PvM posted Entry 3108 on May 5, 2007 07:02 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3098

The American Enterprise Institute has an interesting discussion title Darwinism and conservatism: Friends and Foes? with Larry Arnhart, from the Northern Illinois University and John Derbyshire, from the National Review, and George Gilder, and John West, from the Discovery Institute.

Gilder ended with a particularly ironic comment about emergent properties

George Gilder wrote:

When people talk about emergence, it’s a new popular way of saying “I have no clue”.

Does Gilder realize how this describes ID far better?

As a side note: West repeated the specious claim that Doug Axe’s probabilities were relevant to a working protein.

John Derbyshire’s contribution is excellent.

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Comment #173754

Posted by PvM on May 5, 2007 7:23 PM (e)

Of course, who would not love the guy who stated

My motivation, so far as I am aware, is my lifelong fascination with science, the extreme scientific shoddiness of the I.D. movement, and my indignation that the I.D. people should presume to claim a place at the science table, when they don’t deserve one. The main reason they don’t deserve one is that THEY DON’T DO ANY SCIENCE. When I said this to Bruce Chapman, head of the Discovery Institute, at a meeting with him and some I.D. honchos, he said: “Oh yes we do!” and passed me a paper. Here is the paper.

http://www.weloennig.de/DynamicGenomes.html

Read it for yourself. I rest my case. The Discovery Institute has been in business since 1991, the CSC (its most currently active offshoot) since 1996. That’s an aggregate 23 years, and this is all the “science” they have to show – or at any rate, this is a star paper that the HMFIC likes to carry around to hand to people who accuse him of not doing any science. What a bunch of frauds.

Of course, if you press this point, the I.D. people say: “Oh, you know, our people just can’t get their stuff published in the science journals because of prejudice.” To which the response should be: “So you have abig pile of scientific results written up over there at the Institute, that you haven’t been able to get published? Mind if I take a look through them?”

10 questions for Derbyshire

Comment #173760

Posted by harold on May 5, 2007 8:14 PM (e)

Here’s an example of people who violently disagree on politics, ethics, and personal decency agreeing on science. I agree with John Derbyshire on ID.

I don’t want to offend any readers by what follows, unless John Derbyshire is reading. If you’re not John Derbyshire, don’t be offended. If you are, prepare to be very offended, you piece of excrement, if you’re capable of that.

Derbyshire wrote something suggesting that the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech should be “ashamed” (the VICTIMS of a totally unexpected random shooting!) for not makin’ like Steven Segal and charging the shooter. There was a general round of viscious, hypocritical wingnut crap blaming the victims for not packin’ heat (*note - I have no problem with legal firearm ownership, that’s not the point here*) or charging the shooter, or otherwise simply being ordinary college kids, but Derbyshire’s was, in fact, one of the most intelligent - and therefore one of the most offensive. He had the brain to know better.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzllOTU…

I’ll tell you, when I read that arrogant, hypocritical, cruel, thoughtless, delusional, narcissistic piece that Derbyshire had the nerve to publish while families were still dealing with the initial shock, it was one of the angriest moments of my life.

But of course, I was already mad at John Derbyshire for suggesting that the recently freed British sailors should be executed for being captured. And liberally insulting their honor and courage as he expressed that viscious belief. People, please don’t refer to these right wing sociopaths as “neanderthals” or “mediaeval”. That’s a serious insult to a lot of decent people who happened to be neanderthals or live in mediaeval times.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MGNkYmU…

Up yours, John Derbyshire, you bloodthirsty, hypocritical chickenhawk.

Some websites claim that John Derbyshire has an obsession with adolescent girls. That has not been confirmed in a court of criminal law, at least for the time being.

However, this just proves a point I make all the time. Science describes physical reality. Life evolves. The theory of evolution is not a moral philosophy. Even a piece of work like John Derbyshire can see that it’s true.

Comment #173764

Posted by steve on May 5, 2007 8:46 PM (e)

A description of the meeting has appeared in the New York Times (free subscription required).

Reading about the various ways that “Darwinism” (and Darwin’s name) is being co-opted makes me nauseous. At least “many people” are referred to as objecting to drawing moral conclusions from evolutionary theory, but that only gets two sentences.

steve

Comment #173772

Posted by Gerard Harbison on May 5, 2007 11:58 PM (e)

Derbyshire did not say the victims should be “ashamed” in the linked page. Harold’s use of quotes to imply he did is a lie, nothing more. Derbyshire asked some very reasonable questions, ones I have asked myself.

A question for management: given this is supposed to be a forum to discuss science, why do you continue to provide a platform for this person to post irrelevant, science-free, unbalanced rants against conservatives?

Comment #173773

Posted by Gerard Harbison on May 6, 2007 12:05 AM (e)

But of course, I was already mad at John Derbyshire for suggesting that the recently freed British sailors should be executed for being captured.

Just to add, Derbyshire didn’t say this, either.

Comment #173776

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 6, 2007 12:26 AM (e)

Does Gilder realize how this describes ID far better?

of course he does. that’s exactly why he spins it 180.

it’s simply THE most common tactic used by the DI.

Comment #173777

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 12:28 AM (e)

A) John West was lucid, practiced, and well-informed, but he leaned a little too hard on eugenics, I thought, bringing it out as a scare word at every opportunity, with the implication that it is a synonym for “murdering or sterilizing people the state regards as imperfect.”

While that meaning is certainly within the scope of “eugenics,” there is a great deal more to be said than that. Larry Arnhart said some of it, noting that when he went to get a marriage certificate from the State of Illinois recently, he was subjected to a long questionnaire of obviously eugenic intent, concerned with whether there was any blood relationship between himself and his fiance.

In fact, the word “eugenics” covers a lot of ground, from our private preferences in mate selection all the way up to state-imposed mass murder. You can be friendly to its meanings at one end of the spectrum—as the legislators of Illinois obviously are—while being hostile to those at the other.

National Review

Comment #173778

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 12:39 AM (e)

Gilder did get many more things right in an earlier statement he observed

“What’s being pushed is to have Darwinism critiqued, to teach there’s a controversy. Intelligent design itself does not have any content.”

Source

Sometimes he does show an intimate familiarity with ID, so why does he still try to support it?

Comment #173781

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 6, 2007 1:07 AM (e)

so why does he still try to support it?

‘cause that’s what he gets paid to do?

Comment #173809

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 7:13 AM (e)

Grady -

Of course it’s obvious in retrospect that the victims “should have” charged the shooter.

They were just a bunch of normal, unsuspecting college kids. They may have had “hero” potential, some of them may have even been heroes in some other time and place, but they were taken totally by surprise and thrown into an atmosphere of panic and horror in an instant.

You could write a hateful editorial about every conceivable preventable death or tragedy, pointing out that the victims had some theoretical way out.

The point is that this was a viscious, hypocritical thing to do in the context. If you can’t get that, we have nothing to talk about.

Comment #173812

Posted by chuckbert on May 6, 2007 7:28 AM (e)

The strange thing from my point of view is that this was a discussion on whether Darwinism was a good thing or a bad thing for conservatism.

Do they have discussions on whether gravity or Newton’s laws of motion are a good thing for conservatism?

Comment #173815

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 7:44 AM (e)

Gerard Harbison -

It’s true, I should not have put quotes around “ashamed”. It was an honest error. However, I quite prominently provided the link for anyone to check Derbyshire’s own words, making it clear that I had no intention to deceive, and my paraphrase is accurate.

The title of Derbyshire’s piece on the Virginia Tech massacre is “Spirit of Self Defense”. There is little or no reference to the suffering of families or the victims in the piece, but there is reference to “the heroes of Flight 93” and Derbyshire’s own efforts at the “target range”. The implication is crystal clear. It is true that when I saw the piece I personally interpreted it to imply that the victims should be “ashamed”, and absent-mindedly assumed that I had read that exact word.

The title of his piece on the British sailors and marines is “Brit Wimps”, and it contains the following quote - emphasis mine, yes…

“When it happened, I said I hoped the ones who’d shamed their country would be court-martialed on return to Blighty, and given dishonorable discharges after a couple years breaking rocks in the Outer Hebrides (which, believe me—I’ve been there—have a LOT of rocks). Now, I confess, I wouldn’t shed a tear if some worse fate befell them.

It’s a common right wing practice to include an obvious masturbatory hint for the intended reader, and then deny its obvious meaning when someone objects. But that practice is childish. It’s rather clear what “some worse fate” than harsh penal labor implies. If you continue to try to defend Derbyshire, while simultaneously exhibiting shame and trying to “tone down” or spin his obvious meanings, that will put you, not me, on the wrong side of honesty.

If you agree with Derbyshire, just say so. Don’t make strained attempts to rehabilitate.

Comment #173818

Posted by RBH on May 6, 2007 7:52 AM (e)

This could have been a halfway decent thread on the relation between science and political issues had it not been captured by what my father used to call the south ends of northbound horses.

Comment #173821

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 8:30 AM (e)

RBH -

You could put up a decent, thoughtful post on that issue yourself, instead of resorting to a cowardly insult. Could you please specify what has been posted, and by whom, that you object to?

John Derbyshire’s positions are of high relevance. He is associated with the right wing, and describes himself in writings (other than the ones I linked) as a Christian. I believe he claims to be Anglican, feel free to confirm or deny that. He expresses positions that many pro-science posters here will find highy objectionable, and yet he is pro-science and anti-ID. This illustrates the complexity of the issue.

Derbyshire shows that not all conservatives are creationists, but the very existence, and the inaccurate name, of the conference, serve to prove that creationism and evolution denial are concentrated on the political right. Note that they evaluate a strong scientific theory on the basis of whether it is “friend or foe of conservatism”. Is the theory of relativity “friend or foe of conservatism”? Does it matter? Does the question make the least bit of sense?

Comment #173823

Posted by raven on May 6, 2007 9:18 AM (e)

Darwinism and conservatism: Friends and Foes?

Why are they even discussing this? They could translate that to, “Reality and conservatism: Friends and Foes?

There aren’t many modern societies that have let ideology triumph over reason and reality for very long. Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR did and were ultimately unsuccessful.

Pandering to the lunatic fringe strikes me as a losing strategy. This might just be a fond hope of mine, rather than the actual situation.

Comment #173825

Posted by David Stanton on May 6, 2007 10:51 AM (e)

Just watched Hardball with Chris Matthews. They discussed the Republican debate. The general opinion seemed to be that they couldn’t believe that anyone could publically admit to not believing in evolution. They explained McCain’s hesitation as trying to decide if evolution was “the one about the Bible or the other one.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought Matthews had ridiculed evolution in the past. Anyway, good to see the issue is getting some air time this time around.

Comment #173826

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 10:51 AM (e)

Raven -

I’m sure you are correct. At least three of us have independently noted the nonsensical nature of asking whether a scientific theory that describes physical reality is “friend or foe” to a political ideology.

What are they going to do if they decide that it’s “foe”?

I’m going to make a gestalt comment about the overall situation, using neutral language. My comments above make some of my subjective opinions clear, but now I’ll just try to be objective.

The history of the United States has been punctuated by social struggles that are generally perceived as having led to “progress”. Each of these independent struggles has left a residual population of embittered self-interested opponents, who often pass on their opposition to subsequent generations long after the issue is decided.

A partial list of such struggles would be - the abolition of property requirements for voting, the abolition of slavery, the introduction of public health and environmental regulations, the development of public parks, the development of public education, the recognition of the right of labor to organize, the introduction of a progressive income tax, voting for women, the development of social programs for the needy, legal birth control, the abolition of segregation and legal discrimination based on ethnicity, the recognition of rights of Amerindians, and the recognition of equal rights for gay people.

From the great depression to 1964, the disparate opponents of these various achievements were small in number. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, their numbers increased. They all began to known as “conservatives”. They adopted a unifying image of being especially outraged by communism, in addition to whatever they felt about other issues.

When birth control, the “sexual revolution”, women’s liberation, and gay rights came on the scene, some but not all fundamentalist Christians joined the conservative alliance. This typically involved compromising what had been previous support for economic policies favorable to lower income people.

The “conservative movement” now had enough members to vie for power, and began to develop an underlying ideology that would satisfy all its variable members.

Unfortunately, this process forced them into conflict with mainstream science. Fundamentalist, authoritarian religious figures demand conflict with “evolution” and “stem cell research”, and often demanded claims that sexual behavior had exaggeratedly bad effects. (HIV denial is associated with extremists of all stripes, but one faction of that movement consists, or consisted, of those who claimed that AIDS was the result of a “lifestyle”). Other groups demanded denial of human-induced climate change. Lesser controversies, such as arguments about the death penalty, have also impacted.

At this point, if those who favor right wing economic policies lose the support of those who are motivated by authoritarian theocratic plans, the coalition will be in trouble. But there is a growing perception among fundamentalists that, while they have compromised on some economic issues, the conservative movement has not delivered sufficiently on such issues as teaching creationism in public schools, anti-gay legislation, and the like.

To some degree, the answer is “foe”, since a critical component of the coalition demands (at least for now) that the rest of the coalition deny scientific reality.

Comment #173827

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 10:57 AM (e)

My post above is, of course, extremely approximate, incomplete, and open to numerous valid criticisms.

The bottom line is that a disparate group of people who oppose one or more of various fait accompli aspects of modern American society came together in an effort to form a unified ideology. Some members of this coalition deny scientific reality very strongly, creating discomfort for the other members. But the science deniers are far too numerous to kick out of the coalition.

Comment #173832

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 11:26 AM (e)

Incidentally, I apologize for the uncivil tone of my opening post.

I happened to be very disturbed by what happened at Virginia Tech, very angry at Derbyshire’s comments (that’s the way they made me react), and I had already been steaming about Derbyshire’s comments in the British sailor/marine event. The mention of his name set me off.

Derbyshire seems to me to be one of those practitioners of “in your face”, “envelope pushing”, “reaction provoking” types. That type of writing is designed to provoke, and it often works.

I don’t necessarily think that my reaction was unjustified, but it may have sidetracked the overall discussion.

As a silver lining, it may have prevented anyone from concluding that Derbyshire was a nice guy because of his comments on ID, and being disappointed later.

Comment #173834

Posted by John Krehbiel on May 6, 2007 12:00 PM (e)

In my experience, anyone using the term “Darwinism” is either pathetically ignorant, or a creationist.

Oh wait, same thing.

Comment #173837

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 12:18 PM (e)

“emergence” is a vacuous, unfalsifiable, catch all term that barely counts as a metaphysical concept.

It is the atheist substitute for “intelligent design”, and actually explains nothing.

Well, at least we agree that ID is vacuous :-) Of course, unlike the ID concept, emergence does not let our ignorance lead to posit an intelligent designer…

Comment #173844

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 1:57 PM (e)

Whatever one thinks of Arnhart or Derbyshire, both show a compelling example why ID is scientifically vacuous and theologically dangerous. That the opposition comes from conservatives just makes their arguments much harder to swallow for the DI and it’s ‘spokespeople’.

Sort of like a wedgie… to intelligent design.

Comment #173845

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 2:08 PM (e)

John West continued to misrepresent Doug Axe’s work as finding a working protein, which is definitely NOT what Axe did.
Given the fact that scientists have pointed this out, one wonders why West continues to misrepresent these issues?

What really DOES ID have to offer in support of its claims? Notice how ID’ers will be quick to flip flop between ‘empirical evidence for design’ and ‘evidence against Darwinist’, further underlining the scientific vacuity of their claims.

ID sounded desperate… A final stand on eugenics seems to be all that they have left… Return to the creationist foundation of blaming Darwinism on all amoral or immoral.

Comment #173846

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on May 6, 2007 2:34 PM (e)

Why are some negative about emergence? It’s a routine thing: the elements that make up salt are not salty, etc. etc. Emergence and reduction are opposite sides of a coin. If it works one way it works the other way. Of course the word “emergence” by itself doesn’t explain where saltiness comes from. Who said it did? You need pathetic details for that.

Comment #173847

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 2:34 PM (e)

PvM -

I noticed you posted a link to “10 Questions for John Derbyshire”.

I found his response to question 6 quite interesting. Any comments on that?

Comment #173852

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 2:52 PM (e)

PvM -

Indeed, one doesn’t have to go any further than Wikipedia to find link-supported references to Derbyshire’s attitudes on race and sexuality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Derbyshire#_no…

You ask “who could not love?” Derbyshire for making obvious and standard anti-ID comments.

I’ll answer the question. I don’t love him for it. Accepting or promoting creationism/ID is wrong. It is a sign of at best innocent ignorance and at worst hucksterism.

It does not follow that merely being able to criticize ID makes one a “good” person.

Are you saying that the standard for loving someone is that they have the wits to see through ID? That’s far too low a standard.

Or are you saying that you agree with Derbyshire’s views, and you’re grateful that someone with a little bit of scientific understanding finally expressed these kinds of views, so that you can salute in agreement without intellectual embarrassment?

Comment #173854

Posted by David B. Benson on May 6, 2007 3:13 PM (e)

Gravity is good for conservatism.

Motion is not.

:-)

Comment #173856

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 3:28 PM (e)

PvM -

Three unanswered messages, sorry :-).

I am afraid, once again, that the subject of Derbyshire is making me crankier than innocent bystanders may deserve.

Racism, homophobia, and phoney chickenhawk machismo make me mad. And they make me a even madder even faster these days than before I had all my tolerance worn out.

Nevertheless, I’m curious to see how you reply.

Comment #173858

Posted by Gary Hurd on May 6, 2007 3:32 PM (e)

As I listened along,

Hayward missed the obvious- evolutionary theory is the nearest thing we have to a “proven” theory. There are no competing propositions which can simultaneously account for the mass of data from all of the historical sciences; astronomy/cosmology, geology, paleontology, biology, anthropology. “Darwinism” has been proclaimed as the source for both “left” and “right” extreme social policies with equal (that is none) validity. (I gave up listening to his BS after about 3 minutes).

Arnhart is particularly absurd: conservatism is “liberty and order, freedom and virtue”

“the left assumes human nature is so malleable, so perfectable that it can be shaped in almost any direction. In responce to that conservatives object that in fact social order arrises not from rational planning but from the spontanious order of instincts and habit.”

“Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought by showing how spontanious order arrises from social instincts and a moral sense shaped by genetic evolution and expresed by cultural evolution.”

leftist thought=utpoianism

“conservatives see humans as naturally imperfect in their knowledge and their virtue.”
ORIGINAL SIN ANYONE?

“conervatives really do believe that human beings do have a natural moral sense that supports ordered liberty as secured by the social order of family life, the economic order of private property, and the political order of limited government.”

“There really is a universal human nature constituted by at least 20 natural desires that manifest themselves in every human society throughout history because those desires belong to the evolved nature of the human species”

Arnhart claims that “Darwinianism” holds that;
“Men and women will marry and form families, mothers will care for their children, young males will compete for mates and status, societies will organize themselves into male dominance hierarchies, competing societies will go to war, and humans will use language and symbols to try to figure out what it all means.” He then argues that these “darwinian desires” plus the remainder of the unstated “at least 20” equate to “conservatism.”

By the time I got to the second of his “Five Propositions” I was too revolted to keep taking notes.

Comment #173867

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 4:15 PM (e)

Andrew Sullivan stated it best

Derb really is a conservative of doubt, I think, and, despite his bouts of curmudgeon and prejudice, I’ve come to admire and respect his intellectual honesty,

source

As a personal note: I am not a conservative but I do enjoy a good argument, especially when it concerns an argument which states that conservatism and darwinism need not be at odds, as many (religious) conservative people in this country seem to think that Darwinism is anti-conservative or anti-religious and thus anti-conservative :-)

I find it particularly ironic how West has come to attack Arnhart in these areas.

Arnhart argues that Darwinism provides support for limited government, and he attempts to disassociate Darwin’s theory from the utopian crusades of “Social Darwinism” such as eugenics. Indeed, he argues that Charles Darwin is unfairly blamed for eugenics and that “much of what has been identified as social Darwinism… is a distortion of Darwinian science.” However, in my book I show how Darwin himself in The Descent of Man provided the rationale for what became the eugenics movement, and how the vast majority of evolutionary biologists early in the twentieth century were right to see negative eugenics as a logical application of Darwin’s theory.

Arnhart not only has correctly identified ID as scientifically vacuous but his arguments against Darwinism and eugenics and other ‘arguments’ from ID, cause a significant concern on the part of ID. Having conservatives like Arnhart reject ID’s claims is particularly amusing.
YMMV

Comment #173868

Posted by Gary Hurd on May 6, 2007 4:55 PM (e)

John West is even worse than Arnhart. I liked reading Kurt Vonnegut but I certainly know of no reason to care about his rejection (according to West) of human evolution.

Marx and Freud have been “debunked?” About like the majority of Tyco Brahe’s astronomy has been debunked. That is, the parts of Marx’s economic theory that were irrefutable are now core ideas of modern economics. Freud’s concept of psychosocial development, and innate biological drives is still the foundation for modern psychology, and his “talking therapy” is still the standard of non-chemical psychotherapy. These are facts regardless of whether or not one agrees only a little, or not at all with Marxist or Freudians.

West next bloviates that among the secular elite, Darwin is “a secular saint.” He states that Dawinists have, “clothed themselves in the mantel of modern science successfully stigmatizing those who criticize then as bigoted Bible thumpers who are antiscience. The greatest critics of “Darwin” are what creationists like West call Darwinsts. The weak ass criticisms promoted by creationists are merely echoes- typically decades out of date- to criticisms first posed by real scientists. The difference being that scientists correct the errors of current theory they discover while creationists merely sit back and cackle about how “gawddidit.”

About 3 minutes of West and I am in need of a rest- and beer.

Comment #173869

Posted by steve s on May 6, 2007 4:56 PM (e)

You might want to check out the podcast of today’s This Week With George Stephanopoulis. George Will was pretty strongly against those three creationist republicans. And when someone mentioned McCain’s statement accepting evolution, but looking at the Grand Canyon and seeing the hand of god, Will said: “It was made by the Colorado River. Trust me.”

Comment #173870

Posted by David B. Benson on May 6, 2007 5:17 PM (e)

I wouldn’t trust George Will even on that.

The Colorado River had a lot of assistance from the Kiabab uplift, which AFAIK is still not fully understood…

Comment #173871

Posted by David B. Benson on May 6, 2007 5:25 PM (e)

Oops. Kaibab

Comment #173872

Posted by harold on May 6, 2007 5:31 PM (e)

PvM -

Being a generous sort, I’m going to conclude that your statement “I’m not a conservative” means that you don’t endorse Derbyshire’s racism, homophobia, and empty violent boasting.

Derbyshire expresses views that were once mainstream, and when they were, they caused a great deal of human suffering. He may have been born just after WWII, but his brain seems to have been left in 1900.

The theory of evolution is just a valid scientific description of the physical world. Simply because someone has the intellectual capacity to learn and understand it does not mean that said person is morally decent or emotionally mature.

Conservatism as usually understood is at least mildly unscientific, but for a reason that is not related to the theory of evolution.

It is obvious that countries which combine a basic free market economy with respect for human rights and the environment, a civilized justice system, and a decent structure of social programs, have achieved the highest standard of living when things like life expectency and infant mortality are given their proper weight.

The conservative view is typically that we should cut or eliminate social programs, reduce or eliminate environmental and public health regulations, reduce or eliminate public education, execute ever more people for minor or non-violent offenses (or for being captured by the Iranians), eliminate progressive taxation, and engage in frequent wars at the slightest provocation. To this has been added, in recent years, the view that we should enforce observation of narrow sectarian religious rituals and eliminate or distort the teaching of science. Not every conservative agrees with every single one of these things, but this is a fair if incomplete summary of the general platform. (Derbyshire appears to agree with all of them except eliminating or distorting science education, perhaps because his religion, Anglicanism/Episcopalianism, is not at odds with science.)

We don’t have controlled experiments, but historical and anthropological evidence suggest that, in addition to being inhumane, this is a dangerous and dystopian platform. Evidence suggests that societies that modify a strong capitalist foundation with a decent social safety net, universal health care, equal access to equal education, and adherence to the humanitarian and diplomatic norms of the international community do better on almost every measure of quality of life.

It is obvious that all members of a society, including the well off, benefit from mainstream social policy; almost anyone would choose to be rich in the Netherlands or Costa Rica rather than to be rich in Haiti, even though the former are severely “liberal” by US standards and Haiti happens, by coincidence, to “enjoy” a number of the conditions that conservatives favor, such as very low wages and little taxation of the elite.

By flying in the face of this obvious evidence, and aggressively promoting outdated policies that appear to maximize human suffering in the vain hope of benefiting those already the most affluent, conservatism could be said to be somewhat “unscientific”.

Comment #173874

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 5:55 PM (e)

Yes, West is quite a character but lets for the moment try to understand why they have taken this route? Why not take the route which Arnhart and Derbyshire point out is far more in line with the scientific evidence? As Derbyshire comments if Darwinian theory is right and incompatible with conservatism, then so much worse for conservatism.

By making conservatism incompatible with Darwinism, West is taking yet another risky path. Having found that ID fails scientifically, is a disaster theologically, the only path left is to appeal to the conservative nature of creationists. And what better argument than to smear Darwinism with the evils of eugenics etc?

And yet conservative notions of pre-emptive strike seems to be far more in line with concepts of eugenics and abortion than most conservatives would be willing to accept.

But I digress. ID is upset that people use the self evidence religious foundation and history of ID to argue against ID. Of course, few arguments against ID really depend on the religious nature of ID, other than to show that ID is religiously inspired and when it fails to be scientifically relevant, it become a religious foundation and thus runs easily afoul of the constitution.

Hoping to distract from ID’s failures, ID proponents seem to have launched a ‘battle of the bulge’ counterattack based on old creationist arguments against Darwinism, hoping to attract the ever diminishing support of religious people.

It’s sad and in fact poorly argued to claim that Darwin supported eugenics or that eugenics was somehow an inevitable outcome of Darwinism. But lack of logic has never been an obstacle to IDers.

Comment #173876

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 6:15 PM (e)

Being a generous sort, I’m going to conclude that your statement “I’m not a conservative” means that you don’t endorse Derbyshire’s racism, homophobia, and empty violent boasting.

I’d say that your portrayal of Derbyshire lacks the nuances to the same extent as many who argue against Dawkins. (see for instance http://collectedmiscellany.com/archives/000058.p…)

Conservative or not, I do not really support any form of racism or homophobia, and I also understand that focusing on such issues may be seen as mostly ad hominem when discussing Derbyshire’s contributions to the discussion.

Comment #173877

Posted by Gary Hurd on May 6, 2007 6:16 PM (e)

West rejects the concepts of theistic evolution, probably the most common concept held by a Christian or Jew, and equates this with “atheism.” Then he states that it is perhaps possible that a form of “modest Darwinism” could be rephrased so as not to be “harmful,” but, “then it no longer would be Darwinian.” West objects to conservatives offering “idiosyncratic deffinitions” of Darwinism and then has nothing to offer but his hideously obsessive formulation of as “science as evil” opposed to moral universals which he extends to the defence of capitalism.

According to West, Darwinism inevitably promotes “relativism and utopian social reforms such as eugenics” West objects that if behavior is subject to selective pressure, Darwinists find “it is hard to see an objectve ground to condemning any particular behavior found in nature.” West next links “Darwinism” to infanticide. He claims that “monogamy is natural, but then so are polygamy, adultry and even rape.” (insert biblical, and contemporary examples of polygamy here)! Rape! West, you shit-for-brains, there are very obvious objections to rape in Western technological societies, and ample biblical instances and justifications.

Biological desires, in support of conservatism, must be “normnative” according to West. “If one believes that natural desires have been implanted in human beings by intelligent design or even that the represent irreducible and unchanging truths inherant in the universe (somehthing ala sort of a modern Platoism) it would certainly be rational to accept those desires as a grounding for a universal code of morality.” He then claims that evilution rejects the existance of any code of morality.

West waxed wroth that under a Darwinian framework when conditions of survival change human behaviors change (35:32). TURNBULL “The Mountain People,” and the survival of the Donner party are sufficent to send West home to his YEC nest. But, the ultimate rebuke of West’s absolutist moralizing is the greater propensity for religious fanatics to promote murder and even suicide. The Jones Town massacre had a goodly number of associated homicides, the Heaven’s Gate episode show how easily religious mania leads to death. We read every single day about the suicide bombings in Iraq prompted by the religious ferver of the conservative movement’s millennialists electing George W. Bush, and the murderus religious mania they unleashed. Conservatives are also well known to be more deadly than the left’s terrorist attempts as evidenced in Oklahoma City v. the 1970’s “Weather Underground” which was best known for blowing themselves up.

In case anyone wonders, suicide is the ultimate Darwinian “no no” under the lame ass understanding shown by West. (Suicide can be Darwinian under the terms of inclucive fitness- ie. barbed stingers in honey bees). The pathetic dupes on every side of human wars are sold the idea they are “saving” their gods, their nation’s leaders, and/or their families. In the field of battle their intent is simply to save their own lives.

I need another break.

Comment #173881

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 6, 2007 6:40 PM (e)

“Emergence” may very well be a vacuous, meaningless bit of jargon.

The point of evolutionary theory is to make the emergentism found in biology (and ecology) something quite different from the mere jargon that the ignorant bloviator Gilder knows. And it has largely succeeded, where one might expect it to.

We sometimes say “emergentism” to simplify the matter, to point to the fact that emergent phenomena are well-known, from crystallization to biological development. Gilder’s errant stupidity strips the meaningful explanations provided under the evolutionary framework into what he understands about evolution—nothing.

The fact is that we don’t usually resort to the term “emergentism” until some doofus like George starts blithering away about all of the “impossibilities” of evolution without in the least discussing the details that evolution explains, notably the “nested hierarchies” and the rampant homologies found throughout morphology and genetics. We might mention “emergentism” to point to the fact that ordered and somewhat “complex” phenomena are known to emerge even in the inorganic realm, hence it is no shock that even more complex yet relatively ordered phenomena arise in the biological sphere.

Were we to stop at that it would be vacuous. However, we do not, George is just a pig-ignorant fool who wants to ignore what is so well known about evolution and to chant the idiocies of the DI which pays him to mouth dishonesty.

He is another ranting fool who would have been a reasonably respectable, if minor, figure had he not sold out to pseudoscience. Like Behe, he will be remembered rather better for mouthing idiocies than for the positive things he has accomplished. He will not be respected (I don’t care if he knows ID is vacuous, if he doesn’t know that evolution isn’t he’s gone over to ignorance and nihilism).

Even the IDiots will forget these yahoos when they’re dead, for they’ll need to find new anti-intellectual/anti-evolutionary nonsense to pretend that they’re doing more than just ranting about what they understand so very little.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

Comment #173883

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 6, 2007 6:48 PM (e)

But as far as whether or not evolution and conservatism are “friends or foes,” I suppose it all depends on what you consider “conservatism” to be.

I wanted to post again to include what D’Souza wrote about it. Not that many here wouldn’t have already found it, or will, for I simply discovered it on Pharyngula, but I think it’s worth bringing into any discussion here. Here’s his editorial:

http://newsbloggers.aol.com/2007/05/04/why-darwi…

There seems to be baggage following D’Souza (he seemed to be taking an anti-Darwinian tack when noting that Dawkins hadn’t been invited to speak at the Virginia Tech memorial for those massacred there—like that was a meaningful observation) and Derbyshire, and perhaps some of the others who speak about evolution and conservatism. I do think that George Will’s constant pro-science attitude perhaps demonstrates rather better a sort of compatibility, at least, with a more sensible conservatism and science, including evolution.

Glen D

Comment #173896

Posted by George Cauldron on May 6, 2007 9:39 PM (e)

In case anyone here wanted to claim Derbyshire isn’t a racist:

“The U.S.A. was born with two race problems: the African Americans and the Native Americans. We struggle with those problems still, and must continue to struggle.”

I wonder how Native Americans or descendants of slaves feel about being described as a ‘race problem that America started with’?

It’s nice that Derbyshire says smart things about evolution, but aside from that I’m ashamed to have him on ‘my side’.

Comment #173897

Posted by Dan Gaston on May 6, 2007 9:47 PM (e)

Emergence isn’t vacuous when it is being grounded in the proper framework/context. As Glen D pointed out when we talk about emergent properties in fields like evolutionary biology a great deal of understanding of the underlying systems is being invoked. If you don’t know something about the interacting systems that give rise to new properties not explicitly coded for you can’t really talk about emergence except in the most hypothetical of terms.

Comment #173906

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 10:12 PM (e)

I wonder how Native Americans or descendants of slaves feel about being described as a ‘race problem that America started with’?

it does not matter how they feel about this but rather, if this is an accurate description of the race problem(s) in America.

I am sure that there must be much better reasons why to call Derbyshire a racist, but this one seems to not be it.

Comment #173907

Posted by PvM on May 6, 2007 10:21 PM (e)

Derbyshire wrote:

White Americans, a scattering of bohemians aside, beggar themselves to buy homes as far as possible from big concentrations of their black fellow-citizens. Inside those concentrations, black Americans stew in dependency and hopelessness. When, as happened with Hurricane Katrina, the dependency and the hopelessness decorate our TV screens for days on end, we turn away in embarrassment, having no real clue what to do about any of it.

Racist?

Comment #173923

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 7, 2007 1:11 AM (e)

it does not matter how they feel about this

well, in relation to the accuracy argument, not necessarily, but in relation to communication, it matters how people feel about their situations, right or wrong….and speaking of accuracy, i certainly wouldn’t have described the conflict between native americans and european settlers as a “race” issue; it was more a land usage issue where racisim was laid on top (manifest destiny, and all that).

when someone plays the race card when it isn’t necessary (see your second quote using the example of New Orleans), it does indeed suggest the person is in fact, racist.

there were lots of white folks washed out of new orleans, too. the common denominator was primarily income, not race.

so, again, suggesting it IS an issue of race as when he says “White Americans, a scattering of bohemians aside, beggar themselves to buy homes as far as possible from big concentrations of their black fellow-citizens.”, rather than it being an issue of income does come off as being oversimplified to the point of being racist.

bottom line, he may not think these statements racist, but I can certainly sympathize with many who would.

Comment #174033

Posted by Frank J on May 7, 2007 5:23 AM (e)

Grady wrote:

“emergence” is a vacuous, unfalsifiable, catch all term that barely counts as a metaphysical concept.

It is the atheist substitute for “intelligent design”, and actually explains nothing.

“Emergence” is no more atheistic than ID. From what I read it is either a testable explanation or a “temporary place holder” for those engaged in finding one. ID, which Gilder admits “has no content,” is nothing but a scam. ID “researchers” are not looking for alternative explanations, only for slicker ways to misrepresent science. Despite all their whining about “Darwinism,” ID activists do not want a real critique of evolutionary biology. They refuse to even call it by name.

Comment #174041

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 7, 2007 6:41 AM (e)

Frank J,

Darwinism, or more accurately, neo-darwinism describes a set of overarching assumptions and explantatory concepts that provides an organizing framework for evolutionary (and in fact all) biology. This same framework is capable of limited generalization to fields outside of biology. In addition, while it is a scientific theory formed primarily to describe the natural world, its initial formation was influenced by political economy (e.g. Malthus) and it in turn had implications for political economy. Furthermore, it has numerous ramifications for philosophy.

Multiple, respected people call themselves “Darwinists” or “neo-Darwinists” including Richard Dawkins, Michael Ruse and the late Ernst Mayr.

I personally wouldn’t call myself a Darwinist because I personally don’t see it as fully generalizable to the social sciences. That said, the term is a useful, handy description of one of the most successful scientific theories.

Just because people on the other side use it as a term of opprobrium is not a reason to all of a sudden claim it does not exist.

Comment #174042

Posted by harold on May 7, 2007 7:08 AM (e)

PvM -

Your defense of Derbyshire is getting very strained. And this matters.

Let’s recall that my original post, which was admittedly undisciplined and uncivil, reflected offensive Derbyshire writings on subjects that were completely unrelated to his homophobia or apparent racism. I would have strongly objected to what he wrote on those topics (Virginia Tech and British sailors), even in the unlikely event that the writer was otherwise enlightened and humane.

Your own link to “10 questions for John Derbyshire” revealed intensely homophobic comments about Andrew Sullivan. I don’t like Andrew Sullivan, either, of course, but that doesn’t mean that homophobia is okay when it’s directed toward him in particular. At that point I figured Derbyshire was almost sure to be a racist, as well, given how certain things travel together, and quickly confirmed that he appears to be so.

You are right that there are nuances. Older or less-educated people often hold stereotypes or use language that can be over-judged as rankly racist or homophobic, when in fact, their true intentions are quite innocent. In Derbyshire’s case, from what I have seen (and I’ve seen some quotes now that are far worse than what’s been posted, but I’m going to let that drop, because they weren’t clearly linked back directly to confirmable Derbyshire sources), nuance is not an issue. And even if I thought that his racism and homophobia were “mild”, there’s still the issue of the stuff that set me off in the first place.

We’ve had the “luxury” of enduring a right wing administration that also disrespects and suppresses science, making it very easy for people who support science to also oppose current inhumane policies. What happens if a charismatic but harmful figure who throws science a bone, or has some personal scientific sophistication, arises? Will we have the judgment to realize that scientific education or talent alone does not constitute good character?

Comment #174044

Posted by GSLamb on May 7, 2007 7:17 AM (e)

George Cauldron wrote:

I wonder how Native Americans or descendants of slaves feel about being described as a ‘race problem that America started with’?

It depends upon how the word “problem” was meant.
You seem to take it that he meant “America would have been perfect from the start, if it were not for all these other ‘people.’”
He could, just as easily, have meant “America’s race problems started from the beginning with how we dealt with slaves and Native Americans.”

If you are simply looking for quotes that further your side, regardless of proper context and meaning, you might feel more at home on the UD board.

Comment #174048

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 7, 2007 7:40 AM (e)

One last point for the morning:

I’ll give John Derbyshire points for defending the integrity of scient to conservatives. Yet after reading his answers to the 10 questions, there’s a side of me that wishes he would go over to the other side.

I woulnd’t call him a racist per se. I would call him someone who has an extremely biased, distorted and ethnocentric vision of world history.

The Arabs had “civilization” when a significant number of Europeans still hand’t even fully adopted the use of the plow and were steeped in warlordism, ignorance and illiteracy.

There was nothing “civilized” at all about European colonialism and imperialism.

Comment #174049

Posted by harold on May 7, 2007 7:42 AM (e)

Chip Poirot -

You make an valid point about the term “Darwinism”, but I would argue that the term is now at best outdated and inappropriate.

First of all, as I’ve pointed out before, (Somebody’s_name)ism nearly always has a derogatory tone (Marxism, Maoism, etc). And it’s easy to see why. Using a single name to describe a field of thought implies that it is all the creation of a single author, and that it relies on appeal to this authority for its validity. This is anything but the truth for the theory of evolution, which has been massively confirmed and expanded by thousands of scientists. We don’t call physics “Gallileoism”.

The theory of biological evolution is a scientific theory that explains the diversity of cellular and post-cellular life on earth. Whatever analogies inspired Darwin, and whatever other processes may draw on biological evolution as an analogy, that is all it is.

Of course, some other processes may also involve generation of individual items through incrementally variable reproduction, followed by some sort of selection. It makes sense to use biological evolution as an analogy in such cases, but why not just use the term “evolutionary”, or better still, “evolution-like”, to describe these?

There is one more reason to prefer “biological evolution” (or a similar term) to “Darwinism”. Darwin’s comments on the use of his name to describe harsh social policies have been variously interpreted. My interpretation is that, in pointing out that under harsh conditions poor people were more fertile than rich people, he was strongly rebutting the claim that harsh policies served to “select against” those whom the advocates of harsh policies identified as “inferior. (Note that we moderns are disproportionately descended from more the more fertile Victorian poor, including the infamous “Irish”, yet we don’t seem to be “degenerate” relative to the “superior” Victorian upper class.)

We can see Darwin as either making an ironic comment on the judgment of “inferiority”, or as commenting that harsh social conditions were not an effective means of “selection”, or both, but we cannot see Darwin as a proponent for the use of his name to describe harsh treatment of poor people, because he could have expressed that view very strongly had he held it (and to general praise, in Victorian England), and he very clearly did not do so, but rather, raised objections - polite objections, but objections nevertheless. Had he done so, of course, he would have been wrong about social policy but not biology; life would still evolve; transistors still work, the sad case of Shockley notwithstanding. But since the term “Darwinism” continues to hold the totally inappropriate connotation of “harsh social policies”, and since Darwin himself seems to have objected to that in his own lifetime, that’s one more reason not to use the term.

Comment #174054

Posted by David Stanton on May 7, 2007 8:21 AM (e)

I don’t really like the term “Darwinism” either. I’ve never really heard it used except by creationists. They seem to use it as a derogatory term that implies a belief system based on philosophical assumptions rather than on emperical methods. I think they just want to imply that there is no difference between their position, which we label creationism, and beliefs held by scientists. That is of course incorrect.

It seems to me that, 150 years after publication of The Origin of Species that “evolutionary theory” is a much more accurate terminology. I know it has more syllables, but why be lazy when it plays into the hands of those who would destroy science? I think that is how we got into the whole “it’s just a theory” problem. If scientists would only use the word hypothesis appropriately, it would be much easier for the general public to see through such nonsense.

Comment #174056

Posted by Frank J on May 7, 2007 8:41 AM (e)

David Stanton wrote:

I’ve never really heard it used except by creationists.

Not sure how you missed it, but unfortunately it is used by defenders of evolution all the time. Maybe not much in technical articles, but in popular writings, where they need to be most conscious of how the reader might not infer the correct meaning from context. Chip Poirot defends its use above, but I see it at best a completely needless term, easily substituted with the “ism-free” “Darwinian (or neo-Darwinian) evolution.” At worst it makes the anti-evolution activists’ job much easier. Besides, Darwin would not likely approve of it anyway.

Comment #174059

Posted by Frank J on May 7, 2007 8:50 AM (e)

Just noticed that Harold beat me to the “Darwin would not approve of ‘Darwinism’.”

Comment #174072

Posted by PvM on May 7, 2007 11:34 AM (e)

Your defense of Derbyshire is getting very strained. And this matters.

Not really.

Comment #174077

Posted by harold on May 7, 2007 12:06 PM (e)

PvM -

You know what? You’re absolutely right. It doesn’t matter what you think about Derbyshire. :-).

As for me, I’m against homophobia, racism, and hypocritical right wing bullying in general. I’m against those things as life evolves here in the universe.

I’d be against them if the earth were 6000 years old and there was an ark full of dinosaurs 4000 years ago.

I’d be against them if the Flying Spaghetti Monster manifested himself to me and explained how he designed the bacterial flagellum.

For me, seperate issues. Heck, I’d even like a humanitarian IDiot better than Derbyshire, if there was such a thing.

You do your thing and I’ll do my thing.

Comment #174079

Posted by Tex on May 7, 2007 12:14 PM (e)

At the risk of posting something on topic, I would like to point out that there is nothing spooky or magical about emergence or emergent properties. This just means that synergistic effects allow new properties to arise that are not inherent or obvious in underlying layers or components. One example is a screwdriver, which is composed of a large round handle and long blade with a much narrower diameter than the handle. These two components, when attached in the standard fashion, allow the tool to be very useful in driving screws into wood, something neither the handle alone nor the blade alone could do very effectively. Separately, the blade might be good for opening paint cans, and the handle might be good for throwing at someone who is bothering you, but together they take on a powerful new function.

Comment #174080

Posted by Kristine on May 7, 2007 12:17 PM (e)

“emergence” is a vacuous, unfalsifiable, catch all term that barely counts as a metaphysical concept.

It is the atheist substitute for “intelligent design”, and actually explains nothing.

Well, so give me an ID “explanation” for how blue and yellow pigment turns into green, then.

Oh wait - according to Dembski, ID doesn’t have to match our “pathetic level of detail.” ;-)

Comment #174082

Posted by George Cauldron on May 7, 2007 12:24 PM (e)

If you are simply looking for quotes that further your side, regardless of proper context and meaning, you might feel more at home on the UD board.

Interesting. I hadn’t heard that you’d been made a moderator here. Congratulations!

Comment #174083

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 7, 2007 12:25 PM (e)

Harold,

A “Darwinian” theory of evolution is different from a neo-Darwinian theory and both are different from a Lamarckian, orthogenetic or teleological theory. A Darwinian theory is gradual, based on natural selection and variation, without specifying the mechanism of variation (or specifying it very vaguely) and leads to branching diversity of life. It also is based on common descent. A Neo-Darwinian theory specifies the mechanism of inheritance and variation (for the record, I would say that natural selection includes such things as sexual selection and genetic variation such things as genetic drift).

Neo-Darwinian theories also imply a certain cognitive frame. That is why lynn Margulis sometimes finds herself at odds with other evolutionary biologists-parts of her theories are not easy conceptual fits with the cognitive frame of evolutionary biology.

All science is done in cognitive or conceptual frames. I don’t see what is wrong with giving the frame a name, and I can think of none better or more deserving than “Darwin” save perhaps for Neo-Darwin.

Creationists and ID’ers love to misuse the fact that science takes place in cognitive frames. They like to twist people like Quine, Kuhn and Lakatos into saying that you can just pick any cognitive frame you want, so there cognitive frame is as good as a naturalistic cognitive frame. But their frame is silly and the fact that science takes place in a cognitive frame doesn’t mean you can avoid doing the hard work of hypothesis testing and actual, honest to god observation and honest to god data and experiments. Nor does it mean you can just invent any silly crackpot theory you want.

It doesn’t matter what you term it or whether you don’t term it-creationists and ID’ers will always come up with a strategy to twist it.

That they do so doesn’t really give us a good reason to mix up Hopper and Pempel.

There is a long debate in the social sciences btw about whether or how concepts like selection, variation, etc. are applicable to studying social evolution. Whether you come down on the side of analogy (as I would) or on the side of domain generality (as some others would) it seems to me there is a bit of hair splitting. Concepts of selection, variation, microevolution, macroevolution etc. can be fruitfully applied to social evolution.

Why not give credit where credit is due? To Charles Darwin.

Comment #174084

Posted by Tommykey on May 7, 2007 12:25 PM (e)

About the Derbyshire comments on the V-Tech shooting, what people need to understand about it is this. A guy with two guns throws open the door to your classroom, and before you can even react to it, he starts blazing away. In those few seconds you are either hit and killed, hit or wounded, or he misses you and you manage to duck behind a desk. Before you can even think to work out a plan to charge him (remember, Cho standing in the doorway has a clear field of fire), he stops shooting and steps away. You check yourself for a moment, realize you are not shot. You see one of your classmates on the floor beside you, dripping blood, and moaning in pain. You crawl over to her to check on her wounds and try to console her.

Meanwhile, in the second classroom, the students have heard the gunshots and while they are still saying to each other “What the hell was that? What’s going on?” Cho opens their classroom door and starts shooting. Same thing happens as in the first classroom, the students are sprayed with bullets before they can formulate a coherent response to the situation.

So, as you can see, I really do not have any respect for the argument that the students and faculty should have stopped Cho. How could they have. The right wing pundits criticizing the victims make it sound like the students and faculty allowed themselves to be lined up against the wall and shot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Students tried to bar the doors to keep Cho from getting into the rooms a second time so that other students could escape out the windows. Some people were even wounded and killed trying to save the lives of the others.

Remember, we’re talking about a college classroom hallway. There were no cars or bushes or other barriers behind which heroic students could have snuck up behind Cho and disarmed him.

Comment #174086

Posted by harold on May 7, 2007 12:35 PM (e)

Tex -

For the record, the topic is the AEI conference titled “Darwinism and Conservatism - Friend or Foe?”. Posts about the relationship between politics and science are on topic, “emergence” is off topic (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

This is my final post for this thread (and I usually stick to it when I say that). Emerge away.

Comment #174087

Posted by harold on May 7, 2007 12:45 PM (e)

Chip Poirot -

Okay, one final, final post to reply to this. I’m still not crazy about the term “Darwinism”, but you make some good points, and I don’t think that there’s a huge amount of disagreement here. I’ll concede that I don’t object to the term when it’s used intelligently and honestly.

I find Lynn Margulis’ position interesting. She is arguing against something that I don’t think scientists have believed for a long time, but that some lay people are still affected by, the idea that “natural selection” necessarily implies a harsh, violent process. She’s right, of course; natural selection occurs whenever one heritable phenotype has a reproductive advantage, however imperceptible over another - even if they both think that they’re in hog heaven. Her comments about Anglo-American capitalists or whatever it is border on stereotypes, however.

Tommykey - Thank you, thank you, thank you. I said the same thing about fifty posts ago, but less articulately.

Comment #174091

Posted by raven on May 7, 2007 1:20 PM (e)

Tommykey - Thank you, thank you, thank you. I said the same thing about fifty posts ago, but less articulately.

Agree.

Comment #174096

Posted by Sean on May 7, 2007 2:25 PM (e)

I disagree. Tommykey seems to have made a lot of assumptions to support his position that taking offensive action against the shooter was not a valid response. Note, I am not in any way saying the students should have. That is a very personal choice involving many factors, only one of which is discovering the limits of your own inner ability to quickly take aggressive action in a hostile situation.

You see one of your classmates on the floor beside you, dripping blood, and moaning in pain. You crawl over to her to check on her wounds and try to console her.

You see one of your classmates on the floor beside you, dripping blood, and moaning in pain. You decide that attempting to run that miserable SOB of a shooter down from behind and stopping his rampage is more of a priority than consoling her.

You see one of your classmates on the floor beside you… You decide that cowering in the corner and sobbing softly is the right course of action.

You see one of your… You decide that running like hell is a wise choice.

You see… You crawl over to her and try to render first aid.

There are many possible responses in the aftermath of a shooter withdrawing from your classroom. An agressive counterattack is one. I am honestly surprised that no stories of such action have emerged considering the number of individuals I would expect to have been present in the building.

Meanwhile, in the second classroom, the students have heard the gunshots and while they are still saying to each other “What the hell was that? What’s going on?”

That is a pretty long period of confusion. Did no one in the building have experience with the sound of gunfire? Two weeks ago a single shot rattled our neighborhood. It took about two seconds of recognition before my wife and I were both off the couch and hunkered on the floor. In twenty seconds my wife had pulled her S&W from the nightstand while I was talking to a 911 operator. I imagine we would have been faster if an entire clip had been fired removing our slight doubts of backfire.

Students tried to bar the doors to keep Cho from getting into the rooms a second time so that other students could escape out the windows. Some people were even wounded and killed trying to save the lives of the others.

And this is the part where I was most puzzled by your post. You spent the previous two paragraphs detailing how it happened too quickly for any reaction. The door opens and people die. While still being confused about what is happening, the scenerio repeats in the next classroom. Then you switch gears talk about people taking concrete actions to save lives. If there was time to formulate appropriate defense reactions, there there must have been time to formulate appropriate offensive reactions.

Remember, we’re talking about a college classroom hallway. There were no cars or bushes or other barriers behind which heroic students could have snuck up behind Cho and disarmed him.

*shrug* You must know more about that classroom building than I. I have been in some where the doors opened into lecture halls a third of the way into tiered seating. I have seen classroom buildings built by insane architects with twisty corridors. I have seen straight hallways with a multitude of projecting water fountains, display cases and service counters. I have seen hallways with multiple crossing intersections and switchback stairwells. Or it could have been a straight and empty hallway with clear lines of fire *if* Cho looked to his side while assaulting the next classroom.

Comment #174097

Posted by David B. Benson on May 7, 2007 2:31 PM (e)

Harold — re: Flying Spaghetti Monster

herself!

Comment #174099

Posted by Gerard Harbison on May 7, 2007 2:32 PM (e)

Harold’s arguments are classic political correctness of the worst sort, amplified by misrepresentation. Misusing quotes in reference to Derbyshire’s comments about VT might have been accidental, as he claims; his claim that Derbyshire said the British sailors should have been executed for being captured seems to indicate a pattern of mendacity, or perhaps, a man who can’t distinguish between his own fabrications and reality.

But more importantly, while one might argue against both propositions – that the victims of VT should have fought back more effectively, and that the British sailors should have been court-marshalled for cooperating with their captors in the absence of any real threats – Harold is not arguing against them. He is condemning Derbyshire merely for advancing them as propositions. This is classic PC.

And by the way, it’s ‘vicious’, not ‘viscious’.

Comment #174100

Posted by GuyeFaux on May 7, 2007 2:34 PM (e)

David B. Benson - re: Flying Spaghetti Monster

Herself!

Comment #174101

Posted by harold on May 7, 2007 2:59 PM (e)

Gerard Harbison -

And now I have to reply, despite desire to get away from this thread.

I am going to ask you politely to stop incorrectly insulting my honesty.

It is clear that I am not trying to lie about Derbyshire’s positions, nor hide his original works from anyone who wishes to verify them. I spelled out with great clarity exactly what quote from Derbyshire I referred to, and why I interpreted it as I did.

I do not object in the slightest to Derbyshire’s right to express himself; I merely indulge my own right to very strongly disagree. Do you confuse the expression of dissent with the suppression of speech? They are quite different things. Can you document a single quote from me suggesting that Derbyshire should be censored?

It is my impression that you are trying to deny the tone and implications of Derbyshire’s writing, but I’ll concede that this could be subjective.

Incidentally, it would theoretically be possible for someone to hold “conservative” opinions on economic or other policy, and yet disagree with Derbyshire on these issues.

I am responding to this only to defend myself against a charge of dishonesty, as I strive to be an honest person. I am thoroughly sick and tired of talking about John Derbyshire or Virginia Tech. My honest opinions have been made amply clear.

Comment #174105

Posted by daenku32 on May 7, 2007 3:25 PM (e)

I do wonder if evolutionary theory on the (far)-right is “framed” around Derbyshire’s politics. They might accept the theory, but there’s the luggage of added misconceptions of theory’s intent. I mean, the theory should be acceptable whether or not it fits “conservative” politics.

Comment #174111

Posted by David B. Benson on May 7, 2007 4:20 PM (e)

GuyeFaux — I grovel in abjection for the error of my ways…

Comment #174149

Posted by Gerard Harbison on May 7, 2007 10:27 PM (e)

Harold:

If you post a crude ad hominem attack on someone, irrelevant to the subject matter under discussion, then it is clearly an attempt to suppress the person’s argument by illegitimate means. One doesn’t need force to silence someone; merely attaching a suitably abhorrent label to them is often quite sufficient.

Comment #174162

Posted by PvM on May 7, 2007 11:37 PM (e)

You know what? You’re absolutely right. It doesn’t matter what you think about Derbyshire. :-).

Nice switch Harold.

Comment #174175

Posted by BWE on May 8, 2007 2:00 AM (e)

Wow. I feel like I’m in a parallel universe here. Emergence as in emergent systems is a reasonably technical term (like in the book by Steven Johnson, Emergence, the connected lives of brains cities and ants or something like that). Quite simply, whatever system emerges from a defined set of rules repeating over and over. It’s about feedback loops etc. and your damn evolution algorithm is software that models an emergent system. Some software actually uses emergent systems to “evolve” the best solution for problems… whatever, that’s not what I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about sex. Republicans are hung up on it.

Does Darwin’s theory help defend or undermine traditional morality and family life? Does it encourage or discredit economic freedom? Is it a spur or a brake to utopian schemes to re-engineer human nature?

That from the main page in the link above. WTF? Do Einstein’s theories? Do Itten’s color theories? If my dog humps a camel, does it make some change in the cosmic fabric of God-Space???

This is so dumb I … Yes, I take that back. I can.

Comment #174198

Posted by harold on May 8, 2007 8:07 AM (e)

Gerard Harbison -

My initial post was massively too uncivil and aggressive, particularly for this forum. I’ve conceded that, I’ve apologized for it, and I’ll concede it again.

It was not technically “ad hominem” (it was obviously extremely insulting, which is not quite the same thing) - I didn’t say that Derbyshire is a bad person, and therefore his ideas are wrong, whatever they may be; rather, I insulted him for having his ideas. However, I do agree that my post was insulting, angry, and not inviting of reasoned debate. That’s not usually my style, and I’ll try not to let if be so in the future.

On a seperate but related issue, I expressed my interpretations of the tone and implications of Derbyshire’s writings very strongly, and I even mistakenly put quotes around the words “ashamed”, which was not included in the original by Derbyshire.

In my defense, it is still my belief that Derbyshire intended his writings to be interpreted as I interpreted them (but that is a subjective judgment), and I prominently posted links to the originals, which are short and easy to read, so anyone could check my claims. Nevertheless, paraphrase and interpretation can flow dangerously into misrepresentation. I could have done a far better job at incorporating Derbyshire’s exact words into the post, and clarifying where my own interpretation of what I took to be hints or implications began.

I stand by my critiques of Derbyshire, on both the original issues and the later ones which arose, and my critique remains equally strong even if I adopt a milder interpretation.

Factual issues - no living person knows what happened at Virginia Tech in detail. The UK is not currently at war with Iran, so behavior of prisoners “toward the enemy” are not strictly relevant. My take is that the British handled a difficult situation in a way that led to a good outcome. Many living people know the details of this situation, but I am not one of them.

PvM - Yes, I did switch. You convinced me. Seriously.

By the way, I said one thing wrong. I would not “prefer a humanitarian IDiot” to Derbyshire. ID is simply too intellectually dishonest. I have met many intelligent people who have been taken in by the name, thought it refered to some reasonable variation Ken Miller-style “evolution plus God”, and thought they “agreed with it” - until they saw how vacuous it really was.

Comment #174207

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on May 8, 2007 10:15 AM (e)

Republicans are hung up on it.

Whoa there. Those with excessive guilty fascination tend to be people who think they are ‘absolutists’, and these tend to be in one party more than the other. But this does not justify a generalization to everyone in that party.

Comment #174220

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 8, 2007 11:53 AM (e)

Harold,

I think some of what Derbyshire says is pretty outrageous. On the whole, he seems to be doing what the ID groups **says** it is against: repeating the mistakes of 19th century conservatism efforts to biologize laissez faire and a whole range of social policies. It strikes me that trying to biologize socialism, laissez faire, or anything in between is ultimately just plain silly at best, and dangerous at worst. The only lesson, IMO, biology teaches us about social policy is the perils of an overreaching utopianism, and even then, good history more or less illustrates the same point.

I also think Derbyshire’s comments, even interpreted generously about Virginia Tech are downright absurd.

I think people can have a humane sense of social ethics and be confused or just plain wrong on matters of the natural sciences, and lousy people can be right on the natural sciences.

But you are right: there is a difference between a vague, generic “argument to design” of some sort, and the type of horse shit the DI is peddling.

Comment #174227

Posted by harold on May 8, 2007 1:33 PM (e)

Chip Poirot -

Well, now that I’ve been mendacious about not posting on this thread anymore :-)…

I want to emphasize that my apology is only for the fact that I opened the discussion in a very undisciplined, extremely angry tone. I could have achieved better results with a calm exposure of Derbyshire’s writings for others to ponder. There are times for controlled aggression in this life, no doubt, but that wasn’t one of them, and the aggression was a bit too uncontrolled.

This is not the same thing as apologizing for my very strong opposition to Derbyshire’s writings on the subjects of Virginia Tech, the British sailors, and Andrew Sullivan’s gayness. I have linked to the first two, PvM’s link “10 questions for John Derbyshire” shows the third (Question 6). But enough on that. The stuff is there, my opinion is expressed.

I want to completely agree with you on one thing. It never makes sense to use “biology” to justify inhumane social systems. Science describes physical reality; we choose how to behave within physical reality.

The argument that violating the human rights of some group of people would improve the “population average” on some arbitrary dimension, whether “IQ score”, height, or whatever, is usually factually incorrect or scientifically naive to begin with.

Even where it is factually correct that violating peoples’ human rights could successfuly increase some arbitrary average measure for the population, and I have never seen such a policy described that was factually correct, it is entirely a subjective decision whether increasing the mean population height or “musical talent” or “IQ score” or even the rate of genetic diseases, would be a good thing.

A related point is that human fertility invariably decreases to about steady state when childhood mortality is low and economic resources are plentiful. Those who are disturbed by the fertility of some group, whether it’s the “Irish” or someone else, should devote themselves to assuring that the group of concern has full access to health care, economic opportunity, and education. Perhaps ironically, this will achieve the goal of lowering fertility rate.

It is always logically fallacious to state that some people should be treated badly, and then advance the theory of evolution as a supporting point. It makes no more sense than advancing quantum mechanics as a supporting point for such a suggestion.

Stephen J. Gould had a mixed, albeit positive, legacy as an evolutionary biologist/paleontologist. However, he was especially good at pointing out the above.

Comment #174233

Posted by Keith Douglas on May 8, 2007 2:05 PM (e)

Pete Dunkelberg: Two notions of emergence have been advocated, the mysterian notion of Broad and so on from the early 20th century and the scientifically respectable notion of Bunge. The latter emphasizes that one of the most interesting sort of scientific problem is figuring out how a case of emergence works.

Comment #174273

Posted by Thanatos on May 8, 2007 6:52 PM (e)

harold wrote:

It is obvious that countries which combine a basic free market economy with respect for human rights and the environment, a civilized justice system, and a decent structure of social programs, have achieved the highest standard of living when things like life expectency and infant mortality are given their proper weight.

dear harold

in particular,you do realise that most of the world’s population ,outside anglosaxonia,
hates or dislikes free market economy,don’t you?
(ie if I recall correctly the latest poll shows 70% positive opinion on-about free-open market in USA and only 30% in France)
and in general and most importantly,
you do realise that the countries with
*basic free market economy
*respect for human rights
*a civilized justice system
*a decent structure of social programs
in order to achieve the highest standard of living (and also the above characteristics-properties)
(which I really doubt that is valid-true for their whole population)
keep by force (of all kinds) the rest of the countries in exactly the opposite status-conditions,
don’t you?

Gary Hurd wrote:

Marx and Freud have been “debunked?” About like the majority of Tyco Brahe’s astronomy has been debunked. That is, the parts of Marx’s economic theory that were irrefutable are now core ideas of modern economics. Freud’s concept of psychosocial development, and innate biological drives is still the foundation for modern psychology, and his “talking therapy” is still the standard of non-chemical psychotherapy. These are facts regardless of whether or not one agrees only a little, or not at all with Marxist or Freudians.

dear Gary

yes of course some of Marx’s points are accepted.by means of common logic.
But the general theory of historical materialism HAS BEEN debunked.
And it is so because Marx went too far by claiming it explains and rules EVERYTHING,
so arguments of relativism and subjectivity are invalid.
you do realise that for Marx’s socialism-communism to be possible
and evolution towards the anarchical commune to be right
Lamarck would have to be right also,don’t you?

As for Freud,Freud’s psychology (and Jung’s apropos) isn’t scientific,
isn’t science according to modern criteria.
At some point in the past,it was a more or less good step in rationalising our psyche.
Again some bits may be valid by means of common logic.
But please could you direct me to a single blind,double blind or whatever-kind scientific study
proving-showing Oedipodian and/or Ismenian complex?
As for his theory of dreams have you heard of REM cycles and the latest conclusions?
Freud HAS BEEN debunked.lying on beds and spiling one’s guts out isn’t science.
it has been performed for ages,being called confession.
please don’t equate Marx and Freud with Tycho Brahe.

Comment #174276

Posted by Popper's ghost on May 8, 2007 7:12 PM (e)

Reading about the various ways that “Darwinism” (and Darwin’s name) is being co-opted makes me nauseous.

I found particularly distressing this appalling sentence in, of all places, an archaeology article in The New Yorker:

Not only did the Mechanism demonstrate that our concept of ancient technology was fundamentally incomplete; it also contradicted the neo-Darwinian concept of technical progress in general as a gradual evolution toward ever greater complexity (technological history being the last refuge of the nineteenth-century belief in progress)—an idea firmly embedded in A. P. Usher’s classic 1929 study, “A History of Mechanical Inventions.”

As for the rest of this thread – I’m with harold (except that I don’t think the apologies were really needed).

Comment #174277

Posted by Popper's ghost on May 8, 2007 7:17 PM (e)

you do realise that the countries with
*basic free market economy
*respect for human rights
*a civilized justice system
*a decent structure of social programs
in order to achieve the highest standard of living (and also the above characteristics-properties)
(which I really doubt that is valid-true for their whole population)
keep by force (of all kinds) the rest of the countries in exactly the opposite status-conditions,
don’t you?

Yeah, I guess harold overlooked the massive military might of Norway and Sweden.

Comment #174295

Posted by Thanatos on May 8, 2007 8:45 PM (e)

Popper's ghost wrote:

Yeah, I guess harold overlooked the massive military might of Norway and Sweden.

a.check again,Norway and especially Sweden may not be mighty compared to USA
in military terms but that doesn’t mean their armies are worthless,
especially the latter’s which has an advanced military industry.
(haven’t you heard of SAAB or Ericcson?)

b.even if you consider their armies tiny,
could you please explain to me who is the enemy against whom and due to whom they exist?

c.I wrote force (of all kinds).that includes ie oeconomy,so again check again

d.even in the case that they didn’t have military might at all,
in geopolitical terms they belong to the west.which as a whole dominates the planet

e.in parallel and in example my country (Greece) is a tiny pawn geopolitically.
but we are a member of the EU,NATO etc.
not being mighty USA doesn’t mean that contributing indirectly to
the global oppression of the unpriviliged isn’t an act of oppression.
we ,almost all, ie burn middleastern oil…

d.I could bring in many more arguments like
nazi-sympathy and kingdom of fair hair-blue eyes in WWII left
some countries intact when and elsewhere others died,were killed like flies
and had their whole land brought done to pieces.
who in their right minds would want to live in such cold and invade the arctics? :-)
vast natural resources
small population density and homogenity causing absence of important internal
unrest-problems compared to other countries

conclusion :
overestimating some factors causing social “nirvana” and underestimating others,
if indeed there is nirvana,is generally erroneous and if done ,
must be done with great caution.the system is highly complex.

PS
I tried to express some geopolitical-geostrategical “realities”.
I tried not to take sides.
But not taking sides doesn’t mean that one has to be politically correct
and/or by obligation humanist.Political Correctness isn’t rational
and humanism (scientific or not) is itself an ideology and not a science.

By no means did I wrote anything trying to insult someone.
I only try to examine facts.I pass no moral judgment.
That includes war-lords,humanists,norwegians,swedish people,
and especially that swedish guy :-) (Torbjörn Larsson)

Comment #174296

Posted by Thanatos on May 8, 2007 8:49 PM (e)

sorry correction : brought done down to pieces

Comment #174298

Posted by Thanatos on May 8, 2007 8:56 PM (e)

and by they way Popper’s ghost, I would like to remind you that
Scandinavia isn’t famous for her basic free market economy.

Comment #174319

Posted by PvM on May 8, 2007 10:27 PM (e)

and by they way Popper’s ghost, I would like to remind you that
Scandinavia isn’t famous for her basic free market economy.

References please.

Comment #174321

Posted by Thanatos on May 8, 2007 10:36 PM (e)

google ie swedish economic model

Comment #174393

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 9, 2007 6:34 AM (e)

Thanatos, PvM and others:

Of course Scandinavia, Sweden more than others, is famous for its brand of social democracy, rather than laissez faire capitalism.

It seems to me that whoever started this dispute (it is not an argument)listed several features of what he considered to be humane capitalism. Thanatos for some reason has taken that to be a defense of laissez faire, when it could just as easily be interpreted as a defense of social democracy.

Another point Thanatos: For or for bad, depending on your point of view, European social democracies have pulled back quite a bit over the last 20 years. The socialists just lost by about 6 percentage points in France.

Finally, it seems to me that the one enduring contribution of Marx is historical materialism (his theory that changes in patterns of the material organization of life were primarily responsible for changes in other areas of life). The rest of his theory about the inevitability of socialism, etc. is what should be discarded.

I’ll stop here because there seems to be no point turning PT into a discussin board about political economy.

Just note, that Freud these days (thank God) has been thoroughly discredited.

Comment #174444

Posted by PvM on May 9, 2007 11:32 AM (e)

Scandinavia isn’t famous for her basic free market economy.

followed by

google swedish economic model

which brought me to http://www.mises.org/story/2259

You are right Scandinavia may not be famous for the free market economy part of it but it seems to be there.

Has Freud been discredited? Totally?
And yes, european politics invariably swing back and forth between liberal (conservative) and liberal (socialist) sometimes even further. Nothing new here.

Comment #174448

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 9, 2007 11:50 AM (e)

PvM

I would not exactly call the Mises Institute an unbiased source.

Comment #174467

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 9, 2007 12:51 PM (e)

PvM

The Mises Institute is hardly a non-biased source and thus not surprisingly its article on Sweden is full of the normal Austrian tautologous reasoning.

Austrian economics is strictly, deliberately and studiedly “non-falsifiable” and built around endless claims to radical, a priori synthetic knowledge.

Comment #174472

Posted by PvM on May 9, 2007 1:15 PM (e)

When I asked for supporting evidence it was suggested to me to google for the answer, when I find an answer it gets rejected based on ad hominem arguments.

How am I doing so far?

Comment #174498

Posted by Chip Poirot on May 9, 2007 3:48 PM (e)

PvM,

huh? I didn’t send you for evidence.

I suggested that first of all there was a misunderstanding about market capitalism and social democracy.

Criticizing the Austrian school of economics for the way they do economics is no more ad hominem than criticizing Intelligent Design for the way they do science.

First of all, if you need to google to find out that Sweden has one of the most extensive social welfare states in the world, and you demand evidence for such a straightforward fact, then it seems to me that you are either not playing straight up or you are just not aware of the world.

All I did was try to intervene with a little bit of professional clarification.

If you want sources on Sweden I’d be happy to suggest some.

If you really want to get into a discursion about the pitfalls of the Austrian school of economics here, I’d be quite happy to enlighten you.

I’m trying to avoid going there because I understood the purpose of PT to discuss mostly evolution vs. ID rather than long arguments about political economy.

However, if you insist…

Comment #174500

Posted by Thanatos on May 9, 2007 4:01 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

You are right Scandinavia may not be famous for the free market economy part of it but it seems to be there.

dear PvM
nobody said it wasn’t there.
if you were (I’m guessing you aren’t,I may be wrong)
a european you probably would have known the various economic systems existing here
and the debate on which is the best,which one should one follow.
they all are capitalistic since communism has evidently gone away.
but there is a whole spectrum of them
(spectrum is of course a crude simplification) ranging from the “left” to the “right”.
on the “socialist” front the swedish model is one of the paradigms.
on the “open-free market” front the model of Ireland is an example of the paradigms.

Chip Poirot wrote:

It seems to me that whoever started this dispute (it is not an argument)listed several features of what he considered to be humane capitalism. Thanatos for some reason has taken that to be a defense of laissez faire, when it could just as easily be interpreted as a defense of social democracy.

dear Chip Poirot
you misunderstood me.as I’ve stated I tried not to take sides.
the main point I’ve tried to make since my first post in this thread (#174273)
is in a nutshell an antithesis
to and against a very ,celon moi, naive thesis ,imaginary world belief
that social “advance” and “superioty” is in principle based solely
on democratic foundations and open markets and not also
on force of every kind over the weak(and many other factors).
I made no moral judgement on anything
nor did I mention anything over what should be done.

furthermore,
if you trackback from #174273 and onwards, Norway and Sweden got in the picture by
Popper’s Ghost as examples of advanced societies
(of the aforementioned characteristics) that are “harmless” and “good”
to the weak and weaker countries.
my key-points were:

*Norway and Sweden like all the others are far being from angels
*their acme is based on many factors and events besides being democratic and capitalistic
*they’re surely not the archetypical paradigm of an open-free market oeconomy

Another point Thanatos: For or for bad, depending on your point of view, European social democracies have pulled back quite a bit over the last 20 years. The socialists just lost by about 6 percentage points in France.

I know ,I know,here Sarcozy and Segolene have been constanly on the news,on discussions
(about the turn-page in France’s history,about Europe’s future,about Turkey…) etc
but following what I said I hereby state again that I took and take no sides
(in this discussion of course,I don’t mean that I don’t generally take sides)
so it’s irrelevant.

Finally, it seems to me that the one enduring contribution of Marx is historical materialism (his theory that changes in patterns of the material organization of life were primarily responsible for changes in other areas of life). The rest of his theory about the inevitability of socialism, etc. is what should be discarded.

no major disagreement.the spirit of my previous totalist argument against Marx was based on
me entering into a parallel world,a deja vu of me trying to persuade communists that
das Kapital is not to Evangelion. I believe you get what I mean,
as you may have had similar experiences. :-)

Just note, that Freud these days (thank God) has been thoroughly discredited.

indeed thank Apollon! :-)

Finally I would like to add that
equating Marx and Freud to Tycho Brahe like Gary did in #173868
is a great hubris to a physicist like myself. :)

ci vediamo

Comment #174501

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 9, 2007 4:30 PM (e)

Just note, that Freud these days (thank God) has been thoroughly discredited.

some of his specific theories, yes, but many of his general observations on things like cognitive dissonance are making a comeback.

don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, there, chippy.

Comment #174505

Posted by Raging Bee on May 9, 2007 4:52 PM (e)

Just note, that Freud these days (thank God) has been thoroughly discredited.

Subsequent work in psychology, building on, refining, and sometimes discarding parts of Freud’s work, does not “thoroughly discredit” Freud, any more than the 747 and Stealth bomber “thoroughly discredit” the Wright Brothers.

Comment #174506

Posted by Thanatos on May 9, 2007 4:53 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

Just note, that Freud these days (thank God) has been thoroughly discredited.

some of his specific theories, yes, but many of his general observations on things like cognitive dissonance are making a comeback.

don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, there, chippy.

may be
but but if by specific theories you mean
minor things like that all men are gay in love with their mother trying to kill
their father :-)
then again thank Apollon!

Comment #174509

Posted by Thanatos on May 9, 2007 5:06 PM (e)

Raging Bee wrote:

Subsequent work in psychology, building on, refining…

again the mathematicoempirical raging bee inside against the so called
humanitarian sciences orders me :-)
to ask for a single blind,double blind
or any other kind of scientific study…

Comment #174512

Posted by Thanatos on May 9, 2007 5:09 PM (e)

oops
…inside me

Comment #181004

Posted by luis on June 1, 2007 3:08 PM (e)

ugly