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Old 12-12-2011, 09:28 PM
Wm. Blaxton Wm. Blaxton is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 203
Default Re: Science Saturday: Civilized Violence (Maggie Koerth-Baker & Jessa Gamble)

Good point. They seemed to have relatively little to say about the voluminous evidence that Pinker has marshaled (one exception: an observation about possible misclassification of certain societies as hunter-gatherer). Instead, they're primarily interested in critiquing his descriptive thesis on normative grounds. Which is kind of dispiriting, given that they're ostensibly defenders of science and this sort of is-ought confusion is one of the hallmarks of scientific illiteracy.

If Pinker's thesis is incorrect, which it may be, let's hear exactly why he's wrong. Explaining why it's morally problematic is fine, of course, but only after you've established that this is a separate, secondary issue.
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