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Author Topic: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?  (Read 5713 times)

Offline neilep

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Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« on: 20/03/2004 03:37:06 »
Watched a prog earlier about police sniffer dogs. Their sense of smell is absolutely incredible.

 I like to smell things, nice things, I like to taste nice things too, and touch is very handy I find:D. But what if our senses were as keen as our animal aquaintances ? Say tomorrow we could all enjoy such increased sensitivity,could we cope [?] If we could detect smells and hear as keen as a dog, or have sight as accurate as a falcon, would our human senses be overloaded ? would we be able to cope with the inrush of sensations ?Could we deal with the ensuing chaos ? We may be top of the food chain, but there are abilities that we have that are woefully inadequate in comparison with our beasty mates.  I wonder how the brain of todays human would cope with the sudden onslaught of ‘super’ senses  like I’ve described. I’m sure the capacity is there…….anyway…what do you rhink ?

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« Last Edit: 20/03/2004 03:38:02 by neilep »


 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #1 on: 20/03/2004 17:57:24 »
I don't think we would be able to cope.  I think thats why we don't have as keen of senses as many animals.  From an evolutionary perspective, one might expect a higher order species to have better senses.  But my theory is that as our brain evolved to process things on a higher level, we couldn't handle processing all of that information at that high of a level, so our senses backed off to give our brain a chance.  While other animals may have keener senses and take in more information from their exterior, they don't process it to nearly the extent that we do.  So in effect we (because of our mental capacity) do more with less.
Makes you wonder if 10 billion years from now, there will be organisms that are just a big brain, but they are so smart that they don't need any thing else to aid them (senses, apendages, etc.) I doubt it, but its fun to think of the extreme cases.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #2 on: 20/03/2004 20:54:31 »
Im in two minds Justin, OUCH !![xx(]....it hurts !![B)] I kinda disagree but...I  do think an almighty rush of increased senses would most certainly cause a chaotic condition and predicament for the human brain to deal with, however I think, (well..I speculate) that in time the ability that we have to think would help process this information adequately, maybe never to a comfortable satisfaction, but with training I presume we could learn to cope, and then use the information to our advantage. I totally agree  with the evolutionary aspect though and that it's probably by evolutionary design that we process our senses the way we do. I wonder though, if we lived without all our technology, whether we may indeed be designed to deal with heightened senses.

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Offline Tann San

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #3 on: 20/03/2004 23:58:19 »
Hi, don't know if this is relevant but there was this kind of documentary on tv a while ago about this guy who gave himself a sonar sense.  I think the show was something to do with cyborgs and related topics... The sonar involved a hat with a series of pc connections and some sensors.  There was this other one where this guy was trying to pass senses from one person to another.  Kind of like he brushes a feather on his arm and the person next to him can feel it.  Think that one had seedy goals though as he said it was so he could make love with his wife when he was away!  I can try tracking some links down on these if you want.
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #4 on: 21/03/2004 00:14:55 »
Neil,  I see your point(s) but I'd have to say if we had the extra senses, the most we could possibly learn to do (at least imediatly) is find a way to block some of them out so they didn't bother us.  We haven't had technology for that long (not even primative tools) in terms of evolutionary times, that I really don't think we could have lost that much sensational acutiy in such a short time frame.  So while everyone likes to blame our "lazy senses" on our technology dependence, I really think its more of an intilectual dependence.  
Just because a trait is "better" than another doesn't mean it will evolve, there has to be some sort of evolutaionary pressure for that to happen.  The reason I say this is because with our brain we probably could figure out a way to process a great deal more input than we do now, but there is no evolutionary pressure for us to do so, so I don't see it ever happening.

Yar, the flies be everywhere maty....save yerselves!!!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #5 on: 21/03/2004 01:13:02 »
Good point Justin !!...honestly, I'm such a dufus brain sometimes !!:D...you're absolutely right about the technological time span versus evolutionary changes. Do you think that with technology forever on the increase, that technology itself has put a plug into the human evolutionary hole ? perhaps without technolgy there may be a feasible opportunity for our senses to evolve.

 I am a layman in the extreme in all of this and I'm certainly no scientist.Your insight and opinions I do appreciate. Ta.

Tann San, methinks me likes the idea of having the facility to 'cybersex' my wife !![}:)]:D[}:)]

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #6 on: 21/03/2004 05:28:27 »
As evolution is a completely random event, it is impossible to predict what dirrection it might have gone in the absence of technology.
I actually had a friend who used to try to convince me that since we gained the advantage of technology we stopped evolution for our species and thus will never evolve any further.  I totally disgree with this idea, but its almost worthy of opening another thread.  Oh well I'm feeling too lazy. :-p

Yar, the flies be everywhere maty....save yerselves!!!
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #7 on: 21/03/2004 18:26:20 »
Tann, I'd love references to those sites or documentaries.  I'm interested in the "artifical" transmission of sensory and thought as well as the artifical senses.

As for the evolution arguments, I'm sure that our ancestors had the same senses we do, but they were much more in tune with what they were sensing.  Evolution is a random process, with natural selection eliminating the negative things.

I believe our brain could easily handle enhanced senses, with the proper training.  If you suddenly got the smell sense of a dog, you might be overwhelmed.  If you'd had it since birth, you wouldn't notice any problem.  Same if you had the eyes of an eagle or the hearing of an owl.

Maybe someday technology and genetic engineering can give us senses like that.  Or better.

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John - The Eternal Pessimist.
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #8 on: 21/03/2004 18:58:34 »
hmmm.... genetic engineering and sensory physiology.... the two loves of my life.... if only I were in need of a postdoctoral thesis at the moment....   awe heck, anyone got any friends at NIH that could hook me up anyway??

Yar, the flies be everywhere maty....save yerselves!!!
 

Offline Tann San

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #9 on: 22/03/2004 20:41:13 »
Hi, I found some information about the guy who gives himself sonar sense...its a word document, but it gives some names etc that can be searched upon.  It also gives the general explanation of the process...

http://rds.yahoo.com/S=2766679/K=enhance+human+sonar/v=2/SID=w/l=WS1/R=7/H=0/*-http://home.eduhi.at/user/usgrant/unidocs/art09_cyborg%20man.doc [nofollow]
 

Offline Tann San

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #10 on: 22/03/2004 20:43:45 »
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #11 on: 25/03/2004 03:57:58 »
Thanks!  Those are very interesting articles. I followed up and found that the experiment was successful.  Not a lot of detail available though.

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Offline Tann San

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #12 on: 25/03/2004 20:20:49 »
Hi, they showed him doing it on tv.  I think it was baseball cap with sensors stuck on it, not sure how he hooked himself up to it.  I know the other guy who wanted to pass senses to his wife used a big silver needle type thing directly into his arm.
 

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Re: Senses. Could we cope with 'super' senses ?
« Reply #12 on: 25/03/2004 20:20:49 »

 

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