Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
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14-11-2013, 06:52 PM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
Your son is quite terse and deadly. Consider

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14-11-2013, 07:10 PM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
What a smart son you have! Awesome! You could ask him about the organic nature of a car.

He sure thinks it through though, so good!
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15-11-2013, 01:15 AM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2013 08:07 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
(14-11-2013 06:44 PM)nach_in Wrote:  
(14-11-2013 05:32 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Given the teachers definition, your son is right....Tell that teacher what is up

I wouldn't do that, this is also a good oportunity to teach the kid that there're stupid people and assholes out there. That should soften the punch when he realizes the depth of assholeness in the world

Can we be a little less cynical with the children? There will be enough time latter to ruin the magic of childhood. Undecided


@ FaceOfBoe

First off, asking your kid to justify their answer was the right move. It both gets the kid thinking, and it helps you to know where he is coming from. His answer wasn't a simple mistake, he choose it for a reason (and one that is valid given the parameters). If I was the teacher, I'd like to think I'd have asked him why he put that down, then used it as a jumping off point for something more; but this is Kindergarten.

I'd suggest that you ask him how he knows cars aren't alive. Get him to justify and think about how the car meets the teacher's definition for 'alive' even if he thinks it really is not alive. Get you kid on the right track then let him try to find the answer himself. Teaching him to fish versus giving him the fish, so to speak. Big Grin

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15-11-2013, 01:29 AM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
(14-11-2013 03:50 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(14-11-2013 03:42 PM)FaceOfBoe Wrote:  I did mention about reproducing and natural selection. He said bad cars die out and go away and new models come out for good ones.

Time to explain the difference between production and reproduction. That's my 2 cents anyhow.

Does something have to reproduce to be alive? Or is that just part of what we classify since that's our primary contrast? What if there was a race of robots that were intelligent and classified as life but their only way to populate was in fact just production, not re-production? Consider

As a car fanatic, cars may not be "alive and breathing" but I feel a symbiotic relationship with cars. I see humans and animals as biological machines. I suppose part of the "Man and machine" is that in much the same way, cars are a machine. Sort of this "machine fixing machine" every time I lay my hands on a car with a wrench. Drinking Beverage

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15-11-2013, 06:37 AM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
Is a eunuch alive? Was the last dodo alive? Reproduction isn't all it's cracked up to be. A virus can't reproduce without another living cell, but experiences darwinian evolution. Is it alive or is it dead? The definition of life is pretty subjective. In the end most people seem to want it to mean "something that is genetically related to me".

The car is a memetic system[1] that is symbiotic with the human species. In its larval form it exists as information in books, university engineering departments, and individual human minds. It grows out of its laval stage into CAD drawings and various other models and prototypes before being fully realised as a mature adult consisting of factory, sales, distribution, and repair facilities that spew forth instances of specific makes and models. The whole system evolves in response to economic factors, consumer selection, law and environmental concerns to be a better symbotic fit to the human species over time - and human society evolves to be a better fit to the car.

Is the car alive? The question is a nonsense. The car is a system. Its driver is a system. Together the car, the plant, the owners, the fleet managers, the engineers and many other components form a larger interconnected system. It does not use DNA to replicate. It requires intelligent effort to bring forth the next generation. Perhaps it is not alive, but what is the deeper question here? What do you mean when you ask whether or not it is alive? Take a step back and figure out what question you really want to ask. Generally these questions are not "is it alive" but things like "is it sentient?", "can it suffer?", "is it subject to darwinian evolution" etc. Asking whether or not something is alive only makes sense in its own right if it exists as a system that can transition from an alive state to a dead state.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb...hUwtaPFYwX

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15-11-2013, 11:33 AM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
You got a smart little kid there... Able to think philosophically at just 6!

There are other factors that determine a living organism... Reproduction, growth, senses, the ability to act independently.

Really a vehicle is an extension of ourselves, it allows us to travel faster and further than our organic bodies can. It requires an operator and (for now) can't make decisions for itself. A living thing can actively seek out a source of energy, a machine requires energy to be fed into it.

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15-11-2013, 12:41 PM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
I think your child is adorable! And you're doing a wonderful job raising him to think and see things differently.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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15-11-2013, 01:48 PM
RE: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
(15-11-2013 01:15 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(14-11-2013 06:44 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I wouldn't do that, this is also a good oportunity to teach the kid that there're stupid people and assholes out there. That should soften the punch when he realizes the depth of assholeness in the world

Can we be a little less cynical with the children? There will be enough time latter to ruin the magic of childhood. Undecided

Why ruin it? I'm talking about protecting it by giving him the tools to understand the bad things and deal with them.
Knowing that there's isn't an after life doesn't ruin this life, on the contrary, ir makes it more precious. The same goes for any unwanted thing.

And in any case, I rather see less oblivious children if that's what it takes to see less frustrated adults

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15-11-2013, 06:02 PM
Re: Had a deep conversation with 6 year old about cars being alive
Face of Boe!! I haven't seen you post here in awhile, maybe you have been but I missed it. But that story is great, I always love to continually encourage kids to think in open formats.

I know it's not a perfect definition of life, but going based off of having or being cells is a key, most life component.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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