Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Does the left have myths science can't challenge?

Apparently so.


John Moore said...

According to the article, it seems liberals believe the Yanomamo have the same capacity for good as all other people in the world, whereas conservatives apparently don't. Or did I misinterpret the article?

Nobody thinks the Yanomamo are angels. Nobody thinks anyone else is an angel either. We're all just human. So it's a question of whether the Yanomamo (or anyone else) can build a peaceful and prosperous society.

Liberals think they can. Do conservatives really think they cannot? And if so, how is that not racism?

investigativeapologetics said...

Or did I misinterpret the article?


From the article:

"In her book, Dreger summarises the thought crime that turned him [Chagnon] into such a plump target [that he got fired and academically destroyed after a leftist show trial]: ‘Chagnon saw and represented in the Yanomamö a somewhat shocking image of evolved “human nature” — one featuring males fighting violently over fertile females, domestic brutality, ritualised drug use and ecological indifference. Not your standard liberal image of the unjustly oppressed, naturally peaceful, environmentally gentle rainforest Indian family.’

The point: liberals believe in the myth of the noble, peaceful savage. The evidence shows otherwise. The liberals damn the evidence and crucify the scientist presenting the evidence. Ergo, liberals have myths that science cannot challenge.

For more, I suggest Jonathan Haidt, who amply shows the liberals myths that science is not allowed to challenge lest the liberal gets a case of the vapors (ie - IQ differences amongst racial groups, real aptitude differences between genders, etc.)


planks length said...

Suppression of science is an equal opportunity sin.

The right can't stand the idea that climate change might actually be occurring, and belittles all research that says it is.

The left can't stand the idea that children do best when they have both a mother and a father while growing up, and attacks all research that confirms this.

John Moore said...

My impression from the article was that conservatives think the Yanomamo are not capable of developing a peaceful and prosperous society. Commenter "investigativeapologetics" missed the point. Can anyone actually answer the question I'm asking?

investigativeapologetics said...


I re-read the article just be sure I did not miss anything, and it seems to me that you either only read the first line of the article, or your reading comprehension is highly suspect. Why do I say this? Because barring the first line or two, it is bloody obvious that the main thrust of the whole article is about the fact that a scientist presented evidence which showed that indigenous people, at present and in their natural habitat (not what they might be), were far from the noble savages that liberals like to believe that they are, and so a group of liberals attacked the scientist who presented this evidence and essentially destroyed him academically for sh*tting on their 'noble savage' myth with clear scientific evidence.

So again, the point is clear: scientific evidence that liberals don't like is presented, and so the liberals falsely destroy the scientist rather than accept the scientific evidence. Ergo, the left has myths that science is not allowed to challenge.

But regardless, I am sure that you are likely the only person who does not see this in the article.

John Moore said...

You keep telling me what the main thrust of the article is, but that's not what I'm asking. Could you just read my question and answer it? -> Do conservatives believe the Yanomamo are capable of building a peaceful and prosperous society?

You could answer based on the indications in the article, or based on other readings, or you could answer just based on your own opinions. I don't mind. I just want to hear what actual conservatives think.

John Moore said...

See, the liberal "core belief" that the article focuses on is that all human beings have the same "capacity for good." Note that it's just the "capacity" rather than the actual good.

The article mentions that scientists who challenge this belief are subject to "irrational hostility." By the way, I don't dispute that there is a lot of irrational hostility in academia.

But my question is this: Which belief are those scientists challenging? Is it the belief that the Yanomamo are good, or is it the belief in the Yanomamo's capacity for good?

I think the article got these two things mixed up, but it's important to distinguish them, because the one question (about actual goodness) is simple and obvious, while the other question (about capacity for goodness) is the test of racism.

investigativeapologetics said...

Ahhh...fair enough. It appears that it was my misunderstanding in this case, although I must say that I really missed that that was your point until you clearly articulated it in your third post.

Now, to your question:

"Do conservatives believe the Yanomamo are capable of building a peaceful and prosperous society?"

Depends. At present, not sure, but there seem to be serious obstacles in their way, and thus I would lean towards the negative. In the near term, it could be rather difficult. In the future, yes, but there are numerous factors that would weight heavily on how soon this could happen and whether or not these factors might cause rapid backsliding from the prosperous society.

The fact is that science clearly shows that different people groups are not equal in their aptitudes, nor are their ingrained cultural norms all equally conducive to creating an advanced and prosperous civilization, and so this means that while all cultural and people groups could build such societies, it might be more difficult for some cultural groups to do so than for others. This is just reality, and it is a reality that is largely borne out in the evidence that we see in the world today.

investigativeapologetics said...

Last post, then signing off:


This is the part you are quoting:

"How much longer can the liberal left survive in the face of growing scientific evidence that many of its core beliefs are false? I’m thinking in particular of the conviction that all human beings are born with the same capacities, particularly the capacity for good, and that all mankind’s sins can be laid at the door of the capitalist societies of the West. For the sake of brevity, let’s call this the myth of the noble savage."

Just by this, it is clear that the author is correct. First, human beings are not born with the same capacities, and this is obvious. Second, even the capacity for good is not equal in humans if the good is taken to be some kind of "harm principle", for the fact is that certain people are (genetically) more aggressive, less controlled, less capable of rational action, and certain cultures support more aggression and emotionality too, thus making them less "good" than others if the good means a more peaceful and controlled society (although if the good is meant in a transcendental sense, then I think this is wrong). Third, the Yanomamo are a clear example of a people uncorrupted by the "sins" of the West (as liberals like to claim) and yet they are by no means noble savages, as the scientific research shows, so this supports the author's third point.

Thus, even in terms of what you are looking at, the author's claims are quite defensible.

John Moore said...

OK, thanks a lot. You've really answered my question now, and I think you made some good points. You explained carefully and in some detail, which is great. So now the problem is that some liberals could accuse you of racism based on these answers you just gave. I personally think that would be unfair, but on the other hand, there is a real issue here that I wish conservatives were more aware of.

It goes like this: If you think the Yanomamo are genetically so different from Europeans that the Yanomamo are incapable of building a peaceful and prosperous society at all, then that's really racism. It's like believing there are separate human sub-species. It means the Yanomamo are like Neanderthals. That's racism.

If you don't want to be accused of racism, you have to keep mentioning that the Yanomamo are genetically pretty much like the rest of us. You have to say that the Yanomamo's condition is due to environmental factors that prevented them from developing sophisticated institutions, etc. You can't suggest that the Yanomamo are genetically incapable of achieving a high degree of civilization at all, even if they somehow overcame their environmental challenges.

I think this is the "myth" of the left that Dr. Reppert is referring to in the title of this post. It's the idea that race doesn't matter when it comes to building a peaceful and prosperous society. Environment matters but not race.

To answer Dr. Reppert's question, I think science definitely can challenge this myth, in the sense that science can investigate genetic differences in populations and eventually discover key sets of genes that enable higher intelligence and large-scale cooperation etc. Some day science might discover that an actual human sub-species had arisen somewhere, in some isolated place. Science could even detect that the Yanomamo were such a sub-species.

And now here's the point that we probably all agree on, which is the main point of the article - many liberals in academe won't let science do its work. Science is capable of determining whether the Yanomamo are a different species of human, but many liberals refuse even to consider the question. That's bad.

Victor Reppert said...

The question is whether our commitment to antiracism makes it somehow morally unacceptable for science to search for, and perhaps discover, evidence for the inferiority of some race, or even of a gender.

Another type of case would be the case of whether children in same-sex couple families are disadvantaged in ways that children of opposite-sex couples are not. Here you have people in the community who have investments on both sides.

Joe Hinman said...

all of those aggressive qualities of Ynomqmo culture could be the result of environment. OK so they aren't influenced by guys wearing leather jackets and hanging out in pool halls but it might still be that those behaviors are part of a ritualized life that is necessary to survival in the jungle.

The truly disturbing racist thing is not to think that this tribe is more aggressive and brutal but to kid ourselves into thinking we are not.

look how quickly the Presidential elections have been made to resemble professional wrestling.

Joe Hinman said...

Dr. R here is something else to think about, there's an atheist citation circle made up of Kanazawa, Nyborg, Lynn, Dutton, Kukerman (Miron) and Nigel Barber. These guys are open racist. Not just implying it, at least Nyborg and Kanazawa are openly so. Barber argues that Zuckerman's IQ study proves atheists are smarter than Christians so atheists are an evolutionary advancement and Christians are stupid and obsolete. These are supposedly the findings of science. Should they be allowed to preacher racism if they tie to Christianity? Both religious people and other than white races, according to them, are inferior.

Kanazawa, Nyborg, Lynn, their racism