Back Home Up Next

 

Hypothesis for the evolution of Four functions

    My current hypothesis for the development of the four cognitive functions is that in our mammalian ancestors and other animals today the qualities of the four functions are actually more or less integrated in two sensory lobes. These animals perceive two seasons, a dry season and a wet season. This is and was the typical whether pattern within a certain range of latitude north and south of the equator. However over millions of years our ancestors extended their range to probably the 25° to 45° latitudes where there are instead four seasons. I argue that for reasons of natural selection as well as the continuous process of evolution the frontal lobes developed and took on the same type of functions as their previous two lobes, that is perceiving and judging but this division and specialization separated the features into mutually exclusive areas. In other words even though both thinking and feeling are judging/reasoning functions they process completely opposite types of data. Feeling reasons all perceptions in terms of their subjective value, that is in what value they have to the individual or other people. Thinking on the other hand reasons all perceptions based on objective ‘non-human’ qualities. Sensing perceives environmental data that can be interpreted by our sensory organs while iNtuition perceives data that can not be perceived by our senses, a.k.a. sixth sense. In the months ahead I predict that people will come to realize what fantastic qualities well developed intuition has to offer. I am aware of them but don’t think it’s appropriate to present yet.

    I have a several tenuous theories to support the hypothesis that each of the four functions represent each of the four distinct seasons. I believe Sensing represents Winter, Feeling represents Spring, iNtuition represents Summer and Thinking represents Fall. I have written at length of this elsewhere but I’ll just sum a couple of points. I believe that distinct pattern recognition (see below) for each function corresponds with the different patterns in the physical environment. With individuals in a group with specialized abilities for each season this would give both the individual and the group a survival advantage in an environment that changes every three months. It’s difficult for us today to imagine the significance of this but pretend you had only your body and you were in a land without anything but the natural environment and you were expected to find food, water and shelter by yourself. I think you might then agree your greatest survival advantage would be your mind. Since people have one quadrant that consumes 1/100 the energy as the other three quadrants and they only need to use two functions to get by in a group of people there is also a significant savings in caloric energy if individuals specialize.

    Additionally, I believe the latitude from the equator environmentally selects for certain cognitive preferences. That is, I believe there should be statistically more INTx the closer you get to either pole and a higher percentage of ESFx the closer you get to the equator. While I believe this can easily be demonstrated by determination of the personality type of the "culture" today I believe the selection for an individuals survival was greater pre-civilization.

    The second theory is associated with the female reproductive system. Women menstruate based on a lunar cycle and the fetus gestates on a three season (9 month) cycle. Prior to the development of a written language I believe females played an equal if not revered role in human society. I think this argument is presented in, "The Alphabet versus the Goddess, The conflict between word and image" by Leonard Shlain. Anyway, for increased survival of offspring there has to be a relationship between female reproduction and the environment. I believe this has been clearly proven with regards to other mammalian species.

    While I have very little data and research to support a clear pattern I believe environment, latitude and primarily the female reproductive system and female dominant cognitive function are the primary determinants for an offspring’s cognitive specialization. In a related fashion, I believe that a person’s functional orientation can determine the time of year they are at their reproductive peak. I’ll use myself as an INTP example. I was born in the fall, November, and that corresponds to my dominant function of Thinking. As an introvert I propose that my reproductive peak would correspond with my inferior function, which is Felling hence Spring. That corresponds with my subjective response. On the other hand my twin brother is ESFJ. According to the MBTI we are opposites but if you look at functional notation we are not. I am Ti Ne Si Fe and an ESFJ is Fe Si Ne Ti. Our functions are in the exact same attitudes but are in reverse order of preference. This is a simplistic example as I believe the actual determination is very complicated. Never the less, I believe a pattern could be obtained eventually. To demonstrate the complexity my example is easily proven false as there are several INTPs on the Yahoo! INTP club that were not born in the fall. However, nearly all of those who were not born in the fall they were all born in the spring. Two of them had the same birth date. I still believe there is a pattern as it has held up well for about 7 of 10 of the people I did investigate.

    Here is a new article regarding a study that found an unexplained relationship between latitude and gender.  The article identifies 'birthplace' based on latitude as being statistically significant.  I contend that latitude of fertilization and gestation is more significant but I doubt people are recording such things. 

Baby's Gender Linked to Birthplace Latitude
Fri Apr 26,10:26 AM ET
By Alison McCook
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People tend to give birth to higher numbers of boys in certain regions of the world, a curious trend that appears to be linked to latitude, new research reports.

The investigators found that, in Europe, more boys are born in southern latitudes, while in North America, more boys are reported in the northern region of the continent.

"We are unable to explain these findings, which do not support a temperature-related effect," the researchers noted in the April 27th issue of the British Medical Journal.

    I suggest that gravitational fields are likely involved with skewing the odds.  In the case of gender selection there is already a process that selects X and Y chromosome sperm based on the amount of DNA, sperm with X having more (See article, It’s a Girl!).  If you think that gravitational fields can not exert some influence on sperm selection by latitude then please consider and attempt to dismiss the significance of the fact that human females menstruate on a lunar cycle, gestate offspring on a multiple lunar cycle, ocean tides globally are caused by the moon, and some geologists have only recently begun to discern a verifiable and predictive pattern in volcanic activity and lunar cycles.

Are Volcanic Eruptions Tied to Lunar Cycle?
Brian Handwerk, For National Geographic News, February 15, 2002

If predicting eruptions is a confusing puzzle, volcano hunters Steve and Donna O'Meara believe that they may have identified a key piece. The husband-and-wife team are investigating a connection that some volcano watchers have noted since early times, but none has adequately studied—the role of the moon in affecting volcanic activity.

The O'Mearas' interest in this lunar theory began by chance back in 1996, while the duo was studying an erupting volcano in the field. Steve is an astronomer by training, and it was his experience in this seemingly unrelated field that led him to a fateful discovery.

While compiling detailed journals of his scientific observations, he began to notice a correlation between increasing volcanic activity and lunar cycles. Pouring through stacks of data he had collected over twenty years in the field, Steve examined past eruptions and saw some of the same patterns. Further research suggested that a lunar pattern was also apparent in some famous historic eruptions, such as Krakatoa in 1883.

Other observers throughout history had noted the possibility of such a connection, but always as a footnote, and always when looking back at eruptions that had already occurred. No one had given the matter comprehensive study, and no one had attempted to employ these lunar patterns as one of the tools to predict future volcanic eruptions.

    Historically many philosophers have proposed that people were comprised of four fundamental elements, Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. I’ve thought of two ways that could be identified. I’ll list them in a table.

Element Cognitive Function Biology
Earth Sensing Carbon, Potassium, Sodium, other minerals
Water Feeling Water
Wind Intuition Oxygen, Nitrogen, CO2
Fire Thinking Neurons, Electro-chemical, quantum physics

    It's reasonable to assume that if functional localization is real that evidence of it should be found by researchers attempting to substantiate a variety of views.  

Why God Won't Go Away : Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
by Andrew Newberg M.D., Eugene G. D'Aquili Ph.D., Vince Rause, Andrew B. Newberg, Eugene D'Aquili
“Over the centuries, theories have abounded as to why human beings have a seemingly irrational attraction to God and religious experiences. In Why God Won't Go Away authors Andrew Newberg, M.D., Eugene D'Aquili, M.D., and Vince Rause offer a startlingly simple, yet scientifically plausible opinion: humans seek God because our brains are biologically programmed to do so. “

“Researchers Newberg and D'Aquili used high-tech imaging devices to peer into the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns. As the data and brain photographs flowed in, the researchers began to find solid evidence that the mystical experiences of the subjects "were not the result of some fabrication, or simple wishful thinking, but were associated instead with a series of observable neurological events," explains Newberg. "In other words, mystical experience is biologically, observably, and scientifically real.... Gradually, we shaped a hypothesis that suggests that spiritual experience, at its very root, is intimately interwoven with human biology." Lay readers should be warned that although the topic is fascinating, the writing is geared toward scientific documentation that defends the authors' hypothesis.“

    In the Expression section of this site I provide several examples of how the four functions have been identified and manifest cross culturally in examples that span thousands of years.  If you review David Keirsey’s work at http://www.keirsey.com you will find his identification of four temperaments that match those in Genesis, (The Four Temperaments: Guardian, Artisan, Rational, Idealist).   While he has several sound observations I think some of his explanations lead to confusion because he has not or refuses to incorporate physiological evidence in his work.  I definitely disagree with his classification of Ghandi as an Idealist but his mistake is understandable.  If one examines an enlightened persons teachings through the filter of superficial religious teachings one is not likely to recognize the rational cause and effect logic at its root.  For a different presentation of Keirsey's four temperaments in relation to personality I recommend investigating Linda V. Berens' work.  The chart to the right was found on this page; Essential Qualities of the 16 Personality Type Patterns.  The content may be difficult to read so I retyped it below.

Genesis 4:20-26 :: King James Version (KJV)
4:020 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.  (Guardian)
4:021 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.  (Artisan)
4:022 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.  (Rational)
4:026 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.  (Idealist)

The Four Temperament Patterns
GUARDIAN
– Concrete/Affiliative
Membership or Belonging Responsibility or Duty
LOGISTICAL – Organizing, Facilitating, Checking and Supporting

ARTISAN – Concrete/Pragmatic
Freedom to Act Ability to Make an Impact
TACTICAL – Actions, Composing, Producing, and Motivating

RATIONAL – Abstract/Pragmatic
Mastery and Self-Control Knowledge and Competence
STRATEGIC – Engineering, Conceptualizing, Theorizing, and Coordinating

IDEALIST – Abstract/Affiliative
Meaning and Significance Unique Identity
DIPLOMATIC: Clarifying, Unifying, Individualizing, and Inspiring

Back Home Up Next