yer good or bad

Independent and Guardian both report on the story in Nature.

Babies as young as 6mths can distinguish between helpful and unhelpful characters and indicate preferences.

Choccy's picture
Choccy
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Nov 22 2007 15:11

Nature

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the button
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Nov 22 2007 15:38

Poor Hakim. cry

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Choccy
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Nov 22 2007 15:41

Yeah I was thiking they should be able to detect potential noncery

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Refused
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Nov 22 2007 19:07

Babies: is there anything they can't do?

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Choccy
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Nov 22 2007 19:10

wipe their own arses

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the button
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Nov 22 2007 19:11

Control their bowels.

Get served in pubs.

Have an intelligent conversation.

Just like revol, really.

j.rogue
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Nov 22 2007 19:11

Hm, I forsee paedos using this ability to justify themselves....
"The baby didn't try to crawl away, it knows what's best!"

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Choccy
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Nov 22 2007 19:11

They can't even drive!

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Nov 22 2007 19:16

Etc, etc.

lrnec
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Nov 22 2007 19:18

What is it meant to prove? What’s the hypothesis presented before the experiment?

It can’t be able nature vs nurture so is it just babies are smarter than we thought they were previously, we mature faster than we thought?

Thora
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Nov 22 2007 20:32

This is rubbish, babies love me!

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Choccy
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Nov 22 2007 23:06
lrnec wrote:
What is it meant to prove? What’s the hypothesis presented before the experiment?

It can’t be able nature vs nurture so is it just babies are smarter than we thought they were previously, we mature faster than we thought?

Capacity to make social judgements exists before the acquisition of language, they thought language was a precursor before. This result suggests social judgements are in part inherited and may be in part responsible for human sociability.

pgh2a
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Nov 23 2007 01:00

I've seen a number of kids including my own shy away from some sketchy characters. I always wondered what they were picking up on. I have a feeling it might have to do with eye contact and certain facial expressions.

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Nov 23 2007 01:16

Like cats. Although cats use their rudimentary powers of perception to home in on the person in the room who doesn't like cats.

mikus
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Nov 23 2007 01:30
Quote:
Babies can tell if yer good or bad

For sure. I've known about this for some time. Last baby I saw immediately started crying when I waved a knife in its face. It was not loving me.

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Nov 23 2007 02:01
the button wrote:
Like cats. Although cats use their rudimentary powers of perception to home in on the person in the room who doesn't like cats.

this has been disproved by science hate monger

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Nov 23 2007 02:06
the button wrote:
Like Jack. Although Jack uses his rudimentary powers of perception to home in on the girl in the room who doesn't like him.

Fixed.

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Nov 23 2007 02:12

Only an American would think Jack finding a girl that didn't like him required some kind of targetting system.

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Nov 23 2007 02:16
jef costello wrote:
Only an American would think Jack finding a girl that didn't like him required some kind of targetting system.

I thought about that but went with it anyway.

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Nov 23 2007 02:19
thugarchist wrote:
I thought about that but went with it anyway.

The last girl that slept with Jack had much the same reasoning, be careful wink

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Nov 23 2007 02:36
jef costello wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
I thought about that but went with it anyway.

The last girl that slept with Jack had much the same reasoning, be careful ;)

grin

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Nov 23 2007 08:50
xConorx wrote:
Capacity to make social judgements exists before the acquisition of language, they thought language was a precursor before. This result suggests social judgements are in part inherited and may be in part responsible for human sociability.

iirc chomsky was asked somewhere (possibly in the debate with foucault) about the link between his linguistics and politics (there isn't one), but mused that perhaps morality was a structural faculty akin to language. flukey bastard.

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Nov 23 2007 10:45

Chomsky is a total pussy about the structure of the mind. He expertly derives proof for the inherence of grammar and language acquisition, then goes cold on evolutionary psychology, the one discipline that integrates and vindicates his work.
Morality is obviously, obviously an adaptation to the rigours of surviving in a social environment, where great gains can be derived from combination of labour, but pains must be taken to avoid the risk of exploitation by cheats.
I can't understand people who refuse to recognise the hallmarks of our evolutionary heritage that are as ubiquitous in the mind as they are in our physiology. (Physiology, of course, being the root basis of the mental faculties).

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Nov 23 2007 10:49

i don't know much about evolutionary psychology, most of what i've seen is shoddy just-so stories, but that may be because i don't follow the field and there's a whole industry of straight-to-press release 'science' drowning it out

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Nov 23 2007 10:58

Most of what's broadcast in the papers is horribly simplified and as you say, 'just-so-story'ish. The problem is that often when people make the crossover from animal sociobiology (an extremely careful science) to human evolutionary psychology, caution is thrown to the wind and wild extrapolations are made from flimsy evidence. The onus seems to be on coming up with a vaguely plausible theory that somehow fits the evidence rather than finding empirical ways to determine between rival hypotheses.
But aside from that, thus far the evolutionary perspective has proved itself by solving with ease problems that seem intractable when approached from a typical social science perspective.
Biology is history.

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Nov 23 2007 11:15

Most evolutionary psychology is pseudo-scientific bullshit.

This experiment is interesting though... I wonder which animals would react in the same way. I mean I wonder if dogs or cats would, for example.

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Nov 23 2007 11:20

Wow, where to start...
What books have you read on the subject, I don't want to patronise / go over your head.

As a side note, your football analogy is actually the reverse of the situation - evolutionary biology is the unifying discipline that transcends the narrow, physiological 'how' to get to the 'why' of historical specificity and adaptation, the telos if you like.

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Nov 23 2007 11:23

isn't telos a pretty suspect notion to introduce into evolution? (insofar as evolution is a complex, nonlinear process the 'goal' can only be established retrospectively, the hypothesis found in the results?)

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Nov 23 2007 11:46
Joseph K. wrote:
isn't telos a pretty suspect notion to introduce into evolution? (insofar as evolution is a complex, nonlinear process the 'goal' can only be established retrospectively, the hypothesis found in the results?)

Oh for sure, perhaps an ambiguous choice of words. I meant telos in the sense aristotle would use it, as 'what is it for', what is a particular phenomenon's raison d'etre.
Evolution is an entirely deterministic, algorithmic process, but that does not mean that one would be able to predict the results beforehand (aside from some broad conjectures). Evolution is an algorithmic process and evolution produced man, but it does not follow that evolution is an algorithmic process for producing man...if you ran the system over again, you would never again get human beings (although it is likely that some organism would exploit the cognitive niche). Sensitive dependence on initial conditions, historical specificity, etc all play huge parts in evolution.
But, by telos I meant that if you look at any part of an organism's physiology or behaviour, you can find its proximate cause from developmental biology, but to find the final cause, the 'telos', you have to invoke evolutionary biology.
for example, to the question 'why do we have incest taboos' for example, one might answer by giving the mechanism by which young animals/humans become repulsed by the pheremones of children they grew up with, but this explanation is only half satisfying. In order to really answer the question, one has to look at evolutionary biology, and see this mechanism as an adaptation that counters the fitness depleting effects of excessive homozygosity.

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Nov 23 2007 11:58

But Joseph K, you are entirely right about there not being a predetermined 'goal' in evolution...in fact, when the Origin of Species came out, good old Karl wrote:

"Not only is a death blow dealt here for the first time to 'Teleology' in the natural sciences but their rational meaning is empirically explained."

Evolution creates the 'rational meaning', and hence things can be given a teleological explanation, but that is entirely different to mystical 'Teleology'.