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Author Topic:   The third rampage of evolutionism: evolutionary pscyhology
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 166 of 236 (183898)
02-08-2005 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 165 by contracycle
02-08-2005 6:23 AM


Let me say I was pretty torn on whether to give this a POM or not.

Although there are a few digressions I think you have gotten to the main problems, and perhaps the singularly largest problem I see with EP. Top down investigation carries the danger of misinterpreting data, instead shaping it, or filtering it to meet the desired (initial) conclusion.

Actually I was also intrigued by the junk/compressed DNA question. It seems like a speculative possibility, and maybe someone with more knowledge can give evidence this is not the case, but it is an interesting idea.

One criticism... you should have directly replied to his post so he could see he had something he needed to respond to.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by contracycle, posted 02-08-2005 6:23 AM contracycle has taken no action

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 167 of 236 (183899)
02-08-2005 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 164 by Parsimonious_Razor
02-07-2005 9:23 PM


Re: less rampage but still evo-psych issues
You have failed to show me why you have to know exactly the hardware vs. software issues to look for hardwired domain specific functions.

You need to do this to make a definitive statement. Using "weak" correlation studies to speculative advantages, cannot rule out that something is in fact softwired.

This is similar to the IC argument that ID offers. We can certainly all agree that a certain biological function appears to be complex and must be all or nothing (removing one biochemical piece destroys necessary function). But that is as it is seen now, and it is possible that there were intermediates with different functions which have been lost leaving what we see in place today.

ID dismisses that possibility and says that is making up a possible story when we can see what it does now, and none of the pieces have a different function than shaping the function as it is needed now. They thus dismiss that science will eventually find precursors which "bridged" to create the complex system we see today.

EP, to accept conclusions made today on correlation, is dismissing the possibility that neural studies are going to be able to more accurately determine what is hardware vs software.

Most scientists agree that ID methodology will not help advance science because it will make a positive statement regarding biological function, and thereby shut down research. That appears to be the same for EP.

That’s like saying we have to know the exact muscular contraction sequence in the esophagus before we can say that the evolved purpose of the esophagus is to swallow food.

This is beginning to appear to be a dodge. I have already stated the difference between the brain an a hand, do I really need to go through the whole body?

The muscles of the esophagous cannot change their positions on their own and re-engineer the esophagous for a totally new function. The brain is clearly capable of this feat. Because it can do so, it interferes with positive claims of genetic origin for any PM. This does not make it impossible, it simply makes it harder with more rigorous standards required.

you can not just make a claim that the brain can completely adapt to novel environments and over come all these innate functions through introspection. You have no evidence that this is the case.

I am not claiming adaptations can overcome all genetic PMs. I have no idea how many are totally hardwired and incapable of total bypass. That said, I know of none that can't be in theory. We can come to love pain and hate pleasure. We can learn to not sense what is there and sense what is not there. With that capability it seems to me any inate PMs can be overrun or outmoded.

This can be explored through science. And that is when we get down to arguments of practical methods of research. You continually knock my criticisms as "philosophical" and I am not sure what you mean, they are almost completely devoted to practical criticism.

I am asking what methods can accurately separate genetically inherent PMs from potentially adapted PMs. That is not philosophical at all.

Right now I am only seeing neural, and comparative neural studies as accurate enough to make that distinction properly. Or should I say significantly?

To start with a presumption and then look for evidence which would fit, is not good science and is what things like ID and numerology are based upon.

Asking me to forget the practical discussion of how to best determine hard vs soft PMs, and instead focus on what the results of correlation studies have shown is to ask me to accept your position outright on the best method without reason.

Since you appear hesitant to discuss practical issues, I will move on to discuss specific examples of EP studies to get at how the methodology does/does not work to get at the proposed mechanism for PM development.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by Parsimonious_Razor, posted 02-07-2005 9:23 PM Parsimonious_Razor has taken no action

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 168 of 236 (183912)
02-08-2005 10:37 AM


EP whr study
One of the two whr papers I looked at was merely a survey of research. I want to start with looking at an actual research paper. All quotes will be from:

The role of body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and breast size in judgments of female attractiveness, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research,  August, 1998  by Adrian Furnham,  Melanie Dias,  Alastair McClelland

It has long been believed that there is a great diversity in notions of beauty between cultures in time and place, which has reduced scientific progress in the search for universal and adaptive standards of beauty. As far as facial attractiveness is concerned, however, there is plentiful evidence suggesting cross-cultural similarities in judgments of facial beauty (Cunningham, Roberts, Wu, Barbee & Druen, 1995; Henss, 1995; Zebrowitz, Montepare & Lee, 1993). Yet, with regard to the human body-figure, there is much more discrepancy.

This opens with an overt statement that sociology and anthropological observations are hindering true psychological understanding of universal standards (adaptive here meaning evolved).

This statement of course assumes that there is a universal, evolved standard of beauty in the first place. And does nothing to explain how anthropologists were innacurate in their reporting of obvious varieties of cultural prefs. Were they even there to try and find "universals"?

If an evolutionary perspective is taken concerning this issue, physical attractiveness is largely a sign of mate value. Wallace (1889) argued that ornamental features would not be selected "unless the most ornamental always coincide with the `fittest' in every other respect"

Thus an evolutionary "perspective" is invoked, and thereby the beginning of a circular argument. It is quite clear that at this point some assumptions are being made. There is likely to be a universal human value of beauty, that it is evolutionarily derived, and that evolution will act in the manner as stated above.

It has cut off the possibility that a trait will occur for no reason an remain simply because it was not selected against, instead of being reinforced by providing a distinct advantage over other mate desiring criteria.

The study then sets out ways to determine the visual "ornamant" humans could key on, which can include fat distribution, or waist to hip ratios (whr). The former appears to be culturally derived, and the latter not.

It is argued by Singh (1993a,b, 1994) that the distribution of body fat, especially on the waist and hips (the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)) is one of the main features which determines the attractiveness of women. The features which are involved with the measurement of the WHR, namely the waist and the buttocks, are unique to human beings (Schultz, 1969). Owing to their uniqueness, it is likely that the WHR holds some remarkable functional significance.

This is about as close to numerology as one can get. That there is a "unique" set of measurement ratios for a certain set of human characteristics in no way suggests that there is a remarkable functional significance, at least not with beauty. Weight bearing and length of legs (as well as their shape) may have more to do with set hip to waist ratios than beauty for mate selection purposes.

After entering puberty, it is common for females to deposit fat cells (adipose tissue) on lower regions of the body, such as the thighs and buttocks (Gluteofemoral region). In this way, a feminine, or gynoid shape will occur. Conversely, males tend to deposit fat on their upper body and intra-abdominally, hence creating a masculine or android shape. Prior to puberty, both males and females have WHRs which are very similar, and it is during early reproductive life that a difference comes about (Vague, 1956). The sex hormones which become active in puberty play a major role in determining the anatomical distribution of the fat cells.

The WHR is calculated by computing a ratio of the circumference of the waist to the circumference of the hips. The WHR for healthy, pre-menopausal women is generally between 0.67 and 0.80, but for men it is usually between 0.85 and 0.95 (National Academy of Sciences, 1991).

This is perhaps the first insight into a methodological flaw. While we could grant all of the above theoretical issues, we are now dealing with how to determine functional utility of whr.

Look at what the above states regarding whr. There is a distinction between men and women with regard to whr, specifically post puberty. Instead of any other reproductive advantage, is it not probable that an explanation for function is determining/separating male from female at a distance visually? That seems like a very straighforward function.

WHR has been shown to be a reliable morphological indicator of the levels of sex hormones, and also the risk of major diseases, reproductive potential, and premature mortality. For example, a high WHR resulting from a bloated abdomen can be a sign of parasite infection. Singh (1993a, 1993b) has reviewed several studies which have demonstrated that a high WHR in a female can predict menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, elevated plasma triglycerides, diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, gallbladder disease, and cancer of the endometrium, ovaries and breast. Many studies have found that the risk of some of the aforementioned obesity-related diseases varies with the distribution of body fat as opposed to its total quantity (Bjorntorp, 1987; Seidell, 1992). It was reported by Folsom, Kaye, Sellers, Hong, Carhan, Potter & Prineas (1993), that a high WHR raised the morality rates of both very lean and obese older women.

These are the examples of problems high whr women might have and so a reason quality of mate might be signalled by whr value. Unfortunately what is not mentioned here, or not developed, is that most of these would not have a significant impact on reproduction at all. Note only in the last sentence is it mentioned that mortality rates are heightened in "older women".

When were the primary general child bearing years for humans during which mate selection PMs would have been genetically selected for humans, and which of the above would have had a real effect during those years?

There is evidence for a relationship between WHR and a woman's reproductive potential. This has been deduced from findings which demonstrated that amongst girls who are similar in weight, the ones who had lower WHRs showed early pubertal endocrinological activity... In a Dutch study looking at women attending a clinic for artificial insemination..., found evidence suggesting a relationship between WHR and the likelihood of conception. It was suggested that the higher the WHR, then the less likely it was that the women would conceive.

Singh (1993a, 1993b) has argued that WHR, independent of overall body fat and weight, is a powerful predictor of endocrinological aberration. On the basis of this prediction, it can be suggested that males and females may have developed innate mechanisms which detect and make use of the WHR to assess how healthy an individual is and (particularly for men), infer possible mate value. Having a healthy mate improves the chances of producing offspring with inherited genetic protection from various diseases and a healthy mate is more likely to be a good parent (Hamilton & Zuk, 1982; Thornhill, 1993).

So here we see the first argument of whr having a plausible connection to speculative advantage in mating, the assumption being made that since there is this plausible connection it is a worthy assumption.

However, what do we actually see? We see that there is a relationship between whr an sex, and whr and possible reproductive health (though it has not been determined how much of an impact this endocrinological issue would actually have on human ancestors such that it would provide enough of a selection issue).

In fact, we still cannot begin to say anything more than that whr's generally help identify women from men in post puberty environments. This could still be the only source of cueing, if indeed there is any actual sign of cueing.

Singh moved on to show that whr preference was separate from weight (fat vs slim). Yet...

Additionally, an overweight woman with a low WHR was judged to be more attractive than a slim woman with a high WHR, which provides more support for the notion that attractiveness is primarily correlated to the distribution of body fat. However these findings were not confirmed by Henss (1995), who found that the underweight figures were more attractive than the normal weights, and a WHR of 0.8 was the most pleasing. Yet, Furnham, Tan & McManus (1997) found support for Singh's fundamental hypothesis, namely that the WHR is the most parsimonious measures of body physical attractiveness.

Thus we do not see clear confirmation of the hypothesis, other than an additional study which suggests that to visual assessment of beauty whr is more related to assessment of physical attractiveness.

Once again, I must note that this could simply be differentiating male vs female and not further reproductive health issues, and as a further issue whr may be related to overall appearance regarding how a body is put together (creating symmetry with limbs etc).

The authors then move on to questioning breast size as another possible ornamental issue. I will note that they somehow mention size alone and not shape, including differential size and coloring of nipples as compared to the whole breast. Although they mention using photos I am uncertain how they removed or accounted for those differences between real life breasts.

Overall, it was suggested that the influence that breast size has on attractiveness judgments and age estimations, would have a great deal to do with the amount of overall body fat as well as the size of the WHR. Singh and Young (1995) used stimuli which were a series of female figure line drawings, with two levels of breast size (large or small), two levels of body weight (slender or heavy), and two levels of WHR (0.7 or 1.0). The level 1.0, which is not typically found in healthy, fertile women, was included in order to investigate the idea that in the West, there is currently a preference for tubular body shapes. Morris, Cooper, and Cooper (1989) found that British fashion models from 1967-1987 have indeed become thinner and more tubular. The participants (all male) were required to rate each figure for age, attractiveness, health, kindness/understanding, and desirability for casual and long-term romantic relationships. Singh and Young found that the figures with slender bodies, low WHR, and large breasts were rated as the most attractive, healthy, feminine looking, and desirable for both types of relationship.

This was a description of line drawing studies. It is interesting to note that they have discounted culture despite noting popular media depictions of beauty, as well as historic differences in cultural attitudes toward body and breast size.

METHOD

Participants
A total of 137 participants participated in this study, all of whom were British. There were 98 female participants and 39 males. The age range was between 16 and 67, the mean being 28.14. The majority of participants were undergraduates, and 90% were white British, the remainder being Asian (East Indian) and African. Their educational and socio-economic backgrounds (nearly all middle class) were fairly homogeneous, and none of the participants had previously participated in any studies involving female body shape or attractiveness.

Thus we have a very small survey population all of whom are from the same cultural background, and may have even had similar subcultural environments given that their educational and socio-economic backgrounds were "fairly homogenous".

Can you honestly tell me that this study, as it is constructed, can possibly rule out environmental factors (nongenetic PM adaptations)? If so, how?

I am also interested that it has majority female participants when the theory is that this is about universal mate selection.

Stimulus Material
All the participants were given a booklet. The first page gave a brief introduction and explained what the participant was asked to do. The next three pages contained the stimulus figures (Fig. 1). There were eight pictures in total, and they were randomly presented, with three figures each on pages two and three, and the remaining two figures on page four. Each figure was identified as heavy (H) or slender (S), feminine WHR (7) or masculine WHR (1), large breasted (LB) or small breasted (SB). The figure order, for instance, was as follows: H1SB, S7SB, H1SB, H7SB, S7LB, H1SB, H7LB, S1LB. The two levels of body weight (slender and heavy), breast size (small and large), and WHR representing typically feminine (0.7) or typically masculine (1.0) ratios were systematically manipulated within each drawing. Research using figures like these have shown them to be salient and discriminating (Singh, 1993a, 1994). One criticism of the stimulus materials is that a 1.00 WHR is created exclusively by thickening the waist, rather than narrowing the hips, which could create quite different responses. Further, the stimuli are not "full frontal" but rather three quarter views. Participants were asked to rate each drawing on eight dimensions, as used by Singh & Young (1995), though it may have been advisable to add others

Let me note the criticisms they bring up, I'd agree, and add my own. No human is viewed as 2-d figures, and never just in one pose. In addition to many other mate selection criteria that could override "beauty", I am uncertain anyone chooses the same single vantage point to determine "beauty".

So it seems that in addition to not ruling out culture at all, we are selecting from a singular vantage point and at an angle that would distort whr measurements anyway.

Oh yes, and note their own words: "WHR representing typically feminine (0.7) or typically masculine (1.0) ratios were systematically manipulated within each drawing."

Why are we not simply talking about cues to masculine vs feminine? Especially visual cues would tend to suggest identification from a distance, rather than other criteria which one would make close up.

RESULTS and DISCUSSION

There were various results according to different aspects the subjects were expected to evaluate based on the parameters of weight/whr/breast size. I will stick with the ones which are pertinent to the theory under investigation.

The male participants' ratings showed that for the slender figures with a high WHR, the size of the breasts made no significant difference at all to the ratings of the four attributes. In fact, with respect to attractiveness, the mean rating was slightly lower if the figure had large breasts (this finding conflicts with a great deal of previous research, and will be considered in more detail in the discussion). Certainly, males ranked the figures with a low WHR as more attractive.

Concerning the heavy figures, those with a low WHR were rated more favorably by males when the figure was depicted with a large bust for the attributes of attractiveness, health and femininity, but the rating was the same for ratings of kindness/understanding, whichever size bust the figure had. The males rated the slender figures more favorably on all the dimensions than the heavy ones, and if their ratings are compared to the females' ratings, it appears that males react more negatively to heavy bodies than women do. Note the significant sex and weight interaction for ratings of attractiveness, health, femininity, and long term relationship.

This is interesting as it shows men have a preference for thin figures, yet this is known not to have always been the case. If this study is picking up some clearly cultural aspects (preference for thin), then is it not reasonable to suspect it has not weeded out other cultural aspects?

Both male and female raters thought that the figures with a low WHR, regardless of weight, were more likely to engage in a short-term relationship, than similar figures with a high WHR. The figure rated by both sexes as being the most likely to have a short-term relationship was the slender figure with large breasts and a low WHR. There were two main effects: males more than females rated themselves more willing to engage in a long term relationship with all figures. Slimmer figures were rated by all participants as more desirable for a relationship than the heavier figures. The significant interactions indicated that male rated figures with a low hip-to-waist ratio and slimmer figures were more attractive in the sense that they were willing to engage in a long term relationship with them.

Hmmmmm... "males more than females rated themselves more willing to engage in a long term relationship with all figures...male rated figures with a low hip-to-waist ratio and slimmer figures were more attractive in the sense that they were willing to engage in a long term relationship with them." Does this not start undermining any definitive claims?

The general findings of this study were similar to those derived by Singh and Young: it was clear from the results that body, breast, and WHR sizes interactively influence judgments of attractiveness, femininity and healthiness, and also judgments of whether the figure would be likely to engage in two different types of relationship.

Okay... Could we not have thrown in other possible ratios and tried to detect a correlation?

But the sex of the rater did have an effect on the ratings of the likelihood of the figure to engage in a long-term relationship, both as a main effect and in interaction with the WHR. This effect can be attributed to the male participants, because males have been said from ethological and sociobiological view-points to act in accordance with the "good-gene hypothesis." This is the modern interpretation of the utilitarian view of Wallace (1889), over a century ago (Buss, 1994; Buss & Schmitt, 1993; Symons, 1979). From a male point of view, the mate quality of a woman is assessed by regarding her physical attractiveness: this is due to the concealment of ovulation and the lack of overt evidence of fertility in women. Men appear to assume that attractiveness is a reliable sign of mate quality (Symons, 1979), and therefore they want an attractive (and thus fertile) woman with whom to produce good, viable offspring. This interpretation may explain the result derived from this experiment as to the long-term relationship element, because "modern (Western) men" want children within a serious long-term relationship.

Here the study has closed the circle. What was used to create the whr hypothesis? The "good gene' hypothesis. What is used to confirm it? The "good gene" hypothesis.

Why is it so complicated that we should assume that men use beauty as a measure of mate quality, rather than beings tend to gravitate toward what they find attractive? Visual appearance based on a number of factors (which this study tends to support) is important for the visual cueing.

So one would tend to want to hang out with those that are attractive and use further criteria for mating?

The results demonstrated, as did those generated by Singh and Young, that in order to comprehend the contribution of varying breast sizes to the perception of female attractiveness, the shape of the body and its size have to be taken into account. It was found that large breasts consistently enhanced the attractiveness ratings of both slender and heavy figures, so long as they had a low WHR.

Culture vs inherent? Has this been answered? Whr contribution to visual symmetry of the female body vs association with reproductive success? Has this been answered?

In the present study however, there did not appear to be any female preference for small over large breasts, and if anything, larger breasts were rated slightly more favorably by the females. This finding may be a demonstration of the current trend for a large-busted look, and is in accord with the increase of women seeking breast augmenting surgery, and the growing industry for cleavage-enhancing specialist bras.

If the figure had a high WHR, large breasts appeared to decrease the attractiveness ratings. The one instance where large breasts raised the attractiveness ratings of a high WHR figure, was when she was heavy and was rated by males. This result may have occurred because if that particular figure is examined, the fact she has large, as opposed to small breasts makes her look as if she has a lower WHR than she actually does. This is due to a perceived shift in her proportions, created by the large bust-line. It is possible that if the figure was drawn in a slightly different pose, this illusion would not occur.

Admission of culture effects, as well as perceptual issues.

It was found (as by the original researchers) that slender figures were consistently favored over the heavier ones. This was especially noticeable for the male participants ratings, but for the female participants, the difference between preferences was not so pronounced. This finding is interesting because from an ethological and sociobiological point of view, one would expect the men to favor the larger figures, and the women participants (as was the case) not to be especially critical of the size of other women as they do not have the same fundamental motives as men. Males are theoretically meant to look for a female with more body fat because as Frisch and McArthur (1974), and Frisch (1990) noted, it is necessary for women to have a critical amount of body fat in order to initiate and maintain the menstrual cycle. If men are "programmed" to find a fertile female to produce off-spring with, then the males in this study should have favored the larger figures. A possible explanation as to why the larger figures were rated in the way they were by the males, is that in the last few years, there has been a great deal of negativity directed towards larger women, and the media has portrayed an increasingly slim "ideal" for women to conform to. Consequently, men may have now grown to prefer the thin "waif-like" look, as well.

Once again, admission of cultural effects.

If the ratings of healthiness are considered, it is clear that in accordance with the findings of Singh and Young (and also previous studies conducted by Singh, 1993a, 1993b) figures with a high WHR are perceived as being less healthy than those with a low one. This was to be expected because of the various health problems associated with a high WHR. The healthiness of a heavy figure with a low WHR was judged to be approximately the same as the healthiness of a slender figure with high WHR. This shows that the participants in this study presumed that the health of these two figures were on a par with each other, but in fact according to Singh's theory and the health evidence associated with it (e.g., Bjorntorp, 1988; Seidell, 1992), the slender figure with the high WHR is probably a great deal less healthy and at risk of major diseases than the heavier one. Possessing a high WHR puts a woman much more at risk health-wise that being moderately overweight. Regardless of the WHR, being underweight can cause as many health problems in its own right as can being overweight, such as fertility complications and the risk of osteoporosis in later life.

Primitive man would not have known about these health complications, and modern prefs may have to do with modern knowledge about health and physical cues to health. So maybe whr pref is as much a product of modern media influence, as is weight and breast size prefs which they noted earlier.

Interestingly they do not discuss this possibility despite noting that the men make a mistake and identify as equal in health a heavy low whr with a slim high whr.

In conclusion, it can be said that in addition to body weight and WHR's, the size of breasts make a significant contribution to attractiveness ratings.

Universal or cultural? Evolutionary and genetic versus in situ adapted? Hardware or software?

At best I saw that there were popular correlations between whr weight and breast size to beauty, but they were not uniform across all subjects were they? What would account for the deviations? How does the correlation answer the above issues?

I was extremely unimpressed with this study.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4829 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 169 of 236 (183934)
02-08-2005 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 149 by Parsimonious_Razor
02-06-2005 2:09 PM


Parsimonious Razor:
"I dont think I am wrong, and I dont think the risks are high if I am. If Dawkins proposes everyone is completely selfish he is wrong. And no one believes it."

I'm talking about the risk of it all leading in China to a marauding tribe of millions of self-identified hunter-gatherers menacing the world.

I see that there are some more complex "smarter" criticisms of evolutionary psychology in the thread now. These are all side-issues I'm afraid.

Evolutionary psychologists posit emotions that have no free will in them, just outside them.

That is it, the denial of choice. An obvious and grave fault, with a long list of disastrous possible consequences for our understanding of humanity. When this get's to be in the mainstream of societal thought, asserted with certitdue, emotions as machines, then you can get that rampage-effect of evolutionism on common and religious beliefs througout society that I'm talking about.

I just assume that these other critics also consider this the main fault, and are just exercising their minds in trying to make up smarter criticisms.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Silent H, posted 02-08-2005 1:52 PM Syamsu has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 170 of 236 (183960)
02-08-2005 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by Syamsu
02-08-2005 11:40 AM


I just assume that these other critics also consider this the main fault, and are just exercising their minds in trying to make up smarter criticisms.

This does not apply to me. My criticisms are as stated and nothing more.

I suppose I agree with contra that some may have an agenda to rationalize/justify temporary beliefs and feelings as somehow universal "human nature", but I do not believe that describes all of them (I doubt it describes PR) and in any case there is a huge step between that and using them as rules of life and crushing others in a twisted version of science=moral law and teleologic determiner.

For example, just because feeling anger at someone that is perceived as ugly or strange may be a hardwired PM. A scientist could just as easily say then we need to understand how to overcome this, or change it, rather than saying the new moral order will be hate those that are ugly.

You criticisms are of a specific group of people that take science out of context. This is why you are continually wrong.

Do not presume to speak for me.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Syamsu, posted 02-08-2005 11:40 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Syamsu, posted 02-14-2005 1:12 AM Silent H has replied

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4272 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 171 of 236 (184703)
02-12-2005 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 165 by contracycle
02-08-2005 6:23 AM


base of my contention

You have thought
could it be compressed data? Compression and encryption are nearly the same thing; I could imagine the brain of a young child "unpacking" data from the junk DNA and compiling it in one part of the brain and then implementing it as a routine
and so have I. I dont think that De Beer was correct to notice that any objection is obviated simply by there being a defined teleonomic in teleomatic biophilosophy, as IF IT IS NOT a compression, and I have thought that as well one might find kinetics to support + to >> in two different directions "proximately" approximately. There is deceptive evolution, in the sense of survival strategies but I would never consider the existence of encrpted evolution EVEN if Wolfram was universally, actually and developementally correct. "Compression" gives the correct intuition, encryption you are correct did not, not at least for me for then I would find that NP complete issues in graph theory sink ALL CURRENT elite biology. That ispossible but MORE UNLIKELY to me than that there is a GOD.


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Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4829 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 172 of 236 (185014)
02-14-2005 1:12 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by Silent H
02-08-2005 1:52 PM


Your theoretical point of the naturalistic fallacy, just provides to ignore to look at the actual consequences of evolutionary psychology. On account of evolutionary psychology we can expect that our understanding of emotions will shift towards understanding them as machines. If people consequently take actions based on treating emotions of themselves and others like machines it is no fault of interpretation, but rather a fault of believing what you know in your heart is not true. The act is directly related to the belief, there is no huge gap between them.

A certain moral-elitism may take hold among evolutionary psychologists. Like; see how I can skillfully avoid being an asshole, but still consistently believe emotions are machines. The writings of sociobiologists Haeckel, and Lorenz are full of high-minded moral philosophizing, while still Haeckel joined a proto-nazi organization, and Lorenz the Nazi's proper. They ended up as assholes anyway, mainly for denying the basic truth of human equality, despite all their highminded moral philosphising to avoid any immorality.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Silent H, posted 02-08-2005 1:52 PM Silent H has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 02-14-2005 5:20 AM Syamsu has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 173 of 236 (185031)
02-14-2005 5:20 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by Syamsu
02-14-2005 1:12 AM


Your theoretical point of the naturalistic fallacy, just provides to ignore to look at the actual consequences of evolutionary psychology.

Even if there were inherent consequences, an idea which has been debunked every day plus sunday, what difference does it make if I can shoot it down for something else long before any consequenses can set in?

If people consequently take actions based on treating emotions of themselves and others like machines it is no fault of interpretation

IF IF IF. That is a choice right? You are the guy always going on about choice and decision. What about if people learn not only that their emotions may work similar to programming or machinery, but that that doesn't mean one has to change how one thinks and feels and acts?

Indeed since it is a description of the machinery which makes you how you've acted all along, why would it suggest a reason to change at all?

And how does one "take action based on treating X like machines"? I learned that my limbs generally fit into my body like ball and socket machinery, that did not mean I started swapping them out for mechanical parts, or greasing them up if they felt stiff.

In the end, anyone taking a scientific finding and saying because X is like Y, I must now treat X in all ways like Y, they are most certainly having a problem with their interpretation. Science attempts to describe things as they are not as they should be.

Like; see how I can skillfully avoid being an asshole, but still consistently believe emotions are machines.

Conversely, people can and have believed emotions are not machines and manage to skillfully become assholes.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Syamsu, posted 02-14-2005 1:12 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 174 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2005 12:05 AM Silent H has replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4829 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 174 of 236 (186053)
02-17-2005 12:05 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by Silent H
02-14-2005 5:20 AM


Holmes:
"What about if people learn not only that their emotions may work similar to programming or machinery, but that that doesn't mean one has to change how one thinks and feels and acts?"

One would be inclined to function consistently with the knowledge that emotions are machines, because that knowledge is held as true to fact.

Gee, the naturalistic fallacy found to be much meaningless, who is surprised?

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Silent H, posted 02-14-2005 5:20 AM Silent H has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by Silent H, posted 02-17-2005 8:30 AM Syamsu has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 175 of 236 (186122)
02-17-2005 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 174 by Syamsu
02-17-2005 12:05 AM


One would be inclined to function consistently with the knowledge that emotions are machines, because that knowledge is held as true to fact.

If I know that my emotions are created via mechanisms similar to machinery then how does that change anything in how I live? Part of the feelings I have is that I can change my ways, and that I should change my ways. I can judge my actions and my feelings. The fact that they are mechanically produced would not alter their abilities.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 174 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2005 12:05 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2005 9:12 AM Silent H has replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4829 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 176 of 236 (186129)
02-17-2005 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by Silent H
02-17-2005 8:30 AM


You would start treating yourself and others as machines, behaviour predetermined.

There is no moral precept against destroying machines, in common language, it is just like breaking a rock. If at all, there is a moral precept against breaking a machine, like a computer, it is in relation to the emotions of the owner, but this precept denies that emotions are just machines. I think the reason that there is no moral precept against it, is because there is no choice on the part of a machine. Choices must be respected, machines don't have to be.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Silent H, posted 02-17-2005 8:30 AM Silent H has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 177 by Silent H, posted 02-17-2005 12:48 PM Syamsu has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 177 of 236 (186202)
02-17-2005 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 176 by Syamsu
02-17-2005 9:12 AM


You would start treating yourself and others as machines, behaviour predetermined.

But I already do. We are all biochemical machines. The extent of behavior which is "predetermined" seems speculative at best, even if we are machines.

The best that I think will be found is that a number of emotions or sensations as inputs to our decision making process will be predeterminable given accurate assessment of environmental stimuli.

Even though machines, part of that machinery is clearly learning new programming of some sort, so yes we can "learn" moral programs not to break other machines. What would stop that?

It seems to me if you really fear the outcome of people thinking they are machines and so never questioning their own actions, you should be on my side instead of your current one. You should remind people that even if true, part of their machinery is to learn and change and thereby overcome less healthy program outputs.

This message has been edited by holmes, 02-17-2005 12:48 AM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 176 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2005 9:12 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 178 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2005 2:44 PM Silent H has replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4829 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 178 of 236 (186257)
02-17-2005 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Silent H
02-17-2005 12:48 PM


I think you are putting up a variant of Wounded King's position, that he can't accept decisions as real because there is not evidence for them, but he treats them as real on a practical basis regardless. So his denial of free will is just a lame duck.

It's my impression that the belief that free will is part of emotions, is deeply, deeply, ingrained in common language. In talking I think I can catch u out some, where you attribute power of decision to your emotions, which is inconsistent with your belief in emotions as machines.

Such talk about emotions choosing can be weakened and destroyed, by having a powerful scientific theory to deny it, and everyday talk would be very very different.

Isn't it true that you have a lot of moral philsophy associated to your belief that emotions are machines? Or is it just a fact, among many facts, with no special relation to your own morality.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Silent H, posted 02-17-2005 12:48 PM Silent H has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 179 by Silent H, posted 02-17-2005 5:41 PM Syamsu has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5059 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 179 of 236 (186320)
02-17-2005 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by Syamsu
02-17-2005 2:44 PM


Let me say for the record that I find discussions of free will to be nothing more than mental masturbation. As a subject it has really pulled philosophy down into a gutter.

If you want to know my position, it is that free will cannot be truly known and so is useless as a matter of debate. We either have it, or we have an illusion of it that is so strong that we might as well say we have it. Even if it is purely phenomenological (that is the brain making us think we decided), what is the difference for us?

Thus my position is a bit more than just a "simple" practical acceptance of free will. There are two layers.

So, I believe in a mechanistic universe and yet there is free will. You see this as a contradiction, but I see your argument as a stock dilemma. We are not machines like wheels and wind up toys. We are machines which have the ability to assess, learn, and rewire at least to some degree.

Those capabilities allow us to create an identity with moral rules, more interestingly rules which can be broken (based on overriding emotion based rules) or amended and strengthened (based on assessment of performance compared to goals).

It is irrelevant if the mechanisms are neurons or steampipes or rule-bound spiritwires, the result is a machine that behaves according to rules, yet has the fluidity to observe and change itself.

Yes I do believe that emotions and urges (they are not necessarily all emotions) underlie all animal and so human action. Anything that makes a decision has some reason for preference, or is caught in indecision. Humans have a higher capacity for indecision given the greater amount of data and introspection we are capable of maintaining.

None of my moral philosophy hinges on emotions being machine driven. Morals are about action stemming from emotions and/or beliefs and not connected to what possible physical makeup emotions or beliefs have within the human mind.

I return the point to you, if it is not neural machinery, then what is making the decisions? What form does it take and how does it come to a conclusion? Are there not rules binding it, even if it is spiritual in nature?

As far as I can tell, at best choosing "spiritual freewill" in your stock dilemma has only pushed the question back one more step. This will be even harder for your position if you are maintaining that there are Gods than can know all and see all and created the universe. In that case spirit machine and neural machine would be inseparable phenomenon... and much much much harder wired.

This message has been edited by holmes, 02-17-2005 17:43 AM


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

"...don't believe I'm taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.."(Steely Dan)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 178 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2005 2:44 PM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 180 by Syamsu, posted 02-28-2005 11:13 AM Silent H has replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4829 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 180 of 236 (189190)
02-28-2005 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 179 by Silent H
02-17-2005 5:41 PM


You broaden the meaning of machine, to allow for decisions as machinebehaviour. This might do well in common language, but in describing things with mathematics no such fuzziness can be made. You have to choose, are you going to make an equation of cause and effect, or are you going to describe in terms of decisions on probabilities. Well, maybe you can mix cause and effect with probabilities in mathematics too, but I think it is clear you tend towards describing in terms of cause and effect.

The evopsych article referenced denied emotions as being entities of free will. Evolutionists also do not recognize any single big decision / random event in the entire history of the universe. They do not describe a freedom in anything. See the pattern? The whole position of evolutionism is based on a veiled denial of free will, where creationism celebrates it. The nefarious social darwinist ideologies an obvious associate to evolutionist denial of decision.

Slowly but surely evolutionism is screwing up our basic common knowledge about decision again, like it did twice previously. It must lead to ideological madness, when screwing up something as basic in our knowledge as our understanding of decision. If in stead we would screw up our understanding of cause and effect, it would certainly also lead to ideological madness, because that is also fundamental.

My theory is that nothing, or zero, is making the decision. That is, we should be able to localize a decision to a point, and at this point we would find nothing. I would not push back to a spiritual machine, but I think it likely possible to construct some model of how these points of decision relate to one another.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 179 by Silent H, posted 02-17-2005 5:41 PM Silent H has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 181 by Silent H, posted 03-01-2005 5:02 AM Syamsu has replied
 Message 188 by contracycle, posted 03-04-2005 8:57 AM Syamsu has taken no action

  
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