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boots
post Jul 18, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Is it true that the average person only uses about 10% of their mental capacity, and that a genius uses 15%?
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lucid_dream
post Jul 18, 2008, 09:30 AM
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how do you measure mental capacity? What studies show this?
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Rick
post Jul 18, 2008, 09:39 AM
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It's a total myth. Nature is not inefficient.

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/tenper.html

http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

http://www.brainconnection.com/topics/?main=fa/brain-myth
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boots
post Jul 18, 2008, 10:33 AM
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That's what I figured. I just figured that I'd start the topic and see what happened from there.

Lucid, I can't remember the exact source from which I heard it, but I'm sure everyone has heard the myth somewhere.
QUOTE
"The 'hidden nine-tenths' of your mental strength lies buried... discover, release and use it to gain new success, personal happiness—a fuller, richer life."
- advertisement for The Magic Power of Your Mind, W.B. Germain, 1956

"They say you only use 10% of it."
- advertisement for database software, 1999

"You only use 11% of its potential."
- advertisement for digital TV, 1999

"It's been said that we use a mere 10% of our brain capacity."
- advertisement for an airline, 1999



Thanks for the sources, Rick. I especially liked the one called "Neuroscience For Kids." wink.gif At this point in my life, I claim to be nothing more than a curious kid.
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Rick
post Jul 18, 2008, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE(boots @ Jul 18, 2008, 11:33 AM) *
... a curious kid.

Yeah, me too.
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lucid_dream
post Jul 18, 2008, 01:43 PM
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the problem is that mental capacity cannot really be defined. What is it? Is it analogous to intellectual potential? How do you measure potential when all you know is what is actualized? Mental capacity is an empty term.

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Rick
post Jul 18, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Play some games of chess? Rank the players in order of strength = mental capacity.
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Lindsay
post Jul 18, 2008, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 18, 2008, 09:39 AM) *
Total myth? Like a lot of religion, I wonder: Is not a lot of science, especially the soft kind, pure myth?
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lucid_dream
post Jul 18, 2008, 03:21 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 18, 2008, 02:55 PM) *

Play some games of chess? Rank the players in order of strength = mental capacity.

but capacity, in this context, is more like potential, and not like actual demonstrated mental ability.
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boots
post Jul 18, 2008, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE
the problem is that mental capacity cannot really be defined. What is it? Is it analogous to intellectual potential? How do you measure potential when all you know is what is actualized? Mental capacity is an empty term.

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Jul 18, 2008, 07:21 PM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 18, 2008, 02:55 PM) *

Play some games of chess? Rank the players in order of strength = mental capacity.

but capacity, in this context, is more like potential, and not like actual demonstrated mental ability.


Chess seems to show mental ability at a certain time in one's intellectual development. In chess, more experience leads to a better understanding of the game. Practice doesn't necessarily make perfect, but it sure makes better.

Mental ability is what is actualized. If mental capacity is a cup, then mental ability is the water that fills it. The more experience one has, the fuller the cup.
I see your point, Lucid. Can we ever tell how much the cup can hold? Or can we only fill it as much as we can? Maybe its capacity has no end. Maybe it is infinite. Maybe there is no such thing as mental capacity, but only varying degrees of mental ability.
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Indigo Sky
post Aug 08, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Didn't one of the experts who was asked to define "intelligence" give the response "the capacity to acquire capacity"?

Perhaps there is no limit to how much capacity can theoretically be acquired.

I think I must be the only person interested in brain/mind development who cannot stand chess (or any other games or puzzles for that matter).
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Joesus
post Aug 08, 2008, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE
I think I must be the only person interested in brain/mind development who cannot stand chess (or any other games or puzzles for that matter.
I doubt it, that would be an assumption based on the current knowledge base of accumulated information.
Life in itself is often a puzzle or a game that must be engaged in order to understand it. How we do it tho makes all the difference.

Children see Celestials and adults tell their children to ignore them because their parents told them what they saw wasn't real. Puzzles can't be put together if you can't see all the pieces.
The universe is a big place and we as individuals become rather arrogant when it comes to creating systems of measure, especially when we put ourselves in the seat of greatest authority within that universe, all the while knowing we don't know everything.

I think the saying that we only use 10% of our mental capacity lends itself to the ability to be self aware.
Great masters of scripture have made reference to subjects of science we are now becoming familiar with, even referencing the unused portions of the DNA molecule as being dormant in lesser states of consciousness and active in greater states of consciousness.

It would be seemingly obvious that we would not have the initiative or the need to rise above our current usage of intelligence, even to try and develop stimulants for the mental and physical processes if we did not believe it could be improved upon.

I don't believe the statement that we only use 10% of our mental capacity is invalid. I do also believe that Myth is founded on factual and relevant ideas.
Joseph Campbell was one of those great minds who dove into Myth to discover the hidden truths that lay buried under so much opinion.
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Cassox
post Aug 09, 2008, 04:15 PM
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That argument is an example of the cart pulling the horse. You obviously want to believe people are capable of so much than they are generally accomplishing, thus people MUST only use 10% of their brains? What exactly are you referring to in terms of portions of DNA being dormant? Of course the vast majority of DNA is dormant. When a gene is expressed a protein is formed. We don't want all of our proteins being produced at all times, or a person would probably melt into a lysozomal pool. If your trying to say that wise people have activated their introns, then I have to call bullshit. Yes, it works in a sci-fi movie, but their is no support for introns being activated by Chi, ki, wisdom, jesus, or science. I would really like to see what your reading about this. I'm interested.
While I definitely am a fan of Campbell, I wouldn't look to him to support an idea in Neuroscience.
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Joesus
post Aug 09, 2008, 06:22 PM
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It's not an argument and I have no desire to draw you away from your beliefs. You are what you are because you want to be, not because you have to be.
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Phi
post Aug 09, 2008, 11:50 PM
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I believe personally that there is no end but a different way that capacity is handled. As a computer can compress, so can the brain free space to leave room for new information. In the meantime, recalling old information may come back with errors...
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Cassox
post Aug 15, 2008, 06:55 AM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Aug 09, 2008, 06:22 PM) *

It's not an argument and I have no desire to draw you away from your beliefs. You are what you are because you want to be, not because you have to be.

I'm not using the term argument that way. Any set of statements that lead up to a conclusion are an argument.
You could call it a "discussion." This isn't an issue of belief, but rather of logic. I'm not at all making the claim that if something can't be logically concluded, the it can't be valid. BUT, sometimes people have beliefs with very little support and its really only wishful thinking. My question is not "what" do you believe, but rather "Why" do you believe?
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Joesus
post Aug 15, 2008, 07:55 AM
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QUOTE
My question is not "what" do you believe, but rather "Why" do you believe?

Personal experience in witnessing the growth or expansion of conscious awareness in myself and others.
Also the participation in a few experiments that tend to lead toward the idea as it has been stated in early texts regarding expanding states of consciousness, such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras which speak of the science of Yoga revived some 5000 years ago.
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