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  #1  
Old 10-19-2011, 03:53 PM
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Default Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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  #2  
Old 10-19-2011, 06:39 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Wink Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

I would be curious to know how Prof. Singer (and Bob, too, for that matter) would react to a line of blogging being pursued by an anonymous female in the Mid-West somewhere who goes by the name of hbd* chick. She's only been on the web for a year or so but already has managed to change the way I understand the world, which is saying something seeing as few before her have and I am nearly 70 years old.

Ironically hbd* chick builds on the same idea of kin selection (aka inclusive fitness) Singer and Wright emphasize, but with different conclusions. She sees "the expanding circle" of our moral universe to be in large measure a function of the degree of in-breeding vs. out-breeding practiced in various societies around the world. In particular -- and here she is building on insights previously remarked by Steve Sailer and Stanley Kurz -- the kinds of clan-based, tribal societies we have been encountering in the Middle East over the past ten years, in the course of our so-called War on Terror, seem to be correlated with the prevalence of cousin marriages within them.

One of her posts in particular really took me aback. She showed a map of Europe showing the tribal zones that existed as recently as a thousand years ago, and pointed out the important role the Catholic Church played in reducing the rates of consanguineous marriage throughout Christendom.

One of her tentative conclusions is that modern liberalism (as in liberal democracy, not liberals vs. conservatives), with its emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of the individual, is only possible in societies that have systematically suppressed cousin marriages over a period of centuries and many generations.

In other words, what ails the Muslims world (and to a lesser extent large areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America) is to a considerable extent bred into their bones, and there may be no shortcuts to setting them straight. Corruption, nepotism, putting family before society as a whole, indeed the very existence of anything approaching what we think of as a state and a people, may have stubborn biological as well as cultural (and the two interact) reasons for persisting. The West really may be a world like no other?

Obviously this question is of more than mere philosophical interest.

Last edited by BornAgainDemocrat; 10-19-2011 at 06:52 PM..
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2011, 06:53 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

Your 'in other words' summation seems to making claims that I don't think she makes, based on the initial post anyway. Maybe it's just poor phrasing. It's an interesting link and the hypothesis is ripe with plenty of exceptions to play with.

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 10-19-2011 at 06:59 PM..
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2011, 09:46 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

actually, i have made pretty much those claims, opposable crumbs, just in later posts.

stop by the blog sometime and see what you think. there's usually cookies and milk in the fridge, too. (^_^)
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2011, 09:48 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by hbdchick View Post
actually, i have made pretty much those claims, opposable crumbs, just in later posts.

stop by the blog sometime and see what you think. there's usually cookies and milk in the fridge, too. (^_^)
I will have to check with my tribal elders, after all I might have be lactose intolerant, bad genes you see.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 09:59 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

i'll pick up some soy milk next time i'm at the grocery store. (^_^)
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2011, 10:25 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post

One of her tentative conclusions is that modern liberalism (as in liberal democracy, not liberals vs. conservatives), with its emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of the individual, is only possible in societies that have systematically suppressed cousin marriages over a period of centuries and many generations.

In other words, what ails the Muslims world (and to a lesser extent large areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America) is to a considerable extent bred into their bones, and there may be no shortcuts to setting them straight. Corruption, nepotism, putting family before society as a whole, indeed the very existence of anything approaching what we think of as a state and a people, may have stubborn biological as well as cultural (and the two interact) reasons for persisting. The West really may be a world like no other?

Obviously this question is of more than mere philosophical interest.
I haven't watched this diavlog and certainly haven't checked the chick's blog, but if I interpret the above rather literally, it is indeed one of the most ridiculous hypothesis that I've heard about in a long time. I guess I partly base this reaction on the fact that I was born, raised and got most of my education in Latin America, so I have first hand knowledge. Again, perhaps this person hbd may be referring to Amazonian tribes or something like that, and I'm not too knowledgeable about those.

If I change my mind after finding out more what this is about, I'll let you know.

And no, I'm not interested in milk or cookies.
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:03 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I haven't watched this diavlog and certainly haven't checked the chick's blog, but if I interpret the above rather literally, it is indeed one of the most ridiculous hypothesis that I've heard about in a long time. I guess I partly base this reaction on the fact that I was born, raised and got most of my education in Latin America, so I have first hand knowledge. Again, perhaps this person hbd may be referring to Amazonian tribes or something like that, and I'm not too knowledgeable about those.
i only know about mexico and what i know is: both mayan and aztec societies practiced regular inbreeding (i.e. married close family members like first- or second-cousins) and it is likely that native mexicans did not start to regularly outbreed until the 1500s or later after converting to christianity.

even then, up until very recently, mexicans have had a tendency to marry very locally -- within the barrio. in such a situation, it's likely that mexicans were still marrying cousins, albeit more distant than first- or second-cousins (both prohibited by the catholic church until fairly recently -- first-cousin marriage still is).

the corruption levels in mexico are very similar to greece, and the mating patterns are also similar -- an avoidance of close cousin marriage but a tendency to marry very locally (and, therefore, likely cousins of some sort).

(north)western europeans have had a one thousand year head-start on outbreeding over mexicans (not to mention almost everybody else on the planet, in different ways). you may think it a ridiculous hypothesis, but it is merely apply the idea of inclusive fitness to human societies and behaviors.

Last edited by hbdchick; 10-19-2011 at 11:06 PM..
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:38 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by hbdchick View Post
i only know about mexico and what i know is: both mayan and aztec societies practiced regular inbreeding (i.e. married close family members like first- or second-cousins) and it is likely that native mexicans did not start to regularly outbreed until the 1500s or later after converting to christianity.

even then, up until very recently, mexicans have had a tendency to marry very locally -- within the barrio. in such a situation, it's likely that mexicans were still marrying cousins, albeit more distant than first- or second-cousins (both prohibited by the catholic church until fairly recently -- first-cousin marriage still is).

the corruption levels in mexico are very similar to greece, and the mating patterns are also similar -- an avoidance of close cousin marriage but a tendency to marry very locally (and, therefore, likely cousins of some sort).

(north)western europeans have had a one thousand year head-start on outbreeding over mexicans (not to mention almost everybody else on the planet, in different ways). you may think it a ridiculous hypothesis, but it is merely apply the idea of inclusive fitness to human societies and behaviors.
So, I guess you're kind of like a Charles Murray for Latinos, then. Is that about it?

With all the nested quotes, and your generally careless use of punctuation, grammar, and formatting, it's hard to say for sure if these words can be attributed to you, but did you really write this?:

Quote:
most hispanics are not ready to assimilate into american middle-class society simply because they do not possess the evolutionary history during which they might’ve developed the traits to enable them to do so.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:41 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
With all the nested quotes, and your generally careless use of punctuation, grammar, and formatting, it's hard to say for sure if these words can be attributed to you, but did you really write this?:
yup.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:46 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by hbdchick View Post
yup.
And you can live with yourself?
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:47 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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And you can live with yourself?
i don't understand your question. what's the problem?
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:57 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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what's the problem?
That you're a purveyor of racist nonsense.
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:06 AM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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That you're a purveyor of racist nonsense.
what's inclusive fitness got to do with race? who even mentioned race? i sure didn't.
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:01 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

From what I understand, you are saying that Mexicans are genetically incompatible with living in the middle class of a liberal democracy, and out breeding is the only hope for their offspring.

Surely, you must be able to see why someone might find that position controversial if not offensive.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:07 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
From what I understand, you are saying that Mexicans are genetically incompatible with living in the middle class of a liberal democracy, and out breeding is the only hope for their offspring.

Surely, you must be able to see why someone might find that position controversial if not offensive.
Jesus. Check out what she wrote:

Quote:
“hispanics, on average, have a long way to go before they will have the capabilities needed to assimilate to our middle-class society — and, yes, the presence of too many of them in the united states is an existential threat to our society.”
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:21 AM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Jesus. Check out what she wrote:
look. if 40 million japanese people were to move to mexico tomorrow i would say the same thing. japanese people behave differently from mexicans, in part because they have different, historical mating patterns -- different from mexicans, that is -- and those japanese would be an existential threat to mexican society.

it's not rocket science. it's just biology.
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:27 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

But a boon to the neocons with an eye on Mexico I take it?
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  #19  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:32 AM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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But a boon to the neocons with an eye on Mexico I take it?
how should i know? i'm not a neocon.

but it wouldn't be great for the mexicans (and it's certainly not something i would advocate for them). why would they want to give away their country?
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  #20  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:36 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

Well the neocon agenda of exporting liberal democracies I mean.
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  #21  
Old 10-20-2011, 01:03 AM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
Well the neocon agenda of exporting liberal democracies I mean.
ah, i see. yes, well, that's never going to work. not easily anyway. you should check out robin fox's "The Tribal Imagination" -- he had a lot of good stuff to say on the matter.
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  #22  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:42 PM
ML9 ML9 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

I think John Horgan said in a diavlog once (hopefully I'm paraphrasing accurately) that the only area where he didn't support free scientific inquiry was in genetic racial differences like the ones discussed here. I agree with him. I think this "human biodiversity" stuff is crap (and testostyrannical's post is a great summary of why) but *even if it were true* I just wouldn't be interested, because I can't see anything remotely constructive coming out of it.
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  #23  
Old 10-20-2011, 06:03 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by ML9 View Post
I think John Horgan said in a diavlog once (hopefully I'm paraphrasing accurately) that the only area where he didn't support free scientific inquiry was in genetic racial differences like the ones discussed here. I agree with him. I think this "human biodiversity" stuff is crap (and testostyrannical's post is a great summary of why) but *even if it were true* I just wouldn't be interested, because I can't see anything remotely constructive coming out of it.
try this: if we understand why genocides happen, maybe we can prevent them.
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  #24  
Old 10-20-2011, 06:49 PM
Hal Morris Hal Morris is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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try this: if we understand why genocides happen, maybe we can prevent them.
So you think maybe they happen because of inferior races? Or because races have differences that someone might construe as inferiority? No, I don't think that would help prevent genocide. Maybe I don't get what you're saying.
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  #25  
Old 10-20-2011, 06:54 PM
hbdchick hbdchick is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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So you think maybe they happen because of inferior races? Or because races have differences that someone might construe as inferiority? No, I don't think that would help prevent genocide. Maybe I don't get what you're saying.
no, you don't get what i'm saying.

i'm not talking about races. i've never been talking about races. it's the other commenters here who keep claiming i'm talking about races, when i am not.

i'm talking about inclusive fitness and the many ways that that affects social behaviors in humans (not to mention all the other creatures on this planet).

that's all.
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  #26  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:19 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by ML9 View Post
I think John Horgan said in a diavlog once (hopefully I'm paraphrasing accurately) that the only area where he didn't support free scientific inquiry was in genetic racial differences like the ones discussed here. I agree with him. I think this "human biodiversity" stuff is crap (and testostyrannical's post is a great summary of why) but *even if it were true* I just wouldn't be interested, because I can't see anything remotely constructive coming out of it.
you are the mirror image of those denying evolution to protect their belief in God. the reality of evolution doesn't make anybody abandon belief, and whatever the reality of "race" is, it won't make anybody abandon the idea that we should all be treated equally.
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  #27  
Old 10-20-2011, 11:03 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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you are the mirror image of those denying evolution to protect their belief in God. the reality of evolution doesn't make anybody abandon belief, and whatever the reality of "race" is, it won't make anybody abandon the idea that we should all be treated equally.
What if they never held that belief to begin with? There have been many times in history when people didn't believe we all should be treated equally. I think that's what people are afraid of and why they think this subject is toxic.
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  #28  
Old 10-20-2011, 11:53 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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What if they never held that belief to begin with? There have been many times in history when people didn't believe we all should be treated equally. I think that's what people are afraid of and why they think this subject is toxic.
You bet. It is toxic. All you have to do is look at Nazi Germany, the single biggest horror of our western civilization, not because it was necessarily the worst in the world in numbers killed, but because it didn't happen in some place we considered backward like other horrors. It was a star of our civilization. I don't think you can say that about any of the other horrors. That's why we reacted so strongly to it, and the Germans themselves more than anybody, with great efforts to counteract those ideas and that's why it's frightening to feel as though they're making any sort of come-back.

Last edited by Diane1976; 10-20-2011 at 11:59 PM..
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  #29  
Old 10-21-2011, 01:19 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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You bet. It is toxic. All you have to do is look at Nazi Germany, the single biggest horror of our western civilization, not because it was necessarily the worst in the world in numbers killed, but because it didn't happen in some place we considered backward like other horrors. It was a star of our civilization. I don't think you can say that about any of the other horrors. That's why we reacted so strongly to it, and the Germans themselves more than anybody, with great efforts to counteract those ideas and that's why it's frightening to feel as though they're making any sort of come-back.
so because some people made-up some bullshit beliefs that were tied to race in a completely unscientific way in the past, we should forever eschew any science that might have any relationship to the idea of "race"?

knowledge will advance. If intelligent people refuse to deal with a subject you are leaving it for the deluded, the biased, those looking for justifications for pre-existing ideas, and the gullible masses that will lap up their theories in a vacuum of knowledge. sunlight is the best disinfectant.

weird how many people would rather live in an unreal fantasy rather than grapple with the world as it is.
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  #30  
Old 10-22-2011, 12:01 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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weird how many people would rather live in an unreal fantasy rather than grapple with the world as it is.
We can't talk about race.
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  #31  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:34 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
you are the mirror image of those denying evolution to protect their belief in God. the reality of evolution doesn't make anybody abandon belief, and whatever the reality of "race" is, it won't make anybody abandon the idea that we should all be treated equally.
I don't think either of these is totally true.

People who grow up with an understanding of God and the Bible that requires a literal interpretation, that assumes no other makes sense, so on, often do lose faith in all due to the conflicts. I don't think that's necessary -- I think it's a brittle version of religion -- but it happens.

As for the reality of "race" -- before even talking about that it's necessary for people to define their terms much more than usually happens (the nonsensical discussion of "Hispanics" here is not all that uncommon an example of how these things go). But I think a lot of the arguments are, in fact, presented to contradict a notion of all should be treated equally. For example, they have been common in the immigration debates to suggest that certain kinds of peoples aren't good for the US to have. In other times, they were used to say that blacks weren't capable of full freedom. Now, true, there's a more subtle use that seems to be "we shouldn't worry about the results that some think is connected to discrimination, because it's just because of differences in average capability."

For the record, I don't think we can assume that different populations will be identical to other populations in outcome (include male/female differences here too) even without prejudice, but I am skeptical of theories that assert biological superiority of one group of people based on ethnicity over another.

This is particularly true given the many factors that go into measuring things like intelligence (which are not purely biological), and the diversities within population and mixing of various populations. For example, to try and talk about the biological characteristics of different populations within the US, where there's so much mixing, seems impossible, and thus the detailed theories about such things seem to me to deserve the skeptical treatment they receive.
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  #32  
Old 10-20-2011, 10:17 AM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by hbdchick View Post
look. if 40 million japanese people were to move to mexico tomorrow i would say the same thing. japanese people behave differently from mexicans, in part because they have different, historical mating patterns -- different from mexicans, that is -- and those japanese would be an existential threat to mexican society. it's not rocket science. it's just biology.
"Saying the same thing" does not make it true. Actually there are many examples of families adopting racially different infants and these have been going on for many decades in liberal democracies such as the US, England, etc. where fairly good records are kept and it's possible to find out how the babies turned out as adults in terms of social success, income, criminality, etc.

If your theory is correct, then it should be possible to find support (or not) for this thesis in that data - should it not? Such as a statistically significant difference in criminality among various parent-adoptee racial combinations after other variables are accounted for. I imagine it would be possible to very accurately measure in/out breeding factors in any person's DNA using current genetic testing methods. And so we should see an amplification or reduction of this effect depending the amount of in/out breeding. I wonder where are the papers written by Sailer or his advocates that use actual data to support the theory? Or, is this just conjecture all the way down?
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  #33  
Old 10-20-2011, 10:45 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Ray in Seattle View Post
"Saying the same thing" does not make it true. Actually there are many examples of families adopting racially different infants and these have been going on for many decades in liberal democracies such as the US, England, etc. where fairly good records are kept and it's possible to find out how the babies turned out as adults in terms of social success, income, criminality, etc.

If your theory is correct, then it should be possible to find support (or not) for this thesis in that data - should it not? Such as a statistically significant difference in criminality among various parent-adoptee racial combinations after other variables are accounted for. I imagine it would be possible to very accurately measure in/out breeding factors in any person's DNA using current genetic testing methods. I wonder where are the papers written by Sailer or his advocates that use actual data to support the theory? Or, is this just conjecture all the way down?
I wonder how that works for other groups that are well known for inbreeding such as Amish, Ashkenazi Jews, Mormons, or isolated countries like Iceland. Just wondering.
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  #34  
Old 10-20-2011, 11:00 AM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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I wonder how that works for other groups that are well known for inbreeding such as Amish, Ashkenazi Jews, Mormons, or isolated countries like Iceland. Just wondering.
Hmm. I'd expect Salt Lake City would have many more mob bosses, drug addicts and prostitutes than is apparent - and concentrated in the Mormon population as well. ;-)
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  #35  
Old 10-20-2011, 11:57 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Hmm. I'd expect Salt Lake City would have many more mob bosses, drug addicts and prostitutes than is apparent - and concentrated in the Mormon population as well. ;-)
It almost makes you think other factors might be involved in the development of these conditions. ;-)
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  #36  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:33 PM
Ray in Seattle Ray in Seattle is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
It almost makes you think other factors might be involved in the development of these conditions. ;-)
Yes, and that those factors probably have nothing to do with in/out breeding. Still, I think it's important to remember that while those who believe in genetic determinism may have a non-scientific motive for supporting a hypothesis that validates genetic determinism - it's also true that those who find genetic determinism ideologically odious may have a non-scientific motive for rejecting it.

That's why I say, "Where is the evidence?". That said, I believe there's some pretty good evidence supporting the core ideas behind evolutionary psychology.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:13 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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That said, I believe there's some pretty good evidence supporting the core ideas behind evolutionary psychology.
I'm not sure what you consider the core ideas. If you mean simply the idea that human behavior has roots in evolution and natural selection and so on, I don't disagree, of course. The issue I have is when people observe complex behaviors that can be explained by many things -- and specifically by historical and cultural causes -- and insist that they must be the result of evolution and the genes. You get a lot of this to claim that men are naturally one way and women another (and I don't question that differences, including biological ones, exist) that seems more speculative than scientific. That is, I bet you could give one set of EP types a purported behavior finding and one set the opposite and both could come up with some evolutionary basis for it quite easily. Given this, it bothers me when people try to make such speculative claims into either (a) some kind of determinism (men just are compelled to spread their genes, they can't help it); or (b) explanations for historical/social differences (this goes back to that war discussion, although I really should read Pinker's book first, and it definitely relates to the discussion going on here).

Note: I am not dismissing EP across the board at all, although I'm skeptical about some of the claims, and I am quite willing to acknowledge that a lot of what bothers me has nothing really to do with EP, but laypeople or media types running with it for reasons of their own and going well beyond what any EP-oriented scientist would think to claim.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:35 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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The issue I have is when people observe complex behaviors that can be explained by many things -- and specifically by historical and cultural causes -- and insist that they must be the result of evolution and the genes. You get a lot of this to claim that men are naturally one way and women another (and I don't question that differences, including biological ones, exist) that seems more speculative than scientific.
We call this "just so stories" and its pretty endemic.
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:45 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

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We call this "just so stories" and its pretty endemic.
I have a gene that makes me doubt almost everything people say about genes.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:07 PM
testostyrannical testostyrannical is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)

I'm okay with the speculative claims as long as the person who makes them understands they are speculative. A huge number of our beliefs cannot be proved empirically. We navigate the waters of life on a raft of provisional assumptions. What annoys me is when people think their speculations constitute true claims about the ultimate nature of reality, humanity, what have you. The trouble with bad evolutionary theories of human behavior is that they are fundamentally essentialist in a way that our methods of inquiry cannot support.
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