I agree there is energy – everything does have energy – but there are also plain old basic learning principles that have been around for a long time.

Behavioral science is indeed being consistent by not using the term energy, and it’s also quite wise to avoid any use of the term because once we add energy into a discussion of behavior, then the paradigm shifts wholesale. On the other hand we can’t agree that there is energy, that everything has energy, and which therefore means that the movement of something that has energy must also be an expression of said energy, and then go on to exclude complex systems such as canine behavior from the mix by sectioning these off into basic learning principles that have been around for a long time. We can’t add just a little bit of energy to the discussion and then go on to talk of a dominance hierarchy or learning according to behavioral science just as we can’t say that once in a while the earth goes around the sun. Because, for either of these two systems (learning theory/dominance hierarchy) to be true in conjunction with energy then energy has to be neutral, blank, having no intrinsic properties or principles of movement of its own and the existence of such energy would be without precedent in the evolution of any natural system. In biology we see that the principles of energy predetermine that all cells must be spherical. There is only one way for a living cell to evolve and that is as a sphere. The principles of energy are also the organizing principle of all physiology and anatomy. Whereas behavioral science maintains that complex behavior somehow “emerged” as if by magic from unrelated processes that miraculously converged into a happy accident: an inconsistent and unlikely view of evolution that I believe in the relatively near term will be discredited by advances in research techniques. So therefore if energy is to be entertained in behavior, and especially if we are to believe in the theory of evolution, then the properties of energy and its principles of movement must be the organizing principle not only of the lower forms of natural systems such as physiology and anatomy, but even behavioral systems such as wolf packs and complex patterns of learning.

Published March 11, 2010 by Kevin Behan
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3 responses to “I agree there is energy – everything does have energy – but there are also plain old basic learning principles that have been around for a long time.”

  1. KB: “In biology we see that the principles of energy predetermine that all cells must be spherical.”

    I don’t know enough about biology to say this for certain, but it seems to me that not all cells are spherical. Most neurons aren’t, or don’t they count as cells? And how the principles of energy predetermine that most cells are spherical, while neurons aren’t?

    Just curious,

    LCK

  2. kbehan says:

    Good point. The statement was made by Stuart Kaufman in “Origins of Order” and I presume he was talking about the proto-cells from which more specialized cells evolved. I’m curious now what makes neurons able to distend.

  3. christine randolph says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(biology)

    it says on above web site that DNA cells are usually circular. …(i know i know “circular” is not “sperical”…)

    i think proto-cells change their shape like an amoeba.

    neurons look a bit like trees. if they distend, i think this could indicate that they are degenerating/dying, i.e.from BSE ?

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