Culture Science

“Can’t we all just get along?” Look, need we read more than the abstract?

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… of this paper by Ara Norenzayan, a psychologist at University of British Columbia, Canada “Explaining Human Behavioral Diversity,” in Science (27 May 2011)

People have been captivated and puzzled by human diversity since ancient times. In today’s globalized world, many of the key challenges facing humanity, such as reversing climate change, coordinating economic policies, and averting war, entail unprecedented cooperation between cultural groups on a global scale. Success depends on bridging cultural divides over social norms, habits of thinking, deeply held beliefs, and values deemed sacred. If we ignore, underestimate, or misunderstand behavioral differences, we do so at everyone’s peril.

What is this paper doing in a science journal? How does one “co-operate” with people who honestly do not believe in human dignity, and there are many of those? And always have been.

Must all scientists be smushheads?

File under: Not all psychology is stupid, but beware anything that smacks of moral non-realism.

4 Replies to ““Can’t we all just get along?” Look, need we read more than the abstract?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    One has to wonder, with so much diversity, whether natural selection has any hope whatsoever of picking out the “best” genes to pass on.

    If natural selection isn’t operating on human populations, what sort of a theory is it?

    Certainly not the sort of theory it’s made out to be.

  2. 2
    ellazimm says:

    “Must all scientists be mushheads?”


  3. 3
    Mung says:

    “Must all scientists be mushheads?”


    Do they have a choice in the matter?


    So let’s not be judgmental, unless we can’t help but be judgmental. Gah!

    I’m still working my way through that one.

    What would it take for us all to get along?

    Would it not requite that we all share a certain fundamental metaphysic?

    I have to admit that I don’t know why all the Monotheistic/Abrahamic religions can’t all just get along.

  4. 4
    ellazimm says:


    Sorry for being a bit grumpy this morning.

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