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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Genotribes and superracism

Steve Sailer not only points to one of the fatal flaws of the evolutionary model but manages to lay the foundation for a new form of scientific super-racism:
Thus, there have been, last I checked, a couple of dozen different definitions of species put forward by biologists. Ernst Mayr proposed the simplest: interfertility defines a species. That's something you can wrap your head around. But there are problems. What about species that reproduce asexually? Among sexually reproducing species, how can you tell whether or not two of the 400 different types of mussels are interfertile or not? As we know from pandas, captive breeding programs are tricky. And what about types of animals who are interfertile but seem worth differentiating, such as dog, wolves, and coyotes?

Indeed, it was while I was thinking about the Endangered Species Act and the issues surrounding specieshood during the biodiversity debates of the 1990s kicked off by Edward O. Wilson's campaign to save the rainforests that led me to try to ground the study of human biodiversity in something less woozy than the notion of race as subspecies. Instead, I reasoned, something we know exists for every human is a genetic family tree and a biological extended family. If we go back to thinking about racial groups as extended families, one given a higher degree of coherence and endurance by partial inbreeding, then we have a stronger, broader concept that can be used in vastly more human situations than in just trying to differentiate continental-scale racial groups by skin color in the post-1492 world.
If I, as a confirmed scientific sub-speciesist, am considered to be a racist on the basis of my acceptance of the current state of biology, then what words can possibly suffice to properly condemn one who would divide humanity on even more substantive grounds than mere genetic science?

But what could we call these extended families with higher degrees of coherence and endurance by partial inbreeding?  One would be tempted to suggest the term "genotribes" were it not for the fact that we are reliably informed that tribalism is the root of all human evil.

Labels: ,

120 Comments:

Blogger Historicus March 07, 2013 9:30 AM  

Interpreting this data through a biblical worldview tells us that we can call them cousins...many times removed. We're all Noahites.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 9:39 AM  

Vox... the natives are getting restless. All these posts... no response yet to Nate.

It may only be being followed by 5 or 6 people.. but apparently they are like crackheads badly in need of their next fix.

This could get ugly.

Just sayin'

Anonymous Athor Pel March 07, 2013 9:41 AM  

Unless you're nephilim, or anakim, or rephaim, or gibborim or whoever your fallen angel daddy was.

Or you could be one of the new animal-human hybrids being cooked up in labs around the world.

Doesn't that just sound like all kinds of fun?

Blogger Vox March 07, 2013 9:45 AM  

There won't be a debate post today. I've been running around all day and my next post is necessarily going to be a relatively long one. Let them enjoy the anticipation.

Anonymous VryeDenker March 07, 2013 9:46 AM  

Didn't the Soviets first try to mate gorilla's with humans? I suspected one of my colleagues from my days as a waiter was the offspring of such a romance.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 9:52 AM  

Very well. I needed a day to figure out what I was going to do... you certainly have the same right.

I may take the day to answer some questions and maybe clear up some stuff on SVT...

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 10:13 AM  

...

Vox...

is there any chance this debate is delaying Book 2? I don't want to be a part of delaying book 2.

Anonymous Koanic March 07, 2013 10:17 AM  

Pssh, everyone knows that I am the neo-racist in the house. Sailer's so 2011.

Anonymous Anonymous March 07, 2013 10:41 AM  

Ernst Mayr proposed the simplest: interfertility defines a species.

First, forgive my bad English, but I had a debate with some people about that, I was pinpointing that no new species have been observed to arise, very much less with the proposed TE(m)NS mechanism, and they countered it by offering me some anecdotal data about the European pidgeon that the colonists migrate to America and now these two species of European and Amarican pidgeon cannot reproduce by each other concluding that:"To not been able to reproduce with your fellow species, is the epitomy of the new species."

Do you know hot to answer this? Forgive my bad English again.

Anonymous Ras Al Ghul March 07, 2013 10:49 AM  

I think the term you are looking for is . . . clan.

Anonymous fnn March 07, 2013 10:52 AM  

Apparently there are no real species among our duck friends:

http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-biology/waterfowl-hybrids
(...)
"Waterfowl crossbreed more often than any other family of birds. Scientists have recorded more than 400 hybrid combinations among waterfowl species. Mallards crossbreed with nearly 50 other species, and wood ducks hybridize with a surprising 26 other species. Nearly 20 percent of waterfowl hybrid offspring are capable of reproducing.

In North America, one of the most common wild hybrids results from mallard/pintail breeding. Mallards also commonly crossbreed with black ducks, wigeon, shovelers, cinnamon teal, green-winged teal, and gadwalls. In recent years, hybridization between the closely related Eurasian and American wigeons has become more common in Alaska."
(...)

Anonymous The other skeptic March 07, 2013 10:59 AM  

Time for another conspiracy theory.

Why are they keeping the Sandy Hook shooting info sealed

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 11:05 AM  

Koanic
You haven't suggested that the economics debate is irrelevant because of The JOOS yet... so your racist credentials are still in question.

step up your game.

Anonymous Tallen March 07, 2013 11:06 AM  

@The other skeptic

Rather OT, but the background on that site makes it impossible to read anything without highlighting the text, and even that isn't a whole lot better.

Blogger JDC March 07, 2013 11:09 AM  

GRRM let HBO delay his latest book and I forgave him (up until the point when I finished it and wondered why he even bothered) - Vox has Nate. I'll be patient. The debate is worth it.

Anonymous Tardy March 07, 2013 11:09 AM  

Why so few comments lately? I guess 95% of this blog's comments were predicated on feeding Tad the yard troll.

Once the easy time wasters go away this blog goes quiet...

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 11:10 AM  

Tallen...

its black text on a white background on my laptop and on the desktops. Whatever you're trying to read it on... sucks.

Anonymous Tardy March 07, 2013 11:10 AM  

Damn phone autocorrect - I meant Tad the *tard* troll.

Blogger Vox March 07, 2013 11:12 AM  

Why so few comments lately? I guess 95% of this blog's comments were predicated on feeding Tad the yard troll.

Over the years, all but the most stone-headed would-be critics have learned to keep their heads down for fear having their arguments exposed.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 11:18 AM  

plus the debate is taking up a post a day or so... and it doesn't lend itself to a lot of comments... because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much.

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 11:24 AM  

If we go back to thinking about racial groups as extended families, one given a higher degree of coherence and endurance by partial inbreeding...

Yes, that is the historical understanding of the term "race." People who go around saying there's no such thing as race are either lying or ignorant.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 11:30 AM  

"People who go around saying there's no such thing as race are either lying or ignorant."

you have to remember... most people hear a statement that rings a silent "that sounds smart!" bell. they then file it away... to be repeated in situations where they may want others to think they are also smart.

There literally is no understanding of what is being said. its just "that sounds smart".

This is true of pretty much everyone with an IQ of 100 and below.

Anonymous Daniel March 07, 2013 11:31 AM  

because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much.

Also, no one has made up any words lately that mean the opposite of what they seem to. That activity alone generally produces green shoot comments numbering no fewer than 20.

We need more Calvinism!

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 11:32 AM  

"To not been able to reproduce with your fellow species, is the epitomy of the new species."

Using that definition of speciation, they are completely correct. New species "arise" all the time. However, in every single case, the new species develops by losing information and capabilities, not by gaining information or features. One pigeon species has become two very closely related pigeon species, both probably less fit overall than the older species. They have not become one pigeon species and one telepathic master pigeon species. Real Darwinian evolution only happens in comic books.

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 11:33 AM  

... because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much.

Heh. Doesn't stop me.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 11:35 AM  

"We need more Calvinism!"

Its true... if I were being dishonest... obfuscating and such... then there would be a lot more comments because it would be like a hanging curve ball to a cleanup hitter.

Anonymous James May March 07, 2013 11:36 AM  

"Over the years, all but the most stone-headed would-be critics have learned to keep their heads down for fear having their arguments exposed."

I'd rather comment on a site with people who views I don't share than one whose views I do share but who stifle dissent. The oddity (or not) is that people who conspicuously identify themselves as progressive liberals truly do not like dissent.

One can't help but think there is something seriously flawed in how liberals gather and process information. That's why I sense a sea change in the typical liberal from even a decade or so ago that goes beyond a mere difference of opinion.

It seems to veer into a sense of persecution and even paranoia. There is certainly that on the extremes of the Right but that's the point: those are extreme, whereas the paranoid liberal, still gaping in horror at American Japanese internment camps as if America is worse today, is completely mainstreamed. And lest you think this untrue, the Asian Congressional Caucus is whining about this on their site right now, with the the injunction warning about a racist America in this regard now "MORE THAN EVER BEFORE."

That's why I single out Scalzi. I have nothing against him personally, but he is the president of the SFWA, a symbol therefore. People listen to him and gather 'round, but without challenge to the emptiness of their ideas.

To me it would be telling if such people, and, for example, a writer and race advocate like N.K. Jemisin, declared a moratorium on talking about identity. They would have little to do or talk about, and that would be revealing. Revealing in that it would expose the fact their careers depend on hate-mongering, and not on art. This is why the KKK is hiding in the bushes, discredited, and rightly so, while their exact philosophical equal in principle, such as Jemisin, hold court at Tor as a source of wisdom.

The addiction of liberals to identity over principle that sees them as eternally better than their forefathers reveals a further addiction to holding moral high ground.

I'm not sure how one can debate such people and neither are they and so... they just don't. To them, it's a done deal.

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 11:37 AM  

plus the debate is taking up a post a day or so... and it doesn't lend itself to a lot of comments... because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much.

I'm actually encouraged at the amount of comments on the debate posts, it's higher than I anticipated.

And we've actually had very little bloviating from the usual suspects.

Blogger njartist March 07, 2013 11:37 AM  

Yahweh defines who is whom using a people's descent from patriarchs - the founders of lineages. For instance, beginning with Noah, there are three main patriarchs: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, of Ham is Caanan.
From Shem derive the semites of which the branches are Isaac and Ishmael. Of Isaac comes Esau (Edomites) and Jacob (patriarch the true Israelites).
From Japheth derives Gomer among whose sons are Ashkenaz (from who comes the Ashkenazi) and Togarmah from whom, by their own admission, by their tribal king, come the Khazars).
Let's throw a couple wrenches into the mix. What if the concept of two creations of man is correct: the non-white races are created in Genesis I: these are the "beasts of the field"; of these there is no patriarchal lineage mentioned in the bible; Adam is the second creation: he is the "ruddy" race - the whites - ; and the Garden is both real and a parable: there is a location which meets the geographic description and the trees also refer to the nations of the world. The second wrench is that Cain is also Sargon I: his is the non-human, serpent seed (Serpent and Eve - the firstborn via superfetation); and his descendants are called Kenites and Cainites.

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 11:40 AM  

Also, no one has made up any words lately that mean the opposite of what they seem to.

Thankfully, the money surrogate incident was understood by almost everyone with the exception of one or two idiots.

Anonymous Stilicho March 07, 2013 11:44 AM  

and it doesn't lend itself to a lot of comments... because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much.

Those of us who are following it closely are, I suspect anyway, mostly refraining from comment to avoid distractions and delays or just to avoid jumping ahead of the actual debate. You two have been promising to have a go at this for some time and I'm curious to see where it leads you. However, if you want to go ahead and explain how every single FRN is not a product of leverage, lay on MacDuff...

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 11:45 AM  

Let's throw a couple wrenches into the mix. What if the concept of two creations of man is correct: the non-white races are created in Genesis I: these are the "beasts of the field"; of these there is no patriarchal lineage mentioned in the bible; Adam is the second creation: he is the "ruddy" race - the whites - ; and the Garden is both real and a parable: there is a location which meets the geographic description and the trees also refer to the nations of the world. The second wrench is that Cain is also Sargon I: his is the non-human, serpent seed (Serpent and Eve - the firstborn via superfetation); and his descendants are called Kenites and Cainites.

Dude...put down the crack pipe...

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 11:50 AM  

It seems to veer into a sense of persecution and even paranoia. 

All liberals are engaged in a perpetual struggle to be either the biggest victim or the biggest sympathizer and advocate for the biggest victims.

Anonymous Stilicho March 07, 2013 11:51 AM  

One can't help but think there is something seriously flawed in how liberals gather and process information.

Roissy had a great line about women, but the principle applies to leftists as well and coincides with what AC says about the rabbit folk: "Men use argument to win crowds while women use crowds to win arguments."

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 11:53 AM  

Oh Stilicho... do be patient. Its a far bigger... far more interesting world than you realize.

Anonymous LES March 07, 2013 11:58 AM  

James May: "The oddity (or not) is that people who conspicuously identify themselves as progressive liberals truly do not like dissent."

Liberalism is authoritarian and totalitarian.

Anonymous jack March 07, 2013 12:00 PM  

Nate March 07, 2013 11:18 AM

plus the debate is taking up a post a day or so... and it doesn't lend itself to a lot of comments... because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much.

Or, they are so terrified concerning what this debate [and others on this blog] mean to their future ability to buy beans and keep off the forced labor gangs housed in fema camps that they are shell shocked into relative silence.

And so to there can be a real and legitimate fear of posting comments in an age of almost unbelievable detailed collection of data [and evidence] on just about anyone that gets near an internet connection, the county courthouse, files a tax return, applies for a CC permit, etc.

Ad the old saying goes, 'It's not if you are paranoid; are you paranoid enough?

Anonymous Stilicho March 07, 2013 12:01 PM  

No doubt, Nate. Hence my relative silence and patience so far.

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 12:03 PM  

you have to remember... most people hear a statement that rings a silent "that sounds smart!" bell. they then file it away... to be repeated in situations where they may want others to think they are also smart.

There literally is no understanding of what is being said. its just "that sounds smart".


Which explains njartist. A little truth mixed with a whole passel of unsubstantiated, pseudo-intellectual tripe sounds real smart to people who are too eager to believe and/or too lazy to dig for the truth themselves. Everyone is guilty of it occasionally, but some people make it a lifestyle.

Anonymous James May March 07, 2013 12:06 PM  

And to that Stilicho I'd add that men back up their words or even insults with themselves while women do it with one hand on a phone and 911. Despite being a nation of law, this is still the fundamental nature of reality.

The fundamental Jekyll and Hyde logic of a liberal shows them advocating for women in front line combat units in one part of the country while telling a rape victim in Colorado that she can't even keep her gun without it being taken from her by an unarmed man.

One can then imagined how much worse it would be to keep your weapon in war where the men have guns to start out. The reason liberals stifle rhetoric is that there is no riposte to that argument, or many of their Orwellian thoughts. It's a perfect example of identity trumping principle.

Using identity - race, gender - is like a weather vane: it blows here and there and where it eventually points no one knows. No right and wrong can be parsed through race and gender, and bewilderingly, this is how liberals started out thinking in the '60s with the cultural revolution.

But when they got to equal in regard to race and gender, they kept going and have now gone past that and veered into gender and racial supremacy, without being the least aware of it. This is how "wise Latinas" are born and how black people, women and gays become the last word on "justice." It's a child's logic, really.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 07, 2013 12:09 PM  

...we are reliably informed that tribalism is the root of all human evil.

It is interesting, there has been a great deal of evil done through the mechanism of tribalism in the history of the world, yet...

Other forms of groupism have been even worse. The National Socialists of Germany were tribal socialists, but their rivals the Commies were class-based socialists who did even more evil. Though I suspect that often Communism wasn't so much an ideology as it was an excuse.

Using crowds to win arguments - causing misery since the dawn of time.



Anonymous Jack Amok March 07, 2013 12:13 PM  

Damn phone autocorrect - I meant Tad the *tard* troll.

I dunno, I think "yard troll" has a certain ring to it.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein March 07, 2013 12:25 PM  

"... because most people either aren't reading it or are to worried about saying something that makes them look stupid to comment much."

Heh. Doesn't stop me.


Me neither. Want proof? Here goes.....

What if Vox and Nate are both right?

Now, I side with Nate because I understand his argument for inflation. I just can't grok Vox's deflation arguments. (FWIW, although I have a Mensa IQ....Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time was totally beyond my understanding.)

Perhaps Bernanke et al, being a lot smarter than I, are attempting to walk the tightrope between Nate's inflation and Vox's deflation.

If so....maybe they can pull it off for quite a while.

I'm betting on Wiemar, though

Anonymous DonReynolds March 07, 2013 12:26 PM  

He he. My mother and her relations are from Scotland and my dad and his family are from Ireland. BOTH sides of the family thought they married outside their race. I married a Sweede from Wisconsin (yes), which was even more weird and it did not help when I tried to explain that all that red hair in Scotland and Ireland came from the Vikings! (The original inhabitants of Scotland and Ireland did not have red hair.) The latest genetic studies I have read about say genetically, the British were of the same stock as the Basques.

Seems that during the Ice Age, there was no English Channel, which was formed by the melting of the ice in Europe and the rising of the sea. Villages have been found on the bottom of the English Channel.

In the USA, in particular, race has become less a matter of origin and much more broadly interpreted as simply a color....black, white, red, yellow, brown. This may be because origin has been obscured by a dimly lit history and centuries of migration, long before Columbus.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 12:45 PM  

"I'm betting on Wiemar, though"

Team Whiskey Zulu!

Anonymous Jay March 07, 2013 12:45 PM  

Question (somewhat related)... We now know that skin color is just an adaptation to environment. For instance, black people come from a lineage with more sun exposure, so now they don't get as easily sun-burnt.

Just putting it out there...Isn't that enough to end "racism" based on "skin color"? If that knowledge was widespread (granted many "racist/ignorant" people would resist it), wouldn't that be enough to end "racism"? Am I missing something?

Anonymous Anonymous March 07, 2013 12:47 PM  

My German teacher in high school instructed us that the second letter in the ie/ei combination is always pronounced in English using the second letter of the combination. Weimar. Bier.

~E

Anonymous ODG March 07, 2013 12:59 PM  

@Jay,
What you're missing is that the elites don't really want racism to end.

Anonymous High Five March 07, 2013 1:02 PM  

"I tried to explain that all that red hair in Scotland and Ireland came from the Vikings! (The original inhabitants of Scotland and Ireland did not have red hair.)"

That's funny cause I'm Scottish as are my parents. There genealogy records go back in Scotland hundreds of years basically since the records began. My mother is a red head and when I got genetically tested there was no Scandinavian ancestry whatsoever. I'm calling bollocks.

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 1:07 PM  

Question (somewhat related)... We now know that skin color is just an adaptation to environment. For instance, black people come from a lineage with more sun exposure, so now they don't get as easily sun-burnt.

Just putting it out there...Isn't that enough to end "racism" based on "skin color"? If that knowledge was widespread (granted many "racist/ignorant" people would resist it), wouldn't that be enough to end "racism"? Am I missing something?


Yes, you appear to be missing the fact that skin color is only one side-effect of race, as are hair and high color, height, facial features, mental capacity, skeletal and muscular patterns, language, etc. If you had parents you have a race.

Anonymous Jay March 07, 2013 1:12 PM  

@ODG:

@Jay,
What you're missing is that the elites don't really want racism to end.


I get that, ODG. But hypothetically (at least), isn't that enough to end racism... this very basic idea? It is 100% provable that darker skinned people are less susceptible to sunburn, as opposed to very white people like myself, who get burnt pretty easy (yes, I know that there are other exacerbating factors involved, like nutrition, etc, but the fundamental principle remains).

Am I missing something in terms of this idea logically ending racism in the mind of the person who accepts it? I never hear this idea either in evolutionary/atheistic or religious fundamentalist circles...

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 1:13 PM  

Language? You ask.

Yes. Language is generally passed down from parent to child, just like skin color, only by a different mechanism. The connection isn't as solid, since there are more ways to inherit language than only by parents, but you probably see where I'm coming from. A person of a particular race might have a different skin color if one of his parents came from a different race. He might also speak a different language if one of his parents did or if he was adopted, etc. Adoption throws more than one wrench into the racial works. The morale of this uncharacteristically long winded tale (for me) is that neither skin color nor language can definitively tell you a person's race, but that doesn't mean the person doesn't belong to a race.

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 1:15 PM  

You can convince everyone in the world that there is no such thing as race, but observant and thoughtful people will soon realize that the thing they used to call race still exists. They'll probably just give it a new name like "culture" or "heritage" or "nationality".

Anonymous Jay March 07, 2013 1:16 PM  

@ jay c:

"Yes, you appear to be missing the fact that skin color is only one side-effect of race, as are hair and high color, height, facial features, mental capacity, skeletal and muscular patterns, language, etc."

Good point. But doesn't that just beg the question of, If skin color is an adaptation to a certain environment, would not all these other features also therefore be an adaptation to other environmental factors? If it happens with one feature, would it not make sense with the rest?

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein March 07, 2013 1:22 PM  

My German teacher in high school instructed us that the second letter in the ie/ei combination is always pronounced in English using the second letter of the combination. Weimar. Bier.

Danke. Good rule to remember.

OTOH, I was backing up Nate, so perfect spelling would have been somewhat....condescending.

POOR ILK SPELLERS,UNTIE!!

Anonymous jay c March 07, 2013 1:27 PM  

Even if we assume Darwinian evolution, individuals do not adapt their genes to to their environment. Even large population groups don't. Instead one individual suffers a random mutation, then some dramatic change in the environment somehow increases the survivability of that one individual who manages to pass his mutation onto his offspring. His offspring are members of his race regardless of their skin color. Over time, their darker skin (or some other characteristic) might become dominant within their race, perhaps even changing the overall character of the entire race, but that can never define the race, which can only be defined by parentage.

Anonymous CatDog March 07, 2013 1:28 PM  

There's ancient Scottish folklore stories that mention them having red hair. Long before the Vikings.

Not to mention they fact that the studies I've seen say about 1.5 percent of Scots have Viking genetic ancestry.

Anonymous Spoos in August March 07, 2013 2:02 PM  

Speciation has been observed in the wild at least once, in a population of Galapagos finch hybrids whose songs would not attract either of the species from which they descended. However, they died out in a very few generations. It's a mistake to think that fertility and, especially, interbreeding are not affected by behavioral or other "superficial" cues. Geographic isolation is only part of the story, and does not explain why certain populations have retained differences even when in close contact with other populations with which they could, but did not, interbreed.

Also, random mutations in genes probably aren't as much of the substrate for evolution and speciation as was previously thought. It appears more likely that changes in spatio-temporal regulation of genes (c.f. Hox genes and other patterning processes) produced much of the variation we see today. This is why, for example, the fin of a whale, the wing of a bird, and the hand of a human all have identifiably orthologous structures.

Soooooo... as far as races go, different environmental pressures could certainly affect neoteny, for example. K-selected populations might, for example, take longer to reach neurological and reproductive maturity than r-selected. One might, even, detect this by the degree of neotenous features retained by members of each population.

Am I off the reservation yet?

Anonymous Ferd March 07, 2013 2:40 PM  

It is all crap,,

http://www.sunday.tribune.com.ng/index.php/lead-stories/51428-messy-state-of-toilets-at-nysc-camps

That is why they call it the Turd World,,

Blogger James Higham March 07, 2013 2:41 PM  

The endangered species in the UK is the older white male.

Blogger Heuristics March 07, 2013 3:00 PM  

Red headed vikings? I'm swedish (well, gothic if we are getting tribal about it), we have very very few red heads over here in Scandinavia, unless that changed during the last millenia this story is off.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 3:14 PM  

@ various anti-darwinists

Did God create the vast diversity in humans that we now see? Or is it a product of genetic change?

Related: if you accept that some human behaviors have biological roots but that some are the product of free what is/are the demarcating criteria where we can determine which behaviors fall under one governing factor versus the other?

BTW, I have never received a response to that last challenge.

IQ is a measurement of behavioral patterns. Either it is a product of biology or it is a product of free will but it cannot be both. Which is it?

Blogger Heuristics March 07, 2013 3:25 PM  

Asher: Creating a good dilemma entails making sure that there are in fact only two viable options. You should argue for why what you say are the only options in fact the only two options.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 07, 2013 3:31 PM  

Asher: "Either it is a product of biology or it is a product of free will but it cannot be both."

I know I'll probably regret asking this, but why not?

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 3:31 PM  

@ Heuristics

This would be the point where you point out another option.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 07, 2013 3:33 PM  

@Asher: No, this would be the point where you provide evidence to back up your assertion.

Blogger Duke of Earl March 07, 2013 3:36 PM  

Ernst Mayr proposed the simplest: interfertility defines a species.

First, forgive my bad English, but I had a debate with some people about that, I was pinpointing that no new species have been observed to arise, very much less with the proposed TE(m)NS mechanism, and they countered it by offering me some anecdotal data about the European pidgeon that the colonists migrate to America and now these two species of European and Amarican pidgeon cannot reproduce by each other concluding that:"To not been able to reproduce with your fellow species, is the epitomy of the new species."

Do you know hot to answer this? Forgive my bad English again.


The problem is that you're using an argument creationists shouldn't use.

Rapid speciation is an important part of the creation model, allowing representatives of animal kinds to enter the ark and then diverge into the variety we see today after the flood.

The distinction between evolutionary and creation models is that source of the genetic variation that allows for speciation. In the creation model the source is the pre-engineered information in the genome, acted on by natural (and artificial) selection (with the occasional mutation adding things like albinism). We see that in things like the selective breeding of foxes where some of their descendants started to display very doglike traits. This can happen extremely quickly, and has been observed to do so. The evolutionary model requires a means of creating volumes of new genetic features for selection to act on. Mutation has been proposed as that mechanism, but firstly it requires a pre-existing functional cell, and secondly mutations are a corruption of the pre-existing genetic code.

That's like saying that if I started with a CNC program, and randomly start chopping and changing lines, inserting, deleting, randomly duplicating, my CNC machine will spontaneously start producing an improved product to the one it was already making. It might, but the odds are vastly in favour of it not.

Obviously the evolutionary model is fudged by invoking vast lengths of time and massive numbers of generations in order to give enough theoretical opportunities for said special mutations to arise (Vox would describe them as epicycles). Observed mutation rates though are much too high for evolution (because of high defect accumulation leading to error catastrophe). Also, the fact the length of time invoked is so vast, it is completely beyond the ability of human beings to observe, let alone replicate. That makes it an unscientific hypothesis.

Evolutionists will point to the work of people like Richard Lenski with E. Coli achieving the ability to process citrate under aerobic conditions however this is almost inapplicable to the matter of evolution for a few reasons. The first, and most obvious one, is that normal E. Coli can process citrate, but only under anaerobic conditions. The two point mutations that made the population able to process citrate under aerobic conditions probably jammed up the regulating factors that restricted processing under aerobic conditions. They were function degrading mutations (which are about the only kind ever witnessed). A second is that these bacteria reproduce asexually, that means that the mutations are passed from generation to generation. Sexual reproduction basically chucks away half the genetic material from each parent, meaning that at every point there's a 50:50 chance that the mutation will be dumped irrespective of its survival value.

Lenski himself appears to have switched to computer models of evolution where he can always achieve his desired outcome.

Blogger Heuristics March 07, 2013 3:36 PM  

Asher: No, this would be the point where you show the the dilemma to actually be a dilemma instead of a trilemma or more. Coming up with more options for dilemmas are never hard, at the least you can just grab both horns of it.

Blogger Duke of Earl March 07, 2013 3:52 PM  

Did God create the vast diversity in humans that we now see? Or is it a product of genetic change?

Mostly the former, some of the latter. However there isn't a vast diversity in human beings. What are the major differences? Skin colour? That's just a function of melanin, and we all have some (except for albinos, nasty freaks that they are).

IQ is a measurement of behavioral patterns. Either it is a product of biology or it is a product of free will but it cannot be both. Which is it?

IQ may well be acted on by both biology and culture. If a population favours intelligence over pure strength then they will generally have a higher average IQ, on the other hand if their lives are a constant battle for survival other skills, strength/cunning will rise to the top. Meanwhile a culture that favours learning will also boost apparent IQ, not necessarily because they are smarter individually, but because they actually have the knowledge base to achieve good IQ results. That said, that is a cultural component. You might have 30 IQ points over a Polynesian Islander, but if you were both dumped onto a deserted island I've no doubt you'd have to learn from him, or die.

Related: if you accept that some human behaviors have biological roots but that some are the product of free will what is/are the demarcating criteria where we can determine which behaviors fall under one governing factor versus the other?

I'd say the easiest demarcation is, what is your gut instinct? If a person's gut instinct is to behave in a certain way then it's either biological or severe cultural conditioning. If it's something that they have to stop and think about then it's a product of will. That's a very free and easy distinction though, and doesn't really differentiate between biology and upbringing.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 3:52 PM  

@ Waterboy

@Asher: No, this would be the point where you provide evidence to back up your assertion.

Either you are incredibly stupid or incredibly intellectually dishonest. This is the sort of response I get from feminists, as if their ideology were unassailable until proven (sic) otherwise. Consider the two following categories I gave for explaining behaviors:

A) Free will
B) Physical cause and effect

Asking for evidence for either of those categories is, itself a category mistake. What in the world does it even mean to say there is evidence for "free will"? The famous philosopher of science spent a long essay writing to keep the possibility for free will untouched by science but he was really clear that it was a category of thought that would have to remain separate from evidence. As for physical cause and effect, as a category, we run smack into Hume's observation about inductive reasoning, which by my reckoning has never been *solved*.

Since the very categories of though we're talking about are not directly determined by evidence your basic challenge is intellectually dishonest.

I laid out two possible sources of human behavior: free will, physical cause and effect. You gave no position, at all, on the categories of things that are the source of human behavior. So, basically, you don't have a position, at all, on human behavior: it's all a big mystery and who can fathom it. Pure know-nothing-ism.

Let me explain how things work: I present a position; you present a position; the best one wins. You don't have a position, at all, which means that mine wins by default.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 4:04 PM  

@ Heuristic

No, this would be the point where you show the the dilemma to actually be a dilemma instead of a trilemma or more. Coming up with more options for dilemmas are never hard, at the least you can just grab both horns of it.

The entire history of western thought has been a debate about the subject/object relation. Subject, mind, free will; object, body, causality. They're categorically exhaustive. I have never seen anyone offer any alternative to categorical dualism that wasn't monism and several commenters have explicitly rejected monism.

So, be a sport and be the first person in western thought to come up with an alternative to either monism or dualism.

BTW, despite the etymology of the term "dilemma" it now simply means a difficult choice between two or more options. I gave my two categories for explaining human behaviors and one that is smack dab in the mainstream of western thought. You come along and hint that there might be other options and that it is my responsibility to come up with one/them.

That is blatant intellectual dishonesty on your part.

Anonymous Agent Mongols March 07, 2013 4:09 PM  

WHO LET AGENT ASPIE OUT OF HIS PADDED CELL

Anonymous WaterBoy March 07, 2013 4:14 PM  

Asher: "Either you are incredibly stupid or incredibly intellectually dishonest."

fallacy of the false alternative

Yet again with the false dilemma. Are you only ever capable of thinking in binary terms? I propose another option: you are wrong.

Oh, waitaminute -- this is The Incredible Asher. He's never wrong.

Asher: "This is the sort of response I get from feminists, as if their ideology were unassailable until proven (sic) otherwise."

Association fallacy; ad hominem

The irony, of course, is that you are doing the exact same thing of which you accuse them.

Please respond to the criticism without all the histrionics. Thanks.

Asher: "Asking for evidence for either of those categories is, itself a category mistake."

Reading Comprehension Fail

Hey Genius! You said:

"Either it is a product of biology or it is a product of free will but it cannot be both."

I said:

"why not?"

I was not asking you to provide evidence for each of the two options you presented...I was asking for you to provide evidence for why it could not be both.

Asher: "Since the very categories of though we're talking about are not directly determined by evidence your basic challenge is intellectually dishonest."

Vox was right; you just aren't as intelligent as you like to make yourself out to be, since you couldn't even understand a basic two-word clause. I leave it to the other readers to decide for themselves.

Asher: "I laid out two possible sources of human behavior: free will, physical cause and effect. You gave no position, at all, on the categories of things that are the source of human behavior. So, basically, you don't have a position, at all, on human behavior: it's all a big mystery and who can fathom it. Pure know-nothing-ism."

No, we haven't even got into the part of my position, yet. You made an unsupported assertion, and I challenged it. How about you respond to that, first, before you start passing out the free samples of handwavium?

Blogger Heuristics March 07, 2013 4:16 PM  

Asher: "You come along and hint that there might be other options and that it is my responsibility to come up with one/them."

I did not. What I have written is going through your head and generating content that is not in the text. Check your interpreter. Any dilemma can be converted to a trilemma by simply grabbing both horns of the dilemma.

"I have never seen anyone offer any alternative to categorical dualism that wasn't monism and several commenters have explicitly rejected monism."

Hylemorphic dualism. It rejects both reductionism/determinism and the total separation of mind and the body. In HD the mind is just the form of the body.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 4:29 PM  

@ Waterboy

Yet again with the false dilemma. Are you only ever capable of thinking in binary terms? I propose another option: you are wrong.

Then the entire history of western thought is wrong. The centuries-old debate is between dualism and monism and if you think there is a third alternative then it is up to you to propose it. What I am saying is nothing new or remarkable and not all dichotomies are false dichotomies.

Association fallacy; ad hominem

I think you are confused about the ad hom fallacy. The fallacy is about drawing logical implications by claiming that one trait and invalidates an argument about an unrelated subject. Here's an example:

John is a catholic, therefore, nothing John says about abortion is valid

It's an invalid conclusion because John's status as a catholic is logically unrelated to whether or not his arguments regarding abortion are valid or not.

The problem with you is that you don't make any arguments for the source(s) of human behaviors. Again, you argue all the illogic of a feminist.

I was not asking you to provide evidence for each of the two options you presented...I was asking for you to provide evidence for why it could not be both.

In what possible way could it be both? Spirit/subject/mind is categorically dissimilar from body/object/causality. "Free" means "not caused"; "caused" means "not free". In what possible way could something be simultaneously cause and not caused? Or maybe you have a complete different understanding of "free will" other than "uncaused".

Historically, "freedom" has been in opposition to "necessity", i.e. A vs non-A. These are categorical not empirical distinctions. If you think, otherwise, then you are completely outside the entire body of western thought. Many have argued that there is no such thing as "freedom" and some have argued that there is no such thing as necessity, but few, if any, have argued that they do not contradict one another.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 4:36 PM  

@ heuristic

Any dilemma can be converted to a trilemma by simply grabbing both horns of the dilemma.

Then it is up to you to simultaneously grab both those horns. I am arguing that they can;t simultaneously be grabbed and you have not provided an explanation of how such a thing is possible. Simply claiming it *can* be done is not actually demonstrating that such a thing is possible.

You made an unsupported assertion, and I challenged it.

My position is the standard one in the history of western thought: freedom and necessity, A and non-A. Traditionally, freedom has been juxtaposed against necessity and now you're claiming that through force of argument you can grab both those horns. Since I deny they can be grabbed simultaneously and that the traditional interpretation is that they are mutually exclusive it is up to you to explain how freedom and necessity are not mutually exclusive.

I believe it was Josh who offered that he was entirely willing to accept that all human behavior and action was the product of free will. At least he was honest about it.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 4:44 PM  

The thing is that "free will" lies outside of the reach of empirical evidence and, so, cannot be an explanation for any particular human behavior. Sure, you can assert that there is such a thing as free will but you cannot point to any particular behavior and argue that it is a product of free will. In doing so you are placing that behavior outside the reach of evidence.

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 4:44 PM  

What, why am I being dragged into this?

Blogger Heuristics March 07, 2013 4:46 PM  

Asher:

You appear to think I am engaging your arguments, I am simply telling you that you do not appear to understand what you are doing.

You keep mentioning the entirety of western thought but you do not know of Aristotelian thought? Historically it is the largest one. From reading your comment you do not appear to know of any other world views other then the modern mechanical ones (created by Newton/Hobbes/Descartes/Galileo/Liebniz etc).

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 4:51 PM  

"What, why am I being dragged into this?"

because you have a pretty mouth?

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 4:52 PM  

Asher is using me for his mental masturbation posts. I feel dirty and objectified.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 07, 2013 4:55 PM  

"So, basically, you don't have a position, at all, on human behavior: it's all a big mystery and who can fathom it. Pure know-nothing-ism."

Realizing and admitting that something is a big mystery is not the same thing (or at least, not necessarily the same thing) as know-nothing-ism. Mysticism begins with recognizing that words like "know" and "nothing" (and even suffixes like "ism") are maybe a bit trickier than you suppose.

Put down the Hume for a few minutes and read some Donne for a change. After all, they both exist. If nothing else, it'll make you happier. And that's not "nothing".



Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 4:55 PM  

"From reading your comment you do not appear to know of any other world views other then the modern mechanical ones (created by Newton/Hobbes/Descartes/Galileo/Liebniz etc)."

Dammit people. Then. Than. Different words.

Am I the only one that gives a damn about the rules???

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 4:58 PM  

@ Heuristic

I'm quite familiar with Aristotle. The problem is that his writing raises questions that he himself does not answer and the subsequent history of philosophy is an attempt to answer those questions. I'm sorry but I simply reject the notion that all human understanding was solidified almost 2500 years ago and that everything since then was mindless babble.

Here's a simple question: is the source of IQ differences a product of biology, or not? If you say yes then you're already down the road to accepting some mechanistic philosophy.

Aristotle noted that some men have different capacities for learning. It doesn't even seem to occur to him to ask the question "why". His answer would probably be along the lines of "because it's in their nature" but he probably wouldn't be able to give any explanation of what is the cause of those differences.

The problem is that once you admit even one behavior as being caused by biological differences then you have to admit that they might all be caused by biological factors, and if some are and some aren't then there must be some demarcating set of criteria. What is it/are they?

Anonymous WaterBoy March 07, 2013 5:01 PM  

Asher: "Then the entire history of western thought is wrong. The centuries-old debate is between dualism and monism and if you think there is a third alternative then it is up to you to propose it."

Irrelevant. My statement had nothing to do with dualism/monism; it addressed what you claimed were the only two options available:

you are incredibly stupid
or:
[you are] incredibly intellectually dishonest

These were the only two options you presented as possibilities. I responded with a third option:

you are wrong

But seeing as how you enjoy false dilemmas so much, how about I expand it to give you a choice:

you are wrong
or:
you are an incredible boor

Again, I leave it to the other readers to decide which.

Asher: "I think you are confused about the ad hom fallacy...It's an invalid conclusion because John's status as a catholic is logically unrelated to whether or not his arguments regarding abortion are valid or not."

Which is precisely what you did: you respond like a feminist, therefore you are wrong

My status as a "feminist-like responder" is logically unrelated to whether or not I should expect you to support your unfounded assertions.

Asher: "In what possible way could it be both?"

In feats of athletic ability, for one. Part of an athlete's capability comes from genetics (biology), and part comes from training and experience, and is expressed in situational responses (free will). Elite athletes can subjugate the conscious thought involved in reacting to, say, the starter's gun, to a totally unconscious reaction. But until they have perfected that, it's still a conscious act of free will.

Unless you are going down the path where "free will" is actually physically encoded in the brain* -- wrf3, IIRC, expressed such -- then the two components can both play a role in situational behavior.

* The result of which is that the two options presented essentially become "biological" and "biological".

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 5:04 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

If all everyone ever read was poetry then we wouldn't enjoy indoor plumbing. I have one response to anti-modernism:

Eat with the right, wipe with the left.

I have a brother who is a very talented visual artist and he mocks things like science and philosophy. He's not dumb but when I point out that without science and philosophy everything that makes his art media possible wouldn't exist. It doesn't even register with him.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 07, 2013 5:10 PM  

Nate: "Am I the only one that gives a damn about the rules???>"

It wouldn't be so funny if it weren't true.

Blogger Heuristics March 07, 2013 5:11 PM  

Nate: Thanks, I was unaware of the difference (english being my second language). Apparently than should be used when it is a timeless comparison and then in the other places.

Asher: Why are you writing things that are obviously wrong to anyone that has actually studied the subject? Am I supposed to here just enumerate the things you have gotten wrong so that you can write even more wrong things in a reply?

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 5:15 PM  

Shit... Sorry Heuristics... I didn't realize english was a second language for you.

The then / than mix up is common amongst native english speakers these days because everyone is reverting to spelling phonetically.

Just today I saw someone write that they were "baring" their dead grandmother. she meant "burying" but ... well... I am trying to be kind here. She meant... burying. That's all I'll say.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 07, 2013 5:20 PM  

"If all everyone ever read was poetry then we wouldn't enjoy indoor plumbing."

For a self-proclaimed smarty-pants philosopher, you sure state a bunch of howlers, and this is yet another one.

Who is talking about reading "only" poetry, ever? If all I ever ate was McDonald's french fries, I would die pretty quickly. Fortunately I also eat the Quarter Pounder once in a while, sometimes even a McRib when I can find it; and thus I have managed to continue panting on in my paltry existence.

I have a cousin who is a plumber. Makes a good living. Spends some of his enviably considerable income on maintaining a good library in his home. The library contains many things, and one of those things is poetry. And another is philosophers like Hume.

On the whole, I believe I'd rather have lunch with my cousin than with you, if that makes sense to you.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 5:22 PM  

"Fortunately I also eat the Quarter Pounder once in a while, sometimes even a McRib when I can find it; and thus I have managed to continue panting on in my paltry existence."

Dude.

A mcrib?

Really?

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 5:23 PM  

Plumbing is a damned fine skill to have. You can work anywhere in the world... and ya know what? Plumbers make more per hour than lots of lawyers.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 07, 2013 5:25 PM  

Dude. You were taking me srsly? Rlly?

C'mon.

O R'LYEH?

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 5:35 PM  

Hey.. McDonalds does in fact sell the things... I mean... theoretically someone has to be eating them.

I figured I better check to make sure.

I maintain the internet needs a sarcasm font... but no one seems to be willing to help me make it happen.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 07, 2013 5:35 PM  

"What if the concept of two creations of man is correct: the non-white races are created in Genesis I: these are the "beasts of the field"; of these there is no patriarchal lineage mentioned in the bible; Adam is the second creation: he is the "ruddy" race - the whites - ; and the Garden is both real and a parable"

I think maybe this commenter has been reading that nutcase Father John+ who hangs out over at Hunter Wallace's place, Occidental Dissent. Sounds like the same sort of rant.

Anonymous VD March 07, 2013 5:40 PM  

He's not dumb but when I point out that without science and philosophy everything that makes his art media possible wouldn't exist. It doesn't even register with him.

It clearly runs in the family.

Anonymous RM March 07, 2013 5:45 PM  

Somewhat OT:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091009-dinosaur-species-never-existed.html

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 6:09 PM  

@ Waterboy

These were the only two options you presented as possibilities. I responded with a third option:

you are wrong


You're welcome to call me wrong but you're calling pretty much everyone else wrong, too. If "free" means "uncaused" then something that is caused is unfree. If I make moonshine and water it down to fifty percent then I have a mixture that is 100 proof. The principle of non-contradiction plays no part because alcohol and water exist in the empirical world and are not mutually contradictory. Freedom and necessity are categories of potential experience are mutually exclusive. If something is free then it is not caused and, if caused, not free. This is how things have been understood for centuries and nothing I am pointing out is earthshaking or original.

If you place one aspect of human behavior within the realm of causality then you are removing it from the realm of freedom, and vice versa. When you offer that I am wrong then you are also claiming that pretty much everyone else who has considered these things is also wrong and that the entire categorizations of experience have all been wrong and that virtually the entire history of western thought over many centuries has been an complete mistake.

That is a far grander claim than what I said about you. The obviousness of the dichotomy between freedom and necessity implies that anyone who denies it is either stupid or intellectually dishonest. Frankly, I don't think you're stupid, just intellectually dishonest. In fact, given your manifest non-stupidity then only possible explanation is that you are being intellectually dishonest and should have said so directly.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 6:10 PM  

Does anyone disagree that "free" in this context means "not caused"?

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 6:15 PM  

@ VD

It clearly runs in the family.

Your "it" has no clear object of reference.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2013 6:23 PM  

"Why are you writing things that are obviously wrong to anyone that has actually studied the subject? Am I supposed to here just enumerate the things you have gotten wrong so that you can write even more wrong things in a reply?"

Because he is Asher.

Anonymous Grinder March 07, 2013 6:24 PM  

I can add something to this post in regards to the serpent of the Garden of Eden with Eve. There was actually no serpent 'seed'. From my readings only the creations of Yawheh that were meant to reproduce have the ability to do so. Demons, angels or fallen angels do not have the ability to reproduce on their own and only have sex organs if they use a shapechanging ability. No angels will shapechange in order to seduce a human but demons can and do. A succubus/incubus is neither male nor female but can take either form to have sex with a human. The seed that a demon or the serpent (Satan) impregnated Eve with was taken from another source when the serpent took a female form and then was altered within its body and used to impregnate Eve. Was it from Adam who may have unwittingly had sex with the Serpent while it was disguised as Eve?
Anyway, all these shows that depict angels as supernatural beings who are otherwise able and often willing to have sex with humans is a total crap.
The Malleus Maleficarum is a book which describes demon lore - the hard part is to find an English translation from the original Latin

njartist March 07, 2013 11:37 AM Yahweh defines who is whom using a people's descent from patriarchs - the founders of lineages. For instance, beginning with Noah, there are three main patriarchs: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, of Ham is Caanan.
From Shem derive the semites of which the branches are Isaac and Ishmael. Of Isaac comes Esau (Edomites) and Jacob (patriarch the true Israelites).
From Japheth derives Gomer among whose sons are Ashkenaz (from who comes the Ashkenazi) and Togarmah from whom, by their own admission, by their tribal king, come the Khazars).
Let's throw a couple wrenches into the mix. What if the concept of two creations of man is correct: the non-white races are created in Genesis I: these are the "beasts of the field"; of these there is no patriarchal lineage mentioned in the bible; Adam is the second creation: he is the "ruddy" race - the whites - ; and the Garden is both real and a parable: there is a location which meets the geographic description and the trees also refer to the nations of the world. The second wrench is that Cain is also Sargon I: his is the non-human, serpent seed (Serpent and Eve - the firstborn via superfetation); and his descendants are called Kenites and Cainites.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 07, 2013 6:30 PM  

Asher: "If you place one aspect of human behavior within the realm of causality then you are removing it from the realm of freedom"

Because all of the entirety of human behavior consists of timelessly distinct actions, right? It couldn't be that behavior consists of a combination of actions, some of which are caused and some of which are freely chosen?

Once again, it seems, we're back to arguing over definitions.

Asher: "Frankly, I don't think you're stupid, just intellectually dishonest."

Well, gee...thanks for that, I guess.

Or, you know, like I said. You're wrong. An assertion I don't have to prove, because the entirety of my household agrees with me.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 07, 2013 6:41 PM  

"Your "it" has no clear object of reference."

Actually, the antecedent is [understood] by everyone who's ever heard a joke before, and laughed because they were able to understand what makes a joke "funny" (hint: a combination of different types of cognition -- one of the funniest lines in history is God's question to Adam: "Who told you that you were naked?" I mean, think about it for a moment.); so the only person it's unclear to, is yourself. Language does different things than math. God does not bow to math. I keep trying to persuade you of this, but I guess I'm not doing a very good job.

Do you realize that Ernie Bushmiller and George Herriman and Elzie Segar are just as interesting as philosophers in their own way, as that Kant dude?

"No ideas but in things" who said?




Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 7:23 PM  

@ Waterboy

Because all of the entirety of human behavior consists of timelessly distinct actions, right?

You have it backwards. "Free" actions *are* timelessly distinct actions. Once you situate any action within time and space it is no longer free.

It couldn't be that behavior consists of a combination of actions, some of which are caused and some of which are freely chosen?

I was making this same argument about twenty years ago.

Let's say some action performed a year ago was freely chosen. Let's say I engage in some action today - if that action a year ago has any causal impact on my action today then my action today is caused and, thus, not free.

That is why a "free" action is one that must be timeless and place-less.

Now I wouldn't have problems with arguments from free will, provided they were accompanied by demarcating criteria that distinguishes them from caused behaviors. The problem is that I have offered this challenge to all-comers from every political and philosophical nook and cranny for many years and have yet to receive even on coherent response.

You have it backwards because placing every specific action within time and place is precisely what I *am* doing and in doing so I am removing them from the governance of free will.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 7:36 PM  

Unlike Vox, I am a big fan of laying my cards out on the table. So, in interests of disclosure my arguments against free will were honed by arguing that the entire notion of "racism" was intellectually incoherent.

Get me in a room with a hundred leading leftists with the most impeccable credentials and I will have them chasing their tails trying to define "racism". The trick is to lure them into the realm of empirical evidence and as soon as they are there you simply point out that "ought" can never be derived from "is". Conversely, as soon as they are in the realm of "ought" then they can never have any recourse to any fact of any kind. It's pretty amusing.

It's a simple trick, really - in a world of causality then every "thing" comes from some prior set of "things". If there are some things that don't come from any "where" then you need to supply a demarcating set of criteria/criterion. At which point I will begin applying that criteria to all sorts of other things you haven't considered. Trust me, you won't like the implications, no one ever has.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 7:39 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

Actually, the antecedent is [understood] by everyone who's ever heard a joke before

Then be a sport and tell us what the "it" refers to. The ilk is quickly beginning to resemble the Jezzies in their innuendo and vague assertions.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 7:49 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

He's not dumb but when I point out that without science and philosophy everything that makes his art media possible wouldn't exist. It doesn't even register with him.

It clearly runs in the family.


The most obvious possibility is that the "it" refers to science being a necessary condition for various art media used by my brother. However, the reference doesn't make any sense given the context which is that I am aware of the scientific advances that make my brother's visual art possible.

The other possibility for Vox's "it" is that "things" don't register for me. Fine, but that is, in itself, an empty reference. What things? Everything? Some things? If not everything then what set of things? Vox doesn't make this clear, and, in doing so he ends up sounding like Amanda Marcotte.

Back in the thread we had over the libertarian straddle I various individuals calling me, variously, a woman and an aspy. What's amusing about this is that the autism spectrum disorder is widely recognized as some disorder involving hyper-masculine traits, meaning that mistaking a woman for someone with asperger's indicates that someone has no idea what they're talking about - even a woman with asperger's is going to be misidentified as a man.

I am the only one who understood how funny that was.

I reiterate the challenge: stop acting like a Jezzie and fess up about the "it" reference.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein March 07, 2013 8:00 PM  

Nate,
As far as basic fast food goes... McRib is only surpassed by Chick Fil A's spicy chicken sandwich.
The ONLY time I ever buy McDonalds food for myself is when "McRib is back!"

Blogger Doom March 07, 2013 8:28 PM  

I'm sticking with species.

As for why you get in trouble for stating what "science" is going beyond, that is because you write it plainly. If you hid everything you say in words only one or two undergrad slaves could understand, and they were under strict moral, ethical, and legal constraints to not spill the beans, which would allow you clear deniability in case someone figured out what you wrote, then you would be welcome into the white only club. Oddly, you don't even choose that club. Which is, if I may say so, mighty white of you. The Ivory tower folks, who jump at the sight of a wild negro or unknown Mexican type or other non-white, atheist, 'academic bunny', must be flabbergasted at the effrontery! *damned upstarts*

You may laugh now.

Anonymous Josh March 07, 2013 8:48 PM  

As far as basic fast food goes... McRib is only surpassed by Chick Fil A's spicy chicken sandwich.
The ONLY time I ever buy McDonalds food for myself is when "McRib is back!"


Dude...does the McRib even qualify as "food?"

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 8:51 PM  

@ Josh

Dude...does the McRib even qualify as "food?"

It meets my five-second rule.

Anonymous Koanic March 07, 2013 9:38 PM  

"You haven't suggested that the economics debate is irrelevant because of The JOOS yet... so your racist credentials are still in question.

step up your game."

Well, since you asked...

Libertarian (Thal) and Melonpower meritocracy are inversely related. Over time, and with increasing size, institutions trend away from libertarianism and towards Melonpower meritocracy.

Melonpower meritocracy means that the most skillful melons rise to the top and wield more power over everyone beneath.

Thus the pattern of increasing leftism, of increasing government intervention, even the cycle of empires, are all merely expressions of this general trend. In all cases, they serve to increase melon power and status at the expense of those below, and make non-melon competition for the same more difficult.

This debate is merely the forensic analysis of one aspect of that trend. Only face reading has the power to neutralize the trend by exposing the benefiting party.

Anonymous Asher March 07, 2013 10:20 PM  

@ Waterboy

I have been thinking more and more of your comment about actions that are timeless. Do you not comprehend that placing actions within time, place and context is an activity that negates free will? The very concept of free will is of a *thing* that transcends time and place, therefore, timeless, place-less.

How you misunderstood that is something I find befuddling.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 08, 2013 12:00 AM  

@Asher:

"I reiterate the challenge: stop acting like a Jezzie and fess up about the "it" reference."

Good grief. First of all, I'll thank you to not insult the godly and faithful men of the Society of Jesus with a snot-nosed epithet like jezzie. It ill becomes you. I am personally indebted to the good will of many Jesuits, so to me them's fightin' words.

Before I get into the ostensible grammar, apparently first I need to explain to you how a deadpan works. (That's what VD did, it's a deadpan.) A deadpan does not depend for its effect or meaning primarily on its literal grammatical content, it depends mostly on tone and timing, the manner in which the speaker "throws it away" to use a bit of old-fashioned vaudeville parlance. It's a bit of live poetry, a type of performance art.

Let me give you an example. Once back in the 60s, the acerbic protest singer Phil Ochs decided to debut a brand-new song live, in front of an audience of bien-pensant left-liberal Gene McCarthy voters. Without explaining anything, this is how he started the song:

Oh I cried when they killed Medgar Evers,
The chills ran down my spine.
And I cried when they shot Bobby Kennedy,
As if I'd lost a brother of mine.
But Malcolm X got what was coming,
Yeah, he got what he asked for this time!
So love me, love me, love me...
I'm a liberal.

There was an agonized, horrified silence in the audience who didn't know what to make of this. Finally, after an eternity of torture (really only a few seconds, but Phil Ochs knew his quarry), Ochs leaned into the microphone and deadpanned, "Ya get it?" Finally the audience erupted in relieved laughter and applause.

What did he mean by "Ya get it?" Well, he meant a number of things simultaneously, not just one thing. At a minimum, he meant:

1) I'm not actually standing here gloating over the death of Malcolm X.
2) Everything I've just said should be understood in an ironic, complicated tone.
3) It's quite possible I've just called everyone in this room a bunch of assholes, but I've now given you an opportunity to pretend that you're in on the joke.
4) I'm allowing you the space to believe that maybe everybody else in this room is the butt of the joke except for you, because you got my joke after I explained it to you.

He conveyed all that and more, in three syllables.

In VD's line, the "it" can refer to a number of things, the most likely being something like, "You share with your brother a knack for not understanding a lot of things that are quite obvious to other people." But again, the meaning of a deadpan is more determined by its rhythm and its tone. It was necessary to say "it" instead of all that other stuff, because the joke depends on the rhythm and also on the unspoken understanding between speaker and listener, in this case, meaning: everybody who reads this blog, except apparently for you.

By the way, the thing that women and aspies have in common (despite, as you say, otherwise having radically different behavioral profiles) is that they both often have trouble seeing what's funny about a joke.










Anonymous Toby Temple March 08, 2013 6:42 AM  

The most obvious possibility is that the "it" refers to science being a necessary condition for various art media used by my brother.

~facepalm~

aspie gonna aspie.... pfff

Anonymous realmatt March 08, 2013 11:08 AM  

Eh...union plumbers and licensed plumbers in a wealthy area maybe.

Sincerely
a Plumber

Really if you cant build and maintain a relatively simple home youre not much of a man you paper pushers!!

Anonymous WaterBoy March 08, 2013 12:43 PM  

I knew I was going to regret this.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends...

Asher: "Once you situate any action within time and space it is no longer free."

It is true that it is constrained by placement within space and time, but it is not totally determinant. You still have choices within those constraints. This is why I said it can be both -- there are physical and temporal limitations on one's actions, but there are a myriad of actions which can be chosen from amongst those limitations. This is what I mean by "free" -- that no action is absolutely deterministic, only constrained.

For example, suppose I want a cup of coffee in the next 10 minutes. I can choose to get a cup from the kitchette down the hall, or I can choose to walk next door to Starbucks and get one, or I can choose to walk over to the mall and get one from the numerous fast food joints in the food court. But I cannot choose to get one at a sidewalk cafe in Paris because of the limitations imposed by location and time. The actual choice I make is freely made within this set of constraints.

If you want to argue that any limitation at all means that nothing is truely "free", fine -- have at it. Here is your trophy, made from 100% pure Iwinium. Polish it and treasure it forever.

But like I said...we have different criteria, and not even God Himself meets yours.

Asher: "Let's say some action performed a year ago was freely chosen. Let's say I engage in some action today - if that action a year ago has any causal impact on my action today then my action today is caused and, thus, not free."

So many problems here...

Let's say some action performed a year ago was freely chosen.

How? If everything is deterministic, how could that action have been freely chosen?

if that action a year ago has any causal impact on my action today then my action today is caused

Tautology: a caused action is caused.

And again, your given uncaused action in the first sentence contradicts this sentence; if you give that, then you must also concede that the action a year later may be freely chosen, tautology aside.

The previous action can only serve as a constraint; it may contribute to the set of factors leading to a limitation of choices, but it cannot itself serve to determine every single consequential action. A butterfly farting in Indonesia may have something to do with the amount of pay raise I get this year, but it's unlikely.

Asher: "That is why a "free" action is one that must be timeless and place-less."

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

And with that, I am done. Feel free to continue without me. Or don't, since you aren't really free to choose.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 08, 2013 12:51 PM  

Errata: "kitchette" = "kitchenette"

Blogger jaxa taxa March 12, 2013 8:50 PM  

Nothing in that quote discredits evolution. Rather it discredits the concept of species as overly distinct biological entities.

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