Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Something Completely Different

Lately I've read several forbidden books by the evolutionary psychologist Edward Dutton, including Spiteful Mutants: Evolution, Sexuality, Religion, and Politics in the 21st Century and The Naked Classroom: The Evolutionary Psychology of Your Time at School

In the past I've enjoyed a number of others, including Making Sense of Race and Witches, Feminism, and the Fall of the West, both highly insultaining. He's a very clear writer, maybe too clear, since it seems that evolutionary psychology can -- in hindsight, of course -- arrive clear and concise explanations for every human trait or tendency. 

Nevertheless, there's obviously something to it despite the tendency to reductionism. It is simply not plausible that natural selection should apply only from the neck down. Throw in the fact that some 84% of the human genome is devoted to the brain, and you've got something. 

In other words, the brain is "a massive target for mutation," and here we are, surrounded by spiteful mutants who wouldn't have survived the harsher conditions of the past.  

I don't know enough about the field to know whether he is considered more than an academic troll, but the entire discipline has been declared a dangerous trollnest by the left, because it undermines the very basis for their destructive worldview, i.e., that different outcomes are wholly a consequence of the environment (e.g., institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, et al) and not innate.  

To cite only the most obvious example, if it is true that intelligence is .8 heritable, it is over for the left. Actually, in a way, new new regime of DEI is an implicit acknowledgement of the need for Big Brother to step in and do something about IQ differences and the socioeconomic stratification caused thereby in a free society. Call it the Kamala Principle.

One big difference between Dutton and Richard Dawkins is that the latter regards religion as literally evil, while Dutton sees it as highly adaptive and fitness inducing, especially on the group level. That is to say, it promotes the solidarity -- positive ethnocentrism -- and other benefits that help the group prevail over other groups in the struggle for survival. And it apparently turns out that religiosity itself is highly heritable. 

In the eyes of the left this idea of inter-group survival would essentially make him a Nazi, but facts are facts. 

Interestingly, Dutton has a doctoral degree in religious studies, but nowhere in what I've read does he defend religion on its own terms. It may or may not be heritable, but for me it's a question of truth.

This ridiculous crank website calls Dutton a ridiculous crank -- an eccentric grifter, fraudulent white supremacist, and "disgraced academic and pseudo-intellectual" guilty of any number of thoughtcrimes, including eugenics, climate change denial, anti-feminism, transphobia, Islamophobia, and even anti-veganism (!). In other words, my kind of guy. 

I've seen no evidence of anti-Semitism -- rather, the opposite, since he knows as well as anyone that Ashkenazi IQ is a standard deviation above the goyim. Likewise certain Asian populations. And to say that men and women have genetic differences... how could one not notice this?

Maybe I just enjoy the trolling. 

We know that human beings have been getting stupider and even crazier over the past 150 years. His theory is that this is a result of the relaxed standards of genetic selection due to the scientific advances of the industrial revolution. That is, prior to 1800 infant mortality was something like 50%, whereas now it is less than 1%. Does something not have to give, or is this of no genetic consequence? 

I don't pretend to know. I just love the sound of progressive heads exploding. His books come across as perfectly rational, albeit too rational, almost a tad autistic. He's rigorously systematic, but the system is implausibly closed to the point of being airtight. Nothing can be this simple, let alone everything.

Of course, the left regards evolutionary psychology itself as a dangerous pseudo-science. According to the Wiki article.

Critics of evolutionary psychology accuse it of promoting genetic determinism, pan-adaptationism (the idea that all behaviors and anatomical features are adaptations), unfalsifiable hypotheses, distal or ultimate explanations of behavior when proximate explanations are superior, and malevolent political or moral ideas.

Moreover, it 

might be used to justify existing social hierarchies and reactionary policies. It has also been suggested by critics that evolutionary psychologists' theories and interpretations of empirical data rely heavily on ideological assumptions about race and gender.

Nevertheless, if natural selection is the case, then there are certain unavoidable consequences. I myself dabbled in evolutionary psychology in the bOOk, only using it to explain how the software of human consciousness evolved out of a monkey mainframe. I didn't get into intra-human differences, only the infinite differences between man and ape. We're all brothers under the pelt.

I suppose I assumed that once we were fully ensouled in the human state, then natural selection no longer applied. Then again, I did get into mind parasites, which also emerge due to a kind of analogous selection process. It didn't occur to me that these parasites were literally genetic. 

But if it is true that neuroticism is significantly heritable, then what are we to make of this? 

I suppose I prefer in general to deal with arguments on their own terms. It's enough to prove that leftists are just wrong, as opposed to saying they have been genetically selected to be wrong. They're still spiteful mutants riddled with mind parasites. But there's a non-genetic cure, otherwise I myself would still be a spiteful leftist mutant. In other words, when I mutated from left to right, my genetic inheritance didn't change. 

I'll give it some more thought and get back to you in the next post. Or just move on to the next subject.


julie said...

We know that human beings have been getting stupider and even crazier over the past 150 years.

I've thought for a while now that certain forms of risk-taking behavior are made far worse today by virtue of the fact that so many people rely on modern medicine to put them back together if they seriously injure themselves. Until a minute ago in human history, getting a paper cut could mean the death of an emperor, much less broken bones and other wounds acquired by people with too much time on their hands attempting to Win Stupid Prizes. A lot of people who would previously have been too stupid to survive childhood are thriving. That's not the only reason, of course, but I doubt anyone can argue the effect is negligible.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's interesting that average IQ is 100 and that retardation is defined as two standard deviations below, at 70. Therefore, if your IQ is two standard deviations above, then the average person seems retarded.

Gagdad Bob said...

But I suppose we can't say "the average person strikes me as a retard, therefore I'm a genius."

julie said...

Yes, it's a heavy burden to bear, but somehow we carry on ;)

(Kidding, I have no idea what my IQ is. "Adequate" seems to work.)

Gagdad Bob said...

My father had an 8th grade education, back when it meant something. He had more intelligence and wisdom than 90% of PhDs. In fact, the other day Prager said he picked up more wisdom by 15 in yeshiva school than the vast majority of academics ever do. Indeed, academia is a vast exercise in anti-wisdom.

Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, the average IQ of PhD students has plummeted. Now one can be obtained with an average IQ when it used to require superior. At any rate, we are surrounded by credentialed idiots such as Dokter Jill.

Gagdad Bob said...

Leftists evolutionary psychology: "Expecting people to be on time is part
of ‘white supremacy culture,’ Duke
Medical School claims"

Van Harvey said...

"We know that human beings have been getting stupider and even crazier over the past 150 years"

And able to because we're smarter today. It's interesting how the advancements in what we understand and can do, enable us to make truly stupider claims, as someone who's absolutely not my mother in law, recently claimed that patriarchal driven fashion sense, used to cause 19th century woman to have a rib surgically removed, so as to make them more appealing to men than a corset alone.

The fact that they didn't have the antiseptic conditions, surgical skill, and plastic surgery we have today that would make that conceivable, didn't dim her certainty that that was a Thang.


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