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  1. #1
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    Mind Trapped By: The Beauty of nature

    Some of you may be aware that I do construction work. I do my fair share of remodeling as well. Sometimes we get to a house that may be a hundred years old, and you come across some pretty horrendous color schemes. You may find an all blue or green bathroom, with blue tub, sink wall tile. etc. Everything just some off color blue. The craftsmanship can be fine, but there are just some rooms that you would have a hard time living with if you were forced to live or grow up in that house.

    So this prompted a thought. Why do People think that nature is beautiful? This is really a two fold question to the naturalist. First, as colors could have been any particular way. (IE there is no reason our brains could not have evolved to see yellow as blue, or any number of arrangements... see color blind). Why are the colors so proportioned as to be beautiful to us? Second, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, why don't we find people that absolutely hate the colors of the room that they grow up in (IE the world)? Why is it that everybody finds a sunset pleasant, and no one seems to be of the opinion that the sky is just the most dreadful color scheming they could imagine, they wish they could just take it down and build a new one. You know like the visceral reaction a person gets when they come across an ugly room?


    Discuss!
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  2. #2
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    Re: Mind Trapped By: The Beauty of nature

    Hmmm...

    I'd venture that nature isn't always beautiful to our eye, but it very often is.

    I'll say that most of us have imaginations that simply aren't as fantastic as nature. Many of these unimaginative people paint or decorate their rooms.

    I do think there is some primal instinct that recognizes the natural world as the one we were born for. We didn't evolve in duplexes We evolved to roam the land and recognize the parts of it that could sustain us. We like to see some water, some green, some color. All indicate things we can take some advantage of.

    I think there is also a kind of reflection of ourselves in nature. We can see the symmetry of life as well as the mathematics of form of minerals and so forth, and this resonates in our minds which are, after all, made of this same stuff and follow these same patterns in some ways.

    Really good architects and designers know how to tap into these themes. They can make things that, even though they appear un-natural, actually reflect well some aspect of nature. It awakens some of those same feelings in us.

    But nature does have some pretty ugly stuff here or there, though often, its complexity is still fascinating to us, even if we find it repulsive for some reason. As were a really ugly room, its just ugly and kind of alien to us.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Mind Trapped By: The Beauty of nature

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    I'll say that most of us have imaginations that simply aren't as fantastic as nature. Many of these unimaginative people paint or decorate their rooms.
    You know, in all fairness I think this stuff was "in" at some point. I mean, you don't paint a toilet blue in a re-model. They probably ordered it from some place making a million blue toilets.
    Which, you know is probably not bad in itself... Maybe the room just evolved to be that ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    I do think there is some primal instinct that recognizes the natural world as the one we were born for. We didn't evolve in duplexes We evolved to roam the land and recognize the parts of it that could sustain us. We like to see some water, some green, some color. All indicate things we can take some advantage of.
    The idea of color taste being inherited genetically seems far fetched.
    And while you say we did not evolve in duplexes, Just yesterday I was cutting some Sheetrock off of a wall And a Snake Came out the wall. A SNAKE yo! My dad had his hand shoulder deep in that same wall space not 10 min prior. A snake, fricken crawled out a random wall, I am still trippen over it. I offer this as humble evidence that apparently we are still living in the jungle. *J*


    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    I think there is also a kind of reflection of ourselves in nature. We can see the symmetry of life as well as the mathematics of form of minerals and so forth, and this resonates in our minds which are, after all, made of this same stuff and follow these same patterns in some ways.

    Really good architects and designers know how to tap into these themes. They can make things that, even though they appear un-natural, actually reflect well some aspect of nature. It awakens some of those same feelings in us.

    But nature does have some pretty ugly stuff here or there, though often, its complexity is still fascinating to us, even if we find it repulsive for some reason. As were a really ugly room, its just ugly and kind of alien to us.
    I recognize that you are hitting on a kind of general truth. That there is something we connect with in regards to nature.
    And yes, there are some "ugly" things. I am just not certain how much this all addresses the OP. It is one thing to suppose it all simply evolved that way, however it doesn't really explain why it would. There really is no reproductive pressure if you woke up every morning to see a sun set, and it just made you have the same reaction as walking into an all blue bathroom. And if color preference was inherited, then we should expect some significant amount of the population to have such a reaction. (again, lacking any selective pressure against it).


    At some point "evolution" becomes a magic word for an explanation when no apparent selective pressures are present in regards to certain outcomes, which could plausibly be different.

    did I mention a snake came out of a house wall? That seems fresh, yet understated to me some how.
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    Re: Mind Trapped By: The Beauty of nature

    The idea of color taste being inherited genetically seems far-fetched.
    You clearly have not watched nearly enough documentaries about birds and their mating habits.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7QZnwKqopo

    ---------- Post added at 01:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:56 PM ----------

    At some point "evolution" becomes a magic word for an explanation when no apparent selective pressures are present in regards to certain outcomes, which could plausibly be different.
    I can generally think of them, it's not too hard. As I said, the appearance of some land features signals to us the land is good for survival. That's pretty straightforward to me.

    did I mention a snake came out of a house wall? That seems fresh, yet understated to me some how.
    Adaptation takes whatever you have available and uses it. Snakes need dens to stay safe in, the inside of a house wall is as good as a hole in the ground, possibly better. Its dark and has an even temperature and is secure from most predators. Good snake habitat.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Mind Trapped By: The Beauty of nature

    The bird example is a bit of question begging. The challenge is to show that evolution was responsible.
    Just observing it's existence is not evidence of Evolution being responsible or even able to produce such an effect.

    As to land features, I have no idea what your talking about. Also, I see no reason why an animal couldn't simultaniously hate the land features, yet know it is good for survival.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Mind Trapped By: The Beauty of nature

    Well, if you accept the theory of evolution as the way in which life as we know it came about, then every aspect of all living things would have evolved as a cause. (not always a direct cause, but at least a tertiary one)

    The colors of the birds are not due to their choice or behavior, they are part of their genetics. And if a female preference for those colors and shapes was entirely arbitrary, then birds would likely be dying out as most of them would not mate with their own species. We know by ovservation that the more vibrant and bold the display, the higher the mating frequency. So they clearly like those colors. And that fact also supports the mechanism of natural selection, one of the key mechanics in evolution.

    I generally observe that living things like stuff that is generally good for survival. I like sex, I like food, I like clean air, I like clean water, I like being at a comfortable temperature and so on. Obviously, life can be a lot more complicated than that, but its usually pretty clear to folks that we have some inate appeal for things that are essential to our survival as a species. In ovserving other animals we see that is the case for them as well. They are often attracted to things that help with their survival and averse to things that are contrary to it (mind you, man made hazards can often fool them because evolution does not plan ahead as it were and takes quite a long time to fully adapt).
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