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TODAY JUNE 28, 2017

Human DNA carries some physics knowledge

Human DNA carries some physics knowledge University of Missouri researcher concludes that babies are born with intuitive physics knowledge. It turns out that newly born infants carry some environmental knowledge. Studies of Kristy vanMarle of the Department of Psychological Sciences prove that infant brains are filled with knowledge of basic physics laws. The MU Developmental Cognition Lab carries on research on infant knowledge of the world. The information is obtained by measuring an infant’s gaze when he is presented with different scenarios. The research reveals that humans are born with expectations about the objects around them, even though that knowledge has never been taught to them. With age and experience this knowledge is refined and eventually leads to the abilities we use as adults. Since the algorithm for the child growth and development, including brains, is carried by DNA, the new findings tell us that DNA carries information about some basic laws of nature. It is not quite clear yet whether the knowledge acquired by the parents can be transferred to their offspring through DNA or not.

Evidence for some knowledge of physics appears in infants as young as two months. This is the earliest age when a testing can be done. Two-month-old children appear to known that unsupported objects fall due to gravity. They know that hidden objects do not cease to exist. Thus such young infants seem to know about the law of gravity and the principle of mass/matter conservation. These laws of physics have been formulated by Newton and by Lavoisier and Lomonosov.

The researchers believe that infants are born with the ability to form expectations and they use these expectations to predict the future. Intuitive physics include skills that adults use all the time. Parents can greatly improve the skills, which are already present at birth. To improve the skills parents simply need to interact as much as possible with their infants. Complex games and methods are not useful, children only need much interaction with their parents and nothing else. The results of this research appeared in the January issue of WIREs Cognitive Science. The paper is titled “Physics for infants: characterizing the origins of knowledge about objects, substances and number.”

Source: UM

Human DNA carries some physics knowledge

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