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  #161  
Old 07-04-2011, 05:52 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
In a 1978 paper[10] and later in The Mismeasure of Man (1981), Stephen J. Gould asserted that Morton had selectively reported data, manipulated sample compositions, made analytical errors, and mismeasured skulls in order to support his prejudicial views on intelligence differences between different populations. A new paper, "The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias"[11] six anthropologists agree that there was bias—but that the bias came from Gould, who failed to examine, let alone remeasure, the crania to determine Morton's level of accuracy.[12] Two separate studies, one conducted in 1988 and the other in 2011, show that Morton's work was accurate, however much Gould and others may have wished otherwise.[13]

So I now agree with the official definition of biological determinism. I will say again here that Gould threw that term around pretty indiscriminately. But I want to know how measuring skulls fits in with all of this. Apparently, Merton thought he had discovered a difference in the races and he thought that he was proving that difference existed by measuring skulls. Let's just concentrate on that for a moment. If he is right about the races emerging from separate lines that's really all there is to say about it. All of his imaginings about the significance of the differences are a separate issue.

Apparently Gould was impressed (and not in a good way) enough to attack Merton's theory on that level and it turns out he (Gould) may have been quite wrong. Does that make Merton right?

Just curious, do you think that it's possible that the races evolved separately and/or are people who ascribe to that notion, biological determinists?
Horgan's article is probably a good place to begin if you're interested in Gould and Morton and the methodological debate there. It's clear that Morton was wrong in his assumptions. Gould tried to show his methods were faulty as well.

What does it mean to say "the races evolved separately?" Morton's claim was that they were separate species - that's not supported by any evidence. There's less genetic difference between races than there is between individuals of a single race - in other words, whatever differences there are between us, those due to race are far from the most important ones.
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  #162  
Old 07-04-2011, 06:01 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Gould wrong, Horgan Goes to Dark Side

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Originally Posted by osmium View Post
I don't think I believe this either. That intelligent people marry other intelligent people, so a free society becomes stratified. I understand the argument, but I think it's just made intuitively.

Lots of apples fall quite far from the tree. More unscientific speculation: I teach in a lot of different places, and the students can't help but become case histories. I have my own developing theories about who does well with intellectual tasks. Of course I realize none of that is scientific. Just like the idea in the sentence Pinker is summarizing.
Right, I was mainly addressing the motivation Herrnstein may or may not have had.
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  #163  
Old 07-04-2011, 06:13 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
whatever differences there are between us, those due to race are far from the most important ones.
Oh good. A resting place. I agree.
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  #164  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:09 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Horgan's article is probably a good place to begin if you're interested in Gould and Morton and the methodological debate there.
So I read Horgan's article and these are two statements with which I have a problem
Quote:
biological determinism : "the social and economic differences between different groups—primarily races, classes and sexes—arise from inherited, inborn distinctions and that society, in this sense, is an accurate reflection of biology

I see it in the assertion of researchers such as the anthropologist Richard Wrangham of Harvard University that the roots of human warfare reach back all the way to our common ancestry with chimpanzees. In the claim of scientists such as Rose McDermott of Brown University that certain people are especially susceptible to violent aggression because they carry a "warrior gene."
Call me crazy but neither of those statements seems true. First of all, from your own defintion, biological determinism is the idea that 100% of behavior is attributable to genetics. But Horgan sort of slides into the idea that biological determinism means that social and economic differences arise from inherited inborn distinctions. There are lots of social differences which are inborn and probably attributable to genetics. Nothing evil about that idea, right?

And I certainly don't see anything very controversial about saying that the roots of human warfare reach back to chimps. And that some people are more prone to violence because of their genetic makeup doesn't seem very far off the mark. See what I mean about how those who hate the notion of any kind of biological influence on our behavior morph into saying there is no link at all and any attempt to link it is biological determinism?
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  #165  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:21 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
So I read Horgan's article and these are two statements with which I have a problem


Call me crazy but neither of those statements seems true. First of all, from your own defintion, biological determinism is the idea that 100% of behavior is attributable to genetics. But Horgan sort of slides into the idea that biological determinism means that social and economic differences arise from inherited inborn distinctions. There are lots of social differences which are inborn and probably attributable to genetics. Nothing evil about that idea, right?

And I certainly don't see anything very controversial about saying that the roots of human warfare reach back to chimps. And that some people are more prone to violence because of their genetic makeup doesn't seem very far off the mark. See what I mean about how those who hate the notion of any kind of biological influence on our behavior morph into saying there is no link at all and any attempt to link it is biological determinism?
I don't see the problem. I think it's time to put this to bed.
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  #166  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:28 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
OOOOMMMMM
Huh?
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  #167  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:53 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I don't see the problem. I think it's time to put this to bed.
I know. I should have stopped at 'I agree'. G'night.
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  #168  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:12 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Gould wrong, Horgan Goes to Dark Side

The 7 point gap I mentioned is the gap once several confounding influences have been controlled for. If the mentioned group scored anywhere near average despite their disadvantages it would mean their natural endowment were greater then average.
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  #169  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:08 PM
Hal Morris Hal Morris is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post

I don't think it's abortion or eugenics that is primarily responsible for gassing Jews and whipping Africans in cotton fields.
Sometimes I think you're producing words much faster than you can think, and you should just slow down. Who thinks abortion is responsible for "gassing Jews and whipping Africans in cotton fields"

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post

... And once the people in power have identified the source of evil, they have created the primary justification (moral authority) for eradicating it.
If you're saying that obsession with evil is a primary cause of evil then I totally agree. But are you sure you're not obsessed with it yourself?

Another big facet driving evil is the idea that with the elimination (liquidation or what have you) of this or that enemy, things will be alright, so we just have to deal with that first. It distracts us from what we need to be doing which is building things (including a social order that works -- and if that phrase makes you see red, I suggest you read the Federalist Papers since they were all about that).

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
The only thing to not tolerate is intolerance, itself.
If we make that the one exception then I'm afraid people will convince themselves that the people they dislike and fear are intolerant, and so must not be tolerated. It's kind of like the principal "To the man with only a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail".
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  #170  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:19 PM
Hal Morris Hal Morris is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Yeah, there's a libertarian/conservative behind every bush. Watch out!
Can you say something without being ironic for once? It's not that they're the same, but they are in bed with each other. Sometimes I'm not sure there are either one, just a great liberal hating and baiting cult.
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  #171  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:18 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by Hal Morris View Post
Sometimes I think you're producing words much faster than you can think, and you should just slow down. Who thinks abortion is responsible for "gassing Jews and whipping Africans in cotton fields"
I think you're taking offense where none was intended. I was actually asking what sociological theories you had in mind and the one that I thought of was eugenics. Do you have another?

Quote:
If you're saying that obsession with evil is a primary cause of evil then I totally agree. But are you sure you're not obsessed with it yourself?
Well, I'm ideological, but I tend to think many of us are on this board. Generally speaking, I'm concerned about state concentrated power.

Quote:
Another big facet driving evil is the idea that with the elimination (liquidation or what have you) of this or that enemy, things will be alright, so we just have to deal with that first. It distracts us from what we need to be doing which is building things (including a social order that works -- and if that phrase makes you see red, I suggest you read the Federalist Papers since they were all about that).
Actually, that's what my post was largely about, but it seems you have misunderstood it, perhaps because I've written it in haste or "produced words much faster than I could think." I've only read several volumes of the Federalist Papers, in particular, the volume dealing with compromise between democracy and republic. Was there a specific volume that you liked?
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  #172  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:23 PM
T.G.G.P T.G.G.P is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
In a few words you have blown away this whole tedious discussion of "free will," made all the more tedious by the sophomoric biologism of Bob Wright. Human acts are not determined in the same way that animal behavior is determined. How can anyone deny this? They result from deliberation and deliberation depends on reason or language (logos), which is the first manifestation of human creativity or freedom---freedom from the "circle of stimuli-response."
Humans are a species of animal. And scientists believe there are learned "cultures" within chimpanzee communities as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry
The tactic I find despicable is when one person voices a feeling or opinion and another person very gently but firmly puts that person on the couch, pointing out that their feeling or opinion must be a case of neurosis or deep seated whatchmacallit. It's a not so subtle form of domination in a conversation with or without a license.
A common trope, often referred to as "psychoanalyzing". C. S. Lewis made up the term "Bulverism" to describe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by osmium
Lots of apples fall quite far from the tree. More unscientific speculation
The phrase you're looking for is "regression to the mean". It was coined by Francis Galton. Of course, there is also regression FROM the mean in which unusually average parents have children who are less average (though we can't predict in which direction, we can guess the magnitude based on a population's standard deviation).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AEMJeff
There's less genetic difference between races than there is between individuals of a single race - in other words, whatever differences there are between us, those due to race are far from the most important ones.
"Importance" is rather subjective. Part of the reason "Lewontin's fallacy" is indeed a fallacy is that the genetic differences among races are not random. An obvious example is that skin color is the product of multiple genes (I think the current consensus is five) and because populations evolving in certain regions have different selection effects we're going to see multiple genes with similar effects being correlated with race. So going back to the previous example, if one thought skin color was important differences between races would be important. But as is noted in "The Bell Curve", the variation in IQ due to racial group differences (in the U.S at least) is trivial relative to the overall variance (which is why they purposefully avoid talking about it for most of the book). Lots of continuous traits are like that, skin color being different and having a presumably smaller number of determining factors resulting in virtually disjoint distributions.

Last edited by T.G.G.P; 07-04-2011 at 11:41 PM..
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  #173  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:32 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
OK, people settle down. Since you have apparently read Pinker's The Blank Slate you know about the visceral objections people have about any hint of biological determinism. All sorts of horrible things come to mind, including eugenics which ironically was spawned in the liberal mind. People who fight the notion are the heroes of the play but since we can't even define the term without casting aspersions we will never be able to discuss the idea.
You need to work a bit harder on your "impartial arbiter" voice.
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  #174  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:00 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
You need to work a bit harder on your "impartial arbiter" voice.
oh good, an assignment!
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  #175  
Old 07-05-2011, 04:04 PM
Jay J Jay J is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

sapeye,

Allow me to piggy-back a bit on what you said in your comment.

John says that the difference between free will and God is that in our everyday lives, we experience free will but not God. This is a *VERY* weak argument (and I might add frustrating coming from someone who sees himself as a guardian of rational thought; there's a thing about glass houses).

If John wants to stomp his foot (and stop short of solipsism, which we more or less all want to do) then the only thing we can really assert with 100% confidence is that we have experience (sentience). I think we should be very suspicious of theories of mind insofar as they deny or are agnostic on whether or not we're sentient. But free will does not follow. The fact that I have experience just means that I have experience. But the particulars aren't as undeniable. I feel like I have free will, but that doesn't mean I have it.

Worrying over whether denying free will is unhealthy (or whether we could successfully implement the belief in our lives without damaging our sense of self or responsibility) is a classical fallacy of relevance. In other words, the worry is not truth-tracking. Sure, it tracks the truth of *some* topic, namely, how our beliefs on life's deepest questions impact our lives, but it has nothing to do with whether or not we actually have free will.

If I convinced myself that free will is an illusion, and really meditated on that fact, perhaps I would fail to be a very productive person, or perhaps it would take away the subjective sense of zest my life previously possessed. But so what? It's enough to make ya say, "What's that got to do with the price a tea in China?"

The effects of fatalism is a different topic than free will vs. determinism. They're not the same. They're different. John explains that he's concerned with preserving the concept of choice, but that's a personal issue he's projecting onto the topic.

John says it's "obvious" to him that we have options before us, that we know we can take one option or the other. He's incredulous that Bob might think that his internal deliberations aren't the primary cause of what he does. ***But that's what's in question***

To top it all off, in this clip,

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/371...6:41&out=32:38

John explicitly denies that the effects of a belief aren't the same as whether a belief is true. Wow!! I hope that this was said in haste, because if not, it's faith par excellence.

(And John has the gall to say the view he opposes engages in "sophistry!")
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  #176  
Old 07-05-2011, 04:26 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

Good post. This reminded me of when my friend said "so in my dream I came to a fork in the road and I chose the one on the right." And I wondered whether he had the right verb.
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  #177  
Old 07-05-2011, 06:24 PM
Alworth Alworth is offline
 
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Default Horgan's Big View

I just got to this diavlog on my ipod, probably too late to join into the conversation. Still, I was struck by the free will discussion and where I think John was right and Bob was missing the point.

There are two options: free will exists or it doesn't exist. If (a), move along, condemn the discussion to the dustbin with that a priori business. However, if (b), then things get into a pretty complex thicket of possibilities. It seems pretty obvious that the perception of free will is neither a proof for or against it. So the question floats out there as a hypothetical: if it exists, how can we create a proof?

Horgan, to his credit, wants to keep the discussion alive. He posits that we should err on the side of belief because only then will we continue to run the experiments sufficient to find a proof. Bob seems to want to throw up his hands and say, "well, the complexity and subtlety of the myriad causes and effects--natural and circumstantial--that create each moment make it impossible to ever truly know. He compares Horgan's view to the proofs that led to the a priori rational (essentially a tautology).

But I don't think Horgan's trying to argue that there IS free will. He's warning against the "fatalism" of ever proving it. In fact, his view is the agnostic view, and Bob--though I don't think he was making the argument or believes it--was in danger of taking the deterministic view, that there is no free will. That would dictate the inquiry much more than Horgan's agnosticism.
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  #178  
Old 07-05-2011, 06:43 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Horgan's Big View

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Originally Posted by Alworth View Post
But I don't think Horgan's trying to argue that there IS free will. He's warning against the "fatalism" of ever proving it. In fact, his view is the agnostic view, and Bob--though I don't think he was making the argument or believes it--was in danger of taking the deterministic view, that there is no free will. That would dictate the inquiry much more than Horgan's agnosticism.
That's an interesting way of framing the discussion.

I think we can see it as a discussion about what to do if the correct conclusion is like agnostism -- we just don't know. That's where John's point about "then we should go with the conclusion that is consistent with what we experience, that may be an essential part of how we function" comes in. He's saying that in this case, given that we don't know, that's how to choose. It's kind of like Samuel Johnson kicking the rock as a proof of existence.

Bob seemed to me to be making a stronger claim, and in any case others are, on the ground that we do have reason on the evidence to choose "no choice" vs. "some limited choice." Like I said upthread, I don't think that's so. And given that we are talking about how our minds work, it does bother me that believing that we can choose may be an essential input that causes us to weigh choices, that allows us to give less weight to immediate desires and more to longer-term interests. If so, the belief that we have no choice ends up being a destructive input, and not a true one. Not true, because the process of trying to choose, which we undertake as a result of buying into is, is part of how we function as humans, even if we aren't really and truly able to choose.

This seems to me quite a bit different than saying "we don't really know if there's a God or not, so let's believe in one." First, because it's not a valid comparison -- there's no analogous God/Not God choice (ooh, that word!), since "God" could mean any number of things -- it's an affirmative belief in a different way, and you are choosing among a whole bunch of competing beliefs without evidence, according to the argument itself. Moreover, there's no reason (in John's comparison) to believe in God. There's not a experience in the same sense that is a fundamental process of how you think. There might be a perception or experience of God (you believe), but it's quite different how fundamental our perception of choosing is to how we function.
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  #179  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:38 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Re: Sanger, "I'm actually on the other side of the fence on this, but I can completely empathize with pro-lifers. I'm also willing to move closer to either side depending on changing circumstances."
This is the Sanger project I'm referring to.
Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, a social philosophy which claims that human hereditary traits can be improved through social intervention. Sanger's eugenic policies ran to an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family-planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the profoundly retarded. She expressly denounced euthanasia as a eugenics tool.
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  #180  
Old 07-06-2011, 12:05 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
This is the Sanger project I'm referring to.
Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, a social philosophy which claims that human hereditary traits can be improved through social intervention. Sanger's eugenic policies ran to an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family-planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the profoundly retarded. She expressly denounced euthanasia as a eugenics tool.
I'm guessing you dislike Sanger, but I'll let you explain.

The central planning mentality of the above scares me. These are real life statements that terrify me:
"I want to make the world a better place!"
"Don't worry honey, I've taken care of anything. You're gonna love it!"

I think age and curmudgeon go together.
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  #181  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:04 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
I'm guessing you dislike Sanger, but I'll let you explain.

The central planning mentality of the above scares me. These are real life statements that terrify me:
"I want to make the world a better place!"
"Don't worry honey, I've taken care of anything. You're gonna love it!"

I think age and curmudgeon go together.
Well, yes, I dislike what I know about Sanger. As Hayek (whom I like) says: "If the human intellect is allowed to impose a preconceived pattern on society, if our powers of reasoning are allowed to lay claim to a monopoly of creative effort…then we must not be surprised if society, as such, ceases to function as a creative force."

Starwatcher, you are becoming a conservative before my very eyes. Do not be afraid, this won't hurt a bit.
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  #182  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:55 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
The bottom line being that we are not powerless creatures unable to influence our own destinies. We just have different degrees of freedom.
I think this is exactly right.

What is interesting to me is that much of the judging we humans do is based on the assumption that people have more freedom than they do, that they could have made better choices.

Yet if they had more freedom, would they not have made the "better" choice?

I think we also have a very befuddled concept of what freedom is, and where it comes from. It certainly is not always rational. I don't make a conscious decision to not steal from grocery stores, or not berate the clerk (most of the time...), etc. Because so much of our behavior is unconscious, it is difficult to determine what the freedom actually is.

Yet freedom can be both rational, as well as unconscious. Not having an overwhelming desire to eat that donut, much of which can be said to reside beyond the bounds of rational control - and thus unconscious - is certainly a freedom. Many of us ought to be thankful indeed for the many unconscious freedoms we were born with or have gained over the course of our life that say, criminals or those with psychological disorders do not possess. However this is a dynamic process, of course. Anyone who has been to therapy or, or even worked out some of their "issues" will recognize the increased freedom.
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  #183  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:15 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
Anyone who has been to therapy or, or even worked out some of their "issues" will recognize the increased freedom.
It was while in therapy that I realized that my issues had issues.
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  #184  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:52 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
It was while in therapy that I realized that my issues had issues.
I'm not sure which way to interpret that point!

But I am reminded of the power of cognitive behavioral therapy, in which the goal is less about understanding your "issues" in a psychodynamic sense, but in simply changing patterns of thought and behavior. So for instance, I may never know why I have such self-doubt about my ability to be more social, but I can notice patterns in my thinking, recognize them but not let them interfere with my life.

I'm not a trained therapist, but I do know this is very effective for many people, especially those with clinical disorders, such as phobias, etc. As I understand the history of psychology, many people have been unfairly diagnosed as having problems that originate in psychodynamic tension, and thus expected to resolve their "issues" in order to get better. Even in cases where the "issues" were indeed instigated or originated with early trauma, etc., and not simply genetic, one could see how this technique could be a rabbit hole of sorts, miring an individual in endless rehashings of the past, and perseverations in the present.
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  #185  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:02 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
I'm not sure which way to interpret that point!

But I am reminded of the power of cognitive behavioral therapy, in which the goal is less about understanding your "issues" in a psychodynamic sense, but in simply changing patterns of thought and behavior. So for instance, I may never know why I have such self-doubt about my ability to be more social, but I can notice patterns in my thinking, recognize them but not let them interfere with my life.

I'm not a trained therapist, but I do know this is very effective for many people, especially those with clinical disorders, such as phobias, etc. As I understand the history of psychology, many people have been unfairly diagnosed as having problems that originate in psychodynamic tension, and thus expected to resolve their "issues" in order to get better. Even in cases where the "issues" were indeed instigated or originated with early trauma, etc., and not simply genetic, one could see how this technique could be a rabbit hole of sorts, miring an individual in endless rehashings of the past, and perseverations in the present.
Depending on the problem and a number of other characteristics of the individual person, one form of psychotherapy may be more appropriate than the other. Sometimes you can start with one modality and move to another at a later time. People may be amenable to different approaches at different life stages. Unfortunately, too often we see therapists who have only been trained in one modality and they apply it to everyone the same.

The example you give of someone digging himself in an endless fruitless rehashing, is definitely among the possibilities. The person wasn't ready to go that deep. So a different approach can get them out of the hole, and perhaps later on in their lives they will be readier to do that kind of work. Most people never get too deep into their issues. Either there's no need, or they just carry their wounds to their graves.
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  #186  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:15 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Gould wrong, Horgan Goes to Dark Side

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
To the latter question my answer is that we don't have anything meaningful to say. When only controlling for a handful of extraneous influences the differences between the highest and lowest ethnicties, is what, 7 IQ points? The relatively small difference coupled with their are some influences that I can't begin to imagine how one one control for, stereotype threat being one example, makes me think no one has much to say on this of any meaning. It also makes me a little suspicious of people's motives that come out strong on this.
I think this is exactly right.

I'm also interested though, in the tendency for the right to be open to IQ to explain group differences. There could be a variety of reasons for this. One might be a rightward placement on the spectrum of in/out group acceptance. Discomfort in the "other" would make IQ controversy go down easier.

Another might be the seeming justification of social inequality. Genetic differences would seem to go a long way in explaining social inequities that the left is so concerned with.

I don't know. Can we assume the right is more comfortable with IQ-group-differences? And what would explain this?

And why is the left more uncomfortable with it? One might first say that the science is simply bogus. But I would imagine a stronger tendency on the left to have dismissed the notion before having really understood the evidence.

There is a leftward placement on the in/out group acceptance spectrum. There would also be a skepticism based on a worry that IQ is being used to justify social inequity, as opposed to environmental/social/political left-wing critiques.

I also wonder if the left isn't just more familiar with the history of racial prejudice. It is certainly more paranoid about it, writing book after book, article after article grappling with its historical roots.

I've always been curious as to why there has been so little examination of race by the right. I mean, it would probably be fair to say that at least 90% of publications on race in the last few decades have come from the left. The right seems almost pathologically incurious as to where racism comes from, what drives it, what promotes it, etc.
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  #187  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:32 PM
EricD EricD is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

In regards to the free will discussion.

Sometimes, Bob can be a real dick.

Taking that what we actually know about anything is miniscule, Bob is like 4 year old who has a little toy set (modern science) and thinks this allows him to make pronouncements about everything.

Bob, and science, do not have a clue, and will never have a clue about the most fundamental aspects of life...including the question Why?

If alternate universes are possible, then what isn't? Alternate universes make as much sense as Zeus throwing lightning bolts from the sky. It's just a different way of articulating what is unknowable.

There's an expression, even a dog knows whether you tripped over him, or whether you kicked him.

Sometimes Bob doesn't seem to know the difference.

Shut up Bob! As soon as you can explain what caused the begining of everything, you can answer some of the other questions
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  #188  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:35 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by EricD View Post
In regards to the free will discussion.

Sometimes, Bob can be a real dick.

Taking that what we actually know about anything is miniscule, Bob is like 4 year old who has a little toy set (modern science) and thinks this allows him to make pronouncements about everything.

Bob, and science, do not have a clue, and will never have a clue about the most fundamental aspects of life...including the question Why?

If alternate universes are possible, then what isn't? Alternate universes make as much sense as Zeus throwing lightning bolts from the sky. It's just a different way of articulating what is unknowable.

There's an expression, even a dog knows whether you tripped over him, or whether you kicked him.

Sometimes Bob doesn't seem to know the difference.

Shut up Bob! As soon as you can explain what caused the begining of everything, you can answer some of the other questions
So there!
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  #189  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:38 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by EricD View Post
Sometimes, Bob can be a real dick.
Yes, but he's our dick. Wait, that didn't come out right.

Quote:
Taking that what we actually know about anything is miniscule, Bob is like 4 year old who has a little toy set (modern science) and thinks this allows him to make pronouncements about everything.
I thought Bob said he was agnostic on the issue. He seemed to be playing skeptic to Horgan's assurances about humans having free will.
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  #190  
Old 07-07-2011, 01:25 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
I thought Bob said he was agnostic on the issue. He seemed to be playing skeptic to Horgan's assurances about humans having free will.
That's funny; I saw it more the other way, although Horgan was definitely saying in the absence of knowledge we should assume free will.

That said, Bob is sometimes has a dick shtick and I usually really enjoy those times, but he wasn't dick-like here, IMO.

I suppose it depends on your definition of "dick," though. Let's debate that next!
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  #191  
Old 07-07-2011, 05:46 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
That's funny; I saw it more the other way, although Horgan was definitely saying in the absence of knowledge we should assume free will.
Bob doesn't have a strong position; says he's agnostic.

In the beginning of the conversation, I think Bob is presenting the meta level argument to play devil's advocate. Bob doesn't seem to be sure about free will or destiny; he just seems sure that John can't be sure.

Bob says we can't step in the same river twice. For example, people often reflect on their past behavior and think about particular things in their lives that they wish they had done differently. So, if you could travel back in time knowing what you know now, you could actually change your destiny.

But what if you could go back in time not knowing what you know now.

You'd probably make the same choice because all variables would be the same. You're still weighing in your mind whether or not to start that bar fight with the 300 lb man. You decide to do it all over again.

He presents this argument to rebut John's assertion of free will. This doesn't prove that there's no free will, either. Basically, Bob is getting epistemological and John accuses him of philosophical sophistry.
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Last edited by sugarkang; 07-07-2011 at 05:52 PM..
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  #192  
Old 07-07-2011, 06:00 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: NR said it best about the "Bell Curve"

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
As Hayek (whom I like) says: "If the human intellect is allowed to impose a preconceived pattern on society, if our powers of reasoning are allowed to lay claim to a monopoly of creative effort…then we must not be surprised if society, as such, ceases to function as a creative force."
Ah, so prescient.

I'm not sure if Glenn Beck's insistence that everyone read Hayek was a blessing or a curse. After all, the central planning left is the one that needs it the most and they are the most dismissive.

@Duke University: Hayek vs. Keynes, a brief history.

I just watched this recently and think it's worth your time if you haven't already seen it. It's about 16 minutes.
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  #193  
Old 07-07-2011, 08:50 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
In the beginning of the conversation, I think Bob is presenting the meta level argument to play devil's advocate. Bob doesn't seem to be sure about free will or destiny; he just seems sure that John can't be sure.
Okay, thanks. I misremembered. Amusingly, however, at the end of that section John also expresses agnosticism, saying that he thinks it may not be a resolvable question, even. So they were fundamentally agreeing, under it all.

Quote:
Bob says we can't step in the same river twice.
Yeah, of course we can't. Also, even if we could and even if we acted differently, that wouldn't prove "choice," because there's randomness.
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  #194  
Old 07-13-2011, 06:33 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Gould wrong, Horgan Goes to Dark Side

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Originally Posted by osmium View Post
The idea that IQ is heritable is unprovable and unscientific.

Estimates in the academic research of the heritability of IQ have varied from below 0.5[2] to a high of 0.9.[5] A 1996 statement by the American Psychological Association gave about .45 for children and about .75 during and after adolescence.[6] A 2004 meta-analysis of reports in Current Directions in Psychological Science gave an overall estimate of around .85 for 18-year-olds and older.[7] The New York Times Magazine has listed about three quarters as a figure held by the majority of studies.[8]


maybe you were being a bit hyperbolic in your statement?
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  #195  
Old 07-13-2011, 10:04 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Gould wrong, Horgan Goes to Dark Side

1996 is a long time ago. These aren't APA statements, but published by APA more recently, and while I agree that inheritance has no effect is an overstatement, there's been a lot of recent work that questions the earlier emphasis on heritability:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/herit.aspx

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/09/intellect.aspx

It's also important to emphasize that estimates of heritability are estimates of the effects of genetics on the variance in IQ, NOT on the effects of genetics on IQ. This is really missed by a lot of people
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  #196  
Old 07-14-2011, 09:44 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Gould wrong, Horgan Goes to Dark Side

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Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
Estimates in the academic research of the heritability of IQ have varied from below 0.5[2] to a high of 0.9.[5] A 1996 statement by the American Psychological Association gave about .45 for children and about .75 during and after adolescence.[6] A 2004 meta-analysis of reports in Current Directions in Psychological Science gave an overall estimate of around .85 for 18-year-olds and older.[7] The New York Times Magazine has listed about three quarters as a figure held by the majority of studies.[8]


maybe you were being a bit hyperbolic in your statement?
How were these experiments done, and how was environment and parentage varied?
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  #197  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:26 PM
tribalypredisposed tribalypredisposed is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Egos on Parade (Robert Wright & John Horgan)

Sounds like John finally read my paper "ALTRUISM AND WAR: DIVERGENCE AND CONVERGENCE IN GROUP IDENTITY DIFFERENTIATION"

http://theroadtopeace.blogspot.com/ Glad to see what he is saying suddenly sounds like a person who has a clue on the topic, unlike some of the previous rants he has gone on here.
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