Miracles Of Life

Authenticity
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American Indian Tradition Speaks of Three Miracles

  1. The first miracle is that anything exists at all.
  2. The second miracle is that living things exist.
  3. The third miracle is that living things exist that know they exist.

As human beings conscious of ourselves, we represent the third miracle.

Who Was Pythagoras?

Pythagoras

Mathematician and Philosopher

Pythagoras (c. 580-500 BC) was an Ionian (Greek) mathematician and philosopher. He was a contemporary of Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Confucius.

Pythagoras is best known for the Pythagorean Theorem, a mathematical theorem which says c2 = a2 + b2. That is, in a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

……..Pythagorean Theorem

Pythagorean Theorem

Religious and Philosophical Movement

Pythagoras established the Pythagorean Brotherhood at his academy in Crotone, Italy. This was a religious and philosophical movement that influenced Aristotle and Plato, and made an important contribution to the development of western philosophy. Pythagoras and his followers believed that everything was related to mathematics and everything could be predicted and measured in rhythmic patterns or cycles.

The Pythagoreans were vegetarians and believed in the transmigration of souls. They also, rather curiously, believed beans to be special and would not eat them. Pythagoras is said to have been killed by an angry mob when he refused to run through a bean field to escape their pursuit.

Mathematics: How the World Works
How the World Works: Mathematics: From Creating the Pyramids to Exploring Infinity
Anne Rooney

Background on Anne Rooney

How Was Stonehenge Built?

Stonehenge

Located in England

Stonehenge is a monument located near Salisbury in southern England. It is nearly as old as the pyramids, though on a smaller scale. It was built with a sophisticated understanding of geometry and the movement of the sun.

Layout

Stonehenge is a vast arrangement of concentric circles of stone and holes that were perhaps intended to hold posts or other stones. The remains of Stonehenge, which was built in three phases over a period of about 1,000 years between 3000-2000 BC, consists of huge standing stones, some surmounted by stone lintels (horizontal blocks).

Stonehenge
(overhead view)

The arrangement of the stones shows an ability to work with circles in space, and the curved lintel stones demonstrate an understanding of arcs of a circle – when all were in place, the lintel stones would have formed a true circle, not a series of straight lines.

Summer Solstice

The only tools available to the builders were picks made of deer antlers and stone hammers, yet they were able to calculate and measure portions of a circle and distances. The northeast axis aligns with the position of the rising sun at the summer solstice (longest day of the year), suggesting that some form of calendar had been developed.

Mathematics: How the World Works
How the World Works: Mathematics: From Creating the Pyramids to Exploring Infinity
Anne Rooney

Background on Anne Rooney

How Does Cognition Relate To Perception?

Cognition

Cognition & Perception 

Cognition is the mental act or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses. Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge. Cognitive processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts, in a number of fields, including: neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, education, philosophy, anthropology, biology, and computer science.

Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment.

Nine Laws of Cognition

  1. There are no benefits without costs.
  2. Action molds perception.
  3. Feeling comes first.
  4. The mind can override perception.
  5. Cognition mirrors perception.
  6. Spatial thinking is the foundation of abstract thought.
  7. The mind fills in missing information.
  8. When thought overflows the mind, the mind puts it into the world.
  9. We organize the stuff in the world the way we organize the stuff in the mind.

Mind in Motion
Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought

Barbara Tversky

How Does Action Shape Thought?

First Comes Movement

A creature didn’t think in order to move; it just moved, and by moving it discovered the world that then formed the content of its thoughts.

…..Larissa MacFarquhar, “The mind-expanding ideas of Andy Clark,” The New Yorker

Action Shapes Thought

How do we think? The natural answer is: with words. Everything from ancient philosophy to the theory of evolution is assembled and transmitted through language. But our ancestors did not speak, and neither do infants – yet they still think. So, if we can think before we have language, then what are our thoughts made of?

In Mind in Motion, psychologist Barbara Tversky makes the case that movement and our interactions in space, not language, are the true foundation of thought.

Spatial Thinking

Spatial thinking enables us to draw meaning from: our bodies and their actions in the world; shape, size, and relation; and transformation, trajectory, and speed. Actions on thought are like actions on objects.

Spatial thinking underlies our ability to create and use maps, assemble furniture, devise football strategies, design buildings, create art, and understand the flow of people, traffic, water, and ideas. Spatial thinking even underlies the structure and meaning of language: why we say we push ideas forward or tear them apart, and why we’re feeling up or have grown distant.

Science, art, literature, and the great ideas of the world – these originated not just in our brains, but in our entire bodies.

Mind in Motion
Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought

Barbara Tversky