In the case of the sea hare, it requires a gene in its DNA that tells it where to grow a sensory nerve cell, which senses the impact of the water, where to grow a motor nerve cell, which controls the contraction of its gills, and how to get the two nerve cells to find each other and make a connection.
Thus, the innate stimulus reflex patterns that genetic material can encode must be limited and used only to prepare for life and death matters, such as finding food, mating, running away, attacking and defending.
It is hard to imagine that a complex task, such as reading a book, writing a book, singing a song, drawing a picture, working out an equation, or attending a lecture while “getting” at work, can be preprogrammed with a response pattern.Our genetic material can’t hold it, and neither can our brains.
The second flaw is that the stimulus-reflex pattern is blind.
What does that mean?That is to say, no amount of repetition in this model can be turned into accumulated experience.
The organism can only mechanically repeat the same response each time it is exposed to the same stimulus.The wrong response, it can not do a fall into the pit gain a wisdom;Reflection, if it is right, does not sum up success.
That’s a big question.
You can imagine, if an animal will always remember where may have an abundance of food, which might be haunted by predators, where mating are more likely to find the right mate, can only rely on innate response mode, smell where have to eat, every time go to where have a spouse, it must live very hard, very inefficient.
So what can be done to make animals’ behavior patterns more resilient to the ever-changing environment of the planet?
Yes, it is learning.
In my view, the biological nature of learning is the process by which life experience modifies the patterns of reflexive stimuli that are innate.
With the ability to learn, the environment is no longer permanently alien and dark to the animal.
They can know from past experience that the probability of food on the left side of the mountain is higher than on the right, so if you are hungry, you should go to the left side first;
They can also learn from experience that there may be prolonged wave irritation ahead, so it’s best to protect their gills well.
This is even more important for intelligent life.
It is only with the ability to learn that we will be able to master such new skills as reading and writing, communicating, flying into the sky and the seas, or even making munitions ships, which nature has never seen before and for which our genetic material has never been prepared.