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Author Topic:   Evolutionarily Drawn to Nature?
yetman
Junior Member (Idle past 5672 days)
Posts: 7
Joined: 12-04-2008


Message 1 of 40 (490461)
12-04-2008 10:07 PM


I'm curious why it's so relaxing to be in nature or to look at natural scenery. I think we evolved this way because it was an advantage to be very familiar with our territory. It was important to know where to find the most effective paths, escape routes, shelters, and food, etc; so the more time one spent learning his surroundings, the greater his chance of survival to an extent. So this is why I think we have that little "pleasure circuit" hardwired into our brains that gets activated when we look at natural scenery.

Replies to this message:
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 Message 5 by Larni, posted 12-05-2008 8:40 AM yetman has replied
 Message 8 by bluescat48, posted 12-06-2008 1:08 AM yetman has not replied

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 40 (490465)
12-04-2008 10:58 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
FliesOnly
Member (Idle past 4232 days)
Posts: 797
From: Michigan
Joined: 12-01-2003


Message 3 of 40 (490500)
12-05-2008 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by yetman
12-04-2008 10:07 PM


yetman writes:
I'm curious why it's so relaxing to be in nature or to look at natural scenery.
I've often felt the same way about campfires. What is it about a campfire that makes people want to sit around and stare into it? I'm not really talking about the idea of using it for warmth, or the social aspect of it...I talking about how, if you start a campfire, people will show up, sit down, and stare into it. Sure, every once in a while, somebody will poke at it with a stick, toss on a new log, or whatever. But most people just sit there and stare. Obviously, it's our ancestral "fire gene" .

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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anglagard
Member (Idle past 923 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 4 of 40 (490501)
12-05-2008 8:03 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by FliesOnly
12-05-2008 7:44 AM


FliesOnly writes:
I've often felt the same way about campfires. What is it about a campfire that makes people want to sit around and stare into it? I'm not really talking about the idea of using it for warmth, or the social aspect of it...I talking about how, if you start a campfire, people will show up, sit down, and stare into it. Sure, every once in a while, somebody will poke at it with a stick, toss on a new log, or whatever. But most people just sit there and stare. Obviously, it's our ancestral "fire gene" .
A perceptive observation, one shared by the followers of Hecate and Zoroaster.

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon
The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza

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Larni
Member
Posts: 4000
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 5 of 40 (490507)
12-05-2008 8:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by yetman
12-04-2008 10:07 PM


Welcome to EvC, dude!
You dead right with your point about familiarity with ones territory. Anxiety patients almost universally feel better in some locations they count as home ground and feel higher levels aof anxiety in places where they do not have an 'escape route'.
I'm not so sure that it is hard wired into our brains, though. I would suggest that natural places are often devoid of people and it is this that makes us feel more at ease.
Also, we often take holidays in areas of outstanding natural beauty and we can learn the association between such places and rest and relaxation.
I bet when you talk about nature being so relaxing you don't mean the type of nature you would find on Dartmoor in the freezing rain and no shelter
That said, when ever I have a shroom trip I always prefer to be in a 'natural surrounding' because I get the sense that there are less people around to weird me out.
Edited by Larni, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by yetman, posted 12-04-2008 10:07 PM yetman has replied

Replies to this message:
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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3188 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 6 of 40 (490541)
12-05-2008 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by FliesOnly
12-05-2008 7:44 AM


I've often felt the same way about campfires. What is it about a campfire that makes people want to sit around and stare into it? I'm not really talking about the idea of using it for warmth, or the social aspect of it...I talking about how, if you start a campfire, people will show up, sit down, and stare into it. Sure, every once in a while, somebody will poke at it with a stick, toss on a new log, or whatever. But most people just sit there and stare. Obviously, it's our ancestral "fire gene".
Here are my thoughts on the facination with fire. Fire is certainly unlike anything else we find in nature. From a pre-modern science standpoint, the flames of fire defy the natural tendancy for most objects to fall to the earth (i.e. gravity), it's colors are unlike any others we can find in nature (most living organisms are shades of green and brown with a few exceptions), it has an etherial property (that is you can pass your hand through the flame and not be able to tangibly feel anything besides its heat), fire consumes whatever it touches leaving a chared hulk or dust of what was once there, and fire is very animate and flames constantly flicker, fade, grow and change colors depending on what it is consuming.
That is my thoughts of why humans find it so facinating to watch fires. This facination of fire has existed with the human race probably since an early homo sapien first fixed his gaze at a tree struck by lightning later becoming engulfed by flames.
This principle of facination with the unexpected and unknown can also be expanded out to the rest of nature.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by FliesOnly, posted 12-05-2008 7:44 AM FliesOnly has not replied

  
yetman
Junior Member (Idle past 5672 days)
Posts: 7
Joined: 12-04-2008


Message 7 of 40 (490573)
12-05-2008 9:46 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Larni
12-05-2008 8:40 AM


quote:
Welcome to EvC, dude!
  —Larni
Thanks! It's great to be here.
quote:
I'm not so sure that it is hard wired into our brains, though. I would suggest that natural places are often devoid of people and it is this that makes us feel more at ease.
  —Larni
True, being alone may put you at ease, but I'm curious why the very act of observing natural scenery is relaxing.
quote:
Also, we often take holidays in areas of outstanding natural beauty and we can learn the association between such places and rest and relaxation.
  —Larni
True, and why is nature so beautiful to us? It's pleasurable to look at nature, so we call it beautiful. I think it's pleasurable to look at nature because, evolutionarily, it was beneficial to our survival. It was beneficial for someone to know his surroundings intimately.
quote:
I bet when you talk about nature being so relaxing you don't mean the type of nature you would find on Dartmoor in the freezing rain and no shelter
  —Larni
Well, if my health was in danger I would be more concerned with finding shelter of course. But if I had shelter, I'd enjoy observing the natural scenery even while it rained.
quote:
That said, when ever I have a shroom trip I always prefer to be in a 'natural surrounding' because I get the sense that there are less people around to weird me out.
That's an experience that I'll have to try

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Larni, posted 12-05-2008 8:40 AM Larni has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by petrophysics1, posted 12-06-2008 4:22 PM yetman has replied
 Message 18 by Blue Jay, posted 12-07-2008 9:19 PM yetman has replied

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4276 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 8 of 40 (490584)
12-06-2008 1:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by yetman
12-04-2008 10:07 PM


No smog, no noise, no bossy, irritating or pushy people...

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

This message is a reply to:
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petrophysics1
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 40 (490639)
12-06-2008 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by yetman
12-05-2008 9:46 PM


Are people part of nature?
Yetman,
I see you have gotten several answers to your OP.
You along with several posters to lesser or greater degree appear to REMOVE humans from your natural scene.
Any ideas about why people are doing that?
Don't you, or them, believe people are a part of nature?
The presence of my wife, or my three sons, or my good friends, or whoever, makes me think a place is even more enjoyable.
People excluding other humans from nature, or what they consider a "natural scene", makes me wonder to no small degree about the social and political opinions people like that hold.
Do you think it represents a hatred of others?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by yetman, posted 12-05-2008 9:46 PM yetman has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-06-2008 8:05 PM petrophysics1 has not replied
 Message 11 by bluescat48, posted 12-06-2008 9:36 PM petrophysics1 has not replied
 Message 12 by yetman, posted 12-06-2008 10:21 PM petrophysics1 has not replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3188 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 10 of 40 (490656)
12-06-2008 8:05 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by petrophysics1
12-06-2008 4:22 PM


Re: Are people part of nature?
I have to agree with BluesCat in that for many people (not necessarily all) a return to nature serves as an escape valve for the hustle and bustle of modern life.
I know for me, even today, taking my daughter to the park which is nestled next to a large lake surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods is relaxing. No TV, computer, nagging wife (just kidding or maybe not ), demands of work, honking horns, cell phones, noisy people, etc. Just me and the beauty and quite of nature (except my kid playing on the playground behind me while I sit on a bench soaking up the scenery). It has nothing to do with a hatred of anyone (I still love my wife), it is just nice to get away and relax a little.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by petrophysics1, posted 12-06-2008 4:22 PM petrophysics1 has not replied

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4276 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 11 of 40 (490657)
12-06-2008 9:36 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by petrophysics1
12-06-2008 4:22 PM


Re: Are people part of nature?
Do you think it represents a hatred of others?
No. My reasons stated in the above message were personal in nature. Natural settings, in my case wilderness or at least a forested park is totally relaxing. Prior to my retirement, I sometimes worked as many as 27 consecutive days without a day off. Both my time in the military and at the post office. Getting away from the hustle was the most relaxing thing to me. My comments about bossy, irritating or pushy people are in regard to the way many people come off, particularly when they are stressed out or angry, not necessarily with the person they are talking to, but such things do "rub off" in such situations. My going to nature, as it would be to me, the non urban areas, gave me a chance to get the irritation, stress & anger away. Working for the U S Government for over 30 years tends to build up a lot of stress. Nature was the one way I could put up with it.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by petrophysics1, posted 12-06-2008 4:22 PM petrophysics1 has not replied

  
yetman
Junior Member (Idle past 5672 days)
Posts: 7
Joined: 12-04-2008


Message 12 of 40 (490658)
12-06-2008 10:21 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by petrophysics1
12-06-2008 4:22 PM


Re: Are people part of nature?
petrophysics1,
quote:
Yetman,
You along with several posters to lesser or greater degree appear to REMOVE humans from your natural scene.
Any ideas about why people are doing that?
Sure, because humans have the unique ability to manufacture. We make drastic changes to the earth that no other species could accomplish, so we make the distinction between natural things and man-made things. Nature can also refer to the universe in its entirety, but for the sake of this thread I'm using the definition that excludes man-made things.
quote:
Do you think it represents a hatred of others?
Not at all, it's just a simple way to distinguish between man-made things and (non-man-made?) natural things.
bluescat48,
quote:
No smog, no noise, no bossy, irritating or pushy people...
True, those are factors I would definitely consider, but I'm curious about how the very act of observing natural scenery affects us.
Consider this: If you were given four hours to relax, and you could choose to spend your time in one of these two places, which would you pick?
a) A big, luxurious hotel, all to yourself, completely isolated from society. Maybe it has a gym inside it, or a spa. However, there are no windows and no depictions of natural scenery whatsoever.
b) A place in nature. Maybe an empty beach, or some place in the wilderness.
I'd like to hear everyone's answer to this hypothetical situation. Please share your thoughts, I'm very interested in this subject.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by petrophysics1, posted 12-06-2008 4:22 PM petrophysics1 has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by bluescat48, posted 12-06-2008 11:43 PM yetman has not replied
 Message 14 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-07-2008 9:42 AM yetman has not replied
 Message 15 by onifre, posted 12-07-2008 6:40 PM yetman has not replied

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4276 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 13 of 40 (490664)
12-06-2008 11:43 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by yetman
12-06-2008 10:21 PM


Re: Are people part of nature?
my answer to your question is in post #11

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by yetman, posted 12-06-2008 10:21 PM yetman has not replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3188 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 14 of 40 (490687)
12-07-2008 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by yetman
12-06-2008 10:21 PM


Re: Are people part of nature?
Consider this: If you were given four hours to relax, and you could choose to spend your time in one of these two places, which would you pick?
a) A big, luxurious hotel, all to yourself, completely isolated from society. Maybe it has a gym inside it, or a spa. However, there are no windows and no depictions of natural scenery whatsoever.
b) A place in nature. Maybe an empty beach, or some place in the wilderness.
I'd like to hear everyone's answer to this hypothetical situation. Please share your thoughts, I'm very interested in this subject.
Some people would choose option A and some B. It has to do with a lot of different factors: how was that person raised (did he or she grow up in the city with vert little surrounding natural scenery or in the country around nature), their personality (do they like the hustle and bustle of city life or do they like a slower paced life - that also will be affected by the first factor of how they were raised), religion, culture, etc. Doing a stastical analysis of these answers will only prove that a lot of different factors play into what option people choose.
I myself would choose B due to my exposure of nature as a boy. I was an Air Force brat who grew up in some remote places (Edwards AFB in the mojave desert of CA, Eglin AFB, Wheeler AFB in HI, Guam and other remote places). I also was a Boy Scout and backpacked and camped all over the Sierra Madre as well as hiked in the mountains on Oahu in HI.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by yetman, posted 12-06-2008 10:21 PM yetman has not replied

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 3038 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 15 of 40 (490726)
12-07-2008 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by yetman
12-06-2008 10:21 PM


Re: Are people part of nature?
Hi yetman,
Consider this: If you were given four hours to relax, and you could choose to spend your time in one of these two places, which would you pick?
a) A big, luxurious hotel, all to yourself, completely isolated from society. Maybe it has a gym inside it, or a spa. However, there are no windows and no depictions of natural scenery whatsoever.
b) A place in nature. Maybe an empty beach, or some place in the wilderness.
I'd like to hear everyone's answer to this hypothetical situation. Please share your thoughts, I'm very interested in this subject.
I travel a lot, im on about 6 flights per month. There is nothing like walking into a 4-5 Star Hotel, stepping foot into a high-end suite, and ordering room service while watching tv in your boxer shorts. Then, laying down on a plush king size bed and getting under a goose down comforter. It's simply an awesome feeling after a long flight.
However...
With that said, I just came back from fishing in the Florida Keys today, (suffer Northerners! It was 80 degrees today in Miami ), and there is something beautiful and relaxing about drinking a beer on a boat and fishing that I don't think you can get from any top Hotel suite.
If I had to choose, I'd say the beach or the ocean.
Edited by onifre, : spelling

"All great truths begin as blasphemies"
"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks
"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 12-07-2008 7:06 PM onifre has replied
 Message 17 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-07-2008 8:16 PM onifre has replied

  
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