Skip to main content

The Evolution of the Sense of Touch: Questions, Ideas, Etc.

The sense of touch has with it two aspects that I understand… the sense of texture and hardness, and the sense of temperature. Perhaps there are other aspects… pain? I relegate this to both texture/hardness and temperature. Now, what if it were possible to feel only texture and hardness but not to feel temperature. Or what if I could only detect temperature but not feel the texture and hardness of a surface? Are the two interlinked? That is, can I feel one aspect without the other? Note that the same word, feel, is used for both aspects, as is touch. When I feel something very hot I feel a sensation of pain (assuming it were scalding hot). When I feel something particularly sharp, I might feel pain if I cut myself. If I had neither of these aspects of touch, I might certainly have caused severe if not lethal harm to myself as an unwary child. For these aspects seem necessary, and perhaps during the period of the evolution of life itself there were strange mutations of animal that had only one or the other aspect, or perhaps neither, and I would imagine that these did not proliferate through the genome; what you might call nature's failed experiments.

But, does nature, with the exception of some few, grotesque mutations, fail so broadly? Or is there some order in its success, or some careful equilibrium, or balance, to how species mutate and originate within an evolving biosphere? What does it even mean to ask this? What is a balanced, evolving, natural species? Does it require a biosphere that is itself as self-regulating as the earth appears? Or, as with James Lovelock's Gaia, are the two not mutually exclusive? Are the species that inhabit the earth, that evolve within it as vital to the evolution and the balance of the biosphere as the biosphere is to the balance and evolution of the species that inhabit it? Do the species evolve, from one kind of thing to another, because the biosphere itself evolves? Does the biosphere evolve because of the evolution of species? Here I mean both animal and plant (any living thing, for without living things the earth wouldn't be a biosphere). But I am also referring to the delicate balance of biochemicals necessarily for life; for example, the very atoms (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, helium, etc.,) and the complex molecules comprised of these that make up the life-giving air and water that most everything needs to survive and flourish.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brainstorming, Mind Mapping, Curio

I use this really cool Mac OS X  (I mean, is there really anything better than a Mac?) software by Zengobi called Curio.  While it lacks many of the things I would like to see in such an application--you really can't go by what I write here because what I want hasn't yet been imagined, except by me of course and I am too lazy to do anything about it--it has great potential and I think that if Zengobi has the vision it can become even more powerful which is really cool.

Part of what it gives you is mind mapping, but unlike mind mapping tools that are all about just mind mapping, Curio gives you a blank canvas onto which you can drop any kind of resource such as images, documents, web pages, etc.  And you can organize all of these sorts of things as mind maps or structured lists.  Or you don't need to do that at all.  You can just be free to layout everything randomly.



It is also a project management application, but it looks nothing like any project management software.  Th…

Quilling and Chilling

Perhaps it's because I own a scrapbooking and papercraft store.  Perhaps it is the artist within.  Perhaps it's sheer boredom as I suffer this long period of employment drought.  But whatever it is, I've decided to learn more about papercrafts and especially something called quilling or paper filigree.

I'm not quite sure why I find fascination in such things.  I am a computer geek, programmer, software developer, etc.  It must go back to my childhood and my fascination with creating arts and crafts.  As a budding artist my bud was snipped from the tree of art, and I never did pursue it. But I love color.  I love how to mix it to create new colors, how to place complimentary colors together, how to match and blend and create things with color.

The tools and the techniques of quilling are deceptively simple.  I say deceptively because although it appears at first that you are simply rolling paper around a slotted rod, forming the rolled paper into one of a few basic shapes…

OS X Yosemite: Breathing new Life into my Old, Faithful Companion

So the other day I wrote that my MacBook seemed to run a little slower and use more memory.  What's strange is now that I've been using it, it's actually running noticeably faster.  It still takes up more memory, but not that much more.  It's like Yosemite has breathed new life into my aging companion.  There is probably something I can do about the memory, too.  What my Mac really needs is more space on the hard drive.  I have some serious cleaning to do.