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Author Topic:   The Origin of Music
General Nazort
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 59 (131766)
08-09-2004 1:01 AM


Music is incredible. There is nothing like it. When you are listening to really good music you just get swept up in it, in the richness and power and grandeur of it. I don't know how many of you like classical music. I personally like it a lot, and there is something "heavenly" about the best sections of certain pieces, for example the inverted section of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

So what I would like to ask is, how do evolutionists explain music, how it came to be, and why it has such a hold over us? As a Christian I believe that music is a gift to us from God that is the closest earthly comparison to what heaven is like. That is why heaven in the Bible is often described in musical terms. But how do evolutionists view music?


If you say there are no absolutes, I ask you, are you absolutely sure about that?
Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 59 (131768)
08-09-2004 1:15 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20041
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 3 of 59 (131771)
08-09-2004 2:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by General Nazort
08-09-2004 1:01 AM


sexual selection
the simple answer is sexual selection, just as music is part of mating of many animals, especially birds.

See "Review of Sexual Selection and Human Evolution"
http://www.unm.edu/~psych/faculty/mate_choice.htm

3.3 Selection for aesthetic displays

Some traits have been shaped as aesthetic displays, sometimes in addition to functioning as indicators. Aesthetic displays play upon the perceptual biases of receivers to attract attention, provoke excitement, and increase willingness to mate. That is, seducers manipulate perceptions. The perceptual biases open to manipulation can arise in two, often complementary, ways: (1) they may already exist as `latent preferences' — side-effects of previous evolutionary processes, reflecting basic psychophysical effects, general principles of perception, or perceptual adaptations to particular environments — and (2) they may co-evolve with the courtship traits they prefer, through Fisher's runaway process.

There are other references available as well.

Sexual selection could also be the reason for our larger brain. Notice that a lot of courtship occurs on dance halls to music and that performers, especially singers are held in high regard, more so by those of prime mating ages.

enjoy.

ps - your argument reduces to "I like music, I like to explain things as being done by God, other than that I have no evidence for my concept."


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by General Nazort, posted 08-09-2004 1:01 AM General Nazort has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by General Nazort, posted 08-09-2004 11:23 PM RAZD has responded

  
almeyda
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 59 (131789)
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


Its not just music. Its all of man thats different from Darwinian natural selection. Some evolutionists cant even explain why people help others and frequently cooperate. Christian behaviour makes absolutely no sense from an evolutionary framework. But as for the topic of music. It gives no obvious advantage in the Darwinian struggle of survival. How could natural selection shape the brain to derive pleasure from music?. Our brains stimuli goes far deeper than any 'chance' theories from evolutionists. A working memory is needed to store snatches of melody, harmony & rhythm, while our brain makes sense of the whole tune. Then theres the individuals who become geniuses at maths, art, MUSIC because of severe mental disabilities such as autism. Again evolutionists are in a quandry for such 'over-design'. This is because natural selection as observed in the present, deals with characteristics present and nececesary for immediate survival. Its no problem for christians though, who believe an infinite intelligence created man.

The ability to distinguish between music and noise is hardwired into the Brocas area region of the human brain. This area is also probably involved in the understanding and capacity to distinguish a meaningful sentence from nonsense. So i guess the question i would like answered is 'what would be the survival value of the ability to appreciate music? & how could it have evolved by natural selection?


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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 5 of 59 (131792)
08-09-2004 3:35 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


almeyda writes:

quote:
So i guess the question i would like answered is 'what would be the survival value of the ability to appreciate music? & how could it have evolved by natural selection?

You need to stop thinking about "survival value" in terms of fighting. Selection does not necessarily mean the ability to take down a wildebeest with your bare hands.

Music is pattern recognition. Pattern recognition as a general concept can have survival advantages.

And you also seem to be stuck in a monodimensional world where traits have one and only one function and purpose. There can quite easily be side effects to a trait. The pattern recognition that humans are so good at can quite easily result in an ability to create what we call music. And since we are good at recognizing patterns, it is not surprising to find that we feel good when presented with patterns we can comprehend.


Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!
This message is a reply to:
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lfen
Member (Idle past 2905 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 6 of 59 (131796)
08-09-2004 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


Musicians, groupies, and sexual selection
It gives no obvious advantage in the Darwinian struggle of survival.

No advantage...hmmmm Uh, do you know about groupies? Seems like musician's genes have a good chance of getting passed on to the next generation.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
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Snikwad
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 59 (131816)
08-09-2004 6:44 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


almeyda writes:

Some evolutionists cant even explain why people help others and frequently cooperate.

You're absolutely right: some evolutionists can't explain altruism. But the fact that some evolutionists can't explain it has no bearing on the fact that evolutionary theory does explain it.

First of all, you do realize that people live in a society, right? When organisms live socially there is "encouragement" to behave altruistically. When other members in that society view an organism behaving altruistically, they are likely to give to that organism. It is in an organism's best interest to lend a hand to other members of the society. At its core, altruism is selfish behavior.

There are two types of altruism that I'm aware of: reciprocal altruism, and kin selection. In reciprocal altruism, one organism helps out another with the expectation of being "paid back" in the future. In kin selection, an organism helps out organisms that possess copies of their genes.


"Chance is a minor ingredient in the Darwinian recipe, but the most important ingredient is cumulative selection which is quintessentially nonrandom."
--Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker
This message is a reply to:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6768
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 8 of 59 (131835)
08-09-2004 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


quote:
Some evolutionists cant even explain why people help others and frequently cooperate.

But most evolutionists can. Darwin himself proposed how altruism can arise and be selected for.

-

quote:
This area is also probably involved in the understanding and capacity to distinguish a meaningful sentence from nonsense.

So you are close to suggesting a reason for music appreciation yourself: it may not have any survival advantage itself, but may be an unintended consequence of features that were selected for. This, I believe, is what Rrhain is suggesting.

Also, once such a feature does come about, it may be that it can be used as part of cultural rituals and so helps maintain group solidarity. A useful trait for a social species.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20041
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 9 of 59 (131861)
08-09-2004 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


altruism no problem, but off topic
seems you missed the bit about sexual selection factors as opposed to survival factors. obviously pure survival of the fittest cannot explain peacock feathers, while sexual selection makes it obvious. song and dance are similar, and certainly linked to sexual selection if you watch MTV.

in fact it may well be the human use of song and dance rituals, developed originally for mating selection, that have caused the propensity for religions as a side effect of the trance states that can be induced. there are several references in evoloutionary psychology that talk about this, the link I had is no longer working.

the object is to survive to breed, and if no breeding takes place survival doesn't matter does it? (and if you think man is above the need to evolve immunity to diseases then stop taking any vacines.)

As for altruism, which is off topic, that is explained many ways. Try Game Theory and John Nash -- the man behind "A Beautiful Mind" -- what was his Nobel Prize for?

enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by almeyda, posted 08-09-2004 3:18 AM almeyda has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 31178
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 10 of 59 (131889)
08-09-2004 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


Once again.

Evolution and the Theory of Evolution have absolutely nothing to do with Moral Systems.

The subject though is MUSIC.

How could natural selection shape the brain to derive pleasure from music?

Have you ever sat through 2 hours of Ravi Shankar?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Itachi Uchiha
Member (Idle past 3843 days)
Posts: 272
From: mayaguez, Puerto RIco
Joined: 06-21-2003


Message 11 of 59 (131897)
08-09-2004 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by General Nazort
08-09-2004 1:01 AM


Origin of Music
Well. according to the bible the orgin of music is in heaven since it was practiced in heaven before creation. In the descriptions found in the bible about heaven it always speaks of the importance that music and worship have in heaven. That is why music is also very important in churches. As an amateur composer I can honestly tell you that music and inspiration come from the soul. You use your brain and education when youre going to arrange it but that first melody and inspiration that suddenly enters your mind definetly comes from the spirit. Music is definetely a piece of heaven on earth. The greatest composers that have ever lived dedicated their music to God. Bach,Haydn,Brahms,mendelsson and my alltime favorite Igor Stravinsky just to name a few.


Mathematics moves the world - Mathematics is the world
This message is a reply to:
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lfen
Member (Idle past 2905 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 12 of 59 (131932)
08-09-2004 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by RAZD
08-09-2004 11:43 AM


Re: altruism no problem, but off topic
in fact it may well be the human use of song and dance rituals, developed originally for mating selection, that have caused the propensity for religions as a side effect of the trance states that can be induced. there are several references in evoloutionary psychology that talk about this, the link I had is no longer working.

Razd,

If you've any other links, or books I am very interested in this topic. For some years I was very interested in social dance particularly argentine tango. As a result I became interested in the nature of music/dance and brain states and non verbal rapport and communication. The contemplative christians especially monks and nuns probably have the deepest experience of the profound effects music can have on the human body, brain, and consciousness. But this is such a new field of study. Manfred Climes has some provocative ideas but I don't know if they will hold up.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20041
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 13 of 59 (131948)
08-09-2004 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by lfen
08-09-2004 2:08 PM


Re: altruism no problem, but off topic
also consider buddhist monks, especially the tibetan ones with their tonal chants using resonance to be able to create different notes at the same time (if you haven't heard it, this can be really spooky the first time).

do a google on {evolutionary psychology music mating} and you will probably find lots of links to wade through. One I found was:

http://www.enotalone.com/books/038549517X.html

In The Mating Mind, he takes Darwin's "other" evolutionary theory--of sexual rather than natural selection--and uses it to build a theory about how the human mind has developed the sophistication of a peacock's tail to encourage sexual choice and the refining of art, morality, music, and literature.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
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pink sasquatch
Member (Idle past 4251 days)
Posts: 1567
Joined: 06-10-2004


Message 14 of 59 (131969)
08-09-2004 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by almeyda
08-09-2004 3:18 AM


Its not just music. Its all of man thats different from Darwinian natural selection...

But as for the topic of music. It gives no obvious advantage in the Darwinian struggle of survival.

Almeyda, I'm assuming you've heard a birdsong at some point in your life. What about a whalesong?

Non-human 'music' exists, and evolved. Just because you don't see an "obvious advantage", does not mean one doesn't exist.

Birdsongs are of enough evolutionary interest that a study on them just made the July 22nd cover of the journal Nature.

Birdsongs are of enough musical interest that Mozart lifted their melodies for use in his compositions.


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Itachi Uchiha
Member (Idle past 3843 days)
Posts: 272
From: mayaguez, Puerto RIco
Joined: 06-21-2003


Message 15 of 59 (131978)
08-09-2004 3:17 PM


Actually dance rituals were created by diferent tribes to honor their respective gods not to mate. If you study the beginnings of satan youll have a more clear picture of what music is and what is happening to music today (if you believe in the bible). I guess everybody here knows that there was once a beatufiful angel in heaven named lucifer who was the greatest and the most beautiful of all angels. He was in charge of music in heaven. It is even mentioned in the bibke that diferent instruments were attached to his body (were part of his body). Well to make the long story short, he rebelled against God and was kicked out of heaven along with the other angels who were backing him up. this gorgeous angel is who we know today as satan and those who followed him are now known as demons. Even though he was kicked out of heaven music continues to be his specialty and makes music that is against God instead of worship music. If music deosn't honor God then what is it used for? Well watch mtv. It used for sex mostly. Remeber that the purpose of music is not only for entertainment but also for delivering a messege. Very powerful messeges can be delivered through music so please use it for a good cause.


Ponlo todo en las manos de Dios y que se joda el mundo. El principio de la sabiduria es el temor a Jehova
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