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    Post updated, 7/23/15. See below! At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It's been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue...
  • […] post 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start) is just that. Here I review the topics I’ve discussed in the preceding 100 posts, including the […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] From what I have read, the founding stock of both the Deep South and the British West Indies was drawn heavily from the West and Metropolitan London in England. Scots-Irish settled all over the backcountry while Cavaliers tended to settle the river valleys: […]

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  • […] the Tidewater and Deep South, the home of the English Cavaliers (see The Cavaliers) in Southwest England is evidence. The Scottish link (presumably Scots-Irish that settled in the […]

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  • Post updated, 7/23/15. See below! At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It's been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue...
  • […] Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that brain structure differs delectably by race, as previously discussed: […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] modern civilized (Northwestern European) people by getting them to give up Islam. You can’t turn the U.S. Deep South and Greater Appalachia into Yankeedom or the Midlandsby getting the former two to give up fundamentalist […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • […] The Atheist Narrative  […]

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  • Post updated, 7/23/15. See below! At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It's been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue...
  • The late Marxist historian Eugene Genovese was often accused of writing too favorably about the antebellum South:

    http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/148550

    More broadly, Mr. Genovese was accused of playing down the truth that slavery, by definition, demonstrates the cruelest kind of racism. Mr. Genovese repeatedly felt compelled to assert that his books were not an apology for slavery. In subsequent books, Mr. Genovese praised intellectual life in the antebellum South, particularly its tradition of cooperative conservatism, which he saw as kinder than capitalism in the North. He cited statistics showing Southern whites, even those from disadvantaged families, were more apt to go to college than Northern whites. He argued Southerners preferred broader ownership on property and more constraints on the marketplace.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1995/oct/05/southern-comfort/

    The easiest way to approach Eugene D. Genovese’s fascinating recent work on Southern conservatism is to compare the two lost causes that he has long admired. For in his view the slaveholders’ ideology, theology, and political theory, which culminated in the Southern Confederacy of 1861–1865, and the Marxist-Leninist ideology, which culminated in the Soviet Union and Maoist China, represented the only serious challenges in modern history to the domination of bourgeois values and finance capitalism. “The fall of the Confederacy,” Genovese points out, “drowned the hopes of southern conservatives for the construction of a viable noncapitalist social order, much as the disintegration of the Soviet Union—all pretenses and wishful thinking aside—has drowned the hopes of socialists.”

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  • […] For Hit Coffee readers going back to the Age of Half Sigma – as well as anyone who isn’t HBD-averse – you might find this (in which Jayman introduces himself to the people of Unz) a treasure trove of interesting stuff. […]

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  • “A Fastidious Connoisseur of Empiricism” is such a word sandwich and hardly arrogant enough. Get that changed to Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit or something similar.

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  • […] is filled with heaps of rubbish (rubbish which I’ve covered here extensively – see 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start)), the space of dissenting voices on this matter is also filled with its own share of rubbish – […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • @Tony
    Is FBD cousin marriage? If so the trend in the Islamic World is that it is an outdated practice, virtually noone educated and under 30 does it anymore. I am not sure how long it would take for the abandonment of cousin marriage to impact IQ scores, maybe you have an idea?

    We should also remember that most Muslims did not choose Islam, it was imposed through a military conquest. In fact most of the people in the Roman World (Syria, North Africa, etc.) actually chose Christianity, though it is true that Islam was not available as a choice at that time.

    It is too early to tell what affect the internet and globalization will have on belief in the developing world. But Islam has already become very westernized and is virtually unrecognizable from it's original form which seems to only be practiced by fringe groups like ISIS. The West will turn Muhammad into a hippie before they are through with him.

    You’d be very naive if you believe Islamic societies are starting to resemble Western ones in terms of values.

    Some trends in that direction with modernization? Yes. Becoming even remotely close to Western levels? No.

    I think not enough people truly appreciate what all human behavioral traits are heritable means.

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  • Tony says: • Website
    @Tony
    You are probably correct that people in the Islamic World are genetically predisposed to be more likely to believe in inaccurate, feel good ideologies. However I would not say that they are hardwired to believe in Islam in particular. i.e. The Maltese are genetically similar to Arabs and they are devout Catholics. In my opinion Islam is the most dangerous of all “false ideologies”, far more dangerous than other religions and far more dangerous that Leftist Blank Slatism. So the work that New Atheists do in trying to convert people out of Islam is more important than the work you do in trying to convert people out of Leftist Blank Slatism. You are ahead of your time and most of the world is not ready to accept the truth that you post. First dangerous ideologies such as Political Islam need to be abandoned, and I am more confident than you that this can be achieved. Already educated Muslims have turned the image of Muhammad from a ruthless warlord to a new age hippie that preached peace and tolerance. Western ideology always wins in the end.

    Is FBD cousin marriage? If so the trend in the Islamic World is that it is an outdated practice, virtually noone educated and under 30 does it anymore. I am not sure how long it would take for the abandonment of cousin marriage to impact IQ scores, maybe you have an idea?

    We should also remember that most Muslims did not choose Islam, it was imposed through a military conquest. In fact most of the people in the Roman World (Syria, North Africa, etc.) actually chose Christianity, though it is true that Islam was not available as a choice at that time.

    It is too early to tell what affect the internet and globalization will have on belief in the developing world. But Islam has already become very westernized and is virtually unrecognizable from it’s original form which seems to only be practiced by fringe groups like ISIS. The West will turn Muhammad into a hippie before they are through with him.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Tony:

    You'd be very naive if you believe Islamic societies are starting to resemble Western ones in terms of values.

    Some trends in that direction with modernization? Yes. Becoming even remotely close to Western levels? No.

    I think not enough people truly appreciate what all human behavioral traits are heritable means.

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  • @Tony
    You are probably correct that people in the Islamic World are genetically predisposed to be more likely to believe in inaccurate, feel good ideologies. However I would not say that they are hardwired to believe in Islam in particular. i.e. The Maltese are genetically similar to Arabs and they are devout Catholics. In my opinion Islam is the most dangerous of all “false ideologies”, far more dangerous than other religions and far more dangerous that Leftist Blank Slatism. So the work that New Atheists do in trying to convert people out of Islam is more important than the work you do in trying to convert people out of Leftist Blank Slatism. You are ahead of your time and most of the world is not ready to accept the truth that you post. First dangerous ideologies such as Political Islam need to be abandoned, and I am more confident than you that this can be achieved. Already educated Muslims have turned the image of Muhammad from a ruthless warlord to a new age hippie that preached peace and tolerance. Western ideology always wins in the end.

    However I would not say that they are hardwired to believe in Islam in particular.

    Maybe not exactly Islam, but something very much like it. And in a world where Islam is available, they will choose it

    i.e. The Maltese are genetically similar to Arabs and they are devout Catholics.

    Did the Maltese go through centuries of FBD marriage? Fine genetic differences matter.

    So the work that New Atheists do in trying to convert people out of Islam is more important than the work you do in trying to convert people out of Leftist Blank Slatism.

    I don’t think they’ll have a lot a luck, precisely for the reasons detailed in this post.

    I may have poor luck dispelling the blank slate for similar reasons.

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  • Tony says: • Website

    You are probably correct that people in the Islamic World are genetically predisposed to be more likely to believe in inaccurate, feel good ideologies. However I would not say that they are hardwired to believe in Islam in particular. i.e. The Maltese are genetically similar to Arabs and they are devout Catholics. In my opinion Islam is the most dangerous of all “false ideologies”, far more dangerous than other religions and far more dangerous that Leftist Blank Slatism. So the work that New Atheists do in trying to convert people out of Islam is more important than the work you do in trying to convert people out of Leftist Blank Slatism. You are ahead of your time and most of the world is not ready to accept the truth that you post. First dangerous ideologies such as Political Islam need to be abandoned, and I am more confident than you that this can be achieved. Already educated Muslims have turned the image of Muhammad from a ruthless warlord to a new age hippie that preached peace and tolerance. Western ideology always wins in the end.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Tony:

    However I would not say that they are hardwired to believe in Islam in particular.
     
    Maybe not exactly Islam, but something very much like it. And in a world where Islam is available, they will choose it
     

    i.e. The Maltese are genetically similar to Arabs and they are devout Catholics.
     
    Did the Maltese go through centuries of FBD marriage? Fine genetic differences matter.

    So the work that New Atheists do in trying to convert people out of Islam is more important than the work you do in trying to convert people out of Leftist Blank Slatism.
     
    I don't think they'll have a lot a luck, precisely for the reasons detailed in this post.

    I may have poor luck dispelling the blank slate for similar reasons.

    , @Tony
    Is FBD cousin marriage? If so the trend in the Islamic World is that it is an outdated practice, virtually noone educated and under 30 does it anymore. I am not sure how long it would take for the abandonment of cousin marriage to impact IQ scores, maybe you have an idea?

    We should also remember that most Muslims did not choose Islam, it was imposed through a military conquest. In fact most of the people in the Roman World (Syria, North Africa, etc.) actually chose Christianity, though it is true that Islam was not available as a choice at that time.

    It is too early to tell what affect the internet and globalization will have on belief in the developing world. But Islam has already become very westernized and is virtually unrecognizable from it's original form which seems to only be practiced by fringe groups like ISIS. The West will turn Muhammad into a hippie before they are through with him.

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  • Post updated, 7/23/15. See below! At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It's been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue...
  • […] Environmental Hereditarianism, and The Son Becomes The Father; recapped in my 200th post, section Heredity and behavioral genetics]. As such, the question then becomes how did these different strains of people end up where they […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • @johan stavers
    Take a look at this!

    http://www.eupedia.com/europe/genetic_maps_of_europe.shtml

    Protestantism seems to correlate with fair hair, fair eyes and Germanic Y-DNA haplogroups

    Yup. More on that in a future post.

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  • Take a look at this!

    http://www.eupedia.com/europe/genetic_maps_of_europe.shtml

    Protestantism seems to correlate with fair hair, fair eyes and Germanic Y-DNA haplogroups

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Yup. More on that in a future post.
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  • Post updated, 7/23/15. See below! At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It's been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue...
  • The damage done by immigration is ultimately a million times worse that what a few crazies do. The Roofs of the world are a statistical inevitability, there are always a few loony losers who attach to some ideology or another (this week the Confederacy, next week Jihad, the week after New Atheist terrorist, etc). Its tragic, buts its a rounding error that doesn’t matter in the big picture.

    By contrast future generations are going to curse our anti-racism as a crime against humanity that screwed the human race at a fundamental level.

    Ultimately only the racist high IQ societies (like Japan) will survive. The rest will turn into South America (or whatever the Muslim refugee equivalent is in Europe).

    I have no doubt that general acceptance of HBD would lead to bad outcomes, its just that the long term outcomes of HBD denial are 1,000x worth and are un-repairable. In fact the tragedies people seek to avoid by denying HBD are likely to happen and be even worse in the future. You have more humane options when NAMs are a minority. When NAMs are a majority you have fewer good options.

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  • @Anonymous
    JayMan,

    First time commenting on your blog. This was a fascinating introduction (for me) into the world of HBD, reading into the rest of what you have provided here.

    Thank you! I’m glad it’s of use to you.

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  • JayMan,

    First time commenting on your blog. This was a fascinating introduction (for me) into the world of HBD, reading into the rest of what you have provided here.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Thank you! I'm glad it's of use to you.
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  • […] Previously: 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start): Essential human categories: race and sex. […]

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  • […] also updated my post: 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start) to incorporate the latest study on racial differences in brain surface […]

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  • […] 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start) and The Rise of Universalism and National Prosperity – jayman’s been on a roll lately! (^_^) each of these warrants your close attention! […]

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  • […] we’ve previously seen, national wealth exists in a curvilinear relationship with national IQ. There’s a massive […]

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  • Came here via Disenchanted Scholar. Excellent work. Look forward to more.

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  • […] (See the 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start): section Intraracial group variation and H…) […]

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  • Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    Great resource!

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @SoCal Philosopher
    @JayMan:
    Thanks for your response. The thing is, this stuff is already true, and there's already a lot of evidence for it, but it's also hardly sayable, at least in academia and in public (presumably also not in business, in sports, etc.). I agree that a fair number of people will discover this stuff, but I'm just skeptical about it becoming "commonly" known.

    Again, thanks for this post -- I'm going to explore the links and get up to speed on this in my free time.

    Indeed the disconnect between what real live people see with their own eyes daily and what the Elite and the MSM tell them they see (or should see) is evidenced by the media’s and the Elites’ reaction to what Trump said about illegal immigrants from south of the border contrasted with what real people are saying (“Well, he said it like the bull in a China shop that he is, but he’s RIGHT”).

    I live in California and was once a stupid liberal. Most of my friends still vote for Dems and consider themselves “open-minded” and liberal but hate the POTUS’ and the Elites’ support for open borders and in private say, “I don’t care if they get married, I just wish gays would shut up enough already… I’m sick of their whining and in-your-face bitching every day” –and this from two of them with lesbian nieces.

    My point distilled: What we see conflicts with what TPTB say we see and the whole thing is building to a point at which that disconnect is going to explode. Just don’t know when.

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  • @SoCal Philosopher
    @JayMan:
    Thanks for your response. The thing is, this stuff is already true, and there's already a lot of evidence for it, but it's also hardly sayable, at least in academia and in public (presumably also not in business, in sports, etc.). I agree that a fair number of people will discover this stuff, but I'm just skeptical about it becoming "commonly" known.

    Again, thanks for this post -- I'm going to explore the links and get up to speed on this in my free time.

    @SoCal Philospher:

    Well string theory is not commonly known, either, if you’re feeling me.

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  • :
    Thanks for your response. The thing is, this stuff is already true, and there’s already a lot of evidence for it, but it’s also hardly sayable, at least in academia and in public (presumably also not in business, in sports, etc.). I agree that a fair number of people will discover this stuff, but I’m just skeptical about it becoming “commonly” known.

    Again, thanks for this post — I’m going to explore the links and get up to speed on this in my free time.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @SoCal Philospher:

    Well string theory is not commonly known, either, if you're feeling me.

    , @Anonymous
    Indeed the disconnect between what real live people see with their own eyes daily and what the Elite and the MSM tell them they see (or should see) is evidenced by the media's and the Elites' reaction to what Trump said about illegal immigrants from south of the border contrasted with what real people are saying ("Well, he said it like the bull in a China shop that he is, but he's RIGHT").

    I live in California and was once a stupid liberal. Most of my friends still vote for Dems and consider themselves "open-minded" and liberal but hate the POTUS' and the Elites' support for open borders and in private say, "I don't care if they get married, I just wish gays would shut up enough already... I'm sick of their whining and in-your-face bitching every day" --and this from two of them with lesbian nieces.

    My point distilled: What we see conflicts with what TPTB say we see and the whole thing is building to a point at which that disconnect is going to explode. Just don't know when.

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  • @SoCal Philosopher
    JayMan, thanks for the post. Have you explained somewhere why you believe that "Debates about the merits of allowing it [i.e., knowledge of heritable group differences] to be commonly known are ultimately about timing – debating the when, not if"? I.e., why do you believe that eventually heritable group differences will become a matter of common knowledge?

    @SoCal Philosper:

    What’s true is still true regardless of what the talking classes want people to think. People will keep discovering and rediscovering this stuff because it’s there.

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  • JayMan, thanks for the post. Have you explained somewhere why you believe that “Debates about the merits of allowing it [i.e., knowledge of heritable group differences] to be commonly known are ultimately about timing – debating the when, not if”? I.e., why do you believe that eventually heritable group differences will become a matter of common knowledge?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @SoCal Philosper:

    What's true is still true regardless of what the talking classes want people to think. People will keep discovering and rediscovering this stuff because it's there.

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] of the country (see A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers” and the The Cavaliers). To these peoples, there are is a natural division of and natural hierarchies and (and in this […]

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  • Post updated, 7/23/15. See below! At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It's been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue...
  • […] in innate altruistic behavioral traits between european populations. etc., etc. as jayman said in his most recent post: “Differences between human groups are fined-grained because evolution acts […]

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  • @Anonymous
    Jayman, at what population correspond the very low brainsize zone in east Africa on the brainsize chart ?

    @Theodore Bagwell:

    Apparently, they are the Efe and the Batwa, Pygmy groups.

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  • @Anonymous
    jayman will you post more often in the future ???

    @Adaulphe itlerres:

    That’s the hope. We’ll see. :)

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  • jayman will you post more often in the future ???

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Adaulphe itlerres:

    That's the hope. We'll see. :)

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  • Jayman, at what population correspond the very low brainsize zone in east Africa on the brainsize chart ?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Theodore Bagwell:

    Apparently, they are the Efe and the Batwa, Pygmy groups.

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  • […] JayMan (a member of the HBD 23) achieved his 200th blog post yesterday. In honor of the occasion, I will post commenter Lion of the Judah-Sphere’s strong praise for […]

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  • Given that lactose map, I wonder if Australia is now (or soon will be) the most English country in the world. Or English plus a founder effect. It will be interesting to see if this will show in the level of corruption. My guess is it will.

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  • @Dr James Thompson
    Congratulations on your 200th post birthday

    @James Thompson:

    Thank you!

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  • Congratulations on your 200th post birthday

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @James Thompson:

    Thank you!

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  • @Luke Lea
    On the "only" two sexes: how do you deal with XXY's and very mannish-looking lesbians (so-called "bull dikes")?

    It’s childish to point to some 1% or 0.1% incidence exception to a rule and use it to somehow debunk the rule. This isn’t mathematics or physics.

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  • Ethics is always a tricky business. It’s never terribly pleasant saying negative things about people, even if they are true. I think there needs to be some balance, at least; if I’m willing to say negative things about people, I should at least endeavor to say some positive things about them. Clannishness, for example, has its good side (yes!) Many clannish people are warm and loving toward most people they encounter, having lived all their lives in a society where they are cocooned by the presence of near kin/being adapted to such an environment. Many non-clannish people are rather cold and distant by comparison. Many traits have trade-offs; violence and friendliness appear to be trade-offs. A friend of mine lives in South Africa and describes it as the friendliest country he’s ever lived in (and he’s lived in several). Australia, by contrast, was unfriendly and unpleasant.

    As someone who tends toward pessimism, I try to remind myself of this; every society has its good points, at least from the POV of the people involved.

    Personally, I’m hoping you make some more posts on the American nations, soon.

    Looks like your kid is growing happy and healthy. :)

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  • @Luke Lea
    On the "only" two sexes: how do you deal with XXY's and very mannish-looking lesbians (so-called "bull dikes")?

    I did say the sexes weren’t completely discrete (only very nearly so), and there are very rare cases of individuals who don’t fit either category.

    Even the manliest looking woman is typically completely biologically female.

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  • On the “only” two sexes: how do you deal with XXY’s and very mannish-looking lesbians (so-called “bull dikes”)?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Luke Lea:

    I did say the sexes weren't completely discrete (only very nearly so), and there are very rare cases of individuals who don't fit either category.

    Even the manliest looking woman is typically completely biologically female.

    , @Polynices
    It's childish to point to some 1% or 0.1% incidence exception to a rule and use it to somehow debunk the rule. This isn't mathematics or physics.
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  • Beautiful post, very profound to say the least. I liked how you tied in current events with the scientific facts. I’m gonna write a more cogent response later.

    I’m interested in the research you cite saying there’s no correlation between IQ and attractiveness. A bit surprising, to be honest. Anything else regarding that?

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • Jayman

    I can’t remember if we’ve had this discussion before. If we have, please forgive the redundancy.

    If a child of South Asian Hindus is adopted by North European Protestant Christians, isn’t she more likely to grow up Christian than Hindu? I agree that the child’s general level of piety might be genetic, but surely you can only join a religion you’re actually exposed to. (Religions need direct human transmission. No one in the western hemisphere became a Christian simply by opening their heart to God. Christians first had to arrive from Europe and explain what Christianity was.)

    As well as the religiosity/scepticism variable, there’s also a conformity/nonconformity variable. In the past, many people will have been religious simply because they were conformists. Now conformism may actually make them atheists.

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  • It seems that unbelief has grown in the West. Did it really grow, or is it simply that the stigma against admitting it declined? In other words, that the current figures simply reflect Western peoples long-term revealed opinions, now that duress has been removed?

    Christopher Hitchens points out that Psalm 14 opens: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” This shows that, even under bronze age Jewish theocracy, with every possible stigma against denying God, there were some who didn’t believe, and the Psalmist was aware of it.

    Within Islam, there are some who don’t believe, but who feel unable to reveal their opinions. This may even be true of some Media Muslims in the West. One British Muslim I rather like is Sarfraz Manzoor. He doesn’t show any obvious signs of Islamic piety. It sometimes feels as if he retains the Muslim moniker simply because it makes him more marketable than if he was just another Brit of South Asian heritage.

    It’s hard to know how many nominal Muslims don’t actually believe, but are dissimulating for the sake of a quiet life. One reason for the Charlie Hebdo massacre was probably to frighten such people back into the closet. There’s a pretty direct connection; that if people aren’t frightened of ridiculing Islam, people won’t be frightened of leaving Islam.

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  • @Harold
    “While they may have deleted my comment out of some silly rule against self-promotion (which is a bullshit policy anyway)”
    But Jayman, you only think this becuase you don’t have the innate, genetic distaste western Europeans have for self-promotion.

    Nope, that I don’t. ;)

    But hey, the reality is that people won’t know about you unless you tell them.

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  • “While they may have deleted my comment out of some silly rule against self-promotion (which is a bullshit policy anyway)”
    But Jayman, you only think this becuase you don’t have the innate, genetic distaste western Europeans have for self-promotion.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Harold:

    Nope, that I don't. ;)

    But hey, the reality is that people won't know about you unless you tell them.

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  • […] religion can do, perhaps. The thin weird line. How atheists lose it. Two religious experiences. SV hipster […]

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  • The most deplorable one [AKA "The fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    This is very interesting. For the last few years I have been coming to the conclusion that religion, as a part of most reasonably advanced cultures, is, at least, genetically supported, and that each racial group may, in fact, have wet-ware support for a particular style of religious experience (however, it is intriguing that various flavors of Christianity have made some inroads into East Asian groups and it would be interesting to find out what aspects of Christianity have been highlighted or whether there are just a subset of East Asians to who the Christian message appeals.)

    I have also been coming to the conclusion that the modern myths function as a replacement for traditional religion, even among the more intelligent.

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  • @proudfeministgirl
    I am White (mostly) and officially Irreligious, growp up in Mexico, yet of the religions the one I can't give up is Hinduism :) it reasonates perfectly with my desire for rich stimulation (the idols and huge literature), Christianity after a while seems dull to me.

    Thanks. Well, you exemplify one key point: self-reported irreligious people aren’t as irreligious as they claim:

    New Pew survey: 21% of atheists believe in God

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  • @Josh
    Hi JayMan, just discovered this gem of a blog by a comment you left on Dawkins' Twitter. What a tremendous post!

    As an agnostic theist, it has been a minor spiritual experience in and of itself reading your post and coming to the inspiring revelation that there exist atheists such as yourself who think critically about the neurological evolutionary factors at play in the formation and sustained belief of religion. I can't even express how frequently and how strongly your insights took me by surprise as you examined the true nature of HBD-induced belief-lust and how New Atheism has grown to fill that hole as contentedly as theism grew to fill it in ages past.

    Looking back, it's clear to me that my only experience with atheists has been of the new atheist flavor, which impressed upon me the disheartening belief that atheists in general existed in a fog of low consciousness, unable to muster any respect or clarity surrounding the biological underpinnings of consciousness -- and doing so from a comfortable armchair of unprecedentedly-high ego (which, of course, considering the fog and general lack of cognition, is completely undeserved). I honestly came to this post expecting to see the usual fog and general lack of critical thought, but boy, was I surprised!

    You do yourself and the entire atheist community a tremendous service by sharing this kind of clarity and ego-death-induced wisdom. Of course, it's clear that you're more intelligent than most of the others that I've met, but I honestly think every man of lesser intellect -- atheistic or not -- could come to a massively-heightened level of understanding by undertaking the simple task of letting go of his own ego and embracing the beautiful world of truth that exists in open-mindedness.

    I also find it interesting how so many of the comments here are written by users who are clearly of superior intellect. Great minds attract others, I suppose. Very happy to have stumbled on this little sanctuary of open, critical thought at 8am -- it really made my morning :) Well done to all involved.

    Take care and do keep sharing your thoughts, Jay!
    ~Josh

    I am White (mostly) and officially Irreligious, growp up in Mexico, yet of the religions the one I can’t give up is Hinduism :) it reasonates perfectly with my desire for rich stimulation (the idols and huge literature), Christianity after a while seems dull to me.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @proudfeministgirl:

    Thanks. Well, you exemplify one key point: self-reported irreligious people aren't as irreligious as they claim:

    New Pew survey: 21% of atheists believe in God

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  • Josh says:

    Hi JayMan, just discovered this gem of a blog by a comment you left on Dawkins’ Twitter. What a tremendous post!

    As an agnostic theist, it has been a minor spiritual experience in and of itself reading your post and coming to the inspiring revelation that there exist atheists such as yourself who think critically about the neurological evolutionary factors at play in the formation and sustained belief of religion. I can’t even express how frequently and how strongly your insights took me by surprise as you examined the true nature of HBD-induced belief-lust and how New Atheism has grown to fill that hole as contentedly as theism grew to fill it in ages past.

    Looking back, it’s clear to me that my only experience with atheists has been of the new atheist flavor, which impressed upon me the disheartening belief that atheists in general existed in a fog of low consciousness, unable to muster any respect or clarity surrounding the biological underpinnings of consciousness — and doing so from a comfortable armchair of unprecedentedly-high ego (which, of course, considering the fog and general lack of cognition, is completely undeserved). I honestly came to this post expecting to see the usual fog and general lack of critical thought, but boy, was I surprised!

    You do yourself and the entire atheist community a tremendous service by sharing this kind of clarity and ego-death-induced wisdom. Of course, it’s clear that you’re more intelligent than most of the others that I’ve met, but I honestly think every man of lesser intellect — atheistic or not — could come to a massively-heightened level of understanding by undertaking the simple task of letting go of his own ego and embracing the beautiful world of truth that exists in open-mindedness.

    I also find it interesting how so many of the comments here are written by users who are clearly of superior intellect. Great minds attract others, I suppose. Very happy to have stumbled on this little sanctuary of open, critical thought at 8am — it really made my morning :) Well done to all involved.

    Take care and do keep sharing your thoughts, Jay!
    ~Josh

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    • Replies: @proudfeministgirl
    I am White (mostly) and officially Irreligious, growp up in Mexico, yet of the religions the one I can't give up is Hinduism :) it reasonates perfectly with my desire for rich stimulation (the idols and huge literature), Christianity after a while seems dull to me.
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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] Flags of the American Nations – Here I discuss each of Colin Woodard’s American Nations, talking about the characteristics of each as well as a bit about each nation’s origins. The enduring features that make up Greater Appalachia, The Left Coast, the Deep South, etc. that live on in today’s America (and Canada and Mexico) can be traced to these ethnic differences in each region’s settling and subsequent immigration. […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • […] me being a professor and a medievalist; it’s not just that they tried to convince me that religious belief is genetically inheritable; nor just that a bunch of mostly white guys — or at least twitter personae presenting as […]

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  • […] to their way of thinking. In other words, religion is an effect, not a cause of behavior (see also The Atheist Narrative). This true of any cultural feature, of which religious behavior and belief are just […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] areas of the British Isles. In the case of the settlers of the Tidewater and the Deep South, the Cavaliers, their ancestors hailed from southwest England. The founders of Greater Appalachia were the […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] previously (see my posts A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers” and Flags of the American Nations), the ancestors of the people that live in these areas came from certain, more aggressive […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] we see, the Tidewater, the historic seat of the Cavalier Lowland South, leans towards team blue mostly because of the large Black population there (however, […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] more on the nature of each “nation”, see my previous post Flags of the American Nations and/or this piece by Woodard on his book with respect to the Tea Party. This political split is not […]

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  • […] Flags of the American Nations – Here I discuss each of Colin Woodard’s American Nations, talking about the […]

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  • […] populations are interchangeable, not all Europeans are interchangeable. Nor, for that, matter, are all White Americans […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] of the American Nations The Cavaliers Maps of the American Nations Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] Flags of the American Nations The Cavaliers Maps of the American Nations Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political Divide […]

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  • […] Big Data is kinda like their new younger brother, and is well-described by Salt Lake City. New Puritania (Ctrl-F for “Mormon” in the […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “,,,and immediately battled the Natives in an attempt to subjugate and/or exterminate them.”

    This is grossly inaccurate. The cavaliers were under strict orders from London to maintain peaceful trade relations with the indians and for the most part did so except when responding to indian aggression. After Samuel Argall’s diplomacy with Princess Pocahontas and her marriage to an English planter, peace was the norm until more indian surprise attacks and widespread slaughter of the English.

    Governor Sir William Berkeley tried his best to suppress Bacon’s rebellion where some planters without authorization sought revenge for indian violence. Berkeley put down the anti-indian rebel planters and severely punished them.

    Please revisit your history of Anglo-indian relations in tidewater Virginia.

    Otherwise, good post.

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • […] social, and cultural mentality and identity. This is because the primary purpose of religion is to establish group cohesion. New sects often rally around religious causes because it’s a powerful way of identifying […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] Church. This group is perhaps the most divorced from its origins of the representative church of the Cavaliers of the lowland South (the Tidewater and the Deep South). It remains quite alive in the Tidewater […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] Flags of the American Nations – Describes the American nations as they exist today and their respective histories […]

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] clannish elements of British American society, the descendants of the Cavaliers and the Ulster Scots, are indifferent to contributing a common pot, and they are certainly […]

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    I must say that I have some ideas of my own for the nations’ flags.

    I find your Yankeedom flag rather cluttered, and I’ve thought of a simpler sort of graphic: a stylized lighthouse. Both in the literal sense of the numerous lighthouses of the New England coast, and also in the metaphorical sense of bringing learning and social justice. Lighthouses are for helping others find their way in darkness, so they don’t get hurt by hidden hazards.

    I’d thought of putting Lux et Veritas / Light & Truth on it, but I was worried about cluttering.

    I like your Left Coast flag, but I’ve thought of an alternative to that hippie theme. A version of the Cascadia “Doug” flag, with the tree in the middle a stylized Christmas tree, to represent the tall conifers of the West Coast, both Douglas firs and redwoods.

    I’ve also thought of an idea for a Northern Alliance flag: a Left Coast conifer and a Yankeedom lighthouse, or other Left Coast and Yankeedom symbols, on a New Netherland flag. I couldn’t think of a good Dixie Bloc one, so I put Deep South, Tidewater, Appalachia, and Far West on each quadrant.

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] clannish elements of British American society, the descendants of the Cavaliers and the Ulster Scots, are indifferent to contributing a common pot, and they are certainly […]

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] political disarray speaks to the increased conflict between the distinct American Nations, as discussed by David Hackett Fischer and Colin Woodard. Both Turchin and Woodard noted […]

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  • […] nations were, the Cavaliers and the denizens of the English-Scottish border areas (also see Flags of the American Nations). Indeed, while the “home” states of those two groups, Virginia and West Virginia, […]

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  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] were founded by two much more aggressive groups of fore-bearers than the northern nations were, the Cavaliers and the denizens of the English-Scottish border areas (also see Flags of the American Nations). […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] conflict between the various “nations” that make up the United States (and Canada). See Flags of the American Nations and Maps of the […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • @Anonymous
    If I am defending religion, it is not any particular religion, except the negation of materialism (or scientism). Other minds are a problem for such a viewpoint, quite independent of the problem of induction.

    To be clear, I don't take wave-particle duality to be a reductio or anything, but I do take it as an example that science is far from common sense, and that we cannot judge the truth or falsity of a particular claim based on knee-jerk intuitions.

    As far as I can tell, you have chosen some non-scientific principles to believe in (other minds, the general correspondence between appearance and reality, induction) and others not to believe in (God). I deny this is a principled distinction. And it's certainly not one for which you have reason to be proud of holding, as if it represents some more sober or grown-up,view of reality.

    Are you a materialist? I can't tell. You seem to be a materialist-plus-other-things (other minds, etc.). Materialism is clearly bankrupt as a metaphysic. But I don't see the argument for all and only what you've let in through the back door.

    First, let me say that if you look at the content of my post, you’d see that while I’m atheist, I’m OK with religion for the reason I state. So there’s no need to defend religion here.

    If I am defending religion, it is not any particular religion, except the negation of materialism (or scientism).

    I.e., you’re defending religion.

    To be clear, I don’t take wave-particle duality to be a reductio or anything, but I do take it as an example that science is far from common sense,

    Yeah. But what is “common sense”. Our heuristics about the world in which we’re familiar. Quantum mechanics deals with phenomena that aren’t necessarily in vision of the average human’s day-to-day observation

    As far as I can tell, you have chosen some non-scientific principles to believe in (other minds, the general correspondence between appearance and reality, induction) and others not to believe in (God). I deny this is a principled distinction. And it’s certainly not one for which you have reason to be proud of holding, as if it represents some more sober or grown-up,view of reality.

    Usefulness of assuming what we see is real: high. Usefulness of the latter…. well….

    Are you a materialist? I can’t tell. You seem to be a materialist-plus-other-things (other minds, etc.).

    Yes, I am a materialist, as any rationalist would be…

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If I am defending religion, it is not any particular religion, except the negation of materialism (or scientism). Other minds are a problem for such a viewpoint, quite independent of the problem of induction.

    To be clear, I don’t take wave-particle duality to be a reductio or anything, but I do take it as an example that science is far from common sense, and that we cannot judge the truth or falsity of a particular claim based on knee-jerk intuitions.

    As far as I can tell, you have chosen some non-scientific principles to believe in (other minds, the general correspondence between appearance and reality, induction) and others not to believe in (God). I deny this is a principled distinction. And it’s certainly not one for which you have reason to be proud of holding, as if it represents some more sober or grown-up,view of reality.

    Are you a materialist? I can’t tell. You seem to be a materialist-plus-other-things (other minds, etc.). Materialism is clearly bankrupt as a metaphysic. But I don’t see the argument for all and only what you’ve let in through the back door.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Anonymous:

    First, let me say that if you look at the content of my post, you'd see that while I'm atheist, I'm OK with religion for the reason I state. So there's no need to defend religion here.


    If I am defending religion, it is not any particular religion, except the negation of materialism (or scientism).
     
    I.e., you're defending religion.

    To be clear, I don’t take wave-particle duality to be a reductio or anything, but I do take it as an example that science is far from common sense,
     
    Yeah. But what is "common sense". Our heuristics about the world in which we're familiar. Quantum mechanics deals with phenomena that aren't necessarily in vision of the average human's day-to-day observation
     

    As far as I can tell, you have chosen some non-scientific principles to believe in (other minds, the general correspondence between appearance and reality, induction) and others not to believe in (God). I deny this is a principled distinction. And it’s certainly not one for which you have reason to be proud of holding, as if it represents some more sober or grown-up,view of reality.

     

    Usefulness of assuming what we see is real: high. Usefulness of the latter.... well....

    Are you a materialist? I can’t tell. You seem to be a materialist-plus-other-things (other minds, etc.).
     
    Yes, I am a materialist, as any rationalist would be...
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  • @Anonymous
    You have misunderstood the argument. The problem of other minds is more than just wondering how we can know we aren't in the Matrix. The fact is you do believe in other minds. And not for any scientific reason. This is just one, though an important one, of the non-empirical things you believe.

    In additition, I do not grant that the world is as we see it. If science shows us anything it shows us that it is not. Indeed, science does not show us minds at all, to say nothing of minds "as they are," whatever that would be.

    "The physical world is all that exists," is not a scientific conclusion. There is no evidence for it. It is a simplifying assumption. And no one can live a normal human life and even really pretend it is true. Yes, "it works," for a certain medium-sized subset of observed phenomena, if you don't ask too many questions.

    But if fails to explain all that is--even all that atheists believe in. It doesn't "work" for all of reality. And it's some combination of arrogance and absurdity to pretend that it does.

    :
    Look my friend, there is no way to defend religion with rational argument. It’s a waste of time to even try.

    You have misunderstood the argument. The problem of other minds is more than just wondering how we can know we aren’t in the Matrix. The fact is you do believe in other minds. And not for any scientific reason. This is just one, though an important one, of the non-empirical things you believe.

    You’re talking about the problem of induction, which as I explained to you is indeed based on faith. I have already conceded that it is ultimately an assumption that the world is as we see it, including that the appearance that other beings have their own subjective experience is indeed the case.

    In additition, I do not grant that the world is as we see it.

    Sure, you can believe that it’s not, but we have no reason to think that that is the case, and every reason to believe that it is.

    If science shows us anything it shows us that it is not.

    You’re misunderstanding the scope of what I mean by “see” it. I don’t just mean the bits of experience you might have happened to come across in your day-to-day life, but I mean the phenomena researchers have observed and measured that underscore our scientific understanding. That the world is as we see it is the bedrock of science.

    “The physical world is all that exists,” is not a scientific conclusion. There is no evidence for it.

    It is given the assumption stated above. A key problem that can muddy the argument is that this depends on what you mean by “physical”. Many current theories of the universe postulate the existence of a “multiverse”, or realities outside the universe we know. Sure, these may be technically outside our “universe”, but, if they exist, they are just as “physical” as is our universe.

    And no one can live a normal human life and even really pretend it is true.

    That’s the belief that I run with. It works fine for me.

    The point of the quantum physics example is that science makes demands on our belief systems that strain credulity at least as much as non-scientific beliefs do.

    Not really. They strain our pre-conceived notions about the universe, but they don’t stress our physical understanding of the universe if you let go of your erroneous conception about how the world is.

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  • The point of the quantum physics example is that science makes demands on our belief systems that strain credulity at least as much as non-scientific beliefs do.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You have misunderstood the argument. The problem of other minds is more than just wondering how we can know we aren’t in the Matrix. The fact is you do believe in other minds. And not for any scientific reason. This is just one, though an important one, of the non-empirical things you believe.

    In additition, I do not grant that the world is as we see it. If science shows us anything it shows us that it is not. Indeed, science does not show us minds at all, to say nothing of minds “as they are,” whatever that would be.

    “The physical world is all that exists,” is not a scientific conclusion. There is no evidence for it. It is a simplifying assumption. And no one can live a normal human life and even really pretend it is true. Yes, “it works,” for a certain medium-sized subset of observed phenomena, if you don’t ask too many questions.

    But if fails to explain all that is–even all that atheists believe in. It doesn’t “work” for all of reality. And it’s some combination of arrogance and absurdity to pretend that it does.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Anonymous:
    Look my friend, there is no way to defend religion with rational argument. It's a waste of time to even try.

    You have misunderstood the argument. The problem of other minds is more than just wondering how we can know we aren’t in the Matrix. The fact is you do believe in other minds. And not for any scientific reason. This is just one, though an important one, of the non-empirical things you believe.
     
    You're talking about the problem of induction, which as I explained to you is indeed based on faith. I have already conceded that it is ultimately an assumption that the world is as we see it, including that the appearance that other beings have their own subjective experience is indeed the case.

    In additition, I do not grant that the world is as we see it.
     
    Sure, you can believe that it's not, but we have no reason to think that that is the case, and every reason to believe that it is.

    If science shows us anything it shows us that it is not.
     
    You're misunderstanding the scope of what I mean by "see" it. I don't just mean the bits of experience you might have happened to come across in your day-to-day life, but I mean the phenomena researchers have observed and measured that underscore our scientific understanding. That the world is as we see it is the bedrock of science.

    “The physical world is all that exists,” is not a scientific conclusion. There is no evidence for it.
     
    It is given the assumption stated above. A key problem that can muddy the argument is that this depends on what you mean by "physical". Many current theories of the universe postulate the existence of a "multiverse", or realities outside the universe we know. Sure, these may be technically outside our "universe", but, if they exist, they are just as "physical" as is our universe.

    And no one can live a normal human life and even really pretend it is true.
     
    That's the belief that I run with. It works fine for me.

    The point of the quantum physics example is that science makes demands on our belief systems that strain credulity at least as much as non-scientific beliefs do.
     
    Not really. They strain our pre-conceived notions about the universe, but they don't stress our physical understanding of the universe if you let go of your erroneous conception about how the world is.

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  • @Anonymous
    "Apply [science] to the putative existence of *other minds.* What conclusion do you reach?"

    A true scientist is obligated to be a solipsist.

    ---

    Objection: we have evidence of other minds, when we observe other human behavior: laughing, smiling, joking.

    Response: that may be evidence of *something*, but it's not evidence of other minds. It's not evidence that there's something "inside" those other bundles of flesh that has subjective experiences like you do. And yet try to deny that you believe in other minds. You do believe it, even though its a completely unscientific belief.

    Just as you may count a multitude of experiences as evidence for other minds, a believer may count a multitude of experiences as evidence of the divine. What the divine really is may well be unknowable. But then, science gets to that point to, if you push hard enough. Or are you really capable of believing that light is both a particle and a wave at the same time. Is that any more plausible than the idea that God could be three and one at the same time?

    In the final analysis, atheism is a position of extreme arrogance, as well as over confidence in what deep scientific explanations really look like. At the edges of science we don't find certainty, but mystery. "I can't explain it," said Richard Feynman, "because I don't understand it. But that's how it is." That, my friends, is a statement of faith.

    Or do you know science better than Feynman?

    You’re ignoring that there is a one article of faith on which all science is based: the belief that the world is we see it, and the related idea that what we see to work actually does work.

    As you might know, outside of mathematics and logic, it’s impossible to absolutely prove anything. I can no more prove that the Sun is going to rise tomorrow than I can prove that I am sitting here typing this to you. We have to go (admittedly, on faith) with the notion that what has always worked will always work, and that we can trust what we see. This assumption has however shown itself to be enormously valuable.

    Hence, running with this silly argument which rests on the lack of absolute proof that we’re not in the Matrix is foolhardy.

    In the final analysis, atheism is a position of extreme arrogance, as well as over confidence in what deep scientific explanations really look like.

    As noted, it’s from a position of humility, based on the fact that we cannot verify our experiences like we can a mathematical formula, so we have to trust our experiences that what has worked will work. When then applying the rules of objective evaluation that then follows from this, there is no reason to believe in any gods or deities at this time.

    Or are you really capable of believing that light is both a particle and a wave at the same time.

    Quite easily. Why to religious apologists always invoke quantum mechanical principles they don’t understand to defend religion?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Apply [science] to the putative existence of *other minds.* What conclusion do you reach?”

    A true scientist is obligated to be a solipsist.

    Objection: we have evidence of other minds, when we observe other human behavior: laughing, smiling, joking.

    Response: that may be evidence of *something*, but it’s not evidence of other minds. It’s not evidence that there’s something “inside” those other bundles of flesh that has subjective experiences like you do. And yet try to deny that you believe in other minds. You do believe it, even though its a completely unscientific belief.

    Just as you may count a multitude of experiences as evidence for other minds, a believer may count a multitude of experiences as evidence of the divine. What the divine really is may well be unknowable. But then, science gets to that point to, if you push hard enough. Or are you really capable of believing that light is both a particle and a wave at the same time. Is that any more plausible than the idea that God could be three and one at the same time?

    In the final analysis, atheism is a position of extreme arrogance, as well as over confidence in what deep scientific explanations really look like. At the edges of science we don’t find certainty, but mystery. “I can’t explain it,” said Richard Feynman, “because I don’t understand it. But that’s how it is.” That, my friends, is a statement of faith.

    Or do you know science better than Feynman?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    You're ignoring that there is a one article of faith on which all science is based: the belief that the world is we see it, and the related idea that what we see to work actually does work.

    As you might know, outside of mathematics and logic, it's impossible to absolutely prove anything. I can no more prove that the Sun is going to rise tomorrow than I can prove that I am sitting here typing this to you. We have to go (admittedly, on faith) with the notion that what has always worked will always work, and that we can trust what we see. This assumption has however shown itself to be enormously valuable.

    Hence, running with this silly argument which rests on the lack of absolute proof that we're not in the Matrix is foolhardy.


    In the final analysis, atheism is a position of extreme arrogance, as well as over confidence in what deep scientific explanations really look like.
     
    As noted, it's from a position of humility, based on the fact that we cannot verify our experiences like we can a mathematical formula, so we have to trust our experiences that what has worked will work. When then applying the rules of objective evaluation that then follows from this, there is no reason to believe in any gods or deities at this time.

    Or are you really capable of believing that light is both a particle and a wave at the same time.
     
    Quite easily. Why to religious apologists always invoke quantum mechanical principles they don't understand to defend religion?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • anon • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    I would have to disagree with the idea that that atheism is some empty groundstate resulting from an absence of data. There is no empty ground-state other than being unable to conceptualize the question and therefore unable to make a determination. Theism, apatheism, and atheism are all based on subjective determinations. Once the question has been asked and conceptualized their is no objectivity to be had.

    Hence why science is not on the side of any of the aforementioned. Science is not atheistic because it is not a person any more than a hammer is a person, it is merely a tool and is no longer a philosophy and hence has no opinions or subjective values.

    This is the scientific method as it was taught to me and I have seen some evidence that those that hold this position make better predictive models than more "old fashioned" scientists who have rationalist inclinations.

    I only bring this up to ask a question of you. What if any is your particular background in the natural sciences in academia and any professional application of the scientific method in you utilize in your daily life?

    I ask this merely because despite your often quite objective there are occasionally tinges of emotionalist sentiment in your arguments and plans you put forward, your consideration that happiness and sensations hold some value for instance.

    I also wish to know when you were educated. As the elimination of rationalism and philosophical underpinnings in the education of professional natural scientists only occurred very recently in the United States. If you were educated prior to 2002 this is quite understandable.

    I want to assess your individual case in comparison to the increasing religiosity among american scientists under the age of 35, which I hypothesize is the result of normalization with the sentiments of the general population in the absence any pro or anti-theistic political indoctrination in the natural sciences.

    At least in my own experience in geology there is currently no political or religious leaning in the education of american geologists. This may be due to the economic focus of the field though which makes political leanings toward the left or right of less importance when it comes to acquiring funding.

    >The goal of science to seek truth. What you’re describing is how it goes about doing that. Don’t confuse the two.
    Thank you for defining science as you see it more clearly but I disagree, to me and some others the models are the end and implying the we can infer something beyond modeling is overreaching what the methodology is capable of.

    >Let’s define atheism thusly: holding the position that, since there is no evidence for their existence, supernatural beings or deities likely do not exist, but that remains open to revision should such evidence emerge.
    Yes that is the roughly the definition I was using when I made may assessment, that assessment remains unrevised because there is no change in input. I can only work within the limitations of the methodology and what data available to me. Even holding a position of open lack of belief is functionally indistinguishable from any other position to me in abstract terms.

    I cannot agree with any of the positions being consistent with scientific methodology because as you said there an inherent probability assessment, “likely” in your own words, which is not possible in the absence of data.

    I the same way I do not assess the likelihood of nappe in a sedimentary basin without pertinent data. And of course there is the complication that the nature of the question may in fact preclude anyone from ever acquiring data.

    I’m guessing that you are reluctant to tell me your profession to maintain anonymity. Please understand I don’t want anything terribly specific like the school you attended, just the year of your degrees, type of degrees, and current profession or trained profession. Nothing that could ever be used to identify you. Without such data this exchange really serves no purpose to me as I cannot complete a favor, that is if I find anyone interesting on the internet I should collect data for my associate.

    If this is impossible or undesirable for any reason simply say so and I will end this exchange.

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  • @anon
    >a truth seeking tool.
    Once again I must disagree with this assertion at a practical methodological level. Science is about making predictive models not seeking “truth” or “knowledge” which as not objectively definable.

    >requesting assessment
    Utilizing merely the scientific method with no other with no subjective impositions or divinations or whatever you want to call them?

    (result) code 600: no input
    From my understanding of the application of the methodology the positions of apatheism, theism, atheism, and any other self described position are co-equivalent and not even really definable as distinct from one another at the abstract level.
    I suppose I could assess the behaviors of the adherents to those positions but that is not the same thing as an analysis of the abstract concepts themselves.

    And yes I realize that all actors have subjective goalsets, mine are merely to breed and ensure the indefinite survive of my bloodline to the best of my abilities. But I think that there is evidence that any feeling any emotional sentiment when collecting or assessing data, even curiosity, can create errors. Now subjective bullshit and errors are inevitable but minimizing them is at least in our economic interests assuming our models bring us profit in some way.
    I have to ask again as a favor to a group of 5 other scientists including my wife who I talk with regularly: what is your profession in the sciences, background in academia if any, and year of post graduate or bachelor degree. I only ask because this information was not displayed anywhere on the blog.

    I’m not looking down my nose at you or anything, this goes into a half-assed spreadsheet one of them is making which is trying to collate answers from various professionals and academics regarding their socio-political views and position regarding how the scientific method should be utilized. He takes my hypothesis more seriously than I do an actually wants to make a model whereas my interest only extended so far as creating the hypothesis. I can see no fiscal gain to be had from supporting or refuting it.

    I merely state my views with regards to how to best use scientific methodology in hopes of eliciting more complete answers from you. Your counterpoint tells me a great deal general view of science as an institution. Normally I would not impose so much but it is pertinent to this thread so I figured it would not be out of place.

    Once again I must disagree with this assertion at a practical methodological level. Science is about making predictive models not seeking “truth” or “knowledge” which as not objectively definable.

    The goal of science to seek truth. What you’re describing is how it goes about doing that. Don’t confuse the two.

    From my understanding of the application of the methodology the positions of apatheism, theism, atheism, and any other self described position are co-equivalent and not even really definable as distinct from one another at the abstract level.

    Let’s define atheism thusly: holding the position that, since there is no evidence for their existence, supernatural beings or deities likely do not exist, but that remains open to revision should such evidence emerge.

    But I think that there is evidence that any feeling any emotional sentiment when collecting or assessing data, even curiosity, can create errors. Now subjective bullshit and errors are inevitable but minimizing them is at least in our economic interests assuming our models bring us profit in some way.

    So what you’re basically saying is that humans aren’t perfect, and make mistakes and inaccurate conclusions. Well no kidding. That’s why have science and its methods to correct such inaccuracies and improve our understanding of the universe.

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  • anon • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    I would have to disagree with the idea that that atheism is some empty groundstate resulting from an absence of data. There is no empty ground-state other than being unable to conceptualize the question and therefore unable to make a determination. Theism, apatheism, and atheism are all based on subjective determinations. Once the question has been asked and conceptualized their is no objectivity to be had.

    Hence why science is not on the side of any of the aforementioned. Science is not atheistic because it is not a person any more than a hammer is a person, it is merely a tool and is no longer a philosophy and hence has no opinions or subjective values.

    This is the scientific method as it was taught to me and I have seen some evidence that those that hold this position make better predictive models than more "old fashioned" scientists who have rationalist inclinations.

    I only bring this up to ask a question of you. What if any is your particular background in the natural sciences in academia and any professional application of the scientific method in you utilize in your daily life?

    I ask this merely because despite your often quite objective there are occasionally tinges of emotionalist sentiment in your arguments and plans you put forward, your consideration that happiness and sensations hold some value for instance.

    I also wish to know when you were educated. As the elimination of rationalism and philosophical underpinnings in the education of professional natural scientists only occurred very recently in the United States. If you were educated prior to 2002 this is quite understandable.

    I want to assess your individual case in comparison to the increasing religiosity among american scientists under the age of 35, which I hypothesize is the result of normalization with the sentiments of the general population in the absence any pro or anti-theistic political indoctrination in the natural sciences.

    At least in my own experience in geology there is currently no political or religious leaning in the education of american geologists. This may be due to the economic focus of the field though which makes political leanings toward the left or right of less importance when it comes to acquiring funding.

    >a truth seeking tool.
    Once again I must disagree with this assertion at a practical methodological level. Science is about making predictive models not seeking “truth” or “knowledge” which as not objectively definable.

    >requesting assessment
    Utilizing merely the scientific method with no other with no subjective impositions or divinations or whatever you want to call them?

    (result) code 600: no input
    From my understanding of the application of the methodology the positions of apatheism, theism, atheism, and any other self described position are co-equivalent and not even really definable as distinct from one another at the abstract level.
    I suppose I could assess the behaviors of the adherents to those positions but that is not the same thing as an analysis of the abstract concepts themselves.

    And yes I realize that all actors have subjective goalsets, mine are merely to breed and ensure the indefinite survive of my bloodline to the best of my abilities. But I think that there is evidence that any feeling any emotional sentiment when collecting or assessing data, even curiosity, can create errors. Now subjective bullshit and errors are inevitable but minimizing them is at least in our economic interests assuming our models bring us profit in some way.
    I have to ask again as a favor to a group of 5 other scientists including my wife who I talk with regularly: what is your profession in the sciences, background in academia if any, and year of post graduate or bachelor degree. I only ask because this information was not displayed anywhere on the blog.

    I’m not looking down my nose at you or anything, this goes into a half-assed spreadsheet one of them is making which is trying to collate answers from various professionals and academics regarding their socio-political views and position regarding how the scientific method should be utilized. He takes my hypothesis more seriously than I do an actually wants to make a model whereas my interest only extended so far as creating the hypothesis. I can see no fiscal gain to be had from supporting or refuting it.

    I merely state my views with regards to how to best use scientific methodology in hopes of eliciting more complete answers from you. Your counterpoint tells me a great deal general view of science as an institution. Normally I would not impose so much but it is pertinent to this thread so I figured it would not be out of place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @anon:

    Once again I must disagree with this assertion at a practical methodological level. Science is about making predictive models not seeking “truth” or “knowledge” which as not objectively definable.
     
    The goal of science to seek truth. What you're describing is how it goes about doing that. Don't confuse the two.

    From my understanding of the application of the methodology the positions of apatheism, theism, atheism, and any other self described position are co-equivalent and not even really definable as distinct from one another at the abstract level.
     
    Let's define atheism thusly: holding the position that, since there is no evidence for their existence, supernatural beings or deities likely do not exist, but that remains open to revision should such evidence emerge.

    But I think that there is evidence that any feeling any emotional sentiment when collecting or assessing data, even curiosity, can create errors. Now subjective bullshit and errors are inevitable but minimizing them is at least in our economic interests assuming our models bring us profit in some way.
     
    So what you're basically saying is that humans aren't perfect, and make mistakes and inaccurate conclusions. Well no kidding. That's why have science and its methods to correct such inaccuracies and improve our understanding of the universe.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @anon
    I would have to disagree with the idea that that atheism is some empty groundstate resulting from an absence of data. There is no empty ground-state other than being unable to conceptualize the question and therefore unable to make a determination. Theism, apatheism, and atheism are all based on subjective determinations. Once the question has been asked and conceptualized their is no objectivity to be had.

    Hence why science is not on the side of any of the aforementioned. Science is not atheistic because it is not a person any more than a hammer is a person, it is merely a tool and is no longer a philosophy and hence has no opinions or subjective values.

    This is the scientific method as it was taught to me and I have seen some evidence that those that hold this position make better predictive models than more "old fashioned" scientists who have rationalist inclinations.

    I only bring this up to ask a question of you. What if any is your particular background in the natural sciences in academia and any professional application of the scientific method in you utilize in your daily life?

    I ask this merely because despite your often quite objective there are occasionally tinges of emotionalist sentiment in your arguments and plans you put forward, your consideration that happiness and sensations hold some value for instance.

    I also wish to know when you were educated. As the elimination of rationalism and philosophical underpinnings in the education of professional natural scientists only occurred very recently in the United States. If you were educated prior to 2002 this is quite understandable.

    I want to assess your individual case in comparison to the increasing religiosity among american scientists under the age of 35, which I hypothesize is the result of normalization with the sentiments of the general population in the absence any pro or anti-theistic political indoctrination in the natural sciences.

    At least in my own experience in geology there is currently no political or religious leaning in the education of american geologists. This may be due to the economic focus of the field though which makes political leanings toward the left or right of less importance when it comes to acquiring funding.

    I would have to disagree with the idea that that atheism is some empty groundstate resulting from an absence of data. There is no empty ground-state other than being unable to conceptualize the question and therefore unable to make a determination. Theism, apatheism, and atheism are all based on subjective determinations. Once the question has been asked and conceptualized their is no objectivity to be had.

    Hence why science is not on the side of any of the aforementioned. Science is not atheistic because it is not a person any more than a hammer is a person, it is merely a tool and is no longer a philosophy and hence has no opinions or subjective values.

    Science is indeed a tool – a truth seeking tool.

    Now, use that tool. Apply it to the putative existence of God. What conclusion do you reach?

    Hence, someone use utilizes science can only have the position of being an atheist, as I stated.

    I ask this merely because despite your often quite objective there are occasionally tinges of emotionalist sentiment in your arguments and plans you put forward, your consideration that happiness and sensations hold some value for instance.

    Now this is where your description of science as a tool comes to bear. Sure, the methods of science, once we choose to apply it, is empirical, as are its finding. But science is utilized by beings with normative ideals and ends, so science is normative in that sense. Since we are human, we can’t be divorced from having these values.

    Hence, I don’t claim that happiness or sensation have some abstract, intrinsic and eternal value; they have value because they have value to we humans.

    I’m quite careful not to confuse my empirical statement with normative ones. But it’s important to recognize that the application of science is normative, as Razib Khan explains.

    At least in my own experience in geology there is currently no political or religious leaning in the education of american geologists. This may be due to the economic focus of the field though which makes political leanings toward the left or right of less importance when it comes to acquiring funding.

    Quite possibly.

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  • anon • Disclaimer says:

    I would have to disagree with the idea that that atheism is some empty groundstate resulting from an absence of data. There is no empty ground-state other than being unable to conceptualize the question and therefore unable to make a determination. Theism, apatheism, and atheism are all based on subjective determinations. Once the question has been asked and conceptualized their is no objectivity to be had.

    Hence why science is not on the side of any of the aforementioned. Science is not atheistic because it is not a person any more than a hammer is a person, it is merely a tool and is no longer a philosophy and hence has no opinions or subjective values.

    This is the scientific method as it was taught to me and I have seen some evidence that those that hold this position make better predictive models than more “old fashioned” scientists who have rationalist inclinations.

    I only bring this up to ask a question of you. What if any is your particular background in the natural sciences in academia and any professional application of the scientific method in you utilize in your daily life?

    I ask this merely because despite your often quite objective there are occasionally tinges of emotionalist sentiment in your arguments and plans you put forward, your consideration that happiness and sensations hold some value for instance.

    I also wish to know when you were educated. As the elimination of rationalism and philosophical underpinnings in the education of professional natural scientists only occurred very recently in the United States. If you were educated prior to 2002 this is quite understandable.

    I want to assess your individual case in comparison to the increasing religiosity among american scientists under the age of 35, which I hypothesize is the result of normalization with the sentiments of the general population in the absence any pro or anti-theistic political indoctrination in the natural sciences.

    At least in my own experience in geology there is currently no political or religious leaning in the education of american geologists. This may be due to the economic focus of the field though which makes political leanings toward the left or right of less importance when it comes to acquiring funding.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @anon:

    I would have to disagree with the idea that that atheism is some empty groundstate resulting from an absence of data. There is no empty ground-state other than being unable to conceptualize the question and therefore unable to make a determination. Theism, apatheism, and atheism are all based on subjective determinations. Once the question has been asked and conceptualized their is no objectivity to be had.

    Hence why science is not on the side of any of the aforementioned. Science is not atheistic because it is not a person any more than a hammer is a person, it is merely a tool and is no longer a philosophy and hence has no opinions or subjective values.
     

    Science is indeed a tool – a truth seeking tool.

    Now, use that tool. Apply it to the putative existence of God. What conclusion do you reach?

    Hence, someone use utilizes science can only have the position of being an atheist, as I stated.


    I ask this merely because despite your often quite objective there are occasionally tinges of emotionalist sentiment in your arguments and plans you put forward, your consideration that happiness and sensations hold some value for instance.
     
    Now this is where your description of science as a tool comes to bear. Sure, the methods of science, once we choose to apply it, is empirical, as are its finding. But science is utilized by beings with normative ideals and ends, so science is normative in that sense. Since we are human, we can't be divorced from having these values.

    Hence, I don't claim that happiness or sensation have some abstract, intrinsic and eternal value; they have value because they have value to we humans.

    I'm quite careful not to confuse my empirical statement with normative ones. But it's important to recognize that the application of science is normative, as Razib Khan explains.


    At least in my own experience in geology there is currently no political or religious leaning in the education of american geologists. This may be due to the economic focus of the field though which makes political leanings toward the left or right of less importance when it comes to acquiring funding.
     
    Quite possibly.
    , @anon
    >a truth seeking tool.
    Once again I must disagree with this assertion at a practical methodological level. Science is about making predictive models not seeking “truth” or “knowledge” which as not objectively definable.

    >requesting assessment
    Utilizing merely the scientific method with no other with no subjective impositions or divinations or whatever you want to call them?

    (result) code 600: no input
    From my understanding of the application of the methodology the positions of apatheism, theism, atheism, and any other self described position are co-equivalent and not even really definable as distinct from one another at the abstract level.
    I suppose I could assess the behaviors of the adherents to those positions but that is not the same thing as an analysis of the abstract concepts themselves.

    And yes I realize that all actors have subjective goalsets, mine are merely to breed and ensure the indefinite survive of my bloodline to the best of my abilities. But I think that there is evidence that any feeling any emotional sentiment when collecting or assessing data, even curiosity, can create errors. Now subjective bullshit and errors are inevitable but minimizing them is at least in our economic interests assuming our models bring us profit in some way.
    I have to ask again as a favor to a group of 5 other scientists including my wife who I talk with regularly: what is your profession in the sciences, background in academia if any, and year of post graduate or bachelor degree. I only ask because this information was not displayed anywhere on the blog.

    I’m not looking down my nose at you or anything, this goes into a half-assed spreadsheet one of them is making which is trying to collate answers from various professionals and academics regarding their socio-political views and position regarding how the scientific method should be utilized. He takes my hypothesis more seriously than I do an actually wants to make a model whereas my interest only extended so far as creating the hypothesis. I can see no fiscal gain to be had from supporting or refuting it.

    I merely state my views with regards to how to best use scientific methodology in hopes of eliciting more complete answers from you. Your counterpoint tells me a great deal general view of science as an institution. Normally I would not impose so much but it is pertinent to this thread so I figured it would not be out of place.

    , @anon
    >The goal of science to seek truth. What you’re describing is how it goes about doing that. Don’t confuse the two.
    Thank you for defining science as you see it more clearly but I disagree, to me and some others the models are the end and implying the we can infer something beyond modeling is overreaching what the methodology is capable of.

    >Let’s define atheism thusly: holding the position that, since there is no evidence for their existence, supernatural beings or deities likely do not exist, but that remains open to revision should such evidence emerge.
    Yes that is the roughly the definition I was using when I made may assessment, that assessment remains unrevised because there is no change in input. I can only work within the limitations of the methodology and what data available to me. Even holding a position of open lack of belief is functionally indistinguishable from any other position to me in abstract terms.

    I cannot agree with any of the positions being consistent with scientific methodology because as you said there an inherent probability assessment, "likely" in your own words, which is not possible in the absence of data.

    I the same way I do not assess the likelihood of nappe in a sedimentary basin without pertinent data. And of course there is the complication that the nature of the question may in fact preclude anyone from ever acquiring data.

    I'm guessing that you are reluctant to tell me your profession to maintain anonymity. Please understand I don't want anything terribly specific like the school you attended, just the year of your degrees, type of degrees, and current profession or trained profession. Nothing that could ever be used to identify you. Without such data this exchange really serves no purpose to me as I cannot complete a favor, that is if I find anyone interesting on the internet I should collect data for my associate.

    If this is impossible or undesirable for any reason simply say so and I will end this exchange.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers. The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an...
  • […] course, I don’t have to tell you that the Cavalier and Borderlander sentiment is still alive and well (the latter of which gave us the KKK – albeit […]

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  • […] of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers” Sound Familiar? Flags of the American Nations The Cavaliers Maps of the […]

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  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers” Sound Familiar? Flags of the American Nations The Cavaliers Maps of the […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • @Benjamin David Steele
    Most basically, I'm an agnostic (which is an issue of knowledge). However, I'm neither atheist (which is an issue of belief for or against) nor anti-religious.

    I simply don't know from the perspective of radical skepticism, but I'm evenly split between an impulse of doubt and an impulse of belief. My radical skepticism is driven by a nature of seeking. I partly doubt everything simply out of curiosity to question and wonder but also partly to test all viewpoints to find one worthy of belief.

    I sometimes call myself an agnostic gnostic, one who doesn't know but wants to know.

    The genetic angle could possibly explain my mixed up nature.

    My mother's family is full of fundamentalists. Frm the family members I know, it seems a basic religiosity, some of it more authentic and other parts more superficial unquestioning groupthink. My mom probably has never had a doubt about God in her life. If she did, she wouldn't likely admit it, even to herself.

    My fathers' family is very different. His mother was born and raised Southern Baptst, but as an adult became involved in New Age Spirituality and New Thought Christianity. She was a spiritual seeker forever seeking. His father was a minister who had doubts about God's existence and had trouble sticking to proper theoloical doctrine. My dad went through an agnostic phase for many years before becoming a believer, although he still tends toward heretical thinking such as a predisposition toward Universalist theology and maybe Unitarian theology.

    I have often wondered about inherited genetics. Although less spiritual, I'm very much like my grandmother in being a seeker forever seeking. She too was a liberal-minded thinker and artistically creative, as I am. I barely knew her since she died when I was a very small child. If not genetics, how did I develop so many traits similar to hers?

    However, environment is also a powerful influence. Research has shown peers have more influence on children than do parents, except I suppose when parents isolate their children such as with homeschooling. I may have liberal genetics, but also had very liberal environments growing up. I see a lot of traits in my dad that seem potentially liberal and yet he grew up very conservative. Moving to South Carolina brought out a right-wing side in my dad. Even so, that liberal potentiality every so often pops up as semi-libertarianism. Unlike me, my dad didn't grow up in a liberal environment and so his liberal potentiality has never fully expressed.

    I'm speculating here based on the research. It has been shown that genes don't necessarily become expressed without specific environmental factors. Many conservatives are walking around with genes that correlate to higher rates of liberalism, but these people would never know this potential exists within. These people pass these liberal enes onto their children who, if they experience a liberal environment, will then express liberalism. Also, the children with liberal genes inherited from liberal-expressed parents are less likely to become liberals themselves if they don't experience a liberal environment.

    Researchers have only begun to discover the genes correlated to ideology. And researchers have only begun to unlock the complex relationship between nurture and nature. New research has, for example, shown the plausibility of non-Darwinian evolution and behavior/trait inheritence: Neo-Lamarckianism, epigenetics, Baldwin effect, etc. Even within natural selection, research has shown it can sometimes happen a lot faster than previously thought. It has been theorized that modern society is speeding up evolution.

    There is so much we don't know right now. Many estblished theories are being challenged and revised.

    – “Benjamin, while you’re more than welcome to post here, you have to realize that there are certain standards of evidence and rational discourse that are practiced here.”

    I would hope that we share the standard of science. My only point is that scientists debate this topic. I would hope I’m welcome to discuss science in your blog. If not, just say so.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non-Darwinian_evolution

    “One could say that, as one can say anything. But they can’t say it with any justification (HBD Fundamentals).”

    You misunderstand me. I didn’t state that HBD isn’t scientific. I merely pointed out that it isn’t the consensus opinion of mainstream scientists. That is fine. I have never claimed that makes all other alternative theories invalid. That is why I like scientific debate.

    “No Ben, that’s not how it works. Truth is not determined by what the “scientific community” accepts, even if that is a shortcut used by non-scientists. Truth is established by what we have evidence for, and nothing less. While research into “non-Darwinian” evolution is on-going, the evidence for Lamarckian epigenetic inheritance and the like is, at current, lacking. By contrast, the evidence for HBD is strong. “Controversy” is a poor way of judging the truth of a proposition.”

    Yes, actually that is part of the scientific method. Scientists research such things as non-Darwinian evolution, they publish in peer-reviewed journals, they present their theories at scientific conferences and they debate. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about non-Darwinian evolution. It doesn’t even matter what the consensus of scientists think. It is an alternative theory and needs no other justification. Of course, like HBD, a lot more research will have to be done to prove it. That is fine. Science is always developing.

    “All propositions should be challenged. Any claim needs to be met with due skepticism. This is the nature of science.”

    This is why I generally have a skeptical attitude. I skeptically look at all positions that seem worthy, but that is always partly a subjective judgment.

    “Fair enough. I’d say you still have a way to go on your journey, though… ”

    Same back at you. We all have a long way to go. Science too has a long way to go. None of us has it all figured out. That is the fun of science.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Benjamin David Steele
    @JayMan - "I’d argue that agnosticism and atheism (in the weak sense) are equivalent."

    I might be considered a weak atheist and I have at times thought that way, but I don't know that it captures my full experience. Part of the problem for me is that belief seems like a strange concept. I sense that the world is a strange place, stranger than present mainstream scientific thought allows for. But it is hard for me to pinpoint any specific beliefs I have in relationship to this sense.

    "Don’t be so sure about peers. Indeed, it’s true parents have minimal influence. However, most of the evidence for peer effects are not much better than family studies that purports to show the effects of parents. Namely, it is confounded by heredity. Do peer groups take on similar attitudes because like-minded peers seek each other out, for example?"

    You could be right or you could be wrong. As for the example of a multicultural environment, that would be an environmental factor that isn't chosen by the child. Those kinds of examples interest me the most. I find it immensely interesting that a particular gene for liberalism increases probability of being expressed simply by a child having lots of friends. However, the gene doesn't determine any of that for there are kids with that gene who didn't have lots of friends and so later on were less likely to express liberalism. It makes one wonder how much of genetic expression is determined by environment.

    "Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit."

    One could say the same thing about HBD, if one were so inclined. My point was that scientists research and debate non-Darwinian evolution. Like HBD, non-Darwinian evolution isn't mainstream consensus and yet it is still part of the scientific process. All theories that are mainstream consensus began outside of mainstream consensus. Sometimes mainstream consensus changes toward supporting a new theory and sometimes not. Time will tell, for both non-Darwinian evolution and HBD. I'll go on considering alternatives because I find it interesting to do so, but you are of course free to do otherwise.

    "It’s not just theoretical:"

    I was also thinking about the possibility of evolution happening over shorter periods of time, even just a few generations. We know from breeding that traits can be established very quickly. There are possibly natural conditions that can direct evolution with similar quick results as breeding.

    "By contrast, there’s a lot we did know a long time ago that is coming back to light today, and a lot we would have known now had the social sciences not been taken over by political correctness."

    Actually, political correctness would guide one to not challenge natural selection as the only route of evolution. The people who challenge Darwinian evolution tend to be those challenging political correctness or else, such as with Creationists, challenging the entire scientific enterprise. If I was worried about political correctness, I wouldn't touch non-Darwinian evolution or HBD with a 10 foot pole.

    @BJS:

    Benjamin, while you’re more than welcome to post here, you have to realize that there are certain standards of evidence and rational discourse that are practiced here.

    “Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit.”

    One could say the same thing about HBD, if one were so inclined.

    One could say that, as one can say anything. But they can’t say it with any justification (HBD Fundamentals).

    My point was that scientists research and debate non-Darwinian evolution. Like HBD, non-Darwinian evolution isn’t mainstream consensus and yet it is still part of the scientific process.

    No Ben, that’s not how it works. Truth is not determined by what the “scientific community” accepts, even if that is a shortcut used by non-scientists. Truth is established by what we have evidence for, and nothing less. While research into “non-Darwinian” evolution is on-going, the evidence for Lamarckian epigenetic inheritance and the like is, at current, lacking. By contrast, the evidence for HBD is strong. “Controversy” is a poor way of judging the truth of a proposition.

    I was also thinking about the possibility of evolution happening over shorter periods of time, even just a few generations. We know from breeding that traits can be established very quickly. There are possibly natural conditions that can direct evolution with similar quick results as breeding.

    Evolution can happen quickly, but there are limits to the rate of natural selection.

    Yes, phenotypes are dependent on environmental conditions for expression, even given a fixed genotype.

    Actually, political correctness would guide one to not challenge natural selection as the only route of evolution.

    All propositions should be challenged. Any claim needs to be met with due skepticism. This is the nature of science.

    If I was worried about political correctness, I wouldn’t touch non-Darwinian evolution or HBD with a 10 foot pole.

    Fair enough. I’d say you still have a way to go on your journey, though… ;)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various "nations" of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer. Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I'd make my...
  • […] of failure for which selection has only been weakly able to act against. But the Puritan will to perfect man and society causes us to fight against this – even blaming ourselves for not living “well” enough […]

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  • Post updated, 1/14/15. See below! Let me start by once again giving the disclaimer that I am an unapologetic atheist. Of course, I would conclude that being an atheist is the only natural position one can have if one is being a true scientist. Now, that said, I realize that I am only able to...
  • @Benjamin David Steele
    Most basically, I'm an agnostic (which is an issue of knowledge). However, I'm neither atheist (which is an issue of belief for or against) nor anti-religious.

    I simply don't know from the perspective of radical skepticism, but I'm evenly split between an impulse of doubt and an impulse of belief. My radical skepticism is driven by a nature of seeking. I partly doubt everything simply out of curiosity to question and wonder but also partly to test all viewpoints to find one worthy of belief.

    I sometimes call myself an agnostic gnostic, one who doesn't know but wants to know.

    The genetic angle could possibly explain my mixed up nature.

    My mother's family is full of fundamentalists. Frm the family members I know, it seems a basic religiosity, some of it more authentic and other parts more superficial unquestioning groupthink. My mom probably has never had a doubt about God in her life. If she did, she wouldn't likely admit it, even to herself.

    My fathers' family is very different. His mother was born and raised Southern Baptst, but as an adult became involved in New Age Spirituality and New Thought Christianity. She was a spiritual seeker forever seeking. His father was a minister who had doubts about God's existence and had trouble sticking to proper theoloical doctrine. My dad went through an agnostic phase for many years before becoming a believer, although he still tends toward heretical thinking such as a predisposition toward Universalist theology and maybe Unitarian theology.

    I have often wondered about inherited genetics. Although less spiritual, I'm very much like my grandmother in being a seeker forever seeking. She too was a liberal-minded thinker and artistically creative, as I am. I barely knew her since she died when I was a very small child. If not genetics, how did I develop so many traits similar to hers?

    However, environment is also a powerful influence. Research has shown peers have more influence on children than do parents, except I suppose when parents isolate their children such as with homeschooling. I may have liberal genetics, but also had very liberal environments growing up. I see a lot of traits in my dad that seem potentially liberal and yet he grew up very conservative. Moving to South Carolina brought out a right-wing side in my dad. Even so, that liberal potentiality every so often pops up as semi-libertarianism. Unlike me, my dad didn't grow up in a liberal environment and so his liberal potentiality has never fully expressed.

    I'm speculating here based on the research. It has been shown that genes don't necessarily become expressed without specific environmental factors. Many conservatives are walking around with genes that correlate to higher rates of liberalism, but these people would never know this potential exists within. These people pass these liberal enes onto their children who, if they experience a liberal environment, will then express liberalism. Also, the children with liberal genes inherited from liberal-expressed parents are less likely to become liberals themselves if they don't experience a liberal environment.

    Researchers have only begun to discover the genes correlated to ideology. And researchers have only begun to unlock the complex relationship between nurture and nature. New research has, for example, shown the plausibility of non-Darwinian evolution and behavior/trait inheritence: Neo-Lamarckianism, epigenetics, Baldwin effect, etc. Even within natural selection, research has shown it can sometimes happen a lot faster than previously thought. It has been theorized that modern society is speeding up evolution.

    There is so much we don't know right now. Many estblished theories are being challenged and revised.

    – “I’d argue that agnosticism and atheism (in the weak sense) are equivalent.”

    I might be considered a weak atheist and I have at times thought that way, but I don’t know that it captures my full experience. Part of the problem for me is that belief seems like a strange concept. I sense that the world is a strange place, stranger than present mainstream scientific thought allows for. But it is hard for me to pinpoint any specific beliefs I have in relationship to this sense.

    “Don’t be so sure about peers. Indeed, it’s true parents have minimal influence. However, most of the evidence for peer effects are not much better than family studies that purports to show the effects of parents. Namely, it is confounded by heredity. Do peer groups take on similar attitudes because like-minded peers seek each other out, for example?”

    You could be right or you could be wrong. As for the example of a multicultural environment, that would be an environmental factor that isn’t chosen by the child. Those kinds of examples interest me the most. I find it immensely interesting that a particular gene for liberalism increases probability of being expressed simply by a child having lots of friends. However, the gene doesn’t determine any of that for there are kids with that gene who didn’t have lots of friends and so later on were less likely to express liberalism. It makes one wonder how much of genetic expression is determined by environment.

    “Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit.”

    One could say the same thing about HBD, if one were so inclined. My point was that scientists research and debate non-Darwinian evolution. Like HBD, non-Darwinian evolution isn’t mainstream consensus and yet it is still part of the scientific process. All theories that are mainstream consensus began outside of mainstream consensus. Sometimes mainstream consensus changes toward supporting a new theory and sometimes not. Time will tell, for both non-Darwinian evolution and HBD. I’ll go on considering alternatives because I find it interesting to do so, but you are of course free to do otherwise.

    “It’s not just theoretical:”

    I was also thinking about the possibility of evolution happening over shorter periods of time, even just a few generations. We know from breeding that traits can be established very quickly. There are possibly natural conditions that can direct evolution with similar quick results as breeding.

    “By contrast, there’s a lot we did know a long time ago that is coming back to light today, and a lot we would have known now had the social sciences not been taken over by political correctness.”

    Actually, political correctness would guide one to not challenge natural selection as the only route of evolution. The people who challenge Darwinian evolution tend to be those challenging political correctness or else, such as with Creationists, challenging the entire scientific enterprise. If I was worried about political correctness, I wouldn’t touch non-Darwinian evolution or HBD with a 10 foot pole.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @BJS:

    Benjamin, while you're more than welcome to post here, you have to realize that there are certain standards of evidence and rational discourse that are practiced here.


    “Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit.”

    One could say the same thing about HBD, if one were so inclined.
     

    One could say that, as one can say anything. But they can't say it with any justification (HBD Fundamentals).

    My point was that scientists research and debate non-Darwinian evolution. Like HBD, non-Darwinian evolution isn’t mainstream consensus and yet it is still part of the scientific process.
     
    No Ben, that's not how it works. Truth is not determined by what the "scientific community" accepts, even if that is a shortcut used by non-scientists. Truth is established by what we have evidence for, and nothing less. While research into "non-Darwinian" evolution is on-going, the evidence for Lamarckian epigenetic inheritance and the like is, at current, lacking. By contrast, the evidence for HBD is strong. "Controversy" is a poor way of judging the truth of a proposition.

    I was also thinking about the possibility of evolution happening over shorter periods of time, even just a few generations. We know from breeding that traits can be established very quickly. There are possibly natural conditions that can direct evolution with similar quick results as breeding.
     
    Evolution can happen quickly, but there are limits to the rate of natural selection.

    Yes, phenotypes are dependent on environmental conditions for expression, even given a fixed genotype.


    Actually, political correctness would guide one to not challenge natural selection as the only route of evolution.
     
    All propositions should be challenged. Any claim needs to be met with due skepticism. This is the nature of science.

    If I was worried about political correctness, I wouldn’t touch non-Darwinian evolution or HBD with a 10 foot pole.
     
    Fair enough. I'd say you still have a way to go on your journey, though... ;)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Benjamin David Steele
    Most basically, I'm an agnostic (which is an issue of knowledge). However, I'm neither atheist (which is an issue of belief for or against) nor anti-religious.

    I simply don't know from the perspective of radical skepticism, but I'm evenly split between an impulse of doubt and an impulse of belief. My radical skepticism is driven by a nature of seeking. I partly doubt everything simply out of curiosity to question and wonder but also partly to test all viewpoints to find one worthy of belief.

    I sometimes call myself an agnostic gnostic, one who doesn't know but wants to know.

    The genetic angle could possibly explain my mixed up nature.

    My mother's family is full of fundamentalists. Frm the family members I know, it seems a basic religiosity, some of it more authentic and other parts more superficial unquestioning groupthink. My mom probably has never had a doubt about God in her life. If she did, she wouldn't likely admit it, even to herself.

    My fathers' family is very different. His mother was born and raised Southern Baptst, but as an adult became involved in New Age Spirituality and New Thought Christianity. She was a spiritual seeker forever seeking. His father was a minister who had doubts about God's existence and had trouble sticking to proper theoloical doctrine. My dad went through an agnostic phase for many years before becoming a believer, although he still tends toward heretical thinking such as a predisposition toward Universalist theology and maybe Unitarian theology.

    I have often wondered about inherited genetics. Although less spiritual, I'm very much like my grandmother in being a seeker forever seeking. She too was a liberal-minded thinker and artistically creative, as I am. I barely knew her since she died when I was a very small child. If not genetics, how did I develop so many traits similar to hers?

    However, environment is also a powerful influence. Research has shown peers have more influence on children than do parents, except I suppose when parents isolate their children such as with homeschooling. I may have liberal genetics, but also had very liberal environments growing up. I see a lot of traits in my dad that seem potentially liberal and yet he grew up very conservative. Moving to South Carolina brought out a right-wing side in my dad. Even so, that liberal potentiality every so often pops up as semi-libertarianism. Unlike me, my dad didn't grow up in a liberal environment and so his liberal potentiality has never fully expressed.

    I'm speculating here based on the research. It has been shown that genes don't necessarily become expressed without specific environmental factors. Many conservatives are walking around with genes that correlate to higher rates of liberalism, but these people would never know this potential exists within. These people pass these liberal enes onto their children who, if they experience a liberal environment, will then express liberalism. Also, the children with liberal genes inherited from liberal-expressed parents are less likely to become liberals themselves if they don't experience a liberal environment.

    Researchers have only begun to discover the genes correlated to ideology. And researchers have only begun to unlock the complex relationship between nurture and nature. New research has, for example, shown the plausibility of non-Darwinian evolution and behavior/trait inheritence: Neo-Lamarckianism, epigenetics, Baldwin effect, etc. Even within natural selection, research has shown it can sometimes happen a lot faster than previously thought. It has been theorized that modern society is speeding up evolution.

    There is so much we don't know right now. Many estblished theories are being challenged and revised.

    @BJS:

    Most basically, I’m an agnostic (which is an issue of knowledge). However, I’m neither atheist (which is an issue of belief for or against) nor anti-religious.

    I’d argue that agnosticism and atheism (in the weak sense) are equivalent. A principled atheist (such as myself) withholds belief in lieu of evidence, and updates belief accordingly should new evidence become available.

    However, environment is also a powerful influence. Research has shown peers have more influence on children than do parents, except I suppose when parents isolate their children such as with homeschooling.

    Don’t be so sure about peers. Indeed, it’s true parents have minimal influence. However, most of the evidence for peer effects are not much better than family studies that purports to show the effects of parents. Namely, it is confounded by heredity. Do peer groups take on similar attitudes because like-minded peers seek each other out, for example?

    I’m speculating here based on the research. It has been shown that genes don’t necessarily become expressed without specific environmental factors.

    More or less.

    Many conservatives are walking around with genes that correlate to higher rates of liberalism, but these people would never know this potential exists within. These people pass these liberal enes onto their children who, if they experience a liberal environment, will then express liberalism.

    Something like that. There are limits to what the environment can do, however.

    Researchers have only begun to discover the genes correlated to ideology. And researchers have only begun to unlock the complex relationship between nurture and nature. New research has, for example, shown the plausibility of non-Darwinian evolution and behavior/trait inheritence: Neo-Lamarckianism, epigenetics

    Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit. See here, here, and here.

    Even within natural selection, research has shown it can sometimes happen a lot faster than previously thought. It has been theorized that modern society is speeding up evolution.

    It’s not just theoretical:

    Human Evolutionary Change 100 Times Higher in Past 5,000 Years.

    There is so much we don’t know right now. Many estblished theories are being challenged and revised.

    By contrast, there’s a lot we did know a long time ago that is coming back to light today, and a lot we would have known now had the social sciences not been taken over by political correctness.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Most basically, I’m an agnostic (which is an issue of knowledge). However, I’m neither atheist (which is an issue of belief for or against) nor anti-religious.

    I simply don’t know from the perspective of radical skepticism, but I’m evenly split between an impulse of doubt and an impulse of belief. My radical skepticism is driven by a nature of seeking. I partly doubt everything simply out of curiosity to question and wonder but also partly to test all viewpoints to find one worthy of belief.

    I sometimes call myself an agnostic gnostic, one who doesn’t know but wants to know.

    The genetic angle could possibly explain my mixed up nature.

    My mother’s family is full of fundamentalists. Frm the family members I know, it seems a basic religiosity, some of it more authentic and other parts more superficial unquestioning groupthink. My mom probably has never had a doubt about God in her life. If she did, she wouldn’t likely admit it, even to herself.

    My fathers’ family is very different. His mother was born and raised Southern Baptst, but as an adult became involved in New Age Spirituality and New Thought Christianity. She was a spiritual seeker forever seeking. His father was a minister who had doubts about God’s existence and had trouble sticking to proper theoloical doctrine. My dad went through an agnostic phase for many years before becoming a believer, although he still tends toward heretical thinking such as a predisposition toward Universalist theology and maybe Unitarian theology.

    I have often wondered about inherited genetics. Although less spiritual, I’m very much like my grandmother in being a seeker forever seeking. She too was a liberal-minded thinker and artistically creative, as I am. I barely knew her since she died when I was a very small child. If not genetics, how did I develop so many traits similar to hers?

    However, environment is also a powerful influence. Research has shown peers have more influence on children than do parents, except I suppose when parents isolate their children such as with homeschooling. I may have liberal genetics, but also had very liberal environments growing up. I see a lot of traits in my dad that seem potentially liberal and yet he grew up very conservative. Moving to South Carolina brought out a right-wing side in my dad. Even so, that liberal potentiality every so often pops up as semi-libertarianism. Unlike me, my dad didn’t grow up in a liberal environment and so his liberal potentiality has never fully expressed.

    I’m speculating here based on the research. It has been shown that genes don’t necessarily become expressed without specific environmental factors. Many conservatives are walking around with genes that correlate to higher rates of liberalism, but these people would never know this potential exists within. These people pass these liberal enes onto their children who, if they experience a liberal environment, will then express liberalism. Also, the children with liberal genes inherited from liberal-expressed parents are less likely to become liberals themselves if they don’t experience a liberal environment.

    Researchers have only begun to discover the genes correlated to ideology. And researchers have only begun to unlock the complex relationship between nurture and nature. New research has, for example, shown the plausibility of non-Darwinian evolution and behavior/trait inheritence: Neo-Lamarckianism, epigenetics, Baldwin effect, etc. Even within natural selection, research has shown it can sometimes happen a lot faster than previously thought. It has been theorized that modern society is speeding up evolution.

    There is so much we don’t know right now. Many estblished theories are being challenged and revised.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @BJS:

    Most basically, I’m an agnostic (which is an issue of knowledge). However, I’m neither atheist (which is an issue of belief for or against) nor anti-religious.
     
    I'd argue that agnosticism and atheism (in the weak sense) are equivalent. A principled atheist (such as myself) withholds belief in lieu of evidence, and updates belief accordingly should new evidence become available.

    However, environment is also a powerful influence. Research has shown peers have more influence on children than do parents, except I suppose when parents isolate their children such as with homeschooling.
     
    Don't be so sure about peers. Indeed, it's true parents have minimal influence. However, most of the evidence for peer effects are not much better than family studies that purports to show the effects of parents. Namely, it is confounded by heredity. Do peer groups take on similar attitudes because like-minded peers seek each other out, for example?

    I’m speculating here based on the research. It has been shown that genes don’t necessarily become expressed without specific environmental factors.
     
    More or less.

    Many conservatives are walking around with genes that correlate to higher rates of liberalism, but these people would never know this potential exists within. These people pass these liberal enes onto their children who, if they experience a liberal environment, will then express liberalism.
     
    Something like that. There are limits to what the environment can do, however.

    Researchers have only begun to discover the genes correlated to ideology. And researchers have only begun to unlock the complex relationship between nurture and nature. New research has, for example, shown the plausibility of non-Darwinian evolution and behavior/trait inheritence: Neo-Lamarckianism, epigenetics
     
    Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit. See here, here, and here.

    Even within natural selection, research has shown it can sometimes happen a lot faster than previously thought. It has been theorized that modern society is speeding up evolution.
     
    It's not just theoretical:

    Human Evolutionary Change 100 Times Higher in Past 5,000 Years.


    There is so much we don’t know right now. Many estblished theories are being challenged and revised.

     

    By contrast, there's a lot we did know a long time ago that is coming back to light today, and a lot we would have known now had the social sciences not been taken over by political correctness.
    , @Benjamin David Steele
    @JayMan - "I’d argue that agnosticism and atheism (in the weak sense) are equivalent."

    I might be considered a weak atheist and I have at times thought that way, but I don't know that it captures my full experience. Part of the problem for me is that belief seems like a strange concept. I sense that the world is a strange place, stranger than present mainstream scientific thought allows for. But it is hard for me to pinpoint any specific beliefs I have in relationship to this sense.

    "Don’t be so sure about peers. Indeed, it’s true parents have minimal influence. However, most of the evidence for peer effects are not much better than family studies that purports to show the effects of parents. Namely, it is confounded by heredity. Do peer groups take on similar attitudes because like-minded peers seek each other out, for example?"

    You could be right or you could be wrong. As for the example of a multicultural environment, that would be an environmental factor that isn't chosen by the child. Those kinds of examples interest me the most. I find it immensely interesting that a particular gene for liberalism increases probability of being expressed simply by a child having lots of friends. However, the gene doesn't determine any of that for there are kids with that gene who didn't have lots of friends and so later on were less likely to express liberalism. It makes one wonder how much of genetic expression is determined by environment.

    "Yeah, that stuff is all bullshit."

    One could say the same thing about HBD, if one were so inclined. My point was that scientists research and debate non-Darwinian evolution. Like HBD, non-Darwinian evolution isn't mainstream consensus and yet it is still part of the scientific process. All theories that are mainstream consensus began outside of mainstream consensus. Sometimes mainstream consensus changes toward supporting a new theory and sometimes not. Time will tell, for both non-Darwinian evolution and HBD. I'll go on considering alternatives because I find it interesting to do so, but you are of course free to do otherwise.

    "It’s not just theoretical:"

    I was also thinking about the possibility of evolution happening over shorter periods of time, even just a few generations. We know from breeding that traits can be established very quickly. There are possibly natural conditions that can direct evolution with similar quick results as breeding.

    "By contrast, there’s a lot we did know a long time ago that is coming back to light today, and a lot we would have known now had the social sciences not been taken over by political correctness."

    Actually, political correctness would guide one to not challenge natural selection as the only route of evolution. The people who challenge Darwinian evolution tend to be those challenging political correctness or else, such as with Creationists, challenging the entire scientific enterprise. If I was worried about political correctness, I wouldn't touch non-Darwinian evolution or HBD with a 10 foot pole.

    , @Benjamin David Steele
    @JayMan - "Benjamin, while you’re more than welcome to post here, you have to realize that there are certain standards of evidence and rational discourse that are practiced here."

    I would hope that we share the standard of science. My only point is that scientists debate this topic. I would hope I'm welcome to discuss science in your blog. If not, just say so.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non-Darwinian_evolution

    "One could say that, as one can say anything. But they can’t say it with any justification (HBD Fundamentals)."

    You misunderstand me. I didn't state that HBD isn't scientific. I merely pointed out that it isn't the consensus opinion of mainstream scientists. That is fine. I have never claimed that makes all other alternative theories invalid. That is why I like scientific debate.

    "No Ben, that’s not how it works. Truth is not determined by what the “scientific community” accepts, even if that is a shortcut used by non-scientists. Truth is established by what we have evidence for, and nothing less. While research into “non-Darwinian” evolution is on-going, the evidence for Lamarckian epigenetic inheritance and the like is, at current, lacking. By contrast, the evidence for HBD is strong. “Controversy” is a poor way of judging the truth of a proposition."

    Yes, actually that is part of the scientific method. Scientists research such things as non-Darwinian evolution, they publish in peer-reviewed journals, they present their theories at scientific conferences and they debate. It doesn't matter what you or I think about non-Darwinian evolution. It doesn't even matter what the consensus of scientists think. It is an alternative theory and needs no other justification. Of course, like HBD, a lot more research will have to be done to prove it. That is fine. Science is always developing.

    "All propositions should be challenged. Any claim needs to be met with due skepticism. This is the nature of science."

    This is why I generally have a skeptical attitude. I skeptically look at all positions that seem worthy, but that is always partly a subjective judgment.

    "Fair enough. I’d say you still have a way to go on your journey, though… "

    Same back at you. We all have a long way to go. Science too has a long way to go. None of us has it all figured out. That is the fun of science.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.