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Racism Spectrum

 
burt
 
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burt
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24 March 2019 21:39
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 08:55 PM
Garret - 24 March 2019 08:39 PM

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

Neurological explanations do not replace evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, because the neurological explanations are about the “how,” not the “why.” All biological traits are either direct effects or side effects of natural selection. If mothers have trouble bonding with prematurely-born babies, then a direct effect of natural selection comes to my mind easily: in primitive environments the son or daughter is not nearly as likely to achieve reproductive success as a healthy child, and therefore the mother’s genes would benefit by discarding the baby and trying again.

I suggest reading up on the current literature on evolution of cooperation and the way that culture controls biology. I have a paper coming out soon in Current Anthropology that deals with this in some detail (title: Identity, Kinship, and the Evolution of Cooperation). Also recommend Dwight Read, How Culture Makes Us Human. We are not genetic robots.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 21:58
 

The mechanism of oxycontin being released after breastfeeding is only a biological mechanism, any biological mechanism needs an evolutionary explanation, and the explanation for that mechanism is the same old obvious selfish gene. In almost every species in which newborns need care, the direct parents are the caretakers. Some exceptions exist, such as victims of brood parasites or older sibling chimpanzees serving as parents. Adopting human parents are another exception. When mothers breastfeed the children of other women, they would be statistically exceptional.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 22:00
 
burt - 24 March 2019 09:39 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 08:55 PM
Garret - 24 March 2019 08:39 PM

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

Neurological explanations do not replace evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, because the neurological explanations are about the “how,” not the “why.” All biological traits are either direct effects or side effects of natural selection. If mothers have trouble bonding with prematurely-born babies, then a direct effect of natural selection comes to my mind easily: in primitive environments the son or daughter is not nearly as likely to achieve reproductive success as a healthy child, and therefore the mother’s genes would benefit by discarding the baby and trying again.

I suggest reading up on the current literature on evolution of cooperation and the way that culture controls biology. I have a paper coming out soon in Current Anthropology that deals with this in some detail (title: Identity, Kinship, and the Evolution of Cooperation). Also recommend Dwight Read, How Culture Makes Us Human. We are not genetic robots.

OK, I will love to read your paper when it is ready.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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24 March 2019 22:36
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 09:58 PM

The mechanism of oxycontin being released after breastfeeding is only a biological mechanism, any biological mechanism needs an evolutionary explanation, and the explanation for that mechanism is the same old obvious selfish gene. In almost every species in which newborns need care, the direct parents are the caretakers. Some exceptions exist, such as victims of brood parasites or older sibling chimpanzees serving as parents. Adopting human parents are another exception. When mothers breastfeed the children of other women, they would be statistically exceptional.

The problem is that you are leaping to a conclusion based on what you want to be true.  You aren’t looking at the evidence presented to you, and in fact you are trying to say that this evidence doesn’t matter because it is “statistically exceptional”.  That is a dogmatic attempt to exclude evidence that doesn’t fit the conclusion you want to reach.  And the conclusion you are trying to reach is actually causing you to interpret the data you’ve just been given incorrectly.

You’re bending over backwards so far to protect your theory that you’re getting shit in your hair.

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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24 March 2019 22:45
 

Maybe I need to better understand your perspective. In your opinion, why is oxytocin released during breastfeeding (if an explanation exists)?

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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25 March 2019 07:33
 

You’re missing the point.

Does the ACT of breastfeeding creating a stronger bond than the fact that mother and child share DNA?

Remember, adoptive mothers develop the same neurological bond through breastfeeding.  And if you are going to argue that DNA similarity creates a stronger social bond, then please present a causal method.  The breastfeeding example does not rely on the similarity of the DNA of the bonding pair, it relies on the behaviors.

[ Edited: 25 March 2019 07:42 by Garret]
 
burt
 
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burt
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25 March 2019 08:19
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 10:00 PM
burt - 24 March 2019 09:39 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 08:55 PM
Garret - 24 March 2019 08:39 PM

Blank slate has nothing to do with why you’re wrong in your assumption of how social bonds are formed.

Time and interaction have much more to do with social bonds than DNA.  Mothers of children born prematurely have difficulty bonding with their infants because usually breast feeding is either impossible or difficult, and this prevents the oxytocin release for both mother and child, which helps build that bond within the brain.  This is just one point of evidence that proves that interaction and time are stronger determinants of social bonds than DNA.  I can go into another example if you need.

Neurological explanations do not replace evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena, because the neurological explanations are about the “how,” not the “why.” All biological traits are either direct effects or side effects of natural selection. If mothers have trouble bonding with prematurely-born babies, then a direct effect of natural selection comes to my mind easily: in primitive environments the son or daughter is not nearly as likely to achieve reproductive success as a healthy child, and therefore the mother’s genes would benefit by discarding the baby and trying again.

I suggest reading up on the current literature on evolution of cooperation and the way that culture controls biology. I have a paper coming out soon in Current Anthropology that deals with this in some detail (title: Identity, Kinship, and the Evolution of Cooperation). Also recommend Dwight Read, How Culture Makes Us Human. We are not genetic robots.

OK, I will love to read your paper when it is ready.

I suggest the Read book. A basic point he makes is that humans are different than other social animals whose relations are based on face-to-face interactions. That means that in the evolution of the great apes a barrier was reached limiting the size of the social group because the cognitive requirements for group living grow exponentially with the size of the group (sometimes this is called the Dunbar limit, which for humans is about 150). Only early humans in the Paleolithic managed to overcome this barrier by developing cultural forms for relations, starting (in Read’s view) with the construction of kinship systems that are not genelogies but rather systems of formal relations that allow strangers to interact in a context of established expectations and understandings of their relationship. The cultural systems that develop beyond kinship then introduce cultural kinship meaning relations within a shared cultural system. Genetic evolution provided the cognitive capacities for this to develop, but it has turned around now so that in many ways culture trumps biology (people will do things for cultural reasons that act against their biological inclusive fitness). Culture provides socially functional and acceptable channels for the expression and satisfaction of biological needs and in doing this it sets environmental conditions (natural and social) that alter the factors influencing genetic selection. As we enculturate ourselves we are constructing a civilized world that takes account of our biology, but develops the sort of world that we want to live in. In other words, we are responsible for our own development.

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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25 March 2019 12:53
 
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

[ Edited: 25 March 2019 12:56 by Jb8989]
 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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25 March 2019 20:42
 
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

[ Edited: 25 March 2019 21:13 by Abel Dean]
 
burt
 
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burt
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25 March 2019 21:36
 
Abel Dean - 25 March 2019 08:42 PM
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

So something being easier to learn justifies its continued existence?

You are also tying your argument to a dead horse, not too many people who study behavioral evolution believe the selfish gene argument any more, certainly not in the way that you are trying to use it. Rather, because we are social animals and can’t live outside of a cooperative society there is selection for prosocial behavior, for being easily programmed into a group culture. If people become racist because their cultural indoctrination makes them so. As in the lyrics from that song in South Pacific: “You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate.”

 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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26 March 2019 10:55
 
burt - 25 March 2019 09:36 PM
Abel Dean - 25 March 2019 08:42 PM
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

So something being easier to learn justifies its continued existence?

You are also tying your argument to a dead horse, not too many people who study behavioral evolution believe the selfish gene argument any more, certainly not in the way that you are trying to use it. Rather, because we are social animals and can’t live outside of a cooperative society there is selection for prosocial behavior, for being easily programmed into a group culture. If people become racist because their cultural indoctrination makes them so. As in the lyrics from that song in South Pacific: “You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate.”

No, if something is easier to learn, then that does NOT justify its continued existence. Justification is another issue. I am talking about the objective psychological realities. If a bunch of anthropologists have abandoned the theory of the selfish gene, then I expect that it is another one of their many errors.

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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26 March 2019 11:47
 
Abel Dean - 25 March 2019 08:42 PM
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

The selfish gene was a poorly framed study which made it seem like non-sentient genes had some sort of emotional agency. Genes don’t have minds of their own. Genes in aggregate create brains that have minds that are suceptible to any sort of good or garbage you throw their way. But just because we’re neurologically susceptible to suggestion doesn’t mean that all things suggested - even those that are culturally supported - are rational. I agree that racism is easy to learn, but IMO that’s more to my point not yours.

 
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
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26 March 2019 12:15
 
Jb8989 - 26 March 2019 11:47 AM
Abel Dean - 25 March 2019 08:42 PM
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

The selfish gene was a poorly framed study which made it seem like non-sentient genes had some sort of emotional agency. Genes don’t have minds of their own. Genes in aggregate create brains that have minds that are suceptible to any sort of good or garbage you throw their way. But just because we’re neurologically susceptible to suggestion doesn’t mean that all things suggested - even those that are culturally supported - are rational. I agree that racism is easy to learn, but IMO that’s more to my point not yours.

Teleological language (such as “why” or “try to”) is used to communicate ideas relating to the selfish genes, but it does not require that genes have minds. “Selfish” is another example, come to think of it. It is merely an analogy, and without the teleological language then the same ideas are more wordy or more obscured. Genes are non-thinking units of information in which only those genes that best influence the respective organisms in favor of the genes’ own reproductive success are most likely to exist. “But just because we’re neurologically susceptible to suggestion doesn’t mean that all things suggested - even those that are culturally supported - are rational.” I completely agree. If racism is easy to learn because of the selfish gene, then that does NOT justify the existence of racism. That would be the naturalistic fallacy (whatever is natural is good). The other side of the coin would be the moralistic fallacy (whatever is good is natural), which is the error more common among social scientists, and their rhetoric to their students and to the public relies on the moralistic fallacy relentlessly. We need to be aware of it and call it out when we hear it, or we will be simply confused about our own nature forever, because a bunch of evil behaviors of humans (including violence and hate) are behaviors that we have every good reason to think are partly instinctive.

 
burt
 
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burt
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26 March 2019 14:20
 
Abel Dean - 26 March 2019 10:55 AM
burt - 25 March 2019 09:36 PM
Abel Dean - 25 March 2019 08:42 PM
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

So something being easier to learn justifies its continued existence?

You are also tying your argument to a dead horse, not too many people who study behavioral evolution believe the selfish gene argument any more, certainly not in the way that you are trying to use it. Rather, because we are social animals and can’t live outside of a cooperative society there is selection for prosocial behavior, for being easily programmed into a group culture. If people become racist because their cultural indoctrination makes them so. As in the lyrics from that song in South Pacific: “You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate.”

No, if something is easier to learn, then that does NOT justify its continued existence. Justification is another issue. I am talking about the objective psychological realities. If a bunch of anthropologists have abandoned the theory of the selfish gene, then I expect that it is another one of their many errors.

So, you are setting your opinion against the scientific consensus of experts in the field. Rather arrogant, wouldn’t you agree?

Note, it’s not only anthropologists who have abandoned the selfish gene, its almost all experts who studies behavioral evolution. If you want to talk about objective realities, you’d best learn what they are first. A partial reading list that might help you understand what’s actually going on in behavioral evolution: Boehm, Christopher (2012) Moral origins. New York: Basic Books; Bowles, Sam. and Herbert Gintis (2011) A cooperative species. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; Boyd, Robert (2018) A different kind of animal. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Boyd, Robert and Peter J. Richerson (1985) Culture and the evolutionary process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Chudek, Maciej and Joseph Henrich, Culture-gene coevolution, norm psychology and the emergence of human prosociality. Trends in Cognitive Science 15(5) 218 – 226; Leaf, Murray. and Dwight Read (2012) Human thought and social organization: Anthropology on a new plane. New York: Lexington; Lehmann, L. and Laurent Keller (2006) The evolution of cooperation and altruism—A general framework and a classification of models. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19:1365 – 1376; Read, D. (2012a) How culture makes us human. Left Coast Press; Read, Dwight W. and Sander van der Leeuw (2008). Biology is only part of the story .... Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 363:1959–1968; Richerson, Peter J., Robert Boyd, and Joseph Henrich (2010) Gene-culture coevolution in the age of genomics. PNAS 107:8985 – 8992;Richerson, Peter J., Ryan Baldini, Adrian V. Bell, Kathryn Demps, Karl Frost, Vicken Hillis, Sarah Mathew, Emily K. Newton, Nicole Naar, Lesley Newson, Cody Ross, Paul E. Smaldino, Timothy M. Waring, and Matthew Zefferman (2016) Cultural group selection play an essential role in explaining human cooperation: A sketch of the evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39:30 - 49; Smaldino, Paul E. (2014) The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37:270 – 271; Sterelny, Kim (2012) The evolved apprentice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Tomasello, Michael (2014) A natural history of human thinking. Boston: Harvard University Press.

You are accusing all of these folk, and many more of what you call “the moralistic fallacy.” And yet in doing so you are committing the egocentric fallacy: “If they don’t agree with me they are wrong.” Also, several posts back I noticed that you slipped in the term “scientific racism.” There is no such thing. There is and has been racism in science and there are scientific studies of racism but racism itself is not scientific.

 

[ Edited: 26 March 2019 14:25 by burt]
 
Abel Dean
 
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Abel Dean
Total Posts:  427
Joined  03-11-2017
 
 
 
26 March 2019 15:40
 
burt - 26 March 2019 02:20 PM
Abel Dean - 26 March 2019 10:55 AM
burt - 25 March 2019 09:36 PM
Abel Dean - 25 March 2019 08:42 PM
Jb8989 - 25 March 2019 12:53 PM
Abel Dean - 24 March 2019 07:05 PM

I recommend Steven Pinker’s TED talk about “the blank slate.” It is a great introduction to the concept. Most people accept the “blank slate” doctrine without knowing it. They were just raised that way.

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_chalks_it_up_to_the_blank_slate

I’m not sure that it applies in the way that you think. Racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. There’s psychological, religious, political and cultural considerations you seem to be glossing over.  Like for example, a black child being born into a family who teaches him that male Puerto Ricans all become poor dead beat dads. And let’s say that the surrounding community has schools, hospitals, and landlords who actively discriminate against middle aged Puerto Rican males at face value as a result. This would have a psychological and cultural affect on that entire locality.

I agree that racism is neither purely instinctual nor wholly social. I am saying that racism is a behavior that’s easier for us to learn largely because of the selfish gene. The theory of the blank slate predicts that any sort of behavior is just as easy to learn as any other behavior given the appropriate cultural environment, but the theory of the selfish gene predicts that behaviors that maximize the reproduction of our genes are generally easier for us to learn. That helps to explain the global preponderance and persistence of racism.

So something being easier to learn justifies its continued existence?

You are also tying your argument to a dead horse, not too many people who study behavioral evolution believe the selfish gene argument any more, certainly not in the way that you are trying to use it. Rather, because we are social animals and can’t live outside of a cooperative society there is selection for prosocial behavior, for being easily programmed into a group culture. If people become racist because their cultural indoctrination makes them so. As in the lyrics from that song in South Pacific: “You’ve got to be carefully taught to hate.”

No, if something is easier to learn, then that does NOT justify its continued existence. Justification is another issue. I am talking about the objective psychological realities. If a bunch of anthropologists have abandoned the theory of the selfish gene, then I expect that it is another one of their many errors.

So, you are setting your opinion against the scientific consensus of experts in the field. Rather arrogant, wouldn’t you agree?

Note, it’s not only anthropologists who have abandoned the selfish gene, its almost all experts who studies behavioral evolution. If you want to talk about objective realities, you’d best learn what they are first. A partial reading list that might help you understand what’s actually going on in behavioral evolution: Boehm, Christopher (2012) Moral origins. New York: Basic Books; Bowles, Sam. and Herbert Gintis (2011) A cooperative species. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; Boyd, Robert (2018) A different kind of animal. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Boyd, Robert and Peter J. Richerson (1985) Culture and the evolutionary process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Chudek, Maciej and Joseph Henrich, Culture-gene coevolution, norm psychology and the emergence of human prosociality. Trends in Cognitive Science 15(5) 218 – 226; Leaf, Murray. and Dwight Read (2012) Human thought and social organization: Anthropology on a new plane. New York: Lexington; Lehmann, L. and Laurent Keller (2006) The evolution of cooperation and altruism—A general framework and a classification of models. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19:1365 – 1376; Read, D. (2012a) How culture makes us human. Left Coast Press; Read, Dwight W. and Sander van der Leeuw (2008). Biology is only part of the story .... Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 363:1959–1968; Richerson, Peter J., Robert Boyd, and Joseph Henrich (2010) Gene-culture coevolution in the age of genomics. PNAS 107:8985 – 8992;Richerson, Peter J., Ryan Baldini, Adrian V. Bell, Kathryn Demps, Karl Frost, Vicken Hillis, Sarah Mathew, Emily K. Newton, Nicole Naar, Lesley Newson, Cody Ross, Paul E. Smaldino, Timothy M. Waring, and Matthew Zefferman (2016) Cultural group selection play an essential role in explaining human cooperation: A sketch of the evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39:30 - 49; Smaldino, Paul E. (2014) The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37:270 – 271; Sterelny, Kim (2012) The evolved apprentice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Tomasello, Michael (2014) A natural history of human thinking. Boston: Harvard University Press.

You are accusing all of these folk, and many more of what you call “the moralistic fallacy.” And yet in doing so you are committing the egocentric fallacy: “If they don’t agree with me they are wrong.” Also, several posts back I noticed that you slipped in the term “scientific racism.” There is no such thing. There is and has been racism in science and there are scientific studies of racism but racism itself is not scientific.

I can’t hope to read all of the works you cited, and that list of citations alone is impressive. Do you happen to know if any of those works criticize the “selfish gene” theory in detail? That is what I would like to focus on, because I have not paid enough attention to the best criticisms of the selfish gene theory. Perhaps many of those works criticize the selfish gene theory, and if so then I would like to know which one does it best.

“You are accusing all of these folk, and many more of what you call ‘the moralistic fallacy.’ And yet in doing so you are committing the egocentric fallacy: ‘If they don’t agree with me they are wrong.’”

I know the moralistic fallacy is common among them, because I have read their most highly-acclaimed criticisms of scientific racism, and the moralistic fallacy is explicit in their writings. They have many arguments against scientific racism, but their favorite type of argument for why scientific racism is wrong is the moralistic fallacy, i.e. that it provides “rationalization that the inequality was natural or God-given” (American Anthropological Association Statement on Race). The book most often recommended to me as a rebuttal of scientific racism is Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man. When I read it, I found that it is largely an overview of the deplorable moral history of scientific racism, mainly in the 19th century. The most popular quote among American anthropologists is a misquote of Ruth Benedict as follows: “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” They have this misquote at the headers of their websites, of their undergraduate syllabuses, and of their introductory book chapters. It should be troubling, not because it is a misquote, but because the expressed purpose of every other scientific field is to know correct facts and theories, or something like that, at the exclusion of political goals of any sort. The expressed purpose of anthropology by American anthropologists is fitting for a political activist organization, not for a scientific field.

Also, several posts back I noticed that you slipped in the term “scientific racism.” There is no such thing. There is and has been racism in science and there are scientific studies of racism but racism itself is not scientific.

Among those who study genetic racial psychological differences, they tend to prefer the term, “hereditarianism.” I would prefer, “racial hereditarianism,” to be clear. But, the popular critics of racial hereditarianism tend to prefer the phrase, “scientific racism.” It is meant as a slur, and they don’t mean to imply that scientific racism has truth value for being “scientific.” Instead, they believe that the scientific appearance is only a façade. If you do a web search, then you will find that the phrase is popular and that the only people who use the phrase are using it as a slur. Only one exception exists: me. That is because my intention is to highlight the dogmatism and the moralistic fallacy. All it takes for any proposition to justly earn the slur of “scientific racism” is to violate a central liberal dogma, which is that all races of humans are genetically psychologically equal. If a conclusion or a premise of any “scientific” argument violates the dogma, then it is scientific racism, and it should be denounced, never defended. If it is scientific racism, then the evidence or arguments must be fallacious in some way or another, and the only reason to put any thought into the arguments pretending to justify scientific racism is as a means to effectively denounce those arguments.

 
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