Nicoletta Lanese writes:
Ancient microbes whose existence predates the rise of nucleus-carrying cells on Earth may hold the secrets to how such complex cells first came to be. Now, for the first time, scientists have grown a large enough quantity of these microbes in the lab to study their internal structure in detail, Science reported.
Researchers grew an organism called Lokiarchaeum ossiferum, which belongs to a group of microbes known as Asgard archaea, according to a new report, published Wednesday (Dec. 21) in the journal Nature. Named after the abode of the gods in Norse mythology, Asgard archaea are thought by some scientists to be the closest evolutionary relatives of eukaryotes, cells that package their DNA in a protective bubble called a nucleus.
On the evolutionary tree of life, Asgards often appear as a “sister” of eukaryotes or as their direct ancestor, Jan Löwe, leader of the Bacterial Cytoskeleton and other Molecular Machines research group at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the U.K., wrote in a commentary about the new study. Asgards don’t carry nuclei themselves, but they do contain a suite of genes and proteins that were once thought to be unique to eukaryotes. Researchers have a variety of theories as to how Asgards may have gained primitive nuclei and thus birthed the first complex cells, which later gave rise to plants, animals and humans.
In 2020, a research group in Japan reported that, after 12 years of work, they’d successfully grown Asgards in the lab.
“It has taken six long years to obtain a stable and highly enriched culture, but now we can use this experience to perform many biochemical studies and to cultivate other Asgard archaea as well,” co-senior author Christa Schleper, leader of the archaea ecology and evolution lab at the University of Vienna, said in a statement.
Gathered from mud in a canal on the coast of Piran, Slovenia, the L. ossiferum specimens have funky tentacles that extend from the body of each cell; odd bumps and bulges appear along the length of each appendage. These “surface protrusions” may support the idea that, at some point in evolutionary history, an Asgard grabbed a passing bacterium using similar extensions of its membrane and sucked the bacterium into its cell body, and this led to the development of the nucleus, Löwe wrote. The protrusions support the idea that such an interaction could have occurred, he explained.
L. ossiferum also carries tiny, lollipop-like structures on its surface, which “look like they come from another planet,” Thijs Ettema, an environmental microbiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands who wasn’t involved in the work, told Science. The microbe also contains structural filaments that closely resemble those seen in the cytoskeleton, or supporting scaffold, of eukaryotic cells, Löwe wrote.
Some scientists think the new study strengthens the hypothesis that Asgards are eukaryotes’ direct ancestor, but not everyone is convinced. Read more in Science.Full article at Live Science.
The following statement by researchers lacks a certain quality of scientific professionalism: “These ‘surface protrusions’ may support the idea that, at some point in evolutionary history, an Asgard grabbed a passing bacterium using similar extensions of its membrane and sucked the bacterium into its cell body, and this led to the development of the nucleus.” Can anybody pinpoint how this statement falls short of scientific expectations, beyond perhaps the elementary school level?
63 Replies to “At Live Science: Massive tentacled microbe may be direct ancestor of all complex life”
Fascinating! It has no nucleus, but does have genes!
Or instead of an evolutionary precursor, maybe an indication of an evolutionary loss such as in blind cave fish, which certainly are not considered an evolutionary precursor of sighted fish. Consider how ridiculous this sounds:
“Those findings add to recent work showing blind cave fish (Astyanax jordani) possess genes once thought to exist only in more complex organisms—another indication they may be an important evolutionary precursor.”
More complexity? Came from another planet?
Ohhhh, they mean that there’s no evolutionary similarity to other organisms on earth. How does that support Darwinism? Or maybe they really did come from another planet.
Really? I wonder why not.
That’s essentially zero. And this is an important evolutionary precursor based on . . . what?
How about instead that Lokiarchaeum ossiferum demonstrates just how absolutely clueless we are with regard to the sudden appearance of life on earth?
Of semi-related note. Just uploaded last night from Dr. Tour:
Upcoming episode on Jan. 2:
Hardly any worse than inferring that ID is supported by the “fact” that all sources of FSCO/I above 500-1000 bits are intelligence.
SG at 3,
Sometimes, you don’t write well. Your poor presentation is showing here. ID shows, in a number of ways, by scientific observation, that the following is false: out of chaos, order. But you don’t want anyone to understand that. Once the level of complexity in any living system exceeds a certain number, chance evolution fails as an explanation. The odds for unguided evolution drops to zero. That’s what ID, the science, shows through observations that any scientist can confirm. And yes, when that level of complexity is observed, saying it poofed into the right order – by itself – is the wrong answer. Intelligent design is the right answer.
SG, you continue your supercilious dismissiveness. All you are doing is doubling down on ill informed dismissiveness. I give you a challenge, therefore: consider cases of functionally specific organisation starting with the text of your comment or a petroleum refinery etc that per some compact description language, are at or above 500 – 1,000 binary digits [think, y/n q’s and a’s] that specify configuration. This includes von Neumann’s reported estimate that a kinematic self replicator requires 1,500+ bits. Now, provide an actually observed case where such FSCO/I has originated by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity as actually observed: ________. I confidently predict you cannot do so, but are blustering rhetorically to escape from the fact that there are trillions of actually observed cases by intelligently directed configuration and this is readily backed up through needle in haystack search challenge analysis. We have very good reason, to infer from Orgel-Wicken FSCO/I to design, and yes this includes the coded complex algorithms and execution machinery in the cell. KF
KF, the flaws in your “trillions of examples” argument have been pointed out to you on multiple occasions. I don’t see the point in rehashing the statistical flaws that keep making after you have been corrected.
Would you like me to continue?
Now maybe you will answer a challenge, although I know you will simply obfuscate. Provide an actually observed case where such FSCO/I has originated by non-human design in biology: ____________.
SG, the argument is correct. Just, the message is not what you want to hear. For example, pesticide immunity etc are well within the 500 bit threshold, as you know. That is an error of gross extrapolation on your advisors’ part. The issue is how to get to insects etc, not how insects begin to resist insecticides. That you imagine such is a plausible answer speaks sadly telling volumes on your inability to provide a relevant case. Not to mention, on how our children are being indoctrinated through fallacious icons of evolution. KF
Really? Exactly how many bits is pesticide resistance in mice? Or the changes in bedbugs over the centuries? Or the changes seen in populations of stray dogs over the years? You make this claim without having a means of measuring FSCO/I, which boils down to, wow, that must be designed. Not exactly proof of anything other than observational bias.
No, your challenge was to show examples of natural change that resulted in 500 bits of FSCI/I, which I have done. Your shifting of goal posts speaks sadly telling volumes on your inability to provide a relevant case.
Our children are being taught to critically think about things. Including the ethical and moral implications of indoctrination of children to one religious belief or another.
The beauty of science (and mathematics) is that it provides a framework for rigorous examination of evidence for those honestly willing to follow that path. However, their are hypocrites in science as well as in religion, politics, economics, business, and every other area of human involvement. The motivations for hypocrisy are powerful and pervasive. They include
* Ideological priorities
* Self-justification, and rationalization
* Monetary rewards
* Assurance of significance
* Power and control
* Sexual advantage
What’s there not to like? All one has to do is part with one’s feeble intellectual and moral integrity.
In this case and many others here, the underlying logic is that even though spontaneous perpetual self-organization has never been demonstrated, the motivations listed above completely flatten logic with a flurry of “musta” speculations woven together into a tapestry of convenient science fantasy.
Even then, the narrative doesn’t hold up under the constant bombardment of falsifying data and logic such as presented in comment @1.
That’s why I appreciate Dr. Tour’s stock response with a simple “Ok, show me.”
SG at 8,
So, this was never about “science.”
“Including the ethical and moral implications of indoctrination of children to one religious belief or another.”
What about atheism? That is the current indoctrination in the Marxist-Atheist school system.
There are still people in the U.S. who admire atheist Communism as practiced in the Soviet Union. In the 1960s, the U.S. Government told us we were in “a struggle with Godless Communism.” But, there are some who want to see Godless Communism established in the West.
Not going to happen. I lived through most of the Cold War. Even as a boy I knew my odds of survival were zero. Russian ICBMs were going to strike at any time. I watched on TV as they tested the “Emergency Broadcasting System.” We were told what to do if this was “an actual emergency.”
But I had a great time during the 1960s and so did my neighbors. I watched a B-52 fly over my head one day at altitude.
I don’t know what school system you are dealing with but I don’t see Marxist-atheist indoctrination. I see a system that encourages kids to question everything. If it has value and is consistent with the evidence, it will survive. If it is not, it will decline. The decline in religious belief is the result of critical thinking, not any Marxist conspiracy. The acceptance of LGBQ is the result of critical thinking. The lack of traction for ID is the result of critical thinking.
If the K-12 school system in the US is supposedly indoctrinating kids into Marxism, it is by far the absolute worst system of indoctrination that has ever existed in human history. Just a complete and utter failure to indoctrinate.
Why do I say that? Because every single one that I’ve met wants to get a good-paying job, and I haven’t met any — not one single person — who wants to establish a worker’s collective or strategize the overthrow of the capitalist mode of production. If they’ve been indoctrinated into anything, it’s into believing that there is no alternative to capitalism.
Sounds like a complete failure of “Marxism” to me — I mean, what kind of Marxist doesn’t believe there’s an alternative to capitalism?
If the K-12 system is even attempting to indoctrinate kids into Marxism, it must be run by the absolute worst morons to ever attempt indoctrinating anyone into anything in all of human history. Because it has been a colossal and absolute failure at getting student to believe that there’s a workable alternative to capitalism, and that is the bare minimum of anything even resembling Marxism.
SG at 11,
I stand by my original comments. Your attempt to divert is just that. In the 1960s, public schools taught the R’s. Reading, Riting and ‘Rithmatic. That’s it. Now, today, parents have to deal with their kids being exposed to sexual perversion.
Nobody can stop you from doing so, regardless of how ridiculous the comments are.
And chemistry, physics, biology, typing, physical education, health (AKA sex education), comparative religion, art, music, drama, political science, history, geography, geology, etc. In short, everything that makes a person a well-rounded human being.
Or, in other words, taught the reality that there are some kids that are sexually attracted to the same sex and some that identify as the opposite sex. And that regardless of what you think about this that they are entitled to be treated as equal members of society and treated with the same respect as everyone is entitled to.
SG at 14,
You really don’t get it, or pretend you don’t. How about that teenage boy with something to prove who beat up another teenager for no apparent reason? I was that teenage boy who got beat up. My mother talked to the boy’s mother and that’s how things got handled.
You present no actual history about homosexuals. How the APA changed the classification for homosexuality in the DSM-II, and its removal in the DSM-III and subsequent editions. Was that done using science? No, it was done by vote. Or how some teachers are going far, too far, from their responsibilities and are trying to help confused kids transition. It’s crazy. They should be sued. ONLY the parents have the right to raise their kids as they see fit, not some self-proclaimed activist/total stranger butting in for “the cause.” And perverse and pornographic books that are NOT age appropriate getting into the hands of kids who do not have the psychological maturity to understand them. Or how about 58 sexual perversions/gender options on Facebook?
I don’t treat anyone badly – gay or straight. I’m not perfect but I don’t know or want to know, anyone’s “orientation.” If they tell me, fine. You seem to live in a world where you think gay people can’t do what they want. They can and do. However, under the free exercise clause of the Constitution, people with sincerely held religious beliefs have the right to a legal defense when homosexuals ask for certain services. Such cases have gone to court.
And by the way. When I help the homeless, I ask no questions like, are you gay or straight or religious or not, I just help them.
PM1 at 12,
I’m talking about Cultural Marxism. Classic Marxist Class Warfare as it is applied to groups.
Starting in the mid-1960s, Total Strangers began to create a type of warfare. It required a victim and an enemy. SO:
Men, the eternal enemies class.
Women, the eternal victims class.
This war is ongoing, and fed by lies and bad/wrong laws.
Why should I. It is easily figured out with a little googling.
So, it turns out that the original classification of homosexuality as a disease had more to do with pandering to cultural, political and religious pressure than it did to scientific evidence.
SG, related is right. Meanwhile, all you have is an implied default when there is a world of evidence that a lot of immunity to chemicals is by breaks to genes. This is for key example the case with malaria drug resistance; where, the challenge of getting two coordinated point mutations makes it a difficult genetic challenge. KF
PS, I do a little clipping, as examples:
This illustrates the obvious point that it is far easier to drop and break a vase than it is to build one. Of course, as each location in a gene has four possible states, that is two bits, roughly speaking, issues of redundancies, correction and so on are onward.
PPS, similarly, red hair shows the pattern. Wiki confesses:
PPPS, blond hair:
And so forth.
4PS: Tomcods and dioxin:
I recall, this case was discussed here years ago, as was malaria.
Notice, a consistent theme of information loss. What is needed is in the first instance, origin of 100 – 1,000 bases of genetic information and of underlying language as well as associated execution machinery integrated with a von Neumann kinematic self replicator and the metabolic process flow network at OoL. Similarly for body plans, we need 10 – 100+ million bases similarly integrated, dozens of times over.
Nothing remotely close to that has been actually founded on empirical observation. We are still dealing with gross extrapolations and fallacious icons.
F/N: Further Wiki confessions, on the infinite monkeys theorem:
In short, contrary to the artful talking point tactics, the origin of functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information is a real and utterly unmet challenge for evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers.
Where, that is setting to one side self referential incoherence which is self falsifying. This frame just does not have the resources to account for mind much less sound conscience guided mind.
SG, your confident manner, sharply worded dismissiveness of FSCO/I now seems to be ill founded. KF
The thought experiment was actually tried in 2003 with a group of six macaques. Here’s some background that also mentions the production of “VALENTINE. Cease to” as well as a similar concept proposed by Cicero in 45 B.C.
That Time Someone Actually Tested the Infinite Monkey Theorem And Who Came Up With It
“More monkeys, more typewriters!”
“Cultural Marxism” is an antisemitic conspiracy theory. (For the history, see here.)
PM1 at 23,
Pleez. Fiction. Real Cultural Marxism as practiced by The Left is this:
Men are the enemy and women should hate them.
Blacks are the victims and ALL White people alive today are responsible.
A similar attempt to create Chinese victims failed to gain traction in the U.S.
And the ongoing efforts to portray White, Heterosexuals Males as THE Number One Problem in the world today.
Don’t you dare try this ‘conspiracy theory’ thing again or I’m calling the ACLU.
And that little ‘history’ link was crap.
These are all lies about the Left. Right-wing grifters like Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, and Christopher Rufo make a lot of money selling these lies to the gullible fools who get their worldview injected into their brains by downloading Fox News propaganda.
Maybe you’re uncomfortable to be hold that “cultural Marxism” is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Martin Jay describes the historical process whereby right-wing anti-Semitic propaganda entered the mainstream right-wing, first with fringe extremists, then picked up by Patrick Buchanan and others. It’s not “crap” — it is historical fact.
PM1 at 25,
You know what? Anybody can “invent” anything on the internet but I lived through the time period I’m referring to. For the record, I do not watch Fox News – ever.
I am not a “follower” of Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay or Christopher Rufo. Or Pat Buchanan. I can recognize how fake some commentators are. They are little more than actors reading their lines, with the right clothes and haircuts. I would never buy or download anything from these people.
Perhaps my Jewish friend could tell me how ‘anti-Semitic’ I am. But he can’t anymore. He just passed.
So what? And how do you know I didn’t? For all you know we could be the same age — or I could be older.
“These are all lies about the Left.”
And the very first and last thing a leftist will never do, and will never do it unto the grave, is acknowledge any responsibility or hint at any accountability for the daily pile of sh*t that they promote. Never appearing to recognize is their calling card and they make sure to leave it on every doorstep, every time.
Andrew at 28,
From the mid-1960s on, The Left organized a series of actions to attack the West in general and the normal family in particular. From contraception to abortion to ‘alternative lifestyles’ to decriminalizing marijuana in some places. To destroying natural male-female relationships and starting so-called No-Fault Divorce. Other things are happening right now.
Sounds like someone who gets their worldview from far left sources.
What is the definition of “right wing?” I’ve never seen a coherent definition of this term. “Left” definitely has a definition but “right” doesn’t.
Aside: never heard of James Lindsay and have seen the name Rufo a couple times but wasn’t aware of anything he wrote. Very familiar with Jordan Peterson. Hard to imagine any coherent negatives about him.
You are apparently unaware of the origin of the terms.
For someone who claims to have read a lot this admission is amazing. The original meaning of “right” referred to monarchists. Something that does not exist any more.
That’s because there is no sh*t. It simply does not exist. You’ve been lied to.
I don’t understand how one can have a definition and the other doesn’t. Anyway, there’s plenty of stuff to learn from, if you were genuinely interested in learning. I like this nifty new resource called “the Internet”.
“That’s because there is no sh*t. It simply does not exist.”
Right. On. Cue.
One reason why I appreciate studying history as a hobby is that with thorough investigation from independent sources and new evidence as it emerges, one can start piecing things together without the pervasive propaganda and politically motivated distortions of contemporary events.
For example, in one book on the 20th century Balkans, the author noted that the oral histories of people in the various countries were so profoundly different from each other that it caused him to wonder whether they were even describing the same events.
In another example, the assassination of John F. Kennedy 60 years ago is still highly controversial and most people don’t believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission report.
And now, there’s mounting evidence that the WHO, CDC, and big pharma has be lying to us about COVID-19 and vaccine damage.
Also consider the tragic life and death of Ignaz Semmelweiss.
Let me suggest that the SAME DYNAMICS are in operation today in all human institutions, including the sciences.
Related re 24
I think Critical Race Theory is a better description rather than Cultural Marxism. Certainly CRT finds it’s roots in Marxism
“That’s because there is no sh*t. It simply does not exist. You’ve been lied to.”
BUllsh..t!! Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining
BTW Lindsay is an atheist and is a classic liberal in the enlightenment sense
Like Jerry I too would like to know what makes someone “far right”
PM1, first, the Frankfurt School and its legacy of neo-marxist, culture form marxism now dominating social sciences and the arts, now bleeding over into education, law and government are real history of ideas, ideology and civilisation agenda issues. Jerry is quite correct that the right has no coherent definition as C18-19 monarchism is dead and Stalin, viewing himself as centre of politics deemed those he disagreed with right wingers and fascists. Meanwhile Mussolini was consciously revising socialist thought and in Germany the National Socialist German Labour Party — I am citing a 1930’s translation, and they meant both the socialist and the labour — was rising to power. In a day of domination by leftists, those who disagree get plastered with all kinds of slanderous accusations and agit prop projections. Some of which invite cognitive dissonance and confession by projection to the despised other analysis. As Goebbels understood well, as did Orwell, propaganda is at its most effective when it is not recognised as being propaganda. That is because, the spin meisters have induced those who look to them, to swallow their crooked yardsticks as standards of truth, uprightness, straightness, knowledge, fact etc. So, what is genuinely these things cannot fit the established crookedness and is rejected, projecting the perceived crookedness to the despised other. So, we need to look first to first principles and duties of right reason, then use such naturally straight and upright plumblines to detect crookedness. This is hard, it is really difficult to address crooked yardsticks. A good start point is to detect where one is exerting double standards of warrant and is being hyperskeptical, especially on the right to innocent reputation. LF
PS, SEP on critical theories:
This is fairly obviously self promotional and fails to reckon seriously with the totalitarian heritage of marxism.
There is legitimate authority, there is legitimate leadership, there is legitimate qualification for such, and the cynical or blindingly angry blanket projection of oppression and promotion of the anarchistic, nihilistic, perverse or suicidally self destructive is little more than anticivilisational misanthropy. Worse, when 4th generation war, colour revolution — start with Mao’s Red Guards — and SOCOM insurgency escalator factors are added to the witches brew.
BTW, the obvious theme colour for the US case is, black.
Similarly, Agit Prop, media manipulation, the two minute hate, doublethink, doubletalk, street theatre, mob riots, lawfare and show trials are all 4th gen war techniques.
Multiply by the legal positivist severance of law from canons of first principles and duties of justice and the stage is set for chaos.
Critical theories and associated movements themselves need to face the bar of critique as pathways to new oppression.
That was the point of 1984 and Animal Farm.
PM1, just tell us, in a coherent definition, what right wing and far right mean, and how Nazi or fascist can coherently be ascribed to the right [clue: Stalin was not the centre of politics]. Explain how the currently deemed right wing came from C18 – 19 monarchy, bringing in the context of the Great War and its aftermath where three of the four great power monarchies collapsed. Which as bare fact was the original sense: the favoured right hand of the Speaker of an Assembly. If it is so easy to do, definitions that meet the comparative difficulties test of political philosophy and political history will be easy to find. KF
PS, how not to do it, a loaded, incoherent narrative from Wikipedia:
“translated, if you disagree with us, we tag and smear you] “
Yep, did you notice that PMI tried to paint Related as an anti semite then slandered Lindsay, Rufo and Peterson calling them liars?
Vivid, I saw the hints. I notice the attempt to redefine references to culture form, Frankfurt School, neo marxism and its derivative “critical theory” and associated novements as a right wing, anti semitic conspiracy theory. That is a projection laced slander that tries to pretend that a family of movements trying to entrench itself in power with a definite traceable history and with colour revolution street activists marching in the streets, mobbing, looting, committing arson, mayhem and murder with near impunity does not actually exist. That one has a well known term, gaslighting. That Saul Alinsky, several of the neomarxist founders and Marx were Jews is irrelevant to the substance of the theories and movements with as yet unfinished histories flowing from them. KF
PS, Enc Brit:
PPS, let us contrast Wikipedia’s agit prop hit piece:
The pattern here is actually a useful illustration of the agit prop, long march through the institutions institutional capture techniques of culture form marxist ideologues.
PPPS, resemblance to how ID has been grossly mistreated is not coincidental.
F/N: Observe this smoking gun in Wiki’s piece on neomarxism:
Orwell was a socialist who wrote Animal Farm as a satire of how Stalin and Trotsky perverted the original aspiration of Marxism. The novel begins with “Old Major’s Dream”. It’s been argued that Old Major represents the British socialist William Morris, who was deeply influenced by Marx (among many others). After the revolution, the pigs Napoleon (representing Stalin) and Snowball (representing Trotsky) pervert and distort the original dream of Old Major (Morris/Marx), so that by the end, it is no longer possible to distinguish the new ruling class from the old one. Likewise 1984 warns against the disaster it would be for humanity if Stalinism were to prevail. But neither novel indicates that Orwell ever gave up his commitment to democratic socialism, as also evident in his Homage to Catalonia.
I did not try to paint Relatd as an anti-Semite. I neither know nor care about their personal attitudes towards Jews. I said that their paranoia about “Cultural Marxism” indicates that they have been duped by an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
It is not slander if it is demonstrably true. Their lies have been established on numerous occasions by people who have actually taken the time to read the texts and theories that are insistently lying about. I know this because I know that they say, and I myself have read Hegel (Phenomenology of Spirit, Elements of Philosophy of Right and others. I’ve read Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, <I.The German Ideology, and volume 1 of Capital, along with scholarship on Marx by Moishe Postone, David Harvey, and William Clare Roberts. I’ve read most of the history of “Western Marxism”, including Luxumborg, Lukacs, Merleau-Ponty, Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse. I’ve read Plekhanov, Bogdanov, Lenin, Buharin, and Ilyenkov in the Soviet tradition. I’ve read Cesaire, Fanon, Wynter, and Robinson in the Black Marxist tradition.
When I say that they are lying, it is because I know all of these texts and theories first-hand, having read from myself, and in some cases, in the original German.
Obviously I don’t expect anyone here to believe me, because the downside of posting under a pseudonym is that nothing I say about myself can be verified. But my claim to expertise about these texts and theories can be verified by anyone who has a first-hand knowledge of them — not what some Internet summary or popular pundit says about them.
FWIW, yes, I trust what you’re posting is not a lie. Also note that “lying” is limited to intentional deception. Thus, there’s a difference in being ignorant, wrong, or abstracting to a higher level and lying.
What I’ve observed from history is that despots knowingly or unknowingly paint a beautiful picture of cosmic justice (Thomas Sowell), equality of outcomes, and an egalitarian, benevolent state.
With boring repetition, the outcomes are always dystopian hellholes with a sign at the edge reading, “But that wasn’t TRUE socialism.”
The fundamental problem is with pervasive human psychological pathologies that we used to call “sin.” The denial of sin or projecting it onto human institutions rather than individuals is the problem. It’s true that human institutions tend to amplify sin with the inevitable consolidation of power, but it is not the source.
As I’m sure you know, much has been written on the subject, including
Now here’s a reacted quote–do you recognize who wrote it and when? And most importantly, which of the listed points do you agree with?
PM1, FTR, the conspiracy theory projection — as I actually cited, BTW — is where the anti-semitic slander propagated by Wikipedia, SPLC et al is. When you suggest that reference to cultural marxism is a conspiracy theory, that is what you have committed yourself to, whether or not you intended it, and as such is so loaded, the targetted have every right to take it as a slander. As I showed, culture form marxism expressed through critical theories, associated movements and emerging policy agendas is a reality admitted to by say SEP etc and one tracing to the Frankfurt School, etc, as I also showed. As you asserted in your side track on Petersen et al (who I neither have followed nor care much about), truth is a defence. Kindly take note for the future, the next time you are tempted to toss around irresponsible rhetorical grenades such as “conspiracy theory.” KF
PS: There is actually a second cultural marxist tradition, tracing to the UK, which was discussed in a 1984 thesis that became a 1997 book. I now clip the title:
Obviously, “new left” is tantamount to neo-marxist, and the focus on cultural studies suggests a similar programme to the Frankfurt School and its derivatives.
This is just the introduction and already a familiar pattern is on the table, notice, dating to 1984.
The somewhat strained kissing cousin relationship to the Frankfurt School is also highlighted:
So, manifestly, culture form marxism is a legitimate and not an antisemitic term, with at least two kissing cousin schools of thought.
Beyond that, my frank view is that while we might find some strands of reasonable thought and have to in any case engage the 170+ year intellectual love affair with Marx, I think we should start from the thesis that Marxism failed, failed in ways that cost 100+ millions their lives in totalitarian systems and is to be repudiated root and branch as a menace to civilisation.
Concern that this toxic weed is cropping up again is legitimate, whatever flaws and foibles one may find with critics of classical or cultural marxism.
This needs to be faced and accusations of conspiracy theory must now be walked back.
Q, Italian Fascist Manifesto https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascist_Manifesto a kissing cousin of the Nazi Manifesto https://alphahistory.com/nazigermany/nazi-party-25-points-1920/ KF
F/N: Let’s go back to the same 1980’s with echoes of the 20’s – 30’s. As, we need to lay down a timeline, crucial for understanding agent action and cause thus history. First, Leon Bailey, in Critical Theory and the Sociology of Knowledge: A Comparative Study in the Theory of Ideology [Peter Lang, 1996], citing how self referential incoherence was exposed as a fatal flaw in the Marxist concept of ideology — as “false” consciousness):
Now, who rushed to Marx’s defence? You got it in one:
We already see the line from Marx through the Frankfurt School to the 1980’s and onward to now. here, the self referentiality of the Marxist concept of ideology becomes pivotal. And, this is of course a key means by which Marxists have delegitimised those who object to their views and agendas. Ideology of course, is a key part of the oppressor/victim thesis of Marxism. Which is exactly what we see in the critical theory agendas.
Turning to an onward generation, Habermas, citing Rick Roderick in Habermas and the
Foundations of Critical Theory [Macmillan, 1986] , we find:
The “more rational” approach to society, in this context is of course rooted in Frankfurt School neo-marxism. It is telling that these works were written before the collapse of the USSR in the 1980’s.
Again, culture form marxism, expressed through critical theories, assorted pressure movements and now pushing policy agendas is real, it is not the fevered imaginations of empty conspiracy theorists.
F/N: Now, let us observe the theme of a series on “Critical Theory and Contemporary Society” published by Bloomsbury:
Just the list of titles given this theme, is enough to see that this aims at global domination of an agenda. Hence, policy analysis is appropriate, and sharp questioning.
Again, for cause, we may hold that we are not dealing with empty conspiracy theories, there is a global agenda afoot, that may be responsibly characterised as culture form [neo-] marxism, acting through critical theory and associated movements, now grasping for power at global level.
Given serious concerns, we have a right to critique the critics and ask some pretty pointed questions. The ghosts of 100 million victims of marxism nod their agreement.
KF, how about you actually read some of these texts for yourself and stop relying on watered down summaries provided by others? Until you do, I see no reason to take your views on this at all seriously: you simply do not understand what you are talking about.
Yes, you’re absolutely correct!
Actually, I was surprised that PyrrhoManiac1 didn’t know this and couldn’t answer my questions directed to him.
It was kind of you to answer my question for him and I’m impressed. But now I notice that PyrrhoManiac1 is repaying you with an unjustified ad hominem attack, accusing you of relying on “watered-down summaries.”
As any student of history knows, such subjects are fascinating, complex, and have multiple legitimate perspectives. The mark of an ideologically censored history is precisely a lack of diversity in perspectives and factors narrowed down into a simplistic doctrinaire narrative.
And now you’re expected to read all that homogenized drivel or you won’t be taken seriously?
I think it’s clear that you’ve won the debate.
PM1, as you could readily confirm, I have cited onward scholarship published by notable academic houses, from the period when so-called Critical Theories were spreading across the academy. The first one is the usual general publication of a revised PhD dissertation.One, comes from a series, indeed, I cited the theme statement for the series, extending what is clearly a dominant school of thought to a new century, the emerging global digital era. I did so, in part to show history of ideas and knowing that there is both peer review and editorial review involved so the summary conclusions about the emerging and now clearly dominant school of thought is stronger than particular arguments. The fundamental point is therefore quite clear, the academy’s 170+ year love affair with Marx and his “scientific” socialism, despite the check given by the collapse of the USSR at the turn of the 90’s, continues. Unsurprising, I know it is embedded in the 1987 Bruntland Commission definition of sustainable development and is a concern expressed in the phrase watermelon environmentalism: green outside, red inside. And yes, we again find the same scholarly epoch. I am aware of influences in psychology also. The parallel British school clearly is in key part a school about history. Turning back to critical theories so called, it becomes clear that these were running in parallel with the rise of post modernism and are tied to what was being highlighted as political correctness then identity politics. The scholarship — not popular crude summaries — I cited above speaks for itself, backing up what SEP and Enc Brit summarise as well as what can be teased out of Wikipedia, in answering the antisemitic conspiracy theory slander. So, your evasive, rude dismissive personality can be taken as a rhetorical squid ink cloud of denial and projection, behind which evasion and business as usual continue. Sorry, 100 million ghosts of victims of marxism get a voice, as of right. There is definitely a culture form [neo-] marxism, it has come to dominance in the arts and social sciences, it uses the label critical theory, it uses the marxist thesis of ideology as false consciousness to discredit all opposition (ducking the obvious self referential incoherence in its dynamic), it has reconceptualised our civilisation as a system of oppression of fringe groups, using this to effect moral inversion and promotion of self- and socially- destructive psycho-social and moral perversities as special protected and promoted classes, it is riding on the history, pains and oppression of the descendants of victims of the Atlantic slave trade to power, it is proclaiming itself as the more rational way to erect policy, institutions and economies. All of these bring it into the policy arena and therefore it is our right to critique the critics. KF
PS, Marcuse — one of the foundational circle of the Frankfurt School — on freedom in his chilling essay, Repressive Tolerance [1965, cited from 1969], makes for telling reading:
Of course, notoriously, this essay is pivotal to the rise of political correctness and onward marginalisation or censorship of whatever challenges the radical progressivist agenda. It reeks of cognitive dissonance and projection to the despised other.
A well known agit prop stratagem.
This is a key case in point of direct influence of undeniable scope, and in it one may readily discern the themes, agendas and points of concern regarding the rise to domination of culture form marxism.
The ghosts of 100 million victims get a voice.
F/N: I now clip MASQUELIER, in the Bloomsbury series, in the introduction to his Critical Theory and Libertarian Socialism: Realizing the political potential of critical social theory, showing the start from Marx frame and clearly echoing the history of ideas and agendas frame already identified:
Clearly, Marx –> Frankfurt School –> Onward generations, now known as critical theory. Where, we see points of serious concern as identified.
No, we are not dealing with empty conspiracy theorising, this is a summary from an advocate, one based in Britain and clearly bridging Frankfurt influences and the homegrown school already pointed out above.
F/N: On the more philosophical side, here Philip Walsh on Skepticism, Modernity and Critical Theory [Macmillan, 2005]:
The dots are here, again connected, reflecting a clear consensus view. One, that justifies describing this as culture form marxism.
Notice too, the promotion of the inferior good, [hyper-] skepticism, in the place of prudence, a key move in the emergence of radical secularism.
This needs to be hammered home and clenched over for record, to document the evasiveness and denial of reasonable understandings; which have been unjustly smeared as antisemitic empty conspiracy theories. We have a right to infer confession by projection and ask pointed questions to critique the critical theorists and the emerging movements of intolerant tolerance, as well as policy agendas, as the ghosts of 100 million victims remind us.
After C20, there can be no justification for the 170+ years long love affair with Marxist thought. It needs to be assessed as, instead, a massively destructive ideology not worth building on, and whatever shards of reasonable analysis it produced should be reframed on a sounder footing. And that needs to respect the major contribution of civilisation as enabling large numbers to live in reasonable communities with good progress and limited, lawful government. It needs to return us to prudence, and it needs to publicly account for the horrors of C20 Marxism inspired states.
The wave of critical theories, movements and policy agendas fails this test.
Meanwhile, on a focal issue in the OP:
The speculation not backed by observationally warranted dynamics for start. Continue with failure to account for information. Then add, how would an ingested bacterium skip the usual fate, food? Then, how will the bacterium now act as a nucleus? Did it swallow the genes in turn?
A tower of speculation on a pinhead of trivial fact: a tentacled unicellular organism.
I guess critique of this, too is liable to be accused of conspiracy theorism. Nope, pointing out speculation for what it is is quite in order.
Unfortunately, most don’t recognize that here.
F/N: is it reasonably possible to reduce trillions of actually observed cases of FSCO/I where we directly know the cause to be designers, to just one, as SG wants to insinuate at 6 above? No. For, first, manifestly each designer is a designer, and each case of design is a case of design. If it is meant, only humans are observed designers, instantly no, beavers design dams adapted to locations. More fundamentally, we are contingent creatures so we cannot exhaust the possible cases of design, as is notorious on history and of course the SETI project. The objection is a textbook example of selectively hyperskeptical special pleading to give a dismissive talking point and an abuse of induction. That it keeps popping up despite repeated correction shows desperation to find some sort of objection. It ends up being a backhanded concession, as were there strong counter examples they would be instantly given and triumphantly trumpeted, and 10 years ago attempt after attempt was made only to see them collapse. So, we may freely infer, desperate, weak objections tell us the case is strong. KF
Jerry, sometimes, objectors need to be exposed as unreasonable. Above, we saw a smear that reference to critical theories as cultural marxism was antisemitic conspiracy theorising. Some elephant hurling was made, too. So, there was a place to document the actual state of affairs. Now, links have been made for future reference should this come up again. More broadly, TS is a prominent public intellectual who has made his case at multiple book length, and can simply point to his corpus . . . unless they decide to censor that. KF
If anyone is interested in a very readable expose/history of socialism, read “ Heaven on Earth: The Rise, Fall, and Afterlife of Socialism”by Joshua Muravchik.
He was once one of them and tells it all.
Aside: Sowell was also once a believer in socialism. He said facts got in the way.
At no point did I deny or even downplay the significance of the Frankfurt School or subsequent critical theory. I have been a close reader of Marx, the Frankfurt School, and Habermas for two decades, and I daresay I have a better appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses than you do.
What I said, and I stand by, is that the phrase “Cultural Marxism” as used at Uncommon Descent and by conservatives generally is a conspiracy theory. This conspiracy theory alleges that a group of German Jewish emigres, recognizing the failure of Communism, infiltrated the American academy and the entertainment industry in order to subvert America from within. Since then, the conspiracy theory has mutated and evolved to the point where liberal policies and proposals with a broad base of popular support are ascribed to the insidious work of enemies of Western civilization.
This is how Anders Breivik used the phrase “Cultural Marxism” in the manifesto he published online prior to his 2011 mass murder. It is what contemporary reactionary intellectuals such as Steve Bannon and Alexander Dugin position themselves as against. It is not a descriptive term, but one laden with an anti-semitic past.
But that couldn’t have been TRUE socialism!
Thanks for the book reference. And no, I didn’t know Thomas Sowell was once a socialist.
So, Pyrrhomaniac1 . . .
Which of Benito Mussolini’s points listed in @44 do you disagree with?
Which of them are incompatible with Marxism?
I don’t have an instinctive aversion to a strong centralized government as such, but I do think that the more power a government has, the more important it is that there be strong democratic safeguards on its power. I would contrast Lord Acton on power with Stan Lee’s “with great power comes great responsibility”. Most of the proposals in the Fascist Manifesto do not by themselves seem objectionable, but without increasing the power of the people to counterbalance the power of the state, no government should be trusted with a blank check to increase its power.
One of the thing that Marx got badly wrong was the assumption that if private property were abolished, there would be no need for a state — “the state would wither away”, as he put it. He might have been right in thinking that there would be no need for a state (“a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force”, as Weber defined it) in a truly post-scarcity society, but was quite badly wrong in his belief that abolishing private property was not only necessary but also sufficient for eliminating scarcity as such.
One relatively minor point: the Fascist Manifesto of 1918 was not written by Mussolini but by De Ambris and Marinetti. The Doctrine of Fascism (1927) was written by Gentile and Mussolini. Mussolini himself wrote:
Marx himself would have vehemently opposed all of this: his political ideal was the republicanism that inspired the American and French Revolutions, but in a more radical direction influenced by the utopian social experiments of Robert Owen and Saint-Simon. He was, fundamentally, a theorist of human freedom whose ideal of a rational society was one in which the free development of each was compatible with the free development of all.
The hallmark of his political philosophy is simply this: one cannot freely develop one’s intellectual, moral, emotional, aesthetic, and physical capacities if one is constrained by the need to sell one’s labor in exchange for access to the means of survival. In other words, the ideals and values of the Enlightenment, which nurtured and inspired both the American and French Revolutions, is incompatible with industrial capitalism.
Regardless of the turn to “collectivism” in the Soviet period, Karl Marx would have adamantly and completely opposed what Mussolini called “the doctrine of fascism”. In his own life-time, Marx was a huge admirer of Abraham Lincoln, as noted by (among others) the religious socialist Martin Luther King.
Good points all. In this case as well as many others, it’s really not the stated objectives of the system as much as the methods employed.
For what it’s worth, my national/cultural background is strongly libertarian, so considering Marxists and Postmodernists, I’d share their distrust of the accumulation of power, which can easily bypass any so-called checks and balances. There are simply too many people in a society with a powerful central government that can be bribed, blackmailed, or misled by a few ruthless and ambitious people to be able to resist any coordinated effort.
I think there are good arguments that can made that the U.S. is a de facto fascist state.