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Re: [dogme] Morphic resonance and the nature of language

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  • mcjsa
    Hi Rob, I ll read this in detail later but wanted to mention that Jack London returns to this theme often in his many books. He uses it in a particularly
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 8, 2013
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      Hi Rob,



      I'll read this in detail later but wanted to mention that Jack London
      returns to this theme often in his many books. He uses it in a
      particularly memorable scene in Call of the Wild as the protagonist, a
      dog named Buck, dozes by a fire watching his (human) friend who appears
      strangely simian, clothed in animal skins and walking about the fire
      with an ape like gait.



      The scene is presented as something of a waking dream. There are many
      other examples of this in London's books. The idea of genetic memory
      may have been a popular theory in the 1920s, when the book was written;
      this is it's core theme with the dog eventually reverting to it's
      primal state - hence the title.



      Mark





      On Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 12:06 AM, Rob wrote:



      I'm absorbed by Rupert Shedrake's book Presence in the Past, and I find
      myself constantly drawing parallels and creating analogies between his
      theories and those of SLA. Here's an excerpt from the Introduction:
      “This book explores the possibility that memory is inherent in nature.
      It suggests that natural systems, such as termite colonies, or pigeons,
      or orchid plants, or insulin molecules, inherit a collective memory
      from all previous things of their kind, however far away they were and
      however long ago they existed. Because of this cumulative memory,
      through repetition the nature of things becomes increasingly habitual.
      Things are as they are because they were as they were.
      Habits may be inherent in the nature of all living organisms; in
      crystals, molecules, and atoms, and indeed in the entire cosmos. A
      beech seedling, for example, as it grows into a tree, takes up the
      characteristic shape, structure, and habits of a beech. It is able to
      do so because it inherits its nature from previous beeches, but this
      inheritance is not just a matter of chemical genes. It depends also on
      the transmission of habits of growth and development from countless
      beech trees that existed in the past.”
      Yes, it echoes James Hillman's Acorn Theory, and Jung's collective
      consciousness and archetypes, so no surprise I find it rather
      enthralling. I know the so-called Hundreth Monkey Effect has been
      discredited, but there seems to be sound science behind this work.
      As far as language learning goes, Sheldrake refers to Chomsky's "deep
      structure" ideas and Pinker's notion that we have a disposition to
      learn language. Sheldrake, however, presents a more organic view of
      language learning, explaining it in the context of what he calls
      morphic resonance, which he defines as:
      “The influence of previous structures of activity on subsequent similar
      structures of activity organized by morphic fields. Through morphic
      resonance, formative causal influences pass through or across both
      space and time, and these influences are assumed not to fall off with
      distance in space or time, but they come only from the past. The
      greater the degree of similarity, the greater the influence of morphic
      resonance. In general, morphic units closely resemble themselves in the
      past and are subject to self-resonance from their own past states.”
      Morphic resonance is a concept traditional science still grapples with
      although the eminent physicist Niels Bohr, and others of his stature
      have found Sheldrake's work appealing. With regard to language
      acquisition Sheldrake maintains:
      “The young child resonates with the speakers around it and with
      millions of speakers of the language in the past. Morphic resonance
      facilitates its learning of the language, just as it facilitates other
      kinds of learning. Likewise, morphic resonance facilitates the
      acquisition of sign languages by deaf people, who tune in to past users
      of these languages. There is no need to suppose that genes for ordinary
      languages or for sign languages lie latent in everyone’s DNA.”
      Excerpts From: Sheldrake, Rupert. “The Presence of the Past.” Park
      Street Press, 2012-03-18. iBooks.
      It is a far out notion, but reading how Sheldrake places his theories
      within the context of evolutionary biology and cosmology, I become less
      skeptical. I
      I believe this all relates very well to the ZPD, social constructivism,
      and humanism, pillars of Dogme as near as I can tell. It seems worth
      considering if you have the time and Muse.
      Rob




      --

      Mark Johnstone



      Alfaisal University Preparatory Program

      Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

      upp.edu.sa

      References

      1. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJxMDNsNTMxBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BG1zZ0lkAzE3NDM5BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3JwbHkEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQ--?act=reply&messageNum=17439
      2. mailto:hainesrm@...?subject=Re%3A%20Morphic%20resonance%20and%20the%20nature%20of%20language
      3. mailto:dogme@yahoogroups.com?subject=Re%3A%20Morphic%20resonance%20and%20the%20nature%20of%20language
      4. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJldTJtanRwBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA250cGMEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQ--
      5. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/message/17439;_ylc=X3oDMTM2ZXJ0Zmw1BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BG1zZ0lkAzE3NDM5BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3Z0cGMEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQR0cGNJZAMxNzQzOQ--
      6. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/members;_ylc=X3oDMTJmbDIxODU1BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZtYnJzBHN0aW1lAzEzNjAzNTc2MDk-?o=6
      7. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme;_ylc=X3oDMTJlNmN1cHY2BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZnaHAEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQ--
      8. http://groups.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTJkZGJtc2ltBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2dmcARzdGltZQMxMzYwMzU3NjA5
      9. mailto:dogme-traditional@yahoogroups.com?subject=Change%20Delivery%20Format:%20Traditional
      10. mailto:dogme-digest@yahoogroups.com?subject=Email%20Delivery:%20Digest
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    • rob
      Hi Mark, It s been a while since I read Call of the Wild, and I would say the book is primarily about primitivism, so genetic memory , as you call it, would
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 8, 2013
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        Hi Mark,

        It's been a while since I read Call of the Wild, and I would say the book is primarily about primitivism, so "genetic memory", as you call it, would make sense

        Sheldrake is saying something else, which I think you'll realize upon further reading; Sheldrake is arguing that evolution is habit, based on memory that does not reside in the brain, which is the materialist view.

        Rob
        On Feb 8, 2013, at 6:50 PM, mcjsa@... wrote:

        > Hi Rob,
        >
        > I'll read this in detail later but wanted to mention that Jack London
        > returns to this theme often in his many books. He uses it in a
        > particularly memorable scene in Call of the Wild as the protagonist, a
        > dog named Buck, dozes by a fire watching his (human) friend who appears
        > strangely simian, clothed in animal skins and walking about the fire
        > with an ape like gait.
        >
        > The scene is presented as something of a waking dream. There are many
        > other examples of this in London's books. The idea of genetic memory
        > may have been a popular theory in the 1920s, when the book was written;
        > this is it's core theme with the dog eventually reverting to it's
        > primal state - hence the title.
        >
        > Mark
        >
        > On Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 12:06 AM, Rob wrote:
        >
        > I'm absorbed by Rupert Shedrake's book Presence in the Past, and I find
        > myself constantly drawing parallels and creating analogies between his
        > theories and those of SLA. Here's an excerpt from the Introduction:
        > “This book explores the possibility that memory is inherent in nature.
        > It suggests that natural systems, such as termite colonies, or pigeons,
        > or orchid plants, or insulin molecules, inherit a collective memory
        > from all previous things of their kind, however far away they were and
        > however long ago they existed. Because of this cumulative memory,
        > through repetition the nature of things becomes increasingly habitual.
        > Things are as they are because they were as they were.
        > Habits may be inherent in the nature of all living organisms; in
        > crystals, molecules, and atoms, and indeed in the entire cosmos. A
        > beech seedling, for example, as it grows into a tree, takes up the
        > characteristic shape, structure, and habits of a beech. It is able to
        > do so because it inherits its nature from previous beeches, but this
        > inheritance is not just a matter of chemical genes. It depends also on
        > the transmission of habits of growth and development from countless
        > beech trees that existed in the past.”
        > Yes, it echoes James Hillman's Acorn Theory, and Jung's collective
        > consciousness and archetypes, so no surprise I find it rather
        > enthralling. I know the so-called Hundreth Monkey Effect has been
        > discredited, but there seems to be sound science behind this work.
        > As far as language learning goes, Sheldrake refers to Chomsky's "deep
        > structure" ideas and Pinker's notion that we have a disposition to
        > learn language. Sheldrake, however, presents a more organic view of
        > language learning, explaining it in the context of what he calls
        > morphic resonance, which he defines as:
        > “The influence of previous structures of activity on subsequent similar
        > structures of activity organized by morphic fields. Through morphic
        > resonance, formative causal influences pass through or across both
        > space and time, and these influences are assumed not to fall off with
        > distance in space or time, but they come only from the past. The
        > greater the degree of similarity, the greater the influence of morphic
        > resonance. In general, morphic units closely resemble themselves in the
        > past and are subject to self-resonance from their own past states.”
        > Morphic resonance is a concept traditional science still grapples with
        > although the eminent physicist Niels Bohr, and others of his stature
        > have found Sheldrake's work appealing. With regard to language
        > acquisition Sheldrake maintains:
        > “The young child resonates with the speakers around it and with
        > millions of speakers of the language in the past. Morphic resonance
        > facilitates its learning of the language, just as it facilitates other
        > kinds of learning. Likewise, morphic resonance facilitates the
        > acquisition of sign languages by deaf people, who tune in to past users
        > of these languages. There is no need to suppose that genes for ordinary
        > languages or for sign languages lie latent in everyone’s DNA.”
        > Excerpts From: Sheldrake, Rupert. “The Presence of the Past.” Park
        > Street Press, 2012-03-18. iBooks.
        > It is a far out notion, but reading how Sheldrake places his theories
        > within the context of evolutionary biology and cosmology, I become less
        > skeptical. I
        > I believe this all relates very well to the ZPD, social constructivism,
        > and humanism, pillars of Dogme as near as I can tell. It seems worth
        > considering if you have the time and Muse.
        > Rob
        >
        > --
        >
        > Mark Johnstone
        >
        > Alfaisal University Preparatory Program
        >
        > Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
        >
        > upp.edu.sa
        >
        > References
        >
        > 1. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJxMDNsNTMxBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BG1zZ0lkAzE3NDM5BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3JwbHkEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQ--?act=reply&messageNum=17439
        > 2. mailto:hainesrm@...?subject=Re%3A%20Morphic%20resonance%20and%20the%20nature%20of%20language
        > 3. mailto:dogme@yahoogroups.com?subject=Re%3A%20Morphic%20resonance%20and%20the%20nature%20of%20language
        > 4. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJldTJtanRwBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA250cGMEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQ--
        > 5. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/message/17439;_ylc=X3oDMTM2ZXJ0Zmw1BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BG1zZ0lkAzE3NDM5BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA3Z0cGMEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQR0cGNJZAMxNzQzOQ--
        > 6. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/members;_ylc=X3oDMTJmbDIxODU1BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZtYnJzBHN0aW1lAzEzNjAzNTc2MDk-?o=6
        > 7. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme;_ylc=X3oDMTJlNmN1cHY2BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZnaHAEc3RpbWUDMTM2MDM1NzYwOQ--
        > 8. http://groups.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTJkZGJtc2ltBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE2NTM2NzIEZ3Jwc3BJZAMxNzA1MDQzMzM2BHNlYwNmdHIEc2xrA2dmcARzdGltZQMxMzYwMzU3NjA5
        > 9. mailto:dogme-traditional@yahoogroups.com?subject=Change%20Delivery%20Format:%20Traditional
        > 10. mailto:dogme-digest@yahoogroups.com?subject=Email%20Delivery:%20Digest
        > 11. mailto:dogme-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe
        > 12. http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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        >
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