There's a lot of 'old science' out there.
Stuff we humans used to believe that has been de-bunked.
Things like... 'humans are more complex than other species, which means we have more genes.'
Before the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, humans were estimated as having around 100,000 genes - more than any other species.
Nope. Turns out we only have between 20,000-25,000 genes.
A tiny moss plant actually beats humans with 10,000 more genes than we do. The sponge genome contains 18,000 genes, many of which are similar to people. In fact, humans and sponges share around 70 percent of their DNA.
Previous generations simply did not have the same science and understanding of genes that we have now.
They didn't know how much environment plays a role (this photo of identical twins shows how something like sunlight can alter physical characteristics).
"Genetic destiny" or determinism - the belief that we get what we get when we're born, and this will dictate the rest of our life... this is a belief that older generations had. They were wrong.
This includes our belief about the destiny of the brain. As mentioned in Episode 1, the brain (and certain features of the human brain in particular) are highly, highly experience-dependent. Genes lay a blueprint, but "experience builds brain architecture".
Another extremely outdated system we are dealing with is the idea of separating subjects in school and seeing them as 'entities' to be completed before we go to the next level.
This is in contrast to a 'trans-disciplinary' approach - where we understand that everything we learn about is interconnected. Science is not separate from history. Music is not un-related to math!
This one has really messed us up. The stimulus-response model was fostered during the hype of behaviorism. It was believed that you could give a stimulus and that it was the stimulus that elicited a response - so basically the animal/human/organism was a blank slate.
This model ignores the fact that an organism's existing architecture, its existing behavioral and neural resources, and its temporary physiological state: those three things will have an effect on its response.
This more evolved model is the "Stimulus-Organism-Response" model.
It acknowledges that whenever we are trying to elicit new behaviors or responses from ourselves and others, we need to be flexible and responsive to whatever the conditions and 'live state' of that person are in that moment.
Many people don't like that idea - they want a quick fix and a 'give me the exact thing I need to do in Situation A' approach.
But unfortunately, life is often too complex for that!
A better idea is to train ourselves to become more attentive. To notice more.
To be more comfortable in adapting and 'flexing' with what happens. Which might mean leaving room to fail, experiment, and not think we know every answer.
When we are teaching or leading others, what can often be extremely helpful is simply taking the time to build trust, and to get to understand another person. And from there, explore ideas on how to help, teach or lead them. Rather than going in with our idea of how to 'fix' a person and not leaving any room for all the factors that might affect their response to us.
In this episode, we look at these three key areas of outdated ideas about human behavior, and I share ideas on how we can upgrade our understanding to more evolved models.
Bonus: here's a fun 'updated science' fact that most people don't talk about:
ALMOST ALL DINOSAURS were probably covered in feathers.
The point? We need to stay on our toes and make sure we don't keep passing on outdated thinking to the next generation 🙂 🙂
Stefanie Faye saysFebruary 25, 2021 at 7:15 pm
Thank you William! I really appreciate you taking the time to listen, and to let me know!
William Thompson saysFebruary 16, 2021 at 12:09 am
I am really enjoying your podcasts, thank you!