Tuesday, 24 July 2012


                        The day after Christmas 2004, it was an ordinary morning for all of us but the pet dogs, until we learned about nasty tsunami that had just struck East Indian coastline. Running amok and howling they seemed restless. We are housed at least 7 km from nearest seashore for any kind of signs to be felt apparently. Later, I came to know from my friends that we are not the only to witness this extraordinary pet behavior. Although I’ve heard about animal intuitive prediction of natural calamity before2 this direct witness urged me to learn more about this phenomenon. This phenomenon has been observed throughout the history and has heavily tinted our folklore. And this phenomenon has been venerated and harnessed adeptly by many Human societies3 familiar with and are prone to natural calamity

                    The question that rises at once on one’s mind is ‘How is this possible?’ Well, the researchers have a great deal of struggle with answering that one and the claims are as diverse as, explaining it as an inborn capability which are genetically embedded, to, much familiar hypothesis of associating the behavior with senses4. The next question would be ‘Why is this capability restricted to animals?’ Inclined towards hypothesis of natural calamities being sensed by the animals, I’d try to answer the second question in this article with backing of scientific facts.

                  According to the hypothesis animals can either, predict earthquake by sensing the subtle pre-earthquake seismic tremors5 (p-waves), slight biochemical or electromagnetic anomalies. This is generally performed by lower organisms like Invertebrates, Amphibians, Birds and Reptiles taking advantage of their low body mass, Or by observing these lower organisms intuitionally and making an authentic warning out of it, which is indeed done by higher organisms like mammals6. Almost all animals either sense or intuitionally observe the animals sensing it, except human beings7.
There are arguments saying that this is an ability evolved by natural selection after number of earthquake encounters by those species indigenously not an evolutionarily retained one from lower ancestral organisms. These arguments are made flimsy by plenty of available anecdotal references stating animals from region unfamiliar with earthquake having reacted positively during the incident which they were unaware of, for past thousands of generations. This hardly gives any scope for evolution by selection to occur. So it can be assumed as essentially a common behavior of more or less all animals, an aspect of some primitive ancestral organism evolutionarily retained through all evolutionary lineages leading to modern species. This assumption makes its absence in human beings is rather shocking. The incapability of human beings to sense the earthquake or any other seismic calamity, directly, is understandable but the unawareness about the natural world around us intuitionally can only be understood by rendering a close peek at our evolution.

                       To understand this phenomenon we need to ensure this behavior in our closest living evolutionary cousin, The Chimpanzee8. Chimpanzees of Central African tropical rain forests 400 miles off Gombe national park living in and around active volcanic mountains are prone to both tremors and volcanic eruptions. Though no authentic researches are done in above aspect of Chimpanzees they can be assumed to do so, as they are more intuitionally motivated than human beings, quoting from Roger Fouts’ “Next of Kin” ‘Chimps while revealing immensely great sequential thinking capability amazingly close to Human beings, through ASL (American Sign Language) thought to them, on the other hand posses sound animal instincts and high level sensory coordination which explains their uncanny ability as successful tropical forest survivors’

                 The researches on human evolution confirms that it was possibly spurred by the geographical isolation (one of the major evolutionary stimuli enlisted by neo-Darwinists Alfred Russell Wallace and August Weismann) of the tropical forest dwelling common ape ancestor, of both Human beings and Chimpanzees, from its natural habitat to relatively dry, prehistoric, savannah ecosystem. The reason for this isolation is blamed on the contemporary rise of Ethiopian rift valley which might had denied part of the region from monsoon rain, blocking its route.

                    Only a small population was isolated from the main population. Consequently they were forced to inbreed (Mating between close family relatives), a situation known in scientific community as ‘genetic bottleneck’9. This sudden exposure to a different ecosystem pushes the population to a state of desperation to find its own ecological niche, necessitating whole new survival tactics.

                        The species is forced to an intense unidirectional natural selection; this is facilitated by the ‘genetic bottleneck’ phenomenon. This natural selection resulted in an array of anatomical evolution for both hunting and gathering of new food resources, physiological evolution which can be attributed to the efficient assimilation of food and maintenance of homeostatic (Temperature balance, Water balance, Osmotic balance and so on ) balance compulsory for the new environment. And lastly neurophysiologic evolution, the one we are going to deal with, in this article.

                          Comparing the brain of human being with Chimpanzee brain- which shows little development in size from fossilized common ancestral species- gives us a general idea about our own neurophysiologic evolution. Chimpanzees have an average brain mass of 420 g which is much lower than the average Human brain mass (1300-1400 g), even if their low body mass (25-45 kg) is taken into consideration. That is, the brain mass / body mass ratio of Chimpanzee is much lower than ours10. In addition to that, in Human brain neurons have more number of interlinking synapses, which counts 1000 to 10,000 in each neuron. Human brain has enlarged version of all four major lobes with remarkably so, the frontal lobe.

                      The functions of these lobes are vaguely divided. Eminent neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran explains them as follows: The occipital lobe in the back is concerned with vision. The temporal lobe is concerned with hearing, emotions and certain aspects of visual perception. The parietal lobes of the brain- at the sides of the head-are concerned with creating a three-dimensional representation of the spatial layout of the external world and also of your own body within that three – dimensional representation. And lastly the frontal lobes, perhaps the most mysterious of all. They are concerned with some very enigmatic aspects of the human mind and human behavior such as your moral sense, your wisdom, your ambition and other activities of the mind which we know very little about”.

                As he points out the functions of frontal lobe is a little known but is, more or less, concerned with what one would dare calling ‘Humanness’. Though development of frontal lobe particularly “Broca’s area” contributed more to the human evolution and eventually ‘civilization’, the development of other three lobes which endorsed the former, is crucial. Particularly the development of TPO junction (Temporo-Parieto-Occipital junction), the one which is primarily involved highly coordinated linguistic activities like reading, writing, speaking, listening.

                        As you can notice, all of these are combined activities of; processing the sensory signal which involves language to a final sensory representation, then channeling them to various regions of the cerebrum where various interpretations are made pertaining to the connotations or implications it carries. These interpretation made are based on acquired knowledge from different sources and experiences and they depend on the region of cerebrum interpreting it, for example reading a word ‘apple’ would be interpreted by inferotemporal region as ‘a fruit of some kind’; on the other hand, in Wernicke’s region or other temporal regions the word evokes subtle nuances like ‘I can eat it’, ‘I can smell it’, ‘keeps the doctor away’ and so on. The linguistic interpretations are made primarily in temporal region of the brain. As one can see, these interpretations are mere abstractions and are not coherent. In human brain, cross-modal abstractions are formed, almost all the time, offering metaphors, allusions and other kinds of abstractions, for example roundness of apple evoking the thought of football. This is a kind of abstraction Chimpanzees are not known to form so far, though capable of other high level mental abstractions.  

                     V.S.Ramchandran suggests that triggering of language evolution might be by this phenomenon in the brain. He advocates this supposition revealing the amazingly analogous relation between language and synesthesia11. This can be observed by noticing your mouth movement while pronouncing words like ‘teeny weenie’, ‘little’, ‘diminutive’ you can see your mouth is actually miming the smallness of the object. It might sound absurd that this small phenomenon might have triggered evolution of language but ‘that’s all it takes’, he says.
        The presence of qualia(the ineffable subjective sensation, in words of V.S.Ramchandran)a rather complicated phenomenon, helps managing these complex range of interpretations made and ushers one such interpretation, by encoding them with itself, towards amygdala-the gateway to limbic system-in the form of abstract thought.

                Limbic system of the brain is where emotions are laden and reflexes are originated. Qualia non-arbitrarily select one such interpretation which is biologically worthy ushering to amygdala. 

                Qualia collectively is a phenomenon which, in my words, evolved in conscious brain to anchor the abstract interpretations of specific biological significance to the limbic system.

For example, apple in a salad bowl invokes interpretations of it as a food with more priority and apple poised in a decorated basket in a posh hotel conference table invokes interpretations of it as an object for beautification with more priority, of course in addition to those made in the first circumstance. This is where qualia contributes by the supporting ‘food interpretation’, essential for the species survival. Reflexes originated are the result of analyzing done in the limbic system with aid of memory, emotion and learning. Reflexes are then directed back to cerebrum where reactions are ‘negotiated and planned’ either, in terms of language which takes place in left frontal lobe generally and in the other frontal lobe for 20% of left handers, or in terms of physical activities in other regions. This ‘negotiation’ is very arbitrary, that is, person has control over it. The reflexes can be manipulated, neglected and even turned down in certain occasions, like the ornamental apple in our example which is not eaten, unless the person is audaciously hungry. The whole process is not just single to and fro signal transmission but relayed innumerous times with constant sensory updates.  

                    This process of dealing with sensory representation is the same in all other mammalian brain with cerebral growth, except for the number of interpretations being lesser, less linguistic processing or planning of reaction and so is the manipulative nature of cerebrum on reflexes12. Humans also posses comparatively higher number of mirror neurons13, essential for any kind of conversation to proceed.

                 This neurophysiologic evolution was very much needed but hadn’t been uniform like other evolutionary traits, as there were descendant species which were microchepalic (smaller head size, which is in turn, smaller brain size) than its ancestors, though the evolution was not just in brain’s volume. Although our predecessor hominids like Homo erectus, Homo habilis had considerable development in brain size than their ancestors, the surge took place at some time roughly around 52,000 BP in Homo sapiens14, which is approximately 6 to 6.5 million years after the split from ancestral species. This is a result of sudden developmental growth of cerebral region or, more crudely, grey matter of the brain. Grey matter or cerebral region of our brain is responsible for the sequential thought (thinking in successive steps), while more evolutionarily ancient unhemisphered white matter constituting parts like hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, as I had mentioned earlier, is responsible for the origin of emotional reflexes with the help of learning and memory.

                     The developmental growth in cerebrum adjoined by the elongation of vocal cord gave us the upperhand over other savannah predators by improving our lingual and linguistic skills, enabling the co-ordination required for hunting in groups, and tool making ability which is highly sequential. Making of a tool involves thinking in number of steps, for example making a stone dagger is a result following abstract thoughts in sequence;

1.     I must hunt to get meat that I can eat
2.     I need a stone to stab the animal
3.     The stone stabs better if sharp
4.     The stone can be sharpened by chipping with another stone.
5.     The stone for chipping can be made by polishing it with another.

The sequential thought to our extent is a feat no animal has achieved so far, for instance, chimpanzees are known to use and even making15 tool but not using a made tool to furnish another. Now, before we start boasting ourselves about art, literature ultimately ‘The civilization’ that sequential thought has accomplished, there are certain drawbacks which we must confront.
            We above discussed the vaguely simplified procedure as to, ‘How conscious sensory representations are dealt with, in the brain?’ . There is another sensory pathway particularly in vision which is much more primitive called ‘the unconscious old pathway’ as opposed to ‘the new pathway’( the one we are conscious of).

Both old and new visual sensory pathways are shown above
(The pathway to superior colliculus is ‘old’)

                The old pathway is the primal pathway the first to evolve among primitive animals, ones those possessed just limbic system of the brain. This pathway serves all the survival needs for the organisms which are both less complex and unable to afford the energy lavish cerebral operation. In higher organisms, this old pathway is involved in essential unconscious physical orientation like locating object spatially in the visual field, reaching out for it or swiveling the eyeballs towards it. In addition to these, in Human beings, it also does the job of snapping one out of his sequential thinking, of any sort, when needed.

                                         This can easily be understood by visualizing the following everyday incident, imagine a person having an animated argument with his friend, both walking down a busy street, the person is not conscious about the things happening in the street, the noises of the busy traffic, walking through with the help of his unconscious old pathway to limbic system, until he sees or hears something peculiar like a dog or a pit laying on the way. It is the old pathway that receives this sensory alert and gives rise to alerting impulses with the help memory, learning, basic emotions and rather mysterious ‘intuition’. Such alerting impulses from unconsciously informed limbic system is relayed to cerebrum where it is negotiated by sequential abstractions before the respective sensory region is activated, the visual cortex, in above conceived incident. It is after this activation the persons’ consciousness is retrieved and he/she is aware of the situation. Such unconscious negotiation is necessary for higher animal to avoid negligible alarms to interrupt their thought process 

                                 For example; one need not to stop an argument just because a housefly flying cross by but should consider stopping if it is a wasp. It should be understood that this negotiation is not just memory and learning based (which even limbic system can deal with) but involves logical thinking and other cerebral sequential abstractions. These cerebral abstractions analyze secondary details like ‘distance at which the wasp is potentially dangerous’ or ‘its direction of flight’. The old pathway is active not only when the person is out of his sensory consciousness but all the time. But when the person is sensuously conscious he or she need not rely on limbic alarms except intuitional ones.

                     Hence one can speculate that, unlike other unconscious limbic alarms (the dog’s on the way) which are learning or memory based, Intuitional alarms (migration or odd behavior of lower organisms prior to earthquake) are turned down to a great extent by negotiating sequential abstractions since they might not find them convincing and logical and are almost wholly blinded by overcrowding of other abstractions, remember, the individual is not conscious of these events in proceed. The animals with less cerebral brain mass/total brain mass ratio has less abstractions  negotiating with the intuitional alarm, so less is the possibility of it being neglected, hence translated almost completely to physical activity and in animals with no cerebral development, from limbic impulse directly to physical activity. The same intuitional alarms displayed by nature would hardly be observed by conscious sensory representation even if observed cannot be interpreted into an authentic warning without access to intuition embedded in limbic system.
                  The speculation of this article simply says that there is a greater possibility of intuitional alarms being neglected, in Human beings, and not that it will always be neglected. Our intuitions are not wiped out completely but are greyed gradually from childhood along with proportionate increase in grey matter, the cerebrum. The toll levied on the civilization.

1.     The intuitions discussed in this article are limbic intuitions and not cerebral intuitions.  The former deals with preliminary survival strategies while the latter with species’ specializations. We harbor a great deal of linguistic intuitions which are cerebral.

2.     Anecdotal evidences cannot be considered as good scientific proof. In fact there is some very serious debate going on whether the so-called canine premonition of seismic events is nothing but a backward reading of the dog behavior by humans. For example, how many times dogs barking and screeching happen and what is the statistically significant anomaly in dog behavior before seismic event? But there are also scientists –many- who have studied dog behavior and suggest that there is a high correlation between anomalous canine behavior and a seismic event.

3.     Both Chinese and African literature, folklore features abundant allusions and direct references about prediction of earthquake by observing animal behavior.

5.     Every earthquake comes as pair of two wave actions, first the very mild p-wave which is followed by the destructive S-wave. P-waves travel 2-4 km per second faster than S-waves. Among mammals P-waves can be sensed by vibration sensitive borrowing animals like Rodents and infrasound sensitive animals like Elephants.

6.     The mammals which cannot sense P-waves predict forthcoming earthquake by observing other animal those can sense it. These observations are made without consciousness which I would explain in latter part of the article.

7.     I intentionally added the word ‘intuitionally’ to avoid being confused with traditional knowledge educated through generations. Intuitions cannot be thought and are authentic. 

8.     Chimpanzees are genetically found to be the closest living evolutionary cousin, though possesses just 22 chromosomes which is one less than us, shares 97.3% of same genetic code. This is surprisingly close that both genetic codes are more similar than many indistinguishable bird species.

9.     Under such condition, genetic diversity of the population is largely reduced; with less individual genetic anomalies, the population is destabilized regarding species’ evolution. As we all know, the steadiness of a species in terms of evolution is established by the random crossbreeding of individuals with genetic divergence.

10.                        The brain mass / body mass ratio of average Chimpanzee=420g/35000g =0.012 or 1.2%(approximately)                                                                            The brain mass / body mass ratio of average human (male) =1400g/65000g=0.022or2.2% (approximately)

11.                        Synesthesia is a phenomenon of which the person associates different sensory representations. For example associating number ‘5’ with color ‘red’ or ‘shape of a saw’ with sound ‘kiki’.

12.                        The natural habitat of chimpanzee the tropical forest is not challenging enough to reveal their sequential thinking ability completely. Those we know were only brought to light by creating artificial scenarios. Both behavioral scientists and neuropsychologists have no idea of chimps complete potential.

13.                        Mirror neurons are neurons which are responsible for proxying into other’s mental condition and sharing their thoughts by jumping from our own self, pausing the attributes which defines self like embodiment, agency, unity, continuity momentarily.

14.                        The researches on human evolution suggests that the so called great evolutionary leap (52000 BP) must have happened not only because of natural selection, which had been their ever since the split, but majorly because of sexual selection which is a stronger selection. Sexual selection can occur only in species practicing monogamy which had just been into practice among hominids around that time, Possibly due increased dependence of the hominids on food gathering, which women mastered, due to uncertainty of hunting at that time of ice age when lot of herbivorous species were driven to extinction.  As we know chimp communities practice polygamy, I think, it is less likely for such a surge in brain size to happen unless species goes through severe natural selection and practices monogamy which cannot be anticipated from their present tropical habitat.

15.                        The tool using and making capability of Chimps first discovered by Jane Goodall is broadly discussed in her critically acclaimed book ‘In the shadow of man’. 

             I am extremely obliged to Mr.Aravindan Neelakandan, a thorough reader of science, who encouraged me a lot on writing this article, suggested some good books which helped me overcome my prejudice on Chimps as mere hairy apes and whose valuable comments helped me improve the article and formulate the notes which is a result of dialogue we had.

1.     Next of Kin –Roger Fouts ; William Morrow and Company, 1997
2.     Seven million years – Douglas Palmer; phoenix publishers, 2006
3.     Naked Ape – Desmond Morris; 1967
4.     The Emerging mind –Vilayanur. S. Ramachandran; Profile books ltd, 2004
5.     Phantoms in the brain - Vilayanur. S. Ramachandran; Quill William Morrow, 1998
6.     Apes, Men and language –Eugene Linden; Pelican books,1976
7.     The Dragons of Eden- Carl Sagan; Ballantine books, 1977
8.     The Third Chimpanzee – Jared Diamond;1999
9.     In the shadow of man- Jane Goodall
10.                        http.news.nationalgeograpic.com


  1. dear aji,
    i was just thinking and observing my thoughts over what you wrote. this loss of perceptional ability is closely related with the collective consciousness, which is very strong in primates and other lower spectral beings. i was just thinking is there any measure to retain or rediscover these hidden abilities and bring back it to surface. may be a secluded environment (like the island - robinson crusoe lives:))can help. will read vilaiyanur come back to you. .and on recognition and recalling part.. it suddenly reminded of my first year ayurvedic syllabus:) there are some interesting points there regarding perception and memory..which i will refer and write back to you on some other occasion...

    1. thank you
      i have not much idea about collective consciousness, how it can be looked upon from science, can it deduced into shared intiution or communication going on beyond human perceptional range, or is it mirror nuerons in high level activity.
      And with the robinson crusoe I think he's forced to cerebral activity as much as we are. where as in tribal shamans it's a different case

      thank you again and i'd love to be in touch with you

  2. /Dear Aji


    Please check grammar here: //Worshipped and exploited adeptly by many Human societies familiar with and are prone to natural calamity. // I think you should make it part of previous sentence. You may consider this: // This phenomenon has been observed throughout the history and has heavily tinted our folklore. And this phenomenon has been venerated and harnessed adeptly by many Human societies3 familiar with and are prone to natural calamity.//

    //The next question would be ‘Why is this capability restricted to animals?’ // Are not we humans animals too? :) 'non-human animals' may remove any hint of anthropo-centrism.

    //lower organisms// somewhere you can make it clear that what you mean is organisms in the lower or more ancient branches of phylo-genetic tree.

    // There are arguments saying that this is an ability evolved by natural selection after number of earthquake encounters by those species indigenously not an evolutionarily retained one from lower ancestral organisms. //

    A better rephrasing may be : There are arguments saying that this is an ability evolved by natural selection after frequent earthquakes acted as selection force on those species indigenous to those geographic zones and not an inherently retained one from lower ancestral organisms.

    On the whole the article has come out wonderfully and a new and a brave hypothesis.
    You have started the article by saying it is a hypothesis which is a wee-bit higher and rigorous than speculation,and have ended the article by saying this is speculation. You should stick on to either one of this. Though essentially this comes more in the category of speculation, this can be upgraded as a hypothesis if you can suggest and design a controlled experiment to check your hypothesis/speculation. The experiment should tell what outcomes are expected in case of the testing hypothesis being true or false.If you can make this suggestion in the end, then this article actually becomes an important first step in the search for a mystery.

    Once again a great work and an important start.

    and with luv/

    thank you uncle and i will makes those corrections. only a thorough reading can make these observations possible. I am immensly grateful for that

  3. Dear Ajithan,

    Well written article and a warm welcome to science writing!

    Yesterday I had written my comments in English but couldn't able to post in the old blog, hence I translated it into Tamil and shared for a discussion in a group. I copy it here.


    அஜிதன் 'the toll levied on the civilization' என்று முடித்திருந்தார். ஒருவகையில் அது உண்மையும் கூட. பழங்குடிகள் இயற்கைப் பேரிடர்களை நேரடியாகவோ, அல்லது அவ்வாறு அறியும் திராணி கொண்ட பிற உயிரிணங்களை அவதானிப்பதன் மூலமோ உணர்ந்து கொண்டு தப்பிக்கிறார்கள் என்பது உண்மையானால் சக மனிதர்களான நம்மால் அவ்வாறு புரிந்து கொள்ளப்பட முடியாததன் காரணம் 'நாகரிகமடைந்த' நமது மூளை அந்த எச்சரிக்கைகளை அலட்சியப்படுத்துவது தான். எடுத்துக்காட்டாக இன்னும் 'நாகரீக' வெளியுலக தொடர்பில்லாத, அசலான பழங்குடி வாழ்க்கை வாழும் அந்தமான் பழங்குடிகள் சுனாமியில் தப்பித்தார்கள், ஆனால் பக்கத்திலேயே வாழும் நிகோபார் தீவுகளின் நாகரீகமடைந்த நவீன உலகின் கருவிகளுக்குப் பழகிய பழங்குடிகளால் அது முடியவில்லை.

    இதன் ஒரு எளிய மாதிரியாக, இன்றும் காடுகளில் வாழும் நாகரிகமடைந்த ஆதிவாசிகள் சில குரங்குகள், பறவைகளின் ஒலியைக் கொண்டே காட்டில் ஊடுறுவும் பிற மிருகங்கள் அல்லது எளிய அபாயங்களை (காட்டுத்தீ...) ஊகித்து அறிவதை கவனிக்கலாம். இயற்கையுடன் இயையாத நம்மால் அதுவும் முடிவதில்லை. எனவே 'நாகரீகம்' புலன்கள் வழி அறியும் உள்ளுணர்வை மூடிவிட்டது என்றே கொள்ளலாம்.


  4. அல்லது இப்படியும் யோசிக்கலாம். பரிணாமத்தில் நாம் அடையும் வளர்ச்சி என்பதே ஒரு சமரசம் தான். வளர்ச்சியின் போக்கில் புதிய பண்புகளைப் பெறுவது போல் இருக்கும் சில பண்புகளை இழக்கவும் செய்யலாம். உதாரணமாக மனிதனுக்கு நெருக்கமான ஒரு பேரிணக் குரங்கிலிருந்து பிரிந்து பரிணாம பாய்ச்சல் அடைய முக்கியக் காரணம் திடீரென்று மூன்று மடங்கு பெரிய மூளை வளர்ச்சி வாய்க்கப் பெற்றது தான். இந்த மூளை வளர்சியால் தான் நமது தொடர்புறு சிந்தனைத் திறன் வளர்ச்சி அடைந்து இன்றைய 'முன்னேறிய' நிலையில் இருக்கிறோம். ஆனால் உடல் நிறை:மூளை அளவு விகிதாச்சாரப்படி பெரிய அளவு மூளை இல்லாத பிற உயிரிணங்களிடம் இருக்கும் சில பண்புகளை நாம் இழந்திருக்கலாம். உதாரணமாக பார்த்தல் எனப்து வெறும் வடிவங்களைப் பார்ப்பது மட்டுமல்ல. சில உயிரிணங்கள் புற ஊதா, அகச்சிவப்புக் கதிர்களைப் 'பார்க்கும்' சக்தி கொண்டவை (சில பாம்புகள், மூட்டைப்பூச்சி..), மீயொலி (ultrasound; வௌவால், டால்ஃபின்...) அல்லது அகஒலியை (infrasound; யானை, திமிங்கிலம், காண்டாமிருகம், ஒட்டகச்சிவிங்கி, இன்னும் பெரும்பாலான பெரிய உயிரிகள்...) 'கேட்கும்' திறன் கொண்டவை, இப்படியே வாசனை நுகர்தல் (உதாரணமாக மனிதர்களை விட மிருகங்கள், பூச்சிகள், சில தாவரங்கள் ஆகியவை ஃபெரமோன்கள் என்னும் வேதிப்பொருட்களின் மனத்தை உணர்வதன் மூலம் தொடர்பு கொள்ளுதலில் பலமடங்கு அதிகம் திறன்படைத்தவை), சுவைத்தல், தொடு உணர்ச்சி , திசையறிதல், பூமியின் காந்தப்புல அடர்த்திக்கு ஏற்ப இயைதல் ஆகியவற்றிலும் மனிதனை விட நுண்மையான உணர்வுகளை மிருகங்கள் தக்கவைத்துள்ளன. நமது பரிணாமப் பங்காளிகளான சிமபன்ஸி உள்ளிட்ட பேரிணக்குரங்குகளிலும் இவற்றில் சில குணங்கள் உண்டு. ஆக, சிக்கலான நரம்புமண்டல அமைப்பு மற்றும் பெரிய மூளை வளர்ச்சியினால் சில சிறப்புப் பண்புகளை (பேச்சு, சிந்தனை etc.,) பெற்ற நாம், எளிய மிருக நிலையில் உள்ள சில நுணுக்கமான புலனறிதல்களை இழந்துள்ளோம்.

    இதன் அடிப்படையில் 'மனிதனால் மட்டும் ஏன் இயற்கையின் பேரிடர்களுக்கு முந்தைய கன மாற்றங்களை உணரமுடிவதில்லை?' என்ற கேள்வியைக் கேட்டால், பதில் மிக எளிமையாக 'உணர முடியாது, ஏனென்றால் அந்த நுண்புலன்கள் அவனிடம் இல்லை. (பரிணாமத்தில் இழந்துவிட்டான்)' என்று சொல்லப்படலாம்.

    ஒரு மண்புழு ஏன் நாவல் எழுதவில்லை என்று கேட்கமுடியாதில்லையா? அது போலவே மனிதனிடம் இல்லாத ஒரு நுண்புலனின் பண்புகளை அவன் ஏன் கொண்டிருக்கவில்லை என்ற கேள்வியையே கேட்க முடியாது.

    மிருகங்கள் இயற்கையை 'அறிவதில்லை', அதன் பகுதியாக இருக்கிறது. பரிணாமத்தில் 'நாகரீகமடைந்த' மனிதன் இயற்கையின் 'பகுதி'யல்ல, இயற்கையின் பின்னலிலிருந்து விலகி அதை 'அறிந்து' திறமையாகப் பயன்படுத்த முயல்பவன்.

    கொஞ்சம் தத்துவார்த்தமாக சொல்ல முயற்சித்தால், "அறிவுத்திறனால் இயற்கையை அறிந்துகொள்ள, கருவிகளால் அதன் மாற்றங்களை ஊகிக்க பரிணாமத்தில் மனிதனுக்கு வாய்ப்பு கொடுக்கப்பட்டதால், நுண்ணுணர்வால் இயற்கையை உணர்ந்து கொள்ளும் திறன் இயற்கை விதியாலேயே பறித்துக்கொள்ளப்பட்டது" என்று சொல்லுவேன். இழந்ததும், அடைந்ததும் எல்லாம் ஒரு விதியால் சமம்.

    நண்டு தன் வளையை களிமண்ணால் மூடுவது, தட்டான்கள் கூட்டமாகப் பறப்பது போன்றவற்றை வைத்து மழை வரப்போவதை உணர்தல், நாய்கள் அசம்பந்தமாக ஊளையிடுதல், காக்கைகளின் கூட்டமான கரைச்சல் உள்ளிட்ட பறவைகளின் விபரீதமான ஒலி, அசௌகர்யமாக நிலைகொள்ளாமல் தவிக்கும் மாடு, இன்னும் இது போன்ற பிற உயிரிணங்களின் அசாதாரணமான நடத்தைகளின் மூலமாக இயற்கையின் வழக்கத்திற்கு மாறான போக்கை ஊகிக்கும் அறிவு மரபாகவே நம் நாட்டில் உண்டு. சகுணம் என்ற பெயரில் அவை ஒரு அறிவாக வழிவழியாக கைமாற்றப் பட்டு வந்தது. அதில் ஒன்றிரண்டு வெறும் நம்பிக்கைகளாகவும் இருந்துவிடும். அதனால் அந்த ஒட்டுமொத்த அறிவையே 'பல்லி சொல் பலன்' கிண்டல் வரிசையில் சேர்த்து 'மூடநம்பிக்கைகள்' என்று உதாசீனப்படுத்தி விடுதல் நம் தூய அறிவியல்வாத மேதைகளின் வழக்கம். விளைவாக கிராமத்தில் கூட இன்று இத்தகைய நுண்ணுணர்வு கொண்டவர்களைக் காண்பது அரிது.


  5. Krishnan
    /The article haven't chosen to give examples or proofs of available human intuition (among tribes, children etc) presently or before to add more substance to that line of analysis./

    shamanic acts among tribal communities nevers cease to fascinate me. almost all these acts involve choking themselves and loud music. choking breath leads to less oxygen supply to brain partially shutting down energy lavish cerebrum. hearing is more related to limbic system. the louder it gets, more of adrenaline and other harmones are secreted, more is the activity of limbic system, region responsible for intiution

  6. //. choking breath leads to less oxygen supply to brain partially shutting down energy lavish cerebrum.//

    Aji ... wonderful observation... Never thought in this angle. In fact in almost all Near Death Experiences (NDE) lack of oxygen supply plays an important role. What better way to awaken our species' hidden sleeping forgotten potentials than simulate Near Death situation. Great Going!

  7. I saw this site quite accidentally and exited to read this article. I noticed in your profile that you are still an undergraduate student. The language and presentation shows maturity of a senior research scholar. I wish to appreciate you for your natural brilliance and erudition.

    I am not a man of science. My interests are in yoga and mysticism. I don’t know whether you are interested in it or not -probably not, because it needs an age and experience to enter in these kind of thoughts.

    As per our yoga tradition which is an integral part of Eastern mysticism we have four levels of mental existence. Jagrat, svapna,sushubti and durya. I may compare them with the modern psychological terms conscious, subconscious, unconscious and collective unconscious. Well, actually there is sharp difference between these eastern concepts and western terms. Western psychology assumes these states as structures and we think them as functional modes.

    According to yoga tradition we are existing in all that four levels at the same time. But one is screening the other. We can say, durya is screened by sushubti and sushubti by svapna. Jagrat covers everything as an iron curtain and it presents itself as the only self we have. Jagrat is made up of logical thought, signs and symbols, images and its endless associations. Language is the presentable form of jagrat.

    Jagrat is a creation of culture. According to yoga sastra human beings created their jagrat and continuously making it stronger. Every living thing has day to day life, so it must have a jagrat. But in the case of lower level beings their jagrat is weak, so their other inner selves are stronger. Animals have more mundane life than insects. So their jagrat is stronger than them. So naturally their svapna and sushubti are weaker.

    This is the explanation of yoga sastra for your question. When we began to build our jagrat or conscience for our survival we lost our connection with the durya, the collective unconscious. We lost our intuitional powers as well.

    This may not seem as science, but a religious belief, but yoga says one can suspend his jagrat slowly by practice and attain the inner existence gradually. He can reach and be in durya state, merged in collective unconscious. On that stage he may predict earthquake like an animal or insect. As per our tradition the highest state for a man

  8. Not for this discussion but for general understanding

    Carl Jung on Yoga


  9. Hi ajithan!
    It is a thought provoking article! Inbreeding exposes the homozygous allele in which mutational effects can be expressed, but not in out breeders where they are being masked under heterozygous conditions. So change in genetic function is itself an adaptive mechanism. Human beings live in natural habitats are more predictive to environmental changes! Way to go ajithan!