Friday, April 25, 2008

Sensing Dangers by Experience or Instinct

There is news about the ability of the human nose in the media: human nose could sniff out or distinguish between two closely similar scents – only when one of them was accompanied by a mild electric shock! It implies that we respond only at times of danger, that too only after having an experience before (that is, our childishness is converted into adulthood by our experience – for safeguarding our further survival).

It reminds me of canning by teachers (corporal punishment) that could help student to distinguish between ‘distractions’ and ‘study’ at school, when it is given mildly.

I was wondering how crows, mynahs and dogs give out alert calls on seeing a snake. Here it is different from the explanation given above for the nose: only their ancestor-parents’ experience (instinct) makes them to give an alert call, which aspect is passed down the generations! They may not have seen a death of their kin by a snake, which their ancestor-parents must have experienced. But yet they are able to sniff out the danger!

I have my own personal experience regarding this: I gave out a loud cry when the bike’s side stand was just pressing on my toe accidentally. But I there was no injury! I had a similar experience of being wounded by the bike’s stand sometime back. That painful experience has alerted me to take out the toe instantly and give out a cry.

Wonder experiences’ save our lives and preserve our health indeed!

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