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At Aeon: Airing doubts about the Darwinian view of human nature

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A historian, the author of author of >Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America (2018), seems to think it’s okay to take shots at Darwin’s spear-carriers:

Readers and reviewers lumped Morris, Ardrey and Lorenz together as promoting a powerful new vision of humans as animals. (To be fair, each author saw different moral systems and imperatives emerging from their research, but these nuances mattered less to readers than their shared zoomorphic vision.) The view of humans as specialised animals carried implications for who among the scientists could truly judge what it meant to be human. If our ecological past determined human nature, then reconstructing the biological processes that had created humanity required a retrospective view. No longer defined by the rise of agriculture or true language, the conditions that gave rise to human nature now included our ability to avoid predators, to hunt, to kill and to survive on the dangerous open plains of the savannah. Lorenz, Ardrey and Morris shared the underlying view that aggression, violence and murder helped to shape human nature. Their work thus posed a pressing existential question: how had humans ever managed to cooperate? The answer, it seemed, would be found by scientists with expertise in animal behaviour…

Instead, Lorenz, Ardrey and Morris’s ideas found new life in the books of scientific authors seeking to once again modify the politics of human evolution for popular audiences. The sociologist Lionel Tiger wrote Men in Groups (1969) to show the naturalness of all male forms of association. He intended to put feminists on notice as to the ‘unnaturalness’ of making public and political spaces equally accessible to women. In Sociobiology (1975), the zoologist Edward O Wilson posited that biological analyses of human behaviour promised insights into humanity’s nature that had forever remained beyond the grasp of the less rigorous social sciences. In The Selfish Gene (1976), the biologist Richard Dawkins espoused the idea that human nature in the 20th century had been dictated by the success of our ancestors’ genes in replicating themselves into the present. Together, these books created a vision of human biological identity as constrained by our evolutionary past, as universally proscribed by life on the savannah. Men engaged in aggressive displays towards other men to establish their position in an unspoken but very real dominance hierarchy of their peers, and sought a variety of young, fertile mates. Women competed for male attention and hoped to find a single, stable life-partner with whom they could raise and support their children. Men were from Mars, women were from Venus.

Erika Lorraine Millam, “The hunt for human nature” at Aeon

The Twitter mob must be at lunch or something. An entire industry of bestselling Darwindrivel is disrespected and this prof still has her job?

Come to think of it, David Gelernter still has his desk too. Awful quiet out there these days. Stay tuned.

6 Replies to “At Aeon: Airing doubts about the Darwinian view of human nature

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The Twitter mob must be at lunch or something. An entire industry of bestselling Darwindrivel is disrespected and this prof still has her job?

    Yes, but she found the way to do all this and still keep her job.
    It’s all about the hierarchy of leftist causes.
    Darwin is sacred, of course, but it’s a religion that protects its own. The sacrilege of the non-believer or infidel will not be tolerated. But when an insider suggests that there’s a problem, that’s ok as long as she cites a higher value.
    In a combat between Feminism and Darwin, Feminism will win, or at least play to a draw. Here, she directly attacks the masculine bias in the survival of the fittest. What about cooperation, getting along, understanding, conciliation? These are feminine values that have no place in the Darwinian war for dominance in nature.
    It makes sense. In fact, I’ve always found that the most obvious critique of Darwin.
    True femininity has been under attack by Darwinism for a century or more — with the message that basically women need to become like men in order to survive in the evolutionary scenario.
    So, feminism would be the logical output of a Darwinian system.
    But I think eventually, some women realize that they can’t just go around hating themselves because Darwin tells them to. Men and women, fighthing in the jungle against each other is not exactly the kind of society that people want to live in. But Darwinism never explains how that’s supposed to work.
    Attempts to create selective advantage for cooperation are always a tangled mess.
    A guy like Dawkins just takes the direct path. It’s a warfare. Men are going to win. That’s Darwin.
    Fortunately, some feminists see how stupid that is. It’s a theory that does not reflect reality.
    God made men and women for a reason — to collaborate, not to destroy each other.
    Men benefit when women have true feminine values, and women benefit when men are truly masculine, respectful, considerate and charitable towards women.

    The view of humans as specialised animals carried implications …

    Darwin destroys human culture and eliminates human nature itself.
    Eventually, some people figure this out and realize that Darwinism is an enemy of the human race.

  2. 2
    PavelU says:

    This recent paper shows how Darwinian macroevolution works:

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.07.897694v1.full

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    @3 PavelU: ‘This paper explains how Darwinian macroevolution led to consciousness’.

    So it is no longer an ‘illusion’? Beware dennett, PavelU has ruined your life.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    PavelU at 2 claims that,

    This recent paper shows how Darwinian macroevolution works

    He cites this paper:

    Local retinoic acid directs emergence of the extraocular muscle functional unit
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.07.897694v1.full

    Yet, despite PavelU’s claim that, ‘finally’, a paper will show us “how Darwinian macroevolution works”, In the paper they certainly did not show us ‘how Darwinian macroevolution works’. In the discussion section of the paper we find the same ole usual wishy washy Darwinian language of ‘suggest’ and ‘might have’, i.e. suggest that at their origin,,,, might have evolved,,,

    ,,, “Taken together, our observations redefine a novel boundary for NCC contribution to the connective tissues of the periocular region and suggest that at their origin,the EOMs and their associated connective tissues might have evolved in situ from the same mesodermal source.”

    PavelU, I hate to break it to you, but as should be needless to say, suggest and might have are a VERY long way from a empirical demonstration of “how Darwinian macroevolution works”.

    What you have just done PavelU, i.e. making a claim for a paper that the paper itself does not support, is what is known as a ‘literature bluff’. If you were honest with yourself and with others, you should apologize for your mistake.

    Why do I know that an apology from you for your mistake will not be forthcoming?

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    At 3 PavelU claims that,,,

    This paper explains how Darwinian macroevolution led to consciousness

    Yet the paper does no such thing.

    In the abstract we find that.

    The Free Energy Principle and Active Inference Framework (FEP-AI) begins with the understanding that thermodynamically-open systems must regulate environmental exchanges and prevent entropic accumulation.

    Yes, they certainly ‘must’ do that but unfortunately “That’s a physical impossibility” for unguided Darwinian processes to accomplish.

    Physicist Brian Miller: Two Conundrums for Strictly Materialist Views of Biology – January 13, 2020
    Excerpt: “Nothing in nature will ever simultaneously go to both low entropy and high energy at the same time. It’s a physical impossibility. Yet life (if Darwinian evolution were true) had to do that. Life had to take simple chemicals and go to a state of high energy and of low entropy. That’s a physical impossibility.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/01/physicist-brian-miller-two-conundrums-for-strictly-materialist-views-of-biology/

    Oh well, a Darwinian model for the supposed ’emergence’ of consciousness that rests on an assumption that is physically impossible. I guess we should not be surprised. Darwinists also assume the same physical impossibility for the ’emergence’ of life itself:

    “The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 in 10^340,000,000. This number is 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering since there is only supposed to be approximately 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe!”
    (Professor Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow In Biology pg. 99, Biophysicist of George Mason University)
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    DID LIFE START BY CHANCE?
    Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)
    http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html

    PavelU’s paper goes on to state,

    Integrated Information Theory (IIT) begins with considering the preconditions for a system to intrinsically exist, as well as axioms regarding the nature of consciousness. IIT has produced controversy because of its surprising entailments: quasi-panpsychism; subjectivity without referents or dynamics; and the possibility of fully-intelligent-yet-unconscious brain simulations. Here, I describe ways that these controversies might be resolved by integrating IIT with FEP-AI,

    Thus PavelU’s paper seeks to resolve the fatal flaws inherent within the IIT framework with the physically impossible model of FEP-AI. ,,,, i.e. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ move over, the rabbit hoe is about to get a lot more crowded.

    For PavelU to claim that this paper “explains how Darwinian macroevolution led to consciousness” far from actually showing us how it is even remotely feasible how consciousness may ’emerge’, in actuality shows us that PavelU is a extremely gullible person who is willing to uncritically accept any paper, even a paper that rests on a physical impossibility, so long as it supports his desired conclusion for unguided Darwinian evolution.

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