TRUTON: The Rational Unified Theory Of Nature
Topics in Evolutionary Biology

A Fascinating Product of Evolution:
The Han-Chinese Mind and Its Unrivaled Memory Power
at the Expense of Diminished and Distorted Logic Functionality
*
by
Kalman Klim Brattman

*For comparison, please see this posting bearing the same title.
where the focus, in there, is on the Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in China.

 

0. Introduction

One of the most curious and perhaps perplexing things for a Western observer has been, for ages, to understand the Han-Chinese Mind and Mindset that appeared to be quite different in two major areas of their Mind's functionality:
  • one, with respect to its phenomenal, unrivaled memory function;
  • the other, with respect to the rather strange, logic function.

One explanation for that peculiarity of the Han-Chinese Mind functionality arguably must rest in China's long isolation from the world community that would create inevitably, pursuant to the principles of Evolutionary Biology, a new evolutionary track for the Han-Chinese people.

That a distinct biological evolutionary path took place in China cannot be negated through the ample evidence available.
A new track of biological evolution will target of course all livings in China from microbes and algae to plants and insects to all animals (aquatic, terrestrial, or aerial) that are bound of not migrating outside of the mainland China. The exquisite plants and flowers, or the exquisite animals and non-migratory birds found in China, unique in the world, are the incontestable marks of the unique evolutionary road that took place there.

Evidence towards an independent origin of the Chinese civilization is also overwhelming. The Chinese writing system is considered nowadays to be unique in the world. Anthropologists and archeologists have made great strides in establishing the independent origin of the Chinese civilization. Ancient Chinese metallurgy, for instance, reflected in a number of archeological findings show conclusively their unique nature. A separate Chinese agricultural origin is also beyond dispute through the food plants findings from ancient China and the prehistorical Near East. Of course, the Han-Chinese people were shaping and being shaped by their unique Chinese civilization in the making.

How then the Mind of the Han-Chinese people has been transformed during that separate evolutionary process that China has had undergoing? --that is the question that we have set to answer.


The biological evolution, as noted, requires environmental isolation and China indeed satisfied that condition. The environmental isolation is necessary so that the respective place be free of "contaminants" from other environments. However, the isolation factor while it is a necessary condition, it is not a sufficient one.

Biological evolution to take place requires also, asides from time, a direction of evolution that is done through a particular engine that can steer, channel, and compound the new genetic material that was generated. To achieve biological evolution, that engine of evolution always must work in one, and only one, direction with little or no interruption.

It is therefore the scope of this article to identify the engine of evolution, its direction, and its ultimate result of the evolutionarily transformed Han-Chinese Mind.


I. The Starting Point:
Searching for the Place Where People Are Forced to Use Their Memory the Most

The starting point, as a simple curiosity, was in entertaining the question where in the world people are forced to use their memory the most.

Chinese charactersUpon reflection, it was reasoned that that place must be undoubtedly China because the Chinese language writing system, by lacking an alphabet, would require a vast amount of memory in retaining the thousands of individual characters that are needed in learning and using that stunningly difficult language. Literacy in China is defined as someone who can read and write 1,500 Chinese characters. At a median level, some 5,000 Chinese characters (as the ones illustrated herein) are needed to be memorized. College graduates are required to know 7,000 to 10,000 characters. (Chinese dictionaries contain a far greater number of characters that can be in excess of 50,000.) All that is truly an almost impossible task for the capability of the Western Mind to cope with !

That the evolved Chinese Mind is capable of performing such a monumental memory task is not only short of an evolutionary miracle, but it is also a most powerful testament of the power of evolution --the ultimate engine of Nature.

Due to the enormous capabilities of the Memory functionality of the transformed Han-Chinese Mind, the entire current educational system in Mainland China is memory based and not logical based as in the Western world. (Logical inferences are being memorized rather than being created.) That memory based education in China is being implanted from an early age in a Chinese child development program and continue vigorously through the primary and high school system to the college and university levels.

The evolutionary seeds that led the Han-Chinese brain to develop into a memory-grabber machine must, of course, been implanted long before the Chinese civilization embraced its memory based writing character system, and as such we need to dig far deeper into the Han-Chinese history in discovering the origin of those seeds --the subject of the next section.

 

II. On the Singular Evolutionary Origin of the Han-Chinese Mind

The dominant and continuous characteristic of the Chinese civilization, from its prehistoric times, has been vested in cultivating "harmony" with Nature and its surrounding. The establishment of that "harmony" required in memorizing what was "good" and what was "bad" from Nature and transmitting that knowledge from generation to generation. For that evolutionary track, Logic was not needed or required and, as such, the evolution never demanded its development in any great extent. Memory, by far, became the dominant player in the development and the evolution of the Han-Chinese Mind. A foremost example that can be traced to that Memory development is the one provided by the millennia-long evolution of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) whose core evolved through the cultivation and the cataloging of herbal medicinal plants as in the sample Catalog provided below, thousands of years in the making ...
Chinese Medical Plants
Sample of Catalogued Medicinal Plants from China

As the Han-Chinese civilization evolved so was the demand for the Memory storage to increase. The appearance of a memory-based writing system using characters for each word employed appeared to be both a natural outgrow and an additional burden for the Memory capability to expand. As a result of that memory-pattern need of growth, the evolution continued unabated to push forward towards the fulfillment of that memory expansion need. To accomplish that need, the evolution has had at its disposal two venues that were both used:
1) one, through a limited physical expansion of the brain itself; and
2) the other, through a compression of a functionality of the Mind that was less in use and need which, as noted, turned out to be its Logic functionality.

With respect to the existing evidence in regard to a limited physical expansion of the Chinese brain, we note Professor J. Philippe Rushton's book
Race, Evolution, and Behaviour, published online by the Charles Darwin Research Institute where the Table below is being provided:

brain size

With respect to the compression of the Logic functionality of the Han-Chinese, we have a number of most visible signs. An evolutionary compression of the Mind's Logic functionality implies a deformation or an impairment of Logic that, if it is big enough, becomes noticeable for an entire population. So hard-to-understand behaviour of an entire population, by a Western Mind standard, is where we need to look in finding evolutionary Logic impairments.

You see, when someone enters into his/her own house and begins destroying the most valuable possessions the he/she has in the house --that can be explained and interpreted, through the Logic of the Western Mind, as an outburst of rage, anger, despair, or frustration. However, when the same act is not a single isolated occurrence, but it is being repeated over and over, every day, for a number of years --then that is something entirely different and, in the Western world that behaviour is being attributed to a mental illness and referred to as an act of clinical insanity.

Well, exactly such an act of mass insanity has been made visible to the world from the mainland China beginning from 1966 and continuing for several years. During that time, a movement in China began, on a national scale, of destroying priceless art work some of them thousand-year old. Paradoxically, that mass self-sustained rampage was called and labeled the "Cultural Revolution." It was paradoxical indeed, because that self-destructive movement (initiated by no other than the China's leader --the Communist dictator, Chairman Mao Zedong) has had noting to do with "culture" (being in fact, par excellence, anti-culture) nor has had anything to do with a "revolution" (as it was carried out by punks). No foreign enemy could have done more damage to China's national art patrimony than the damage created by its insane home-made "Cultural Revolution."

Less dramatic and perhaps humorous "strange" signs can be seen in a number of Chinese representations and behaviour defying again all Western logic. For instance, by far the biggest holiday in China is its Lunar New Year Day that falls in the middle of its winter (around the end of January or the beginning of February) yet, strangely enough, that holiday is also being dubbed as the Spring Festival. No country in the world will celebrate spring in the middle of its winter! Strange indeed.

We can go on and on, on that trail of peculiar things, so let us mention just one more. The silverware was introduced a long time ago in the Western world and the comfort and the elegance that those utensils are able to provide when we eat with them is a given. Yet, in China, to this day, silverware is hardly used. The thousand-year old primitive utensils --the chopsticks are still almost universally used and that, in itself, is baffling indeed.

Yet, perhaps the most dramatic and convincing evidence of the impaired Logic functionality of the transformed Han-Chinese Mind is in the academic achievements seen coming from today's Communist China: not one single Nobel Laureate recipient out of a population of 1.3 billions! That is a staggering statistics indeed and it must have a logical explanation for it. In the following section, we will provide that rational explanation as we identify there another component for the cause of that astonishing null result.

 

III. Harmony, Dominance and Suppression
Versus
Disturbance and Singularity
In Evolution

Evolution, as noted and recognized, is the "engine" of Nature and without it, Nature cannot exist. With that fundamental recognition in place, we can explain the evolutionary past of Nature and predict the trends of its future. We also can explain the evolutionary difference between the Western Mind and the Han-Chinese Mind that is the primary focus of this study.

Evolution can occur only when stability is being disturbed. That recognition in TRUTON is vested in its 2nd Universal Transcendental Principle (2nd UTPOT). The agent for implementing that disturbance is the Collision whose recognition in TRUTON is placed into its 3rd Universal Transcendental Principle (3rd UTPOT). The anatomy of evolution presented in TRUTON is culminating in 14th UTPOT with presenting the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Evolution to Emerge.

Continuing, we note that no physical parameter in Nature can continue to grow indefinitely and that fundamental recognition is placed in TRUTON's finite mark of creation (FV-MOC).

The package 'harmony, dominance and suppression' is the antidote of Evolution and thus, it is the recipe for stagnation. A growth through harmony, dominance and suppression is doomed to self-extinction. That is because a self-destruction condition begins now to work through a strangulation process imposed by FV-MOC. To give a concrete example of how a strangulation process works when harmony, dominance and suppression are in place, we can take a look at the most famous and well known mass extinction in Nature --the extinction of the dinosaurDinosaur some 65 million years ago. That mass extinction was not the result of some willy-nilly cosmic catastrophe (as currently is being speculated), but it was because of starvation and of the depletion of adequate quantities of oxygen.

The great majority of dinosaurs were herbivores (plan-eaters). And those plant-eater herbvores were, in the end, responsible for the mass-extinction of dinosaurs, and nothing else.

Indeed, the plant-eater dinosaurs, by having no predators, became by far the most successful --and thus the most dominant-- species on Earth. Being vegetarians, they --through overpopulation-- depleted all the feeding vegetation on Earth, that in turn reduced considerably the oxygen supply. Without adequate supply of food and oxygen, they had to become extinct. There was no way out. The crocodile, on the other hand, living in the same period with the dinosaurs, was able to survive as the oxygen and the food available in their aquatic medium was not much affected by the terrestrial catastrophic depletion.

So the extinction occurs when the domination and suppression become the main ingredients of an environment. That is because no (finite) environment can sustain an uncontrollable growth lacking an agent of transformation.

The "harmony with Nature" that was at the foundation of the Han-Chinese Mind evolutionary development, created, as noted, a specialized memory-grabber Mind unique in its memory storing capability. Finding that "harmony with Nature" was based, as noted, not on Logic (that became less and less in use) but on Memory, pushing aside Logic to a staggering extreme. The needed logical inferences were being learned by memorizing them instead of creating them. In this respect, the educated Han-Chinese Mind resembled that of a computer whose "brain" is a complex storage device capable of storing not only events, pictures, sounds, or smells, but also capable of storing entire logical inferences.

By contrast, and what a dramatic contrast, the evolution of the Western Mind followed an entirely different course that, in many way, was quite the opposite to the one of the Han-Chinese Mind. The evolutionary course of the Western Mind was a course of constant collision between the inquisitive minds probing Nature and the dogmas provided and controlled by Religion. That collision, that was absent in the evolutionary development of the Han-Chinese Mind, was able to generate a qualitatively different Mindset where Logic and not Memory became their dominant part of their functionality.

Out of collision and disturbance and not out of harmony and dominance evolution can continue to develop. With that fundamental recognition in place of how the evolution is being fueled in Nature, we want to see now how those principles of evolution manifest their existence when transplanted from Nature to Society.

 

IV. Extrapolating 'Harmony, Dominance and Suppression' from Nature to Society

We know that evolution in Nature cannot continue to exist in an environment of 'dominance and harmony' and, we also know that without the benefit of evolution such an environment is doom to self-destruction. Of course, the principles of evolution work everywhere regardless of the specific environment. As such, when that environment is being applied to Society, the result has to be the same. Looking back into the human history and civilization, we see indeed that all past civilizations of the so-called Great Empires that were based on 'dominance, harmony, and suppression' had become extinct, without exception, through self-destructive mechanisms generated by the strangulation process noted above.

The modern societies that have embraced 'dominance and harmony,' soon upon their formation have crumbled down. Of course, those were the rigid Communist societies of the Eastern Europe. Other Communist societies still in existence had to make dramatic changes for their continued survival. Most notable in this respect is the giant Communist China where its original Communist economic structure has vastly been altered with the additions of new economic 'capitalistic' reforms copied from the Western societies. That, new capitalistic business-type economic infusion, generated considerable wealth in the deprived Communist China and, as such, created the minimum condition necessary for China to continue, for now, with its altered Communist existence. But that altered Communist existence is nevertheless based on dominance and suppression with continued cultivation of forced societal "harmony" --the lethal ingredients of evolution. That is why the ultimate fate of Communist China is sealed and doomed for collapse. As in the case of the Dinosaurs, there in no way out for Communism to continue with its existence in China (or anywhere else). Out of that collapse, a new China will emerge where the societal evolution will continue implanting new evolutionary seeds.

In the nowadays Communist China, anyone that appear to be a little bit different, or have a different individual personality that could pose a threat to the cultivation of the "harmonious" society is immediately isolated and, if needed, eliminated. That imposed forced "harmony" makes impossible for a resident of mainland China to think "differently" and to be able to raise his or her head above the "harmonious" ceiling imposed from the top Communist leadership without being crushed from that top.

In such a climate of forced "harmony" no scientist of mainland China could ever come with any original ideas as the originality is being squashed by that societal "harmony." And that is the additional major component of the reason why out of 1.3 billion Chinese people residing in the Communist mainland China not one single Nobel Laureate was able to be produced. What a terrible sad statistics.

If one needs further evidence on that score, then we need not travel too far and look at the nearby Japan --the so-called great imitator-- with only a fraction of mainland China's population (of about 127 million) that was able to produce 16 Nobel Laureates since the end of World War II. The explanation for that impressive result coming from Japan is rather simple as Japan
  • was spared from embracing the Communism; and
  • was spared from continuing with employing the Chinese writing system that was abandoned in favor of an alphabet writing system, liberating thus the Japanese Mind from the Memory burden imposed by the Chinese character writing system.


V. Concluding Remarks

Using basic evolutionary principles, we were able to decipher --on a rational basis-- some of the mysteries and peculiarities surrounding the Han-Chinese Mind as related to its singular evolutionary road that has traveled.

The recognition of the two different evolutionary tracks that Nature has traveled with respect to the evolution and the development of the human species will open perhaps a new vista in our understanding of the stunningly different Chinese Mindset that was shaped and which shaped the unique Chinese civilization in the making.

The power of evolution, as we have seen has two swords: on one hand, it is the instrument of growth and development; and, on the other hand, when is contained it transforms into a lethal instrument of self-destruction. That arguably is part of the grand universal cycle of Nature where new evolutionary niches are being born out of the destruction left behind by the suppressed evolutionary forces.

In a society, the evolution is its backbone of existence that continuosly is forced to expand creating new venues of development. For instance, for several millennia, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was the only system of medicine in China. With the opening-up of China, the westernized medicine reign now supreme in the nowadays China. There are fewer and fewer TCM hospitals in China that can offer only "pure" Chinese medicine. And that, of course, is no accident.

The betterment of a society cannot coexist without the aid of evolution and that is why societies that limit evolution are doomed to be left behind and ultimately doomed to self-extiction. There is no exception on that score.

The Han-Chinese Mind has traveled a long evolutionary road. With the advent of the Communism in the mainland China, that road has been considerably impaired. The roadblocks that have been placed are not able to be contained for too much longer. That is because, as in a snow avalanche, the build-up of the unleashed accumulated forces can no longer be contained. We are indeed at the verge of witnessing a major social avalanche able through its tremor and rumble to shake-up and crumble the Communism in Red China any time now. That is because once the conditions for an avalanche are met, the actual triggering mechanism of an avalanche requires in fact very little disturbance.

   

Liu Xiaobo
That little societal disturbance is what the nowadays Chinese Communist leadership fears the most in clinging desperately to their captured power and control. "The writing on the wall" looms larger and larger with every single passing day. There is nothing, but absolutely nothing, that can stop that trend although the current economic boom in China will slow down for a little longer the inevitable outcome... The voice of the murdered Chinese political prisoner and Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo gets lauder and lauder with each passing day... The day will come, with an absolute certainty, when China will celebrate the Liu Xiaobo Day as its National Liberation Day!

 



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