describing your understanding of the connections of quantum theory and the theory of evolution


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For this assignment write a short essay or story [1 to 2 pages] describing
your understanding of the connections of quantum theory and the theory
of evolution to the development of the human [aka socialbehavioral] and
health] sciences and the role played by research into the brain as shaping
your understanding of human life.

Background:Human nature is a conceptdenotingthe fundamental dispositions and characteristics—

including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—that humans are said to have naturally. Typical
discussions regarding human nature integrate the comparative importance of genes and environment in
human development (i.e., ‘nature versus nurture’). In this regard, Darwin’s theory of evolution has
particularly changed the shape of the discussion, supporting the proposition that humanity’s ancestors
were different, in some ways, from ourselves today. Still, other scientific perspectives—such as
behaviorism, determinism – the belief that all events are determined completely by previously existing
causes – and, advances in modern psychiatry and psychology—claim to be neutral regarding human
In the video, the questions of ‘what makes us human’ is connected to [1] the heart; and [2] brain. A new
version of seeing our self arises in Europe with the invention of mirrors. As in assignment 1, technology
helps to invent science; this time psychology. The brain is the organ that more than any other defines
humanity, to include reason and emotion. It is the seat of the human intellect. The human brain (and the
human mind that resides in it) is one of the true wonders of the known universe, and yet until the 17th
century it was barely studied and its inner secrets are only now beginning to be unveiled. Yet, much of
the inner landscape of the human mind remains shrouded in mystery. [Example – quest to understand
Scientific Questions: Who and What am I? Are people machinelike or something more than this?
• There is a European and an English view of human nature developing, the former lead by people
such as Descartes and his nonhuman view. Hobbes followed Descartes in describing humanity
as matter in motion, just like machines. He also described human’s natural state as one where
life would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Following him, John Locke’s philosophy of
empiricism also saw human nature as a tabula rasa. In this view, the mind is at birth a “blank
slate” without rules, so data are added, and rules for processing them are formed solely by our
sensory experiences. Willis was a pioneer in research into the anatomy of the brain. He
developed a new theory of the cause of epilepsy and other convulsive diseases, and contributed
to the development of psychiatry.

• In the 19th century, hysteria was considered a diagnosable physical illness in women. It is
assumed that the basis for diagnosis operated under the belief that women are predisposed to
mental and behavioral conditions; an interpretation of sexrelated differences in stress
responses. In the 20th century, it shifted to being considered a mental illness. Many influential
persons such as Sigmund Freud and JeanMartin Charcot dedicated research to hysteria
patients. Currently, most doctors practicing medicine do not accept hysteria as a medical
• There is a ‘darkside’ to human reason which was exemplified by hysteria. Also, there is a need to
‘care’ for people – from which the idea of culture is derived – and some individuals need to be
institutionalized to protect them and others…another idea emerging is ‘abnormality’…Abnormal
psychology would develop to invetigate unusual patterns of behavior, emotion and thought,
which could possibly be understood as a mental disorder. There is a long history of attempts to
understand and control behavior deemed to be aberrant or deviant. Studies are of adaptive and
maladaptive behavior a reference to observable actions and mannerisms made by individuals
and groups in conjunction with their environment.
• In the medicalbiological tradition [aka health], psychological disorders are attributed to
biological causes and in the psychological tradition, disorders are attributed to faulty
psychological development and to social and physical environmental conditions – the place
where you live – a reference to the quality of life.
Conscious versus Unconscious Mind: Begin to delve into differences between the conscious mind [aka to
be aware, intentional and responsive; early belief in rationality] and unconscious referring to the
unaware, or performing some activity without realizing [aka emotionality, feelings]Early research by
Freud argued that behavior and personality were derived from the constant and unique interaction of
conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness: the preconscious,
conscious, and unconscious.
Behaviorism [Skinner] rose to become a popular research program during the 1930s and through to the
late 1950s and the arrival of the cognitive science revolution. Cognitive science began to mature roughly
from 1960 until 1985. Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, embracing
philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. Its intellectual
origins are in the mid1950s when researchers in several fields began to develop theories of mind based
on complex representations and computational procedures.
In the video – what makes us human – the twin sciences of neuroanatomy and psychology have offered
different visions of who we are. Now these sciences are coming together and, in the process, have
revealed some surprising and uncomfortable truths about what really shapes our thoughts, feelings and
desires. Generally, people think of “seeing” as the result of processing information that comes through
our eyes, but the truth is that several times more of what we “see” consists of information produced
within the brain. All of us carry around internal models [aka mental maps] employed by the brain to
construct, from endless perceptual fragments of data and information, what people call reality

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