mammalian brain

Christianity is False and Its High Time to Accept It

What follows is an organized way of communicating what I’ve said thus far in a debate on Facebook; I apologize in advance for the length, but if you ever wanted more practical approaches to showing the many flaws of Christianity, here are some ways:

You do realize that atheists see “interpretative” as a copout? When a fact is too uncomfortable to read literally, it is considered allegory. I think Paul’s theology is quite clear about the first man called Adam. In fact, on Paul, Jesus’ entire sacrifice is contingent on the idea of a first man who brought sin and death; it’s dependent on some reading of the Fall in Genesis 3. Of course, I’m not going to push young-Earth or even old-Earth creationism on you or any Christian. I think the more elegant readings of Genesis 1-3 are allegorical. Allegories are no substitute for content though.

That is to say that some of the details are pertinent. Six days isn’t pertinent, but the idea of man and woman are. The idea of a separation from god, via a Fall from grace, is also important. Paul saw this and pounced on it. He made it pretty central to his theology, in fact. I don’t think that can be waved away so easily without sacrificing a cornerstone of Pauline theology. Paul in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 is quite clear about his explanation of sin and its origin. Without Paul’s interpretation, you’re left with wide-ranging conjecture–hence my suggestion that evolution and Christianity are incompatible.

Towards the end, you say that the biggest challenge to atheism is the improbability of abiogenesis. This seems to imply god of gaps reasoning, but I’ll set that aside. Evolution isn’t “only a theory.” I’m sure you’ve heard this and probably think this is an atheist’s way to insult your intelligence, but when we say that theory means something different in science, we aren’t trying to insult you. It’s a simple fact. Theory, colloquially, is a hunch. There’s a loud bang in your next door neighbor’s home and you say, “I have a hunch: Kathy dropped her iron again.” That’s not what science means by theory. A theory in science is a well-established representation of an actual phenomenon in nature; crucially, this means that Darwin’s evolution by natural selection is not synonymous with evolution as observed in nature. We know this because Darwin’s natural selection is not mutation or genetic drift, for example. Evolution occurs via five mechanisms, per se, and natural selection is but one of those five. So it isn’t only a theory; it is a well-established representation of evolution.

Also, evolution need not hinge on abiogenesis. You implied that a theist can accept evolution. Abiogenesis, however, does not have the issues you say it does. Michael Behe and others might cite information theory as a problem and, as they commonly do, they might even employ Hoyle’s fallacy to argue that the probability of abiogenesis is even lower than a junkyard tornado building a 747. This is disingenuous. For one, abiogenesis isn’t a theory; it is a term that describes a cluster of theories concerning the origins of life on Earth. I’ll be the first to admit that solving this puzzle comes with difficulty, but this difficulty shouldn’t discourage anyone so much that they move the buck into a supernatural explanation.

Put it this way, consciousness is also mysterious and yet, if one accepts evolution, namely gradual change in alleles and in populations over time, then consciousness arises naturally; even human consciousness and its perspicacity for quantitative reasoning and logic emerged without divine intervention. The human brain doesn’t escape the evolutionary portrait; it falls squarely within it and can be explained within the confines of the theory. Evolutionary biologists even speak of the evolution of brain regions and parts like the frontal lobe, neocortex, amgydala, and claustrum.

Given what I said above, the next extrapolation is that life emerged naturally as well. In a causally closed universe, this is very likely. Also, life is nothing more than animate chemistry, inorganic elements made organic. Chemists, and even I in my dim capacities as a student, are able to produce organic compounds from inorganic elements. Now all that one needs is a way to bring this to life and give it experience until one reaches all the way up to the higher mammalian brain. This picture is entirely consistent with the naturalism I espouse. Far from the biggest challenge to atheism, an atheist can rightfully anticipate that this is but another god-shaped gap that will be filled with future knowledge. God no longer occupies the gaps that once existed, e.g., the evolution of the eye; the diversity of life; morality; consciousness; the origin of the universe. Soon this gap will close as well and there will be no ignorance to point to.

My honest assessment: you’ve been led astray by the sophistry of apologists. Admittedly, they write in a clear manner and can be quite gifted in communicating their points. I can see why some people are seduced by what they say, but one can never forget that they have a vested interest at the start, which is to say that they started with a preferred conclusion and want nothing more than to prove it or, at the very least, show it to be rational. I don’t ignore that and that is why I consult more disinterested sources. Despite what people like Strobel and Behe claim, information theory presents no problems for abiogenesis. All of the issues present in the study are due to the nature of what’s being studied, namely life’s origins; it’s already a hard nut to crack, but that certainly doesn’t justify a move to the supernatural.

Commanding murder and carrying it out are morally equal. See 1 Samuel 15:3. That’s a command. Or consider the census of Israel. He murdered thousands via his angel; safe to say some were infants and children, don’t you think? How about the plague of the firstborns in the times of Pharaoh? I’m not a Christian because I’ve read the entire Bible. Curious that it’s god’s word, but few Christians care about everything he had to tell us. I realized very quickly that the Bible was neither inspired nor written by a benevolent god.

The Bible need not be read literally all the time, but there’s no way to read 1 Samuel 15 as an allegory. It was written as embellished history. Samuel was anointed of god, a prophet; god often spoke through him. When Saul was cast out and stripped of his kingdom, Samuel delivered that message. So when is god speaking and when is he not? Is it not him when it’s something this horrible?

Historical context: this sort of thing was acceptable as virtually all ancient religions have morally repulsive stories and epics like this. The early Israelites wanted to boast of a conquest that never occurred. They fabricated a history and in turn, proved their god to be nothing more than a figment of their own imaginations, a monster made in their own conqueror image. It’s not curious that war gods show up at different points in history, each having a peculiar interest in the group that believes in this god. Another case of the triangle believing god to have three sides… (And he writes and speaks their language too; what a coincidence!)

If the Bible, supposedly god’s word, reads “Thus the Lord said” or something like that, any reader should assume that the character of god is speaking. It’s like the red letters meant to show when Jesus is speaking. If Jesus suddenly said something deplorable, “bring my enemies to me and slay them before me,” it isn’t on the reader to decide that he didn’t really say that. The Bible is telling you and me that god actually said this–that, at some point in history, he saw such a command as moral. This isn’t in the context of a 3000 year old culture; this is in the context of a timeless entity, an entity who would presumably never issue such a command.

As for the New Testament, it seems you’re not yet as involved with Christianity as I was. The sacrifices of the OT were but a type of the ultimate sacrifice in the NT (see the book of Hebrews, specifically Paul’s explication of what Christ’s Priesthood entails). Abraham’s almost sacrifice of Isaac was an anticipation of Christ. Every sentient mammal that lost its life in these sacrifices were mere prelude to a living, breathing man dying to serve as our scapegoat. The blood sacrifice connects the OT and NT and tells us that the ancient war god of Israel didn’t really change much; he’s still as immoral as he was then, but has mercy now because he became man and died in our place. Yet this only makes sense given other details, like the Fall and aspects of Pauline theology that you appeared to reject earlier today.

I know of plenty of Christians who think god penned the Bible; they all think he inspired it, as in, inspired men to write exactly what they wrote and to an unknown purpose. Passages in the OT leave one perplexed and seem to have no real meaning at all. Leviticus is nonsense; we are reading about people being told about the correct way to sacrifice sheep and various animals, and which animals are deemed unclean.

I’ve given you my basis for morality three times now: one should never treat people as a means but always as an end in themselves. This isn’t my standard; this is Immanuel Kant’s prescription, a prescription that works better than Jesus’ egoist Golden Rule and other ethical theories like utilitarianism and normative relativism. It’s a clear cut standard: humans are autonomous, self-legilsating, rational beings. Sometimes these beings fail to recognize this in others and therefore, commit crimes against other people. That being the case, they are to be held accountable for their actions; we should not mete justice on their kin. As stated, god would have been privy to that truth already. Yet he visits the sins of the fathers up to four generations and punished an entire species for a vague Fall back in prehistory only to redeem us to him through a human sacrifice. It’s a barbaric story that doesn’t inspire me to belief. I can only look at it in disbelief–as I look at similar tales.

These last bits are very practical ways in which one can not only reject Christianity but debase it in its entirety. The OT and the NT are related blood covenants. Even Christians forget this as they sometimes try to draw a thick, rigid line to separate the two. They are not, by any means, separate, but are intertwined in an intimate way. In fact, you can’t read so-called Pauline theology without going back to read where he’s getting his ideas from. Christianity is false and its best for Christians to just leave atheists like myself alone. I have well-thought out and wide-ranging reasons for rejecting this religion: scientific, philosophical, ethical, anthropological, historical, and practical ways for rejecting this religion. If you are not interested in fielding the variety of ways I can challenge your religion, then it’s best to walk away. Stepping into a discussion will guarantee you getting frustrated and hurling insults and even threats. In six years debating these topics, it has been the most common experience. Christians are content in believing they’ve found the truth, so the realization that they might not know the truth is truly unnerving; for them to think that they might be wrong scares them to no end. I’m not afraid of being wrong; I have been. That’s why I no longer believe. Accept that and stop issuing a challenge you can’t handle.


Common Raven (C. corax)

Genus Name: Corvus

Name Meaning: Raven or Crow

First Described: 1758

Described By: Linnaeus

Cape Crow (C. capensis

ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Paraves, Eumaniraptora, Averaptora, Avialae, Euavialae, Avebrevicauda, Pygostylia, Ornithothoraces, Euornithes, Ornithuromorpha, Ornithurae, Neornithes, Neognathae, Neoaves, Passerea, Telluraves, Australaves, Eufalconimorphae, Psittacopasserae, Passeriformes, Passeri, Corvida, Corvoidea, Corvidae, True Crows

American Crow (C. brachyrhynchos

Referred Species: C. albus, C. albicollis, C. bennetti, C. brachyrhynchos, C. capensis, C. caurinus, C. cornix, C. corone, C. corax, C. coronoides, C. crassirostris, C. cryptoleucus, C. dauuricus, C. edithae, C. enca, C. florensis, C. frugilegus, C. fuscicapillus, C. hawaiiensis, C. imparatus, C. insularis, C. jamaicensis, C. kubaryi, C. leucognaphalus, C. macrorhynchos, C. meeki, C. mellori, C. monedula, C. moneduloides, C. nasicus, C. orru, C. ossifragus, C. palmarum, C. rhipidurus, C. ruficollis, C. sinaloae, C. splendens, C. tasmanicus, C. torquatus, C. tristis, C. typicus, C. unicolor, C. validus, C. violaceus, C. woodfordi, C. galushai (extinct), C. larteti (extinct), C. praecorax (extinct), C. simionescui (extinct), C. hungaricus (extinct), C. moravicus (extinct), C. pliocaenus (extinct), C. antecorax (extinct), C. betfianus (extinct), C. fossilis (extinct), C. neomexicanus (extinct), C. antipodum (extinct), C. impluviatus (extinct), C. moriorum (extinct), C. pumilis (extinct), C. viriosus (extinct)

Northwestern Crow (C. caurinus

Corvus is a huge genus of Neornithean dinosaurs that evolved around 17 million years ago, in the Burdigalian age of the Miocene epoch of the Neogene period. The group evolved in Central Asia, originally, but now has extended to almost all major landmasses, except for South America. A group of crows is called a flock or a murder, though I formally propose combining them into a Murder Flock. There are around 60 species both extinct and extant of the animal, around a third of the members of the group Corvidae, but they all do share some common features. 

Torresian Crow (C. orru

Corvus are usually all black or with some white and grey feathers, depending on the species. They’re usually quite large and stout, with strong beaks and legs, and have limited sexual dimorphism. They gather in large, communal roosts between 200 and tens of thousands of individuals. They usually gather during the nonbreeding months, especially winter, near large food centers. They make a wide variety of calls and vocalizations and even respond to calls of other species, which is a learned behavior depending on region. Though they have complex vocalization, it is unclear what these vocalizations mean, and there is no real clear understanding of Corvus language. 

Chihuahuan Raven (C. cryptoleucus

Corvus is the smartest genus of dinosaur, and certain species top the avian IQ scale. Many species of Corvus engage in play, an activity characteristic of high intelligence. They often can be seen sliding down snowbanks, engaging in games with other species, and performing spectacular displays in the air. They even can make toys, breaking off twigs to play with socially. Wild Hooded Crows have learned to use bread crumbs for bait-fishing, and many crows engage in mid-air jousting to establish pecking order. They engage in sports and games, tool use, and they hide and store food across seasons. They even have Episodic-like memory, encoding and retrieving information about what, where, and when events occurred. 

Tamaulipas Crow (C. imparatus

The New Caledonian Crow manufactures and uses tools in its daily search for food, mainly by plucking, smoothening and bending twigs and grass stems to procure food. Crows in Queensland have learned to eat cane toads by flipping the toxic amphibian onto its back and stabbing the throat in the thinner part of the skin, allowing access to nontoxic food in the frog itself, and they use their long beaks to get all of this food. Some species have Nidopallium, a region of the bird brain used for executive functions and higher tasks, similar in size and functionality as the neocortex in chimp and humans. 

Pied Crow (C. albus)

Crows can distinguish individual humans by recognizing their facial features. They are also capable of displacement, aka communicating about things that are happening in a different space or time from where they are. The smartest and type species of Corvus, the Common Raven, may be the second smartest species of animal in the world, only following humans - debate reigns due to differences between the Avian and Mammalian brains, and the difficulty in measuring absolute intelligence levels. Crows are capable of solving problems through invention rather than trial and error, and are also capable of deceiving other crows - while that may seem morally wrong to us, lying is an excellent measure of intelligence of animals, as the animal has to pretend that something else is happening than reality. I’m just saying, we don’t know what they’re saying, and they’re really smart - they’re plotting against us. 

White-Necked Raven (C. albicollis

Crows are an omnivorous type of dinosaur, with a very diverse diet. They eat other birds, fruits, nuts, mollusks, earthworms, seeds, frogs, eggs, nestlings, mice, and carrion. Scarecrows in crop fields supposedly work to stop crows from damaging and scavenging in the fields, though they actually often eat insects that are attracted to the crops and perhaps Scarecrow use does more harm than good. They are found in major cities across the world, and are very good at utilizing human-made habitats for their own survival. Because they’re geniuses. And plotting to take us over. 

Rook (C. frugilegus

Crows on the whole reach sexual maturity at 3 years old for females and 5 years for males. They lay between 3 and 9 eggs, which take 20 to 40 days to hatch. Many species of crow mate for life, and young from previous years help nesting pairs protect and feed the new hatchlings. These complex social groups, thus, oftentimes resemble our own. However, in urban environments nestlings face real threats from human-made materials being used in nests, and stunted growth due to poor nutrition. Some crows live up to the age of 20, and the oldest known crow in the wild was nearly 30. However, in captivity, the oldest crow died at 59. 

Collared Crow (C. torquatus

Though crows on the whole are not typically endangered or even threatened, there are many species that are rarer in the wild and threatened. The Hawaiian crow, or ‘alala, is extinct in the wild; conservation efforts in order to increase numbers of this species have not been widely successful. This sharp decline and wild extinction of this species can probably be attributed to, sadly, human causes, as the delicate and isolated ecosystem of Hawai’i was greatly negatively affected by invasive species (both purposeful and accidental) brought over due to human expansion into the region. 

Carrion Crow (C. corone

Given their high levels of intelligence, most species of the bird are adaptable and opportunistic despite human activity. They cause damage to crops and property, dig around through human trash, and very few cheap control methods are available. Hunting of the species is allowed in the United States, though their general intelligence and wariness makes it a difficult activity. To limit crow invasiveness and presence, scare tactics usually work best; trapping is less successful. Crows also may, however, prove useful to humans - an idea presented by Joshua Klein based on crow foraging behavior suggests that crows could be trained to pick up human garbage, deliver it to a vending machine of sorts, which would then give the crow a reward for cleaning up after our mess. While I don’t think we need to involve crows in human capitalism and should clean up our own messes, I doubt the crows would care about the easily available food. 

Little Crow (C. bennetti

Though the group Corvidae originated in Australia, Corvus and other closely related species had already migrated up to Asia by the time Corvus had diverged. However, their evolutionary relationships remain unclear; geographic region and close-relatedness might not actually be correlated, and many species are very similar in appearance. A thorough systematic review of the genus is, therefore, necessary to determine their evolutionary history. Crows are very common in the fossil record of Europe, however, it is unclear how extinct crows are evolutionarily related to modern species. 

Western Jackdaw (C. monedula

There are many species of Corvus, and thus I will go through a brief overview of all of them. C. albus, or the Pied Crow, is an African crow species that is not endangered. It has a length of approximately 46 to 52 centimeters and live in pairs or small family groups, feeding on insects and other small animals. They have characteristic white patches of feathers on the chest and belly. They may be a modern link between Eurasian crows and the Common raven. White necked ravens, on the other hand, or C. albicollis, also are unthreatened and live in Africa. They are only about 50 to 54 cm long, but is one of the larger raven species, and they have a very large distinctive beak and a small patch of white feathers on the back of the neck. They obtain most of their food from the ground and mostly engage in scavenging. 

Thick-billed raven (C. crassirostris

Little crows, C. bennetti, live in Australia and are not endangered; they are only about 38 to 45 cm long with small bills, eating mostly food from the ground and nesting in small, loose colonies. The American Crow, C. brachyrhynchos, is a very common crow that, however, is highly susceptible to West Nile Virus. They live almost entirely in the United States, and there are four subspecies depending on location. They have iridescent black feathers all over the body, and live about 7-8 years in the wild, though in captivity they may live up to 30 years. They are ominvorous, and live in monogamous cooperative breeding families, with mated pairs staying together for many years while offspring help take care of the new young. 

Brown-Necked Raven (C. ruficollis

The Cape crow, C. capensis, is a not endangered crow from Africa, eating grains and other seeds and nesting near the tops of trees. They also can be seen eating small animals such as frogs. It is about 48 to 50 cm long. The Northwestern Crow (C. caurinus) is a very similar bird to the American crow, though it lives primarily in Northwestern Canada. It eats mainly stranded fish, shellfish, crabs and mussels, but they build typically solitary nests. It is about 33 to 41 cm long. The Hooded Crow, C. cornix, lives in Europe and Western Asia, as well as in Egypt. It has extensive white feathers all over the body and is approximately 48 to 52 cm long, eating an omnivorous diet. They nest near the ground, incubated by mated pairs, and is not endangered. 

Fish Crow (C. ossifragus

The Carrion Crow, C. corone, is also not endangered, native to Western Europe and Eastern Asia. It has a black plumage with green and purple sheens, about 48 to 52 cm long, smaller than the Common Raven; it is a very noisy bird, eating many types of carrion and adapting well to urban environments. They build nests in tall trees as well as cliffs and buildings, with older offsprings helping new hatchlings. The Common raven,C. corax, ultimately the most famous type of crow, is also not endangered. It lives extensively in the Northern Hemisphere and is the heaviest Passerine bird, at about 63 cm long. They coexist well with humans and often are kept as pets. They are the second smartest animal after humans (probably), and have large and heavy beaks. They travel in mated pairs while younger birds form flocks, and are omnivorous and highly opportunistic. Juveniles court other birds at a very young age but do not bond for two to three years, and need to gather a territory before breeding. They often steal and store shiny objects, and juveniles are particularly curious.

Little Raven (C. mellori

The Australian raven, C. coronoides, is also not endangered, and has prominent throat hackles (very thick feathers on the throat) that distinguish it from the Australian Crow. It lives in Australia in open woodland and transitional habitats and is an omnivorous animal, with very white irises in the adults. Juvenile Australian Ravens leave their parents and join flocks at 4 to 5 months of age, with adults forming breeding pairs, beginning at three years of age. They are, in general, 53 cm long. The Thick-billed raven, C. crassirostris, is a raven from the Horn of Africa. Its about 64 cm long and has a very large and distinctive bill, feeding on an omnivorous diet. It is not endangered. The Chihuahuan raven is also not endangered (C. cryptoleucus), living in southern United States and Mexico. It’s about 44 to 51 cm long and feeds on grains, insects and invertebrates, building nests in trees, shrubs, and buildings. 

House Crow (C. splendens

The Daurian Jackdaw, C. dauuricus, is not endangered and lives in Eastern Asia. It is about 32 cm long and is a very social species, eating grains, insects, berries, carrion, and nesting in trees. The Somali Crow, C. edithae, is about 44 to 46 cm long, living in Eastern Africa and building bulky nests on trees and telegraph poles. The slender-billed crow, C. enca, is not endangered and lives in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the PHilippines, nesting in tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests and mangroves. 

Hooded Crow (C. cornix

The Flores Crow, C. florensis, lives in Indonesia and is threatened. It lives in tropical dry forests and lowland moist forests, and its habitat is sadly threatened by human activity, leading to its endangerment. The Rook, C. frugilegus, is not endangered and lives in Europe and Asia. It’s about 45 to 47 cm long, with a distinctive blue and purple sheen to its feathers, which are very dense and silky. It eats mainly earthworms and insect larvae, nesting in colonial rookeries. Young birds collect into large flocks in the fall, and has been documented using tools - a rook near a tub of water with a worm at the top of the water that it could not reach figured out that to raise the water level, all it had to do was stick pebbles in the water. Nature is amazing. 

Hawaiian Crow (C. hawaiiensis

The Brown-headed crow, C. fuscicapillus, is a near-threatened bird from Indonesia that lives in moist lowland forests and mangrove forests. As such, it is near threatened due to habitat loss. The Hawaiian crow, C. hawaiiensis, or ‘alalā, is extinct in the wild. It is about 48 to 50 cm long with rounded wings and a thick bill. It has strong flying abilities and is resourceful, and probably has been made extinct due to introduced diseases from human movement into Hawai’i, such as avian malaria and fowlpox. It is omnivorous and a generalist, and its disappearance has had a major impact on the Hawaiian ecosystem, with many plants relying on it for seed dispersal. Restoration programs and breeding efforts have been unsuccessful, with low clutch size and many infections and diseases. Hopefully, new avenues will be tested to try and restore this species, given its importance to the Hawaiian ecology. 

White-necked Crow (C. leucognaphalus) (it is, I swear…)

The Tamaulipas Crow, C. imparatus, is found in northeastern Mexico and Texas. It is not endangered and is about 34 to 38 cm long, with dark bluish plumage and a slender bill. It feeds on insects and fruits and berries, building nests in trees and large bushes. The Bismark Crow, C. insularis, is not endangered and lives in New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The Jamaican Crow, C. jamaicensis, is about 35 to 38 cm long and not endangered; it lies solely in Jamaica and is sooty grey in color, feeding on fruit and invertebrates and living in pairs and small groups, nesting in tall trees. The Mariana Crow, C. kubaryi, is critically endangered. About 38 cm long, it lives in Guam and Rota, inhabiting second growth and mature forests, eating many times of plants and animals. Its decline, sadly, can be attributed to the human introduced brown tree snake. 

Australian Raven (C. coronoides

The white necked crow C. leucognaphalus is about 42 to 46 cm long, and is vulnerable in its conservation status. It lives in the Caribbean, specifically Hispaniola. It is black with a bluish purple gloss, and has a dark grey patch of skin behind the eye. It eats large amounts of fruit and builds nests solitarily. The Jungle Crow, C. macrorhynchos, is an Asian species of crow that is not endangered and actually is considered a nuisance. It has a very large beak, and is about 46 to 59 cm in size, with glossy black wings. It is very versatile in its diet and has food cashing behavior. it makes nests out of platforms of twigs, and they are gregarious with many thousands of birds at roost sites. Breeding pairs may defend their territory during the day, but at night they roost with the group, and they have dominance hierarchies in the group based on the recognition of individuals. 

Daurian Jackdaw (C. dauuricus

The Bougainville Crow, C. meeki, is a non-endangered crow from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It is a heavy crow, 41 cm long, with a huge black bill and living in lowland forests and montane forests. The Little Raven, C. mellori, is a non-endangered raven from Australia. Only about 48 to 50 cm long, it has all black plumage and forms large flocks, roaming over large areas looking for food. It has harsh vocalizations and eat mainly insects and invertebrates, using tools to find more food. They nest in loose colonies of up to fifteen pairs, living in communal groups mostly above the ground. The Cuban Crow, C. nasicus, is a non endangered crow from the Caribbean, about 40 to 42 cm long living in Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud. It has a long, deep bill and eats fruit and insects, with a strange liquid bubbling song. 

Fan-Tailed Raven (C. rhipidurus

The Western Jackdaw, C. monedula, is a very common jackdawfrom Europe and Asia. It is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, eating many plants and invertebrates and waste from urban areas. It’s approximately 34 to 39 cm long, the second smallest member of Corvus, with shiny black and purpleish plumage. They show interest in shiny objects like jewellery, and are extremely gregarious, with communal roosting during the autumn. They form monogamous pairs, and have a linear hierarchical group structure, with mated pairs occupying the same rank in the hierarchy and higher ranked birds dominating the lower ones, establishing dominance via pecking orders. They have social displays such as supplanting, fighting, and threat displays as well, and they preen their mated partners on the head and neck. They feed mainly on the ground in open areas and mate for life, laying eggs in colonies. 

Flores Crow (C. florensis

The New Caledonian Crow, C. moneduloides, is an all black crow from new Caledonia, and not endangered. It has a distinctive call, like waa-waa or qua-qua. It is about 40 cm long and eats a wide range of food, using small trigs to dig out insects and larvae. They make many types of tools including leaves to probe out insects from crevices, and they show cultural evolution in tool manufacture like primates, passing on innovations to other members of the group. It also can make new tools from materials it did not encounter in the wild. They also have meta-tool use, using one tool on another tool to make a task easier, and rival primates in this ability; many birds can solve complex problems on the first try. They use tools to investigate dangerous objects and also can use mirrors to see things that they cannot see in the direct line of site, though they cannot recognize themselves. The Torresian Crow, C. orru, is also not endangered and lives in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, about 48 to 53 cm long and living in a wide variety of habitats. They are very aggressive, stealing food from other birds, eating just about anything and nesting in high trees. 

Slender-billed Crow (C. enca

The fish crow, C. ossifragus, is not endangered and lives in the Eastern United States. About 36 to 41 cm long, they have a very silky smooth plumage, with dark brown eyes and feeding mainly on crustaceans, crabs, shrimps, and stranded fish. They build nests in high trees and are somewhat resistant to West Nile. The palm crow, C. palmarum, is a small crow that’s near threatened in Hispaniola and Cuba; it is, however, almost extinct in Cuba. The Fan-tailed raven, C. rhipidurus, is not endangered in Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, about 47 to 51 cm long with a thick bill, short tail and large wings. It eats lots of insects and invertebrates as well as fruit. The brown-necked raven, C. ruficollis, lives in the entirety of North Africa as well as the Middle East and Iran, living on carrion, snakes, locusts, and grasshoppers. It is fairly fearless and will often steal food from humans, nesting like common ravens. 

Jungle Crow (C. macrorhynchos

The Sinaloa Crow, C. sinaloae, lives in Western Mexico and is not endangered. It has purple, glossy plumage and takes food from the ground and trees, nesting in tall coconut palms. The House Crow, C. splendens, is not endangered and is about 40 cm long, a relatively slim crow living in the Indian subcontinent and portions of Africa. It lives on small reptiles, insects, and human garbage, nesting in trees and telephone towers, often living near human created habitats. The Forest Raven, C. tasmanicus, is not endangered and lives in Tasmania and Australia. It lives in many habitats but is restricted to forests in Australia proper, and is about 50 to 53 cm long. They are territorial, omnivorous, and forage in pairs or groups of up to 10 birds. They form monogamous pairs in tall trees, and often feed on roadkill. 

Forest Raven (C. tasmanicus

The Collared Crow, C. torquatus, is near threatened and lives in China, about 52 to 55 cm long, feeding mainly on the ground on things such as insects, mollusks and other invertebrates, as well as rice. The Grey Crow, C. tristis, is non threatened, about 42 to 45 cm long and living mainly in New Guinea, feeding on the ground and in trees. The Piping Crow, C. typicus, lives in Indonesia and is nonthreatened. The Banggai Crow is critically endangered, living in Indonesia, with only about 500 individuals remaining. The Long-billed crow, C. validus, is near threatened and lives in Moluccas, with glossy plumage and a long bill. The Violet Crow, C. violaceus, is a crow from Seram. The White-billed crow, C. woodfordi, is a non endangered crow about 40 to 41 cm long, with very glossy black plumage and found in the Solomon Islands, feeding on insects and fruits and remaining hidden in the canopy. 

Sinaloa Crow (C. sinaloae

Though there are many extinct species of Corvus, only four are well described. The Puerto Rican Crow, C. pumilis, lived on Puerto Rican and the US Virgin Islands. It is only known from an almost fossilized ulna. The Chatham Raven, C. moriorum, lived in New Zealand and was probably a fruit eater. The High-billed crow, C. impluviatus, was a crow on Maui and Hawai’i that was pushed to extinction due to humans and human brought pests like rats. Finally, the New Zealand raven, C. antipodum, was a raven in New Zealand that went extinct in the 16th century, and they had long,b road bills that were not very arged like the Hawaiian crow. 


All images come from Wikipedia and are used under a Creative Commons license 

Text based on all pages linked here and the main Corvus page

Shout out goes to @saladcreamisthebestcream​!

whisp  asked:

I believe the reason why reptiles don't have emotions is because they lack a limbic system, which is a collection of brain structures responsible in part for emotional capabilities. Reptilian brains are evolutionarily more simple than mammalian brains. All mammals have the reptilian (old, primitive) brain as a foundation, but have evolved to have expansive cortex associated with more advanced processes such as feelings and memory consolidation.

This is older, but important. I asked @nothobranchius about this one:

“The "reptilian brain” thing is complete B.S. There is no structure or collection of structures that could be cleaved from a mammalian brain and be identifiable as a complete reptilian one. It’s a common misconception. Not only has the evolution of the brain been more complicated than that, but also it makes sense as we aren’t descended from modern reptiles but rather share a common ancestor with them and both our brains have likely evolved independently since then and neither a reptilian nor mammalian brain may bear any resemblance to that of their last common ancestor. Furthermore, I was under the impression that reptiles *do* have a limbic system, or at least a homologue of one. Considering even teleost fish, probably the vertebrates that are least related to mammals besides maybe jawless fishes, have a homologue of the amygdala (despite a few annoying researchers who inexplicably insist they don’t who frustrate me to no end), I would posit that it existed in the brain of the common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates. It seems improbable that it would be secondarily lost in extant reptiles. Reptiles appear to respond to aversive physical stimulus emotionally as they exhibit “emotional fever” (the transient increase in body temperature associated with and considered one of the major criteria for identifying genuine emotional distress in an animal), although as ectotherms they do it by spending more time in hotter areas. Incidentally emotional fever has just been fairly well documented in fish in a paper published this year. I don’t think a neocortex in the exact form it takes in mammals is necessarily needed for higher thought processes. Birds lack a neocortex (instead they have the dorsoventricular ridge), but as corvids demonstrate that doesn’t mean they’re stupider than mammals necessarily.“

I don’t really have a ton to add - he knows a lot more than I do on the topic.

Okay but real talk, in a zombie apocalypse, (Z Nation style) if animals get infected what about mosquitos? The mammalian brain and insect brains are different, but would mosquitos be just carriers or could they actually mutate to zombie mosquitos because that would fucking suck.

They’d be carriers only likely, cause if they feed off the infected dead animals or people, if it’s blood to blood contact, you’d get infected upon being bitten by that mosquito. They really can get worse.

Intoxication & Honesty.

“I’m afraid of losing control,” she said, fearfully eyeing the beer.
- It probably actually happened at some point. So, whenever that was.

One of the key lies we can tell ourselves is that we have “control” over our mental state, emotions, even actions.

Meanwhile, by and large, what some of us actually experience in thrall to our mental state and emotional makeup. The slightest mistake can lead to limitless anxiety and despair; we spend days or weeks doing nothing but sliding from one heightened emotional state to another. Which is, as it turns out, perfectly natural insofar as experiences go.

Anxiety is natural; being scared, feeling lonely, becoming angry, and feeling compassion and love for another human being (or non-human being, as the case may be!) are all natural capacities that the mammalian brain has. The problem is that we tend to socially focus on the positive emotions, and pretend that the ones we perceive as negative are “problems” to be “fixed” or “controlled.”

And boy, do we try to find ways to control that behavior - and anything which might enable proper mammalian behavior. Like, for example, drugs such as alcohol.

The Blessing of the Wild God is the knowledge that you are not, in fact, any better than an animal. Drink enough, and you might fall over and throw up in the street. Or dance topless on a table. Or behave in some other way that you would not have had you been less inebriated.

The realization that certain agents can allow for such behavior tends to come hand in hand with a desire to repress it; you are socially cautioned to avoid anything which might allow you to actually express your desires or feelings, and laws are designed to only permit those “prepared” for the potent effects to do so.

The problem is that inebriating and intoxicating agents do not make you act contrary to who or what you are. They ease your ability to act on your desires. If you find that you can do nothing but cry and sob into your beer, then it was time to cry and sob into your beer. If you find yourself stripping and dancing, then it might be time to dance more (in general). If you find yourself telling everyone that youreally fucking love them, man, then you should probably show more affection to those you love. And if you cheat on your spouse, it’s time to be honest and discuss what aint working in your relationship.

It’s easy to pin all of these behaviors on the agents themselves, but they don’t emerge ex nihilo into the world. They spring forth from the depths of our minds, from our actual desires, from the unconscious ocean within all of us. And whether we engage in getting intoxicated or not, they remain within us.

More-over, when certain parts of the self aren’t addressed, and we are seized by extreme emotions, the issues tend to come into view very rapidly. The desire to “control” one’s emotions backfires, and what we instead do is expose everyone else to the very thing we hoped to keep out of sight.

The alternative is to accept that you will behave a bit differently, and consider what that means afterward. Accept the Blessing; let the Mask slip from your face: In Vino Veritas!

What is the truth in the depths of that uncharted ocean within your mind that you’ve been hiding from? Embrace it. Accept it.

(Unless you become an angry drunk, of course. In that case, you need some anger management courses or something and none of us want to deal with you.)

Supporting the damaged brain

A new study shows that embryonic nerve cells can functionally integrate into local neural networks when transplanted into damaged areas of the visual cortex of adult mice.

(Image caption: Neuronal transplants (blue) connect with host neurons (yellow) in the adult mouse brain in a highly specific manner, rebuilding neural networks lost upon injury. Credit: Sofia Grade, LMU/Helmholtz Zentrum München)

When it comes to recovering from insult, the adult human brain has very little ability to compensate for nerve-cell loss. Biomedical researchers and clinicians are therefore exploring the possibility of using transplanted nerve cells to replace neurons that have been irreparably damaged as a result of trauma or disease. Previous studies have suggested there is potential to remedy at least some of the clinical symptoms resulting from acquired brain disease through the transplantation of fetal nerve cells into damaged neuronal networks. However, it is not clear whether transplanted intact neurons can be sufficiently integrated to result in restored function of the lesioned network. Now researchers based at LMU Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have demonstrated that, in mice, transplanted embryonic nerve cells can indeed be incorporated into an existing network in such a way that they correctly carry out the tasks performed by the damaged cells originally found in that position. Such work is of importance in the potential treatment of all acquired brain disease including neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer‘s or Parkinson’s disease, as well as strokes and trauma, given each disease state leads to the large-scale, irreversible loss of nerve cells and the acquisition of a what is usually a lifelong neurological deficit for the affected person.

In the study published in Nature, researchers of the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have specifically asked whether transplanted embryonic nerve cells can functionally integrate into the visual cortex of adult mice. “This region of the brain is ideal for such experiments,” says Magdalena Götz, joint leader of the study together with Mark Hübener. Hübener is a specialist in the structure and function of the mouse visual cortex in Professor Tobias Bonhoeffer’s Department (Synapses – Circuits – Plasticity) at the MPI for Neurobiology. As Hübener explains, “we know so much about the functions of the nerve cells in this region and the connections between them that we can readily assess whether the implanted nerve cells actually perform the tasks normally carried out by the network.” In their experiments, the team transplanted embryonic nerve cells from the cerebral cortex into lesioned areas of the visual cortex of adult mice. Over the course of the following weeks and months, they monitored the behavior of the implanted, immature neurons by means of two-photon microscopy to ascertain whether they differentiated into so-called pyramidal cells, a cell type normally found in the area of interest. “The very fact that the cells survived and continued to develop was very encouraging,” Hübener remarks. “But things got really exciting when we took a closer look at the electrical activity of the transplanted cells.” In their joint study, PhD student Susanne Falkner and Postdoc Sofia Grade were able to show that the new cells formed the synaptic connections that neurons in their position in the network would normally make, and that they responded to visual stimuli.

The team then went on to characterize, for the first time, the broader pattern of connections made by the transplanted neurons. Astonishingly, they found that pyramidal cells derived from the transplanted immature neurons formed functional connections with the appropriate nerve cells all over the brain. In other words, they received precisely the same inputs as their predecessors in the network. In addition, they were able to process that information and pass it on to the downstream neurons which had also differentiated in the correct manner. “These findings demonstrate that the implanted nerve cells have integrated with high precision into a neuronal network into which, under normal conditions, new nerve cells would never have been incorporated,” explains Götz, whose work at the Helmholtz Zentrum and at LMU focuses on finding ways to replace lost neurons in the central nervous system. The new study reveals that immature neurons are capable of correctly responding to differentiation signals in the adult mammalian brain and can close functional gaps in an existing neural network.

Sound Waves Control Brain Cells

There might soon be a whole new meaning to getting a tune stuck in your head. Scientists are reporting the first successful attempt to remotely activate brain cells inside living animals with sound waves.

Using 10 millisecond pulses of ultrasound, a team from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego were able activate neurons in genetically modified roundworms and get them to change behavior. The technique is similar to the exploding field of optogenetics, in which light is used to control neurons. 

The group says ultrasonic waves that can be focused on regions deep in the brain and pass through other tissue without disturbing it has distinct advantages over light, which must be piped into neural tissue by surgically implanting fiber optic filaments. They call the new approach sonogenetics and say that it could one day be used for research and therapies for brain, heart, muscle and other cells. Learn more below.

Keep reading

Two new studies uncover key players responsible for learning and memory formation

One of the most fascinating properties of the mammalian brain is its capacity to change throughout life. Experiences, whether studying for a test or experiencing a traumatic situation, alter our brains by modifying the activity and organization of specific neural circuitry, thereby modifying subsequent feelings, thoughts, and behavior. These changes take place in and among synapses, communication junctions between neurons. This experience-driven alteration of brain structure and function is called synaptic plasticity and it is considered the cellular basis for learning and memory.

Many research groups across the globe are dedicated to advancing our understanding of the fundamental principles of learning and memory formation. This understanding is dependent upon identifying the molecules involved in learning and memory and the roles they play in the process. Hundreds of molecules appear to be involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity, and understanding the interactions among these molecules is crucial to fully understand how memory works.

There are several underlying mechanisms that work together to achieve synaptic plasticity, including changes in the amount of chemical signals released into a synapse and changes in how sensitive a cell’s response is to those signals. In particular, the protein BDNF, its receptor TrkB, and GTPase proteins are involved in some forms of synaptic plasticity, however, very little is known regarding when and where they are activated in the process.

By using sophisticated imaging techniques to monitor the spatiotemporal activation patterns of these molecules in single dendritic spines, the research group led by Dr. Ryohei Yasuda at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Dr. James McNamara at Duke University Medical Center have uncovered critical details of the interplay of these molecules during synaptic plasticity. These exciting findings were published online ahead of print in September 2016 as two independent publications in Nature (1, 2).

A surprising signaling system within the spine

In one of the publications (Harward and Hedrick et al.), the authors identified an autocrine signaling system – a system where molecules act on the same cells that produce them – within single dendritic spines. This autocrine signaling system is achieved by rapid release of the protein, BDNF, from a stimulated spine and subsequent activation of its receptor, TrkB, on the same spine, which further activates signaling inside the spine. This in turn leads to spine enlargement, the process essential for synaptic plasticity. In other words, signaling initiated inside the spine goes outside the spine and activates a receptor on the external surface of the spine, thereby evoking additional signals inside the spine. This finding of an autocrine signaling process within the dendritic spines surprised the scientists.

What are the consequences of the autocrine signaling within the spine?

The second publication (Hedrick and Harward et al.) reports that the autocrine signaling leads to activation of an additional set of signaling molecules called small GTPase proteins. The findings reveal a three-molecule model of structural plasticity, which implicates the localized, coincident activation of three GTPase proteins Rac1, Cdc42, and RhoA, as a causal feature of structural plasticity. It is known that these proteins regulate the shape of dendritic spines, however, how they work together to control spine structure has remained unclear. The researchers monitored the spatiotemporal activation patterns of these molecules in single dendritic spines during synaptic plasticity and found that all three proteins are activated simultaneously, but their activation patterns differed significantly. One of the differences is that RhoA and Rac1, when activated, spread beyond the stimulated spine to the surrounding dendrite, which facilitates plasticity of surrounding spines. Another difference is that Cdc42 activity was restricted to the stimulated spine, what seems to be necessary to produce spine-specific plasticity. Furthermore, the autocrine BDNF signaling is required for activation of Cdc42 and Rac1, but not for RhoA.

Unprecedented insights into the regulation of synaptic plasticity

These two studies provide unprecedented insights into the regulation of synaptic plasticity. One study revealed for the first time an autocrine signaling system and the second study presented a unique form of biochemical computation in dendrites involving the controlled complementation of three molecules. According to Dr. Yasuda, understanding the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the regulation of synaptic strength is critical for understanding how neural circuits function, how they form, and how they are shaped by experience. Dr. McNamara noted that disorder of these signaling systems likely underlies dysfunction of synapses that cause epilepsy and a diversity of other diseases of the brain. Because hundreds of species of proteins are involved in the signal transduction that regulates synaptic plasticity, it is essential to investigate the dynamics of more proteins to better understand the signaling mechanisms in dendritic spines.

Future research in the Yasuda and McNamara Labs is expected to lead to significant advances in the understanding of intracellular signaling in neurons and will provide key insights into the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation and brain diseases. These insights will hopefully lead to the development of drugs that could enhance memory and prevent or more effectively treat epilepsy and other brain disorders.

Injectable brain implant spies on individual neurons

A simple injection is now all it takes to wire up a brain. A diverse team of physicists, neuroscientists and chemists has implanted mouse brains with a rolled-up, silky mesh studded with tiny electronic devices, and shown that it unfurls to spy on and stimulate individual neurons.

The implant has the potential to unravel the workings of the mammalian brain in unprecedented detail. “I think it’s great, a very creative new approach to the problem of recording from large number of neurons in the brain,” says Rafael Yuste, director of the Neuro­technology Center at Columbia University in New York, who was not involved in the work.

If eventually shown to be safe, the soft mesh might even be used in humans to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, says Charles Lieber, a chemist at Harvard University on Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the team. The work was published in Nature Nanotechnology on 8 June1.

Nature 522, 137–138 (11 June 2015) doi:10.1038/522137a

This soft, conductive polymer mesh can be rolled up and injected into the brains of mice. Lieber Research Group, Harvard University

Scientists have successfully preserved an entire rabbit brain for the first time ever

On Tuesday, the Brain Preservation Foundation announced the winner of its Small Mammal Prize, which challenged participants to preserve a small mammalian brain to such a degree that all of its neurons and synapses are “intact and visible” when examined with an electron microscope.

The winners, a group of researchers from 21st Century Medicine, successfully preserved their rabbit brain using an innovative method called aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation. In essence, it combines two key techniques: extremely strong chemicals and very low temperatures. The discovery is important for more than just rabbits.

Follow @the-future-now


Apparently, humans are born with dinosaur brains. The next stage in human brain development is the mammalian brain. The stage completes at around puberty. It’s the limbic system, for emotion processing. Next is the development of the structure that only humans have. And that is the neomammalian brain, the frontal lobe. That is what differentiates human from dinosaurs and other animals.


Notulis: Marista Rovyanti 

Setelah mendapat materi pertama yang kurang lebih berisikan teori-teori tentang reproduksi, materi kedua diisi oleh seorang Psikolog Anak bernama Ibu Ani Khairani, M.Psi. Materi beliau yang berjudul Menaklukkan Anak & Remaja membuat kami para relawan antusias untuk menyimak pembahasan kali ini. Karena permasalahan yang juga sering terjadi sekarang ini ialah kurangnya pengetahuan para orang tua dalam cara mendidik anak-anaknya.

Bagaimana cara menaklukkan anak dan remaja?

Pertama, kenali dulu siapa anaknya, siapa remajanya. Jangan samakan semua anak atau remaja itu sama saja. Karena setiap anak tentunya memiliki karakter yang berbeda-beda, untuk itu kita harus mampu mengenal dan memahami mereka satu per satu sesuai kondisi anak yang sedang kita hadapi.

Ibu Ani mengutip salah satu perkataan Ali bin Abi Thalib r.a. yaitu “”Didiklah anakmu sesuai dengan jamannya, karena mereka hidup bukan di jamanmu". Ya, memang benar sekali kutipan beliau. Karena seiring berjalannya waktu jaman terus berkembang, tidak bisa kita mengaplikasikan cara mendidik anak zaman sekarang ini dengan cara orang tua dahulu mendidik kita. Karena kondisinya sudah jauh berbeda. Apalagi kondisi masyarakat yang kini begitu memprihatinkan. Banyak sekali orang-orang tidak bertanggung jawab yang mempunyai rencana untuk menghancurkan peradaban bangsa Indonesia. Hal ini patut menjadi perhatian kita para calon orang tua untuk menyikapi keadaan nyata di zaman yang sudah modern ini.

Menurut Ali bin Abi Thalib Ra. Memperlakukan anak dibagi menjadi 3 kelompok, yaitu :

  1. Kelompok 7 tahun pertama (usia 0-7 tahun), perlakukan anak sebagai raja.
  2. Kelompok 7 tahun kedua (usia 8-14 tahun), perlakukan anak sebagai tawanan.
  3. Kelompok 7 tahun ketiga (usia 15-21 tahun), perlakukan anak sebagai sahabat.

Pahami pengelompokan ini dahulu agar kita bisa menghadapi anak sesuai dengan rentang usianya. Melayani anak dibawah usia 7 tahun dengan sepenuh hati dan tulus adalah hal terbaik yang dapat kita lakukan.

Misal :

  • Bila kita langsung menjawab dan menghampirinya saat ia memanggil kita.
  • Saat kita tanpa bosan mengusap punggungnya hingga ia tidur, maka kelak kita akan terharu ketika ia memijat atau membelai pngung kita saat kita kelelahan atau sakit.
  • Saat kita berusaha keras menahan emosi di saat ia melakukan kesalahan sebesar apapun,

Maka ketika kita selalu berusaha sekuat tenaga untuk melayani dan menyenangkan hati anak yang belum berusia tujuh tahun, insya Allah ia akan tumbuh menjadi pribadi yang menyenangkan, perhatian dan bertanggung jawab. Karena jika kita mencintai dan memperlakukannya sebagai raja, maka ia juga akan mencintai dan memperlakukan kita sebagai raja dan ratunya.

Lalu bagaimana dengan memperlakukan anak sebagai tawanan? Kedudukan seorang tawanan perang dalam Islam sangatlah terhormat, Ia mendapatkan haknya secara proporsional, namun juga dikenakan berbagai larangan dan kewajiban. Usia 7-14 tahun adalah usia yang tepat bagi seorang anak untuk diberikan hak dan kewajiban tertentu. Anak sudah mulai diarahkan harus kemana tujuan hidupnya. Contoh :

  • Melakukan sholat wajib 5 waktu
  • Memakai pakaian yang bersih, rapih dan menutup aurat
  • Menjaga pergaulan dengan lawan jenis
  • Membiasakan membaca Al-Qur'an
  • Membantu pekerjaan rumah tanngga yang mudah dikerjakan oleh anak seusianya
  • Menerapkan kedisiplinan dalam kegiatan sehari-hari
  • Reward dan punishment (hadiah/penghargaan/pujian dan hukuman/teguran)

Untuk anak berusia 15-21 tahun, memang baiknya perlakukan mereka seperti sahabat, dengan cara :

  • Berbicara dari hati ke hati
  • Memberi ruang lebih

Setelah memasuki usia akil Baligh, anak perlu memiliki ruang agar tidakmerasa terkekang, namun tetap dalam pengawasan kita. Controlling tetap harus dilakukan tanpa bersikap otoriter dan tentu saja diiringi dengan berdo'a untuk kebaikan dan keselamatannya.

  • Mempercayakan tanggung jawab yang lebih berat.
  • Membekali anak dengan keahlian hidup.

Rasulullah SAW bersabda, “Ajarilah anak-anak kalian berkuda, berenang dan memanah” (Riwayat sahih Imam Bukhari dan Muslim)

  • Berkuda = Skill of Life, memberi keterampilan atau keahlian sebagai bekal hidup agar memiliki rasa percaya diri, jiwa kepemimpinan dan pengendalian diri yang baik.
  • Berenang = Survival of Live, mendidik anak agar selalu bersemangat, tidak mudah menyerah dan tegar dalam menghadapi masalah.
  • Memanah = Thinking of Life, mengajarkan anak untuk membangun kemandirian berpikir, merencanakan masa depan dan menentukan target hidupnya.

Apa saja yang biasanya remaja alami?

  • Remaja mulai berfikir mengenai keinginan mereka sendiri, bagaimana untuk senang-senang dan tidak merasa sedih.
  • Saat remaja merupakan proses pencarian jati diri seseorang.
  • Berfikir mengenai ciri-ciri ideal bagi mereka sendiri dan orang lain membandingkan diri mereka dengan orang lain,
  • Serta mau berfikir tentang bagaimana memecahkan suatu masalah dan menguji pemecahan masalah secara sistematis
  • Masa puber kematangan alat-alat seksual dan tercapainya kemampuan reproduksi.
  • Gejala “negative phase”, istilah “phase” menunjukkan periode yang berlangsung singkat. “negative” berarti bahwa individu mengambil sikap “anti” terhadap kehidupan atau kehilangan sifat-sifat baik yang sebelumnya sudah berkembang.

Apa saja gejala negatif yang sering terjadi pada remaja?

  • Keinginan untuk menyendiri, berkurang kemampuan untuk bekerja,
  • Kegelisahan, kepekaan perasaan, pertentangan sosial dan rasa kurang percaya diri (lack of self confidence).
  • Dari beberapa gejala “negative phase” di atas yang paling menonjol dialami masa remaja adalah rasa kurang percaya diri (lack of self confidence).

Apa yang seharusnya dilakukan?

  • Membiasakan kebiasaan yang baik atau kita sebut akhlaq yang baik pada kegiatan sehari-hari seperti makan-minum, berjalan, etika terhadap teman sebaya, terhadap orang yang lebih tua, dan anak yang lebih muda.
  • Membiasakan mengerjakan ibadah dan menetapkan tujuan akhir dalam kehidupan yang fana ini
  • Belajar mengendalikan keinginan/instink, motivasi dan emosi.
  • Membiasakan bertanggung jawab dan tahu konsekuensi apa yang harus ia jalani terhadap perbuatan yang ia lakukan

Bagaimana sebaiknya sikap orang tua dalam menghadapi anak dan remaja?

  • Menerima, karena semua yang dilakukannya merupakan bagian dari pendewasaan dan memang harus dilaluinya.
  • Memantaunya, jadi peranan kita yang paling-paling krusial adalah bagaimana kita bisa melihat dengan jelas kemana dia pergi, dengan siapa dia pergi, apa yang dia terima dari lingkungannya. Kita juga pantau apa yang dia lakukan kepada orang lain. Kalau kita memang melihat dia mulai bergaul dengan orang-orang yang tidak benar kita mesti memberikan batas meskipun dilawan olehnya. Bukan secara aktif memata-matai. Namun memang sebagai orang tua, kita harus mengetahui siapa saja teman-teman anak-anak kita, kenali mereka, tanpa mengurangi rasa saling percaya yang sudah terjalin diantara orang tua dan anak.
  • Komunikasi, di sini orang tua yang harus proaktif untuk mencari titik kesamaan dengan remaja tersebut, jadi kitalah yang seharusnya terjun ke dalam dunia dia. Salah satu prinsip yang penting dalam berkomunikasi bukan berapa banyak kata yang diucapkan tapi berapa terbukanya si pembicara itu. Jadi keterbukaan melebihi berapa banyak kata-kata yang diucapkan.

Stabilitas emosi remaja pada tahap puber awal sampai pertengahan memang masih dalam tahap pematangan. Berikut merupakan beberapa cara mengajarkan anak dan remaja terkait emosi :

  • Memulai dari awal untuk menumbuhkan rasa aman sehingga akan terbangun konsep diri yang positif
  • Mengembalikan pada rasionalitas, agar ia dapat berpikir jernih setiap menghadapi permasalahan
  • Membimbingnya belajar untuk dapat memahami terlebih dahulu kondisi dan situasi sekitar,
  • Memilih dan memilah semua perasaan yang ada,
  • Membiasakannya belajar untuk berorientasi pada solusi bukan pada masalah yang dialami.

Berikut adalah gambar fungsi otak manusia: 

Terbagi menjadi 3 fungsi otak :

  1. Mammalian Brain (Otak Kuda) yang lebih mengarah terkait cinta,     cemburu, marah, takut dan sebagainya.
  2. Lizard Brain (Otak Buaya) yang lebih condong mengatur tentang     ketahanan hidup, kekuasaan, seksual.
  3. Neocortex merupakan otak manusia yang harusnya difungsikan dengan baik. Dalam otak ini, biasanya ada pertimbangan-pertimbangan yang diambil, kontrol emosi, moral dan berpikir rasional. Misal ada yang bertanya seperti ini “mengapa kamu memakai baju itu?” ada yang menjawab “karena simple”/karena dingin”. Jawaban yang penuh pertimbangan seperti itu berarti sudah memfungsikan neocortex dengan baik.

Biasanya laki-laki lebih sering memfungsikan lizard brain daripada yang lain. Sedangkan perempuan lebih sering memfungsikan mammalian brain daripada yang lain. Itu mengapa seorang perempuan lebih sensitif karena memang fungsi otak yang diaktifkan hanya mammalian brain.

Ketika bagian/fungsi otak yang sering kita pakai itu-itu saja, maka fungsi otak yang lain akan mati dam hilang. Karena baiknya, otak kita berfungsi secara beriringan antara bagian mammalian brain dan neocortex untuk berkolaborasi. Bagaimana dengan lizard brain? Lizard brain boleh difungsikan saat kondisi darurat atau misal dalam bahaya.

Agar seorang anak/remaja memiliki adab dan akhlak yang baik, orang tua sudah seharusnya menanamkan nilai akhlak tersebut sejak kecil. Kuncinya adalah pembiasaan yang dilakukan secara berulang-ulang dan harus konsisten. Apa yang harus dibiasakan? Ya keteladanan yang baik itu sendiri. Dengan begitu, diharapkan anak dapat memiliki karakter, akhlak, budi pekerti dan kepribadian yang baik. Proses penanaman ini biasanya dilakukan selama 3 bulan untuk dapat membentuk kepribadian seorang anak.

Cara lainnya adalah jaga otak dan jiwa dari:

  • Narkoba
  • Games dan kecanduan gadget
  • Tontonan pornografi dan kekerasan
  • Tontonan yang bernilai negatif
  • Pemahaman Ilmu dan Adab (nilai) yang salah terhadap dunia dan akhirat

Bagaimana tips menumbuhkan emosi yang matang pada remaja?

  • Komunikasi yang empatik dua arah dalam bentuk diskusi harus selalu dilakukan
  • Terbiasa untuk mengungkapkan perasaan dan bertukar pikiran, mulailah dulu dari orangtua yang “curhat’ pada anaknya
  • Jadilah sahabatnya bukan figur otoritas yang ditakuti.
  • Kenali temannya, bahwa teman anak kita adalah teman kita juga.
  • Ketahui dan jika bisa ikut terlibat dalam aktivitasnya.
  • Terlibatlah dalam memberikan pertimbangan ketika ia akan memutuskan sesuatu
  • Jangan membandingkan jaman nya dengan jaman kita dahulu
  • Berilah penghargaan dan hargai pendapatnya bahkan mintalah pendapatnya terhadap apa yang perlu diputuskan oleh orang tua.
  • Jika ingin meluruskan pandangannya, lakukan pada saat ia telah puas mengungkapkan pendapatnya, dan menanyakan pendapat kita.
  • Jangan menyalahkannya, cobalah selalu menangkap dulu perasaannya.
  • Berilah kisah-kisah teladan Rasulullah dan para sahabatnya.
  • Berikan sugesti-sugesti positif kepada anak. Contoh saat mereka mau tidur, saat mereka tidur dan saat mereka baru saja bangun tidur.
  • Jangan asal bicara kepada mereka.
  • Perlakukan anak sesuai dengan usia anak yang kita hadapi.

Emosinya yang berlebihan merupakan awal dari penyimpangan emosi pada setiap manusia. Kecintaan luar biasa terhadap sesuatu, kecemasan berlebihan, kebencian yang terlalu, ketakutan yang sangat. Masing-masing memiliki reaksi yang berbeda dan mudah dikenali.

Pesan dari Ibu Ani Khairani itu ada 3, antara lain :

  1. Pilihlah pasangan yang baik
  2. Pilihlah nama yang baik untuk anak
  3. Pelajari Al-Qur’an bersama

Dan di akhir beliau juga memotivasi para relawan, beliau berkata,“berbuatlah sesuatu untuk dunia, jangan hanya untuk dunia kita saja. Jangan pernah menunda-nunda sebuah kebaikan, sekecil apapun itu”.


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Best I can understand is that a shapeshifter’s brain is just as malleable as anything else about them. She can change its shape to make it an unappealing eat~

Plus it’s probably all weird and bug-like and stuff, too. Way different than mammalian brains~