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Darwinists hold forth on COVID-19. Aw, ya knew…

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Here’s one to enjoy if you are running back and forth between bands of kids banging on your door, pretending to be pirates or something, demanding treats—assuming that’s still allowed where you live.

About a dozen Darwinists claim to offer insights from evolution about COVID-19 (brace for clangers):

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1), and nothing about the human response to COVID-19 will either. The evolutionary arms race between humans and viruses has existed for millennia. Our bodies, packed with nutrients and the machinery of cellular reproduction, are irresistible targets for exploitation by smaller and faster-evolving organisms (2). Whereas viruses benefit from rapid replication rate and mutation potential, allowing them to quickly adapt to exploit their hosts, humans are not left defenseless. Natural selection has endowed us with a complex physiological immune system (3) that targets viruses at a cellular level and a behavioral immune system (4) that modulates human behavior to reduce the risk of contagion. Moreover, our ability to communicate and develop vast repositories of information, paired with intelligence and innate curiosity, allowed us to engineer extraordinary tools such as modern medicine. And, we have developed cultural systems of coordination that can allow us to erect walls for limiting the spread of disease. – The pandemic exposes human nature: 10 evolutionary insights

Benjamin M. Seitz, Athena Aktipis, David M. Buss, Joe Alcock, Paul Bloom, Michele Gelfand, Sam Harris, Debra Lieberman, Barbara N. Horowitz, Steven Pinker, David Sloan Wilson, Martie G. Haselton Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Oct 2020, 202009787; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2009787117

Just think: A lot of people paid good money for that.

Some thoughts from Evolution News and Science Today:

Sampling the Insights Space does not allow analysis of all the alleged insights, but a sample or two will suffice to illustrate the flawed logic. To make any assertion of what human beings “should” do, they must reach outside their own toolkit for resources only non-materialists can provide. Here are the ten insights in their list:

The Virus Might Alter Host Sociability “Generation Quarantine” May Lack Critical Microbial Exposures Activating Disgust Can Help Combat Disease Spread

The Mating Landscape Is Changing, and There Will Be Economic Consequences from a Decrease in Birth Rates

Gender Norms Are Backsliding, and Gender Inequality Is Increasing

An Increase in Empathy and Compassion Is Not Guaranteed

We Have Not Evolved to Seek the Truth.

Combating the Pandemic Requires Its Own Evolutionary Process

Cultural Evolutionary Forces Impact COVID-19 Severity

Human Progress Continues

Wait! So, in Insight #7 they admit they have not evolved to seek the truth! That blows their credibility totally. Where did they get that value? Answer: they plagiarized it from worldviews that value truth as a moral good. Caught in the act!

The Darwin fence looks nice and white now, standing straight and gleaming in the sun. But the paint was stolen.

Evolution News, “Whitewashing Evolution with Borrowed Paint” at Evolution News and Science Today

PNAS’s Darwin rubbish is neither knowledge nor wisdom. It’s just Politically Correct Darwin rubbish. All it demonstrates is that science is in a rut.

I agree, Orthomyxo. The list of authors contains some of the usual suspects. Bob O'H
For the sake of clarity, I meant to say evolutionary medicine and psychology are not well loved by evolutionary biologists. Even if PNAS seems to give them a free run every now and again orthomyxo
Extradonary to find someone posted here about covid that I agree with... I think it's fair to say evolutionary psychology/medicine are widely loved by evolutionary biologists. orthomyxo
At least they seem to acknowledge that immunity exists. Most public "scientists" have permanently memoryholed the entire concept. polistra
>Activating Disgust Can Help Combat Disease Spread >"...and how we can use disgust to better activate native “behavioral immunity” to combat disease spread." Now hold on here a darned, cotton-pickin' minute! Every time an old-fashioned cultural conservative mentions how disgust might stop the spread of disease in a particular area of life (which I shall not explicitly name), the other side comes down on them like a ton of bricks. In that "other area", we are supposed to fight disgust, not let it control us. Having disgust in that area is, we are told, a mental disease that we must conquer if we are to be proper members of the twenty-first century, and have decent postmodern sensibilities that all enlightened people now have. No, disgust must be overcome! Now these people are telling us that disgust can be harnessed to prevent the spread of _other_ diseases. I guess I will have to tune my disgust reflex more selectively: Disgust when faced with certain potential diseases but no disgust when faced with other potential diseases. (Even though you can't see either of them with the unaided eye.) EDTA

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