From the International Space Station, Commander Chris Hadfield performs David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”:
The graph on the original site is a gif that shows how the gap has not changed from 1975 to the present.
If perceiving differences and acting against the different is the primary sin of man, then babies are all profound sinners.
In an article entitled ”Babies show inherent dislike for those who are different”, it was revealed that babies as young as nine months show preference for those who bring harm to people different from themselves – in this case, the difference concerned a taste for graham crackers over green beans, and vice versa.
Psychology professor and lead author Kiley Hamlin found infants who were as young as nine months old favoured those who brought harm to people who were different than themselves.
She said adults, similarly, tend to like people who harm individuals who are different.
“We wanted to see if we could tell whether infants had that same kind of judgement,” said Hamlin in an interview.
“It was shocking how robust the results were.”
Nothing surprises me about this. Tolerance is a virtue not because it is natural, but because it is an acquired habit of civilization. By contrast, those people who call themselevs “liberals” tend to believe that the natural state of man is acceptance, and only perverse educations make us racist, sexist, nationalist, tribalist, other-ist.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, looked at two groups of infants aged nine months and 14 months and the food they preferred — green beans or graham crackers.
The infants watched a puppet show, with two puppets demonstrating a like for green beans or graham crackers.
More puppets then joined the production, demonstrating nice, neutral or mean behaviour towards the original two puppets.
The study showed that the babies later preferred the puppets who harmed the puppet with the opposite food preferences.
One baby even gave a kiss to the harmful puppet.
The study said the desire to treat badly those with differences was more widespread in the age group of 14-month-old infants, suggesting an increase in bias with age.
Hamlin said almost all of the babies tested acted the same, which was an unexpected result.
“(Babies) like nice puppets really strongly. That’s in line with our intuition. Other studies have shown they like punishers if somebody was bad before, but that’s also in line with our intuitions.
“If someone’s bad they might deserve punishment. This one is not in line with our intuitions.”
Lady, it is not in line with your “intuitions” because you think people are naturally good, tolerant, accepting. They are not. They are naturally racist, tribalist, differentist, nationalist. They think people from the next valley are feckless swine, unless they have cousins over there, in which case they may know that some people in the next valley are okay, or not, on the basis of real knoweldge.
Man’s innate “differentism” is not something that is going to be fixed by talking about the problem differently, or by different social arrangements, though improvements are possible. Discriminations are at the core of existence. Every cell of my body is locked in a life and death struggle to determine what belongs in that cell and what does not. They all discriminate. I can only hope they discriminate in a way suitable to my survival. Likewise, every person discriminates, and has to for the organism to survive. One can only hope that discrimination takes place on bases suitable for the survival of civilization. That is the best we can do.
This is what astronomers expect to happen over the next 5 billion years as our galaxy and Andromeda collide. By that time the human species will have mutated unrecognizably, and we as a species will be long gone. Andromeda can be seen off the north-east shoulder of the Great Square in Pegasus in a region of the sky dense with fuzzy objects, the brightest of which is Andromeda. Check it out this summer and fall.
Researchers have examined the DNA of a man who lived 40,000 years ago in China.
The genetic profile reveals that this early modern human was related to the ancestors of many present-day Asians and Native Americans but had already diverged genetically from the ancestors of present-day Europeans. In addition, the Tianyuan individual did not carry a larger proportion of Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA than present-day people in the region. “More analyses of additional early modern humans across Eurasia will further refine our understanding of when and how modern humans spread across Europe and Asia”, says Svante Pääbo
The New York Times, ever ready to bash the heads of the Christians with Darwin’s mighty tomes, forgets Darwinism when it deals with a contemporary dispute as to why men and women behave differently. James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal writes that the NYT disparages Darwinist explanations of differences in male-female sexual behaviour when it suits them.
It turns out you can deny evolution and still get published on the New York Times op-ed page. Dan Slater did just that, in a piece yesterday called “Darwin Was Wrong About Dating.”
Slater–who has a new book out in which he claims that online dating, of all things, is revolutionizing the sexual marketplace–sets out to debunk a subspecialty known as evolutionary psychology, which seeks to explain differences between men and women in terms of Darwin’s theory of sexual selection.
In brief, the theory of sexual selection posits that members of each sex will employ different evolutionary “strategies” in order to ensure that their genes survive into future generations. Since the male makes the lesser investment in reproduction, men are driven to favor quantity over quality. They are especially attracted to youth and beauty because these are signs of fertility. But one man can reproduce with many women, so that there is no evolutionary need to be selective. The most efficient way to pass on his genetic legacy is to have intercourse with as many women as possible.
Of course the denial of any biological component to sexual, racial, ethnic, or tribal differences is the Big Lie of our time. If people are creatures of society rather than biology, and if society determines everything, then infinite progress, as the Left perceives it, can be made with the infinite malleability of Man. See the previous posting on Harald Eia’s Hjernevask, and subsequent related postings.
Evolutionary psychologists who study mating behavior often begin with a hypothesis about how modern humans mate: say, that men think about sex more than women do. Then they gather evidence — from studies, statistics and surveys — to support that assumption. Finally, and here’s where the leap occurs, they construct an evolutionary theory to explain why men think about sex more than women, where that gender difference came from, what adaptive purpose it served in antiquity, and why we’re stuck with the consequences today.
Lately, however, a new cohort of scientists have been challenging the very existence of the gender differences in sexual behavior that Darwinians have spent the past 40 years trying to explain and justify on evolutionary grounds.
and after citing the Marxist fraud Steve Jay Gould as support for socio-cultural explanations, Slater continues:
BUT if evolution didn’t determine human behavior, what did? The most common explanation is the effect of cultural norms. That, for instance, society tends to view promiscuous men as normal and promiscuous women as troubled outliers, or that our “social script” requires men to approach women while the pickier women do the selecting. Over the past decade, sociocultural explanations have gained steam.
Note the invocation of “society”, as if society were an autonomous external entity determining outcomes, rather than itself the outcome of a variety of pressures: resource constraints, human nature, external enemies and allies, means of production, culture and religion.
Anytime you hear the word “society” or “the System”, you are in the presence of the magical thinking of the political Left.
Cultural norms regarding sexual behaviour may vary from Saudi Arabia’s to Sweden’s, but they are all dealing with the same issues: the biological difference between maternal versus paternal investment in children and the biological fact of male uncertainty and insecurity about paternity. You can lock the women up, as they do in Islam, or you can lock the men up, as they do in Sweden, for giving vent to their lusts without female permission, but you do not escape the consequences of the biological differences by talking about the subject as if those different interests did not exist.
And that, I argue, is precisely what the socio-cultural explanations lack: the rigor of thinking biologically about what is in each sex’s interest. Darwinist explanations cannot explain why Islamic societies differ so profoundly from European ones about female sexual freedom, but they can explain what human sexes have at stake in reproductivity. Contrary to the Leftist impulse, human sexuality is not just a matter of how we talk about the subject.
I was up last night contemplating murder for people in my organization who are trying to thwart my travel plans. It took an hour of reading Neil Turok’s The Universe Within to calm me down. Buy the book.
Discussion of Turok’s Perimieter Institute and the state of science in Canada is here.
Also, bookmark Astronomy Picture of the Day, from NASA. It will put matters in perspective.
I am reminded of the saying of some German poet (Schiller?) who said that all he wanted for the contented life was a nice little cottage, a happy wife, a set of apple trees at the end of the garden, and all his enemies hanging from their branches. An honest man.
As social equality grows, as people are less held back by childhood poverty and bad environments, genes matter more, not less. Satoshi Kanazawa’s series on genetics and intelligence should be read in its entirety. Today’s sermon is found here.
So contrary to the popular misconception, genes largely (though, even for adults, never completely) determine intelligence. In fact, intelligence is one of the most heritable of all human traits and characteristics. For example, intelligence is just as heritable as height. Everybody knows that tall parents beget tall children, and nobody ever questions the strong influence of genes on height, yet they vehemently deny any influence of genes on intelligence. Nobody ever claims that playing basketball makes you taller just because basketball players are very tall. Yet they claim that education makes you more intelligent just because more educated people are more intelligent.
No one is arguing genetic reductionism: the notion that intelligence derives entirely from genetics. The point is that, as we have made society more fair, less haphazard, and better fed, genetic heritage matters proportionately more.
The same issues were dealt with in the fascinating television series Hjernevask, Brainwash, in which comedian Harald Eia interviewed Norwegian social ideologists (I do not say scientists) for their views on heritability versus environment, and contrasted them with what scientists were saying in the US and Britain.
In his documentary, Mr. Eia just went, in the company of a camera team, and asked some innocent questions to the leading researchers and scientists of the NIKK. Then he took the replies and brought them to leading scientists in other parts of the world, notably in the UK and the US, asking them to comment on the findings of their Norwegian peers. As was to be expected, the results of the Norwegian bogus science provoked amusement and incredulity among the international scientific community – especially because it was based on mere theory, never supported by any empitrical research. Mr. Eia filmed those reactions, went back to Oslo, and showed them to the NIKK researchers. It turned out that, when confronted with empiric science, the “Gender Researchers” were speechless, and completely unable to defend their theories against the reality check.
What is more, the bogus was exposed to ridicule in front of the entire TV audience, and people began to ask why it was necessary to fund with 56 million Euro of taxpayers’ money some ideology-driven “research” that had no scientific credentials at all.
Could we please get some Canadian comedian – Rick Mercer where are you? – to ask a few innocent questions of our own university ideologues?
In contrast to John Searle’s materialist interpretation of why consciousness is generated from the meat, I want you to look now at Peter Russel’s view that consciousness is primary. He goes into the implications of modern physics to justify his views.
Our problem is this: we have been living in the era of quantum physics since the 1920s, but we still have minds formed in the physics of Newton. We still believe that the universe is made of space, time and energy. So we try to examine consciousness as if it were made of space, time and energy. After all, is that not what real science does? How can it be possible that consciousness is not the result, rather than the cause, of evolution?
Take Shakespeare as an example. He knew for a fact that the earth revolved around the sun; his cosmology was Copernican, but his inherited mental furniture was still (Ptolemaic) Greek. He still wrote of rulers waxing strong under the influence of Mars, and the stars in their courses shaping events – even if he did not actually believe any such thing. It was just the language he had to communicate with.
So it is with us.
Immanuel Kant, who first proposed the idea of mind 250 years ago spoken about by Peter Russell in his video, has finally found his confirmation in contemporary physics.
Hence I find all the discussion by Dawkins, Dennett, Searle, and the legions of materialists attempting to explain consciousness as arising from the evolution of meat under the influence of natural and sexual selection as another example of trying to pick up the Gross National Product with a set of tongs. They are not even wrong Of course, my view may be not even wrong too.
John Searle’s lecture on Youtube presents a relentlessly materialist view of consciousness. I would like you to watch it. He asserts that consciousness is akin to digestion, cell division, oxygenation of the blood or any other biological process. I want you to watch it because it never once actually says anything other than consciousness -whatever it is or does – is a material phenomenon. He never says why this is so. It never explores his assertion,he assumes it. He entertains many thoughts, most entertainingly. He elucidates the epistemic from the ontological. But nothing he says adds up to anything more than the original assumption that consciousness is a material phenomenon.
It matters not whether we have or have not made conscious robots. It matters not whether God exists or not. It matters not that the ontological subjectivity of science is no bar to its epistemically objective nature. To explain, you can have an epistemically objective science of something ontologically subjective like economics, for instance. Your knowledge of economics can be certain (epistemically objective) even though economics is a man-made (ontologically subjective) phenomenon. My consciousness is real and no amount of shouting by physicists or computer scientists can make it not real: on this Searle and I agree.
His dissection of the irrelevance of the computational model of the brain by showing how a falling pen “computes” gravity is brilliant.
His view that consciousness precedes any particular sensory input is no more than common sense: if consciousness is real then sensory input modifies our conscious state but does not create it.
“If we think of consciousness as a natural biological phenomenon, it is part of our biological life history, then it is a difficult, but not a metaphysically impossible problem to solve, and indeed the steps by which you solve it are familiar from the history of the sciences.” [45:00]
In the end, it is no more than hand-waving. Find the physical correlates of consciousness, turn them on or off and see what happens. But “there is no philosophical problem of consciousness”. It is like electro-magnetism, he said. Once we had the Clerk-Maxwell equations, electro-magnetism was no longer spooky, it was all clear.
Once we assume away the problem, we have no problem. This was just the speech of a cheerleader, not that of a philosopher scientist. The error of “begging the question” -assuming precisely what needs to be proved, runs throughout.