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Bad data from the academy? Darwinism makes it worse


At the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, Loretta G. Breuning talks about social science nonsense presented as science:

Researchers, especially in the social sciences, insist that they only care about the greater good and not about selfish rewards. But they are highly rewarded if they create “evidence” that advances the Rousseauian agenda. Any graduate student can see which findings get respect and which do not. The grad student who conforms ends up with the credentials necessary to be included in “The Science.” If students don’t conform, they’re ignored, and if they keep it up, they’re discredited, personally or professionally.

A researcher can get conforming results more easily than you might expect. They just re-run a study over and over with slight changes until they get “data” that fit the paradigm. Results that advance the agenda get media attention, and the rest are forgotten. Studies are rarely replicated, so research cited as “The Science” for years may rest on the flimsiest of foundations. For example, we often hear that our hunter-gatherer ancestors worked four hours a day and spent the rest of the time making art and making love. It feels true because it fits the belief that life was easy before “our society” ruined things. So we don’t inspect the mountain of assumptions and extrapolations that studies like this one rest on. – February 15, 2023

But she finishes with,

After my early retirement, I had the chance to study social science with an open mind. I learned that our brains evolved to keep our genes alive, not to make us happy. The brain releases happy chemicals when we do things that help our genes survive. It doesn’t decide this with conscious logic. It decides with a limbic system that’s the same in all mammals, and with neural pathways built from our own early experiences. This is why we seek happiness in quirky ways. I was grateful to have a second chance at an open mind and hope today’s college students will find that chance someday.

There. She has just flushed down the toilet any chance of understanding the reality of human life and the human mind. Those pop psych academics are doing the right thing and she should support them.

If what she says is true: “our brains evolved to keep our genes alive, not to make us happy. The brain releases happy chemicals when we do things that help our genes survive. It doesn’t decide this with conscious logic,” fine. Support enthusiastically the biggest piles of flapdoodle that the academy can muster — as long as your brain is happy.

Keep reading Uncommon Descent and other ID sources, if you want a point of view that empowers you to reject the flapdoodle.

From the Introduction of Breuning’s book on habits.
When you feel good, your brain is releasing dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, or endorphin. You want more of these great feelings because your brain is designed to seek them. But you don’t always get it, and that’s natural too. Our brain doesn’t release a happy chemical until it sees a way to meet a survival need, like food, safety, and social support. And then, you only get a quick spurt before your brain returns to neutral so it’s ready for the next “survival opportunity.” This is why you feel up and down. It’s nature’s operating system! Many people have habits that are bad for survival. How does that happen if our brain rewards behaviors that are good for survival? When a happy-chemical spurt is over, you feel like something is wrong. You look for a reliable way to feel good again, fast. Anything that worked before built a pathway in your brain. We all have such happy habits: from snacking to exercising, whether it’s spending or saving, partying or solitude, arguing or making up. But none of these habits can make you happy all the time because your brain doesn’t work that way. Every happy-chemical spurt is quickly metabolized and you have to do more to get more. You can end up overdoing a happy habit to the point of unhappiness. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn on your happy chemicals in new ways? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel good while doing things that are actually good for you? You can, when you understand your mammal brain. Then you’ll know what turns on the happy chemicals in nature, and how your brain can substitute new habits for old ones. You can design a new happy habit and wire it into your neurons. This book helps you do that in forty-five days. You don’t need much time or money to build a new neural pathway; you need courage and focus, because you must repeat a new behavior for forty-five days whether or not it feels good. Why doesn’t it feel good to start a new habit? Your old habits are like well-paved highways in your brain. New behaviors are hard to activate because they’re just narrow trails in your jungle of neurons. Unknown trails feel dangerous and exhausting, so we’re tempted to stick to our familiar highways instead. But with courage and commitment, you will build a new highway, and on Day Forty-Six, it will feel so good that you will build another. Warning: This book is about your brain, not about other people’s brains. If you are in the habit of blaming your neurochemical ups and downs on others, you will not find support here. But you needn’t blame yourself, either—you can make peace with your mammalian neurochemistry instead of finding fault with it. This book shows you how. We’ll explore the brain chemicals that make us happy and unhappy. We’ll see how they work in animals, and why they have a job to do. Then we’ll see how the brain creates habits, and why bad ones are so difficult to break. Finally, we’ll embark on a forty-five-day plan that explains how to choose a new behavior and how to find the courage and focus you need to repeat it without fail. This edition of the book contains a lot of new exercises and interactive features that help you take each step. You will like the results—a happier, healthier you!”
the word “evolution” is mentioned 6 times in the book. jerry
I will repeat, I highly recommend Loretta G. Breuning’s book.
Habits of a Happy Brain. Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels By Loretta Graziano Breuning
https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/oxytocin-that-supposedly-creates-attraction-not-needed-new-study-shows/#comment-775868 Having watched myself and others form bad habits and then found out how to form good habits, her book should be an essential for everyone. Whatever her beliefs on the origin of the functions of the four happy chemicals and the negative chemical, cortisol, they exist and rule out daily lives. To the better or the worse. I just came back from a cruise where about a third of the people were extremely obese. Eating certain foods generates these chemicals and the results are Ill health due to bad habits. Video games/social media usage are other habits with bad outcomes. Exercise is a positive habit and so are considerations of others. I wrote an essay for my children on combining Breuning’s book with Dale Carnegie’s list of positive ways to treat other people. Hopefully, it will encourage myself and them to develop good habits when interacting with others. I just saw she had another book that looks interesting.
How I Escaped Political Correctness And You Can Too
Maybe we all should read her books. jerry
Another sad propaganda article. Sad. I don't want to be "empowered," I want factual information. 'Empower' and 'empowered' are on my List of Words to Never Use. relatd
It’s kind of interesting that she insists that our brains evolved to keep our genes alive,, yet presents absolutely no evidence for this assertion whatsoever. Shoot, she can't even show evidence for how just one neuron originated, much less does she, or anyone else, really know how a single neuron accomplishes what it does..
Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth - November 2010 Excerpt: They found that the brain's complexity is beyond anything they'd imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: ...One (neuronal) synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor--with both memory-storage and information-processing elements--than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. https://www.cnet.com/news/human-brain-has-more-switches-than-all-computers-on-earth/ "The brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and “artificial intelligence” a grandiose misnomer." - Brian Ford research biologist – 2009 - The Secret Power of a Single Cell http://www.brianjford.com/a-10-NSc-single_cell.pdf NIH Director: Each Neuron is Different - July 11, 2015 Excerpt: Things are astronomically more complicated in the brain, as its “wires” are not merely a conduit of electrical charge but an incredibly complex cell called a neuron. And each neuron does not merely attach to two distant connectors, but rather to hundreds or thousands of connectors. And each connection is nothing like a simple soldering attachment. In the brain they are called synapses and with thousands of molecular-scale switches researchers compare them to microprocessors. But on top of all that, each neuron is different. A hundred billion different, unique neurons, each having a different, unique function. Each forming a different, unique set of synapses. We have not even begun to understand all of this neural circuitry, let alone how to design or build anything like it. And yet (Darwinists) insist it all must have arisen spontaneously, as a result of random mutations. That is not science, that is absurdity. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2015/07/nih-director-each-neuron-is-different.html How Computationally Complex Is a Single Neuron? - Sept. - 2021 They showed that a deep neural network requires between five and eight layers of interconnected “neurons” to represent the complexity of one single biological neuron. Even the authors did not anticipate such complexity. “I thought it would be simpler and smaller,” said Beniaguev. He expected that three or four layers would be enough to capture the computations performed within the cell.,,, If each biological neuron is like a five-layer artificial neural network, then perhaps an image classification network with 50 layers is equivalent to 10 real neurons in a biological network.,,,, Unfortunately, it’s currently impossible for neuroscientists to record the full input-output function of a real neuron, so there’s likely more going on that the model of a biological neuron isn’t capturing. In other words, real neurons might be even more complex. “We’re not sure that between five and eight is really the final number,” said London. https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-computationally-complex-is-a-single-neuron-20210902/ Brain Architecture: Scientists Discover 11 Dimensional Structures That Could Help Us Understand How the Brain Works - By Hannah Osborne – June 12, 2017 Excerpt: Scientists studying the brain have discovered that the organ operates on up to 11 different dimensions, creating multiverse-like structures that are “a world we had never imagined.” By using an advanced mathematical system, researchers were able to uncover architectural structures that appears when the brain has to process information, before they disintegrate into nothing.,,, Each neuron connects to every other neuron in a very specific way to produce a precise geometric object. The more neurons in a clique, the higher the dimensions. In some cases, researchers discovered cliques with up to 11 different dimensions. The structures assembled formed enclosures for high-dimensional holes that the team have dubbed cavities. Once the brain has processed the information, the clique and cavity disappears. "The appearance of high-dimensional cavities when the brain is processing information means that the neurons in the network react to stimuli in an extremely organized manner," said one of the researchers, Ran Levi. "It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates," he said.,,, "We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions." http://www.newsweek.com/brain-structure-hidden-architecture-multiverse-dimensions-how-brain-works-624300 "Complexity Brake" Defies Evolution - August 8, 2012 Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse -- the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse -- about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years..., even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/08/complexity_brak062961.html
Psalm 139:14 - KJV I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
It's kind of interesting that she insists that social science is dominated by a Rousseauian paradigm, yet presents absolutely no evidence for this assertion whatsoever. PyrrhoManiac1

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