Just a thought about sport...

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A place for serious discussion on any non-religious topic

Re: Just a thought about sport...

Postby Sprocket » August 8th, 2012, 4:23 pm

I remember reading somewhere that humans are unique or almost so in retaining playfulness into adulthood. the young of most mammals play, but they stop when they reach adulthood. I wonder if this is to do with neoteny, a phenomenon to which some zoologists attribute our big brain and concequent high intelligence. Our closest relatives, the great apes, have flat faces in infancy, but later develop a distinct muzzle and lower forehead, whereas we retain our flat faces and high foreheads, and consequently more room in our skulls for large brains, into adulthood.
BTAIM, sport in some form - defined as competitive, physical play - has been an important part of human culture for the whole of recorded history, and probably ever since we had time to spare from hunting for food.
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Re: Just a thought about sport...

Postby Bev » August 8th, 2012, 10:21 pm

I read the link, and I think I understand what you are saying. But, I just keep remember my older pets playing and having a ball with it. True, they don't engage in play as often, but I've seen them at quite an elderly age have days of playfulness.
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Re: Just a thought about sport...

Postby Pondero » August 8th, 2012, 10:39 pm

How does one account for the fact that women have smaller cranium and smaller brains, and yet according to the one's I talk to are more intelligent :mrgreen: Good brain stuff lies in little room, No!
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Just a thought about sport...

Postby Bev » August 8th, 2012, 11:14 pm

:D Good point, Pondero! :D
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Re: Just a thought about sport...

Postby Sprocket » August 9th, 2012, 6:05 am

Intelligence is roughly, but not precisely, related to brain size.
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Re: Just a thought about sport...

Postby flying finn » August 9th, 2012, 6:49 am

2ndRateMind wrote:And sport is, for sport's sake. It is it's own rationale. No longer does one participate for fitness, for mental health, for well-being. The competition is all and the winning is the purpose.


Great. If sport is for sport's sake then it has no ulterior motive. That's probably why sport is so popular.


So, when are we going to get life-reflecting sport? The most sociable person, perhaps, the tastiest Sunday lunch, or the most productive allotment, or best home-brewed beer maker? These are 'sports' I could get behind, without reservation, seeing as they are life skills that enhance our human experience rather than extract and glorify talent from a very limited pool of very limited human capacities that have little or no impact on the quality of anyone else's existance.


In the same way one could then argue that things like art and music are also irrelevant, however I doubt most people would measure it's worth in such a utilitarian way. Sports, like the arts, most definately do enhance the human experience, not only on a personal level but on a wider level too. Sport can inspire people, even whole generations, to believe in themselves and it can also be used to better ourselves (the latter is getting into sports psychology, an interest of mine).


None of this is meant, in any way, to be a criticism of sports folk or sports fans. We all need a distracting hobby. I just worry that this distraction has the potential to seduce us away from the things that really matter.


I think most people have a good sense of perspective.
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