Thinking - Stop signs and DNA

If you sail a cardboard crucifix so that the long bit is the front, over the heads of some laboratory hatched goose chicks that have never met an adult goose, they cry out for food because the think it  looks like their mum.

If you fly the same cardboard crucifix so the short bit is the front (so it looks like a hawk) the same chicks huddle down quietly in fear.

That's some pretty amazing hard-wired stuff in there.

I wonder how long it would take to ... say... get a hard wired DNA based response to an english  word?

For example the word "Stop" on a stop sign.

This test might seem a little unconventional, but bear/bare with me...

As an experiment, make a device that crashes a truck into people if they don't pay attention to a stop sign.

That's it really.

I find them really annoying.


  1. I don't know how long it takes, but hunting dogs are hard-wired to recognize guns. We had a 12-week-old Brittany Spaniel who had never seen or been around a gun, who was in the room one day when we were moving in to a new house and my dad unpacked his old police revolver and set it down on the bed -- dog went nuts, got all excited, barking, running toward the gun, then racing around the room and back at the gun to bark, doing that, "let's GO, let's GO" thing dogs do like when they see you get their leash out. And another time, had a golden retriever pup who was still wobbly when she walked, just barely weaned; we were living 'way out in the boonies and my husband shot a snake; she went running toward the gunshot as fast as her little puppy legs could carry her, looking for all the world like she knew there was something she was supposed to do when she heard that sound.

    So yeah, stuff can be hard wired into DNA. I don't know how long it took once people started using guns and dogs together for hunting, but probably not more than 500 years or so. ;)

  2. So...

    The car's been around for 240 years, and I'm guessing the first stop sign was erected within a minute and a half of the day the first car hit the streets :)

    That gives me only 260 to wait until I no longer have to worry about loony car drivers.


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