Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#21  Postby Dolorosa » Sep 04, 2018 9:26 am

Hermit wrote:Yes, he did later on, and he also said it was a better expression. I stand corrected. Thanks for the links.

What remains, is that Darwin wrote exclusively in terms of natural - as opposed to social - evolution. Spencer, along with a multitude of later thinkers, made the mistake of likening the process to the latter, as does Jamest too. I think zulumoose's snippet in post #17 is apposite: "The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success" In my mind it cannot be transposed in such a way that it explains human social, let alone economic developments.


No problem, glad they were of use.

As for the definition of 'fitness' or how we perceive natural selection nowadays, I think we have moved on quite significantly from how the ideas were articulated by their respective authors. Darwin knew nothing of genetics or Dawkins' memetics, so discussing the subject from his perspective seems to be only relevant when it comes to the history of the evolution subject rather than the current evolutionary theory? Would you agree with this?
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#22  Postby Thommo » Sep 04, 2018 10:19 am

Keep It Real wrote:Image


Battle deaths per conflict per year?
Image
(from https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-a ... -each-year )

That's normalised by year and global population, which is far more logical than normalising per conflict.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#23  Postby Thommo » Sep 04, 2018 10:31 am

jamest wrote:Looks like some cunt like Darwin got it wrong, since as far as I can tell the survival of the fittest doesn't apply here, just the survival of the most popular/powerful idea/practise. Which, ironcally, over time, will be detrimental to the 'best physical model'.

Therefore, since Darwin's model isn't universal, as evident, I've decided to come on here and strip him of his crowns. The cunt was obviously a genius for his time of course, but there's only room for one God and that's just james. Just joking. Well, maybe not. I'll sleep on it.


Strange, not so long ago you said you embraced Darwinism.
jamest wrote:I'm a theist who abhors religion, embraces Darwinism, loves science, would impose Marxism upon you if you would accept it, but who would vote for Thatcher otherwise.


I do also see that you had a number of corrections pointed out to you in that thread regarding survival of the fittest and what it actually says.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#24  Postby Hermit » Sep 04, 2018 10:37 am

Dolorosa wrote:As for the definition of 'fitness' or how we perceive natural selection nowadays, I think we have moved on quite significantly from how the ideas were articulated by their respective authors. Darwin knew nothing of genetics or Dawkins' memetics, so discussing the subject from his perspective seems to be only relevant when it comes to the history of the evolution subject rather than the current evolutionary theory? Would you agree with this?

Granted, Darwin's initial publication predated Mendel's by decades and the double helix by a century, but those scientific advances have only served as retrospective underpinnings. At most they have transformed Darwin's work from hypothesis to theory. We have not so much moved on as buttressed it.

As for memetics, I regard it as an unnecessary, unhelpful metaphor and pseudoscientific.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#25  Postby Dolorosa » Sep 04, 2018 11:19 am

Hermit wrote:As for memetics, I regard it as an unnecessary, unhelpful metaphor and pseudoscientific.

Interesting. Even in terms of sociobiology and cultural anthropology?
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#26  Postby Hermit » Sep 04, 2018 12:02 pm

Dolorosa wrote:
Hermit wrote:As for memetics, I regard it as an unnecessary, unhelpful metaphor and pseudoscientific.

Interesting. Even in terms of sociobiology and cultural anthropology?

Sociobiology? Biological factors do influence our behaviour, but sociobiologist, like evolutionary behaviourists, are stretching the influence of biological forces on social behaviour of humans way beyond the breaking point. Neither can account for the many varieties of social systems, nor the fact that they have on average become less violent over the past several millennia.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#27  Postby Dolorosa » Sep 04, 2018 12:20 pm

Just one more quick question, so I understand you correctly... When you say neither in your last sentence do you mean those two fields or something else?
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#28  Postby Hermit » Sep 04, 2018 12:29 pm

Those two fields, though I am not sure if they are separate fields. To be honest, I have not looked at any of this stuff for about four decades. All I remember is that I concluded that they are a load of bollocks built on top of a sliver of truth.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#29  Postby Dolorosa » Sep 04, 2018 12:55 pm

Gotcha. I suppose it depends on how one defines sociobiology. In its larger context, it would if not incorporate cultural anthropology then at least heavily borrow from it.

May I ask if you've read Steven Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature? Without going into the obvious criticisms, he did cover a multitude of theories attempting to explain precisely what you say remains unaccountable - social systems becoming less violent. So, from what I understand, theories are there; it's a matter of testing and agreeing on them. The larger argument would be the extent to which social/soft sciences are scientific but the same could easily be volleyed, for example, against some of the more esoteric hard sciences such as theoretical cosmology.

Personally, I do see a lot of value in meme distribution/evolution related theories - it's just another puzzle in a bigger picture - but I do appreciate that certain redactionist theories tend to go against the grain and take a lot longer to get any traction among more established disciplines.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#30  Postby Hermit » Sep 04, 2018 1:10 pm

Dolorosa wrote:Gotcha. I suppose it depends on how one defines sociobiology. In its larger context, it would if not incorporate cultural anthropology then at least heavily borrow from it.

May I ask if you've read Steven Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature? Without going into the obvious criticisms, he did cover a multitude of theories attempting to explain precisely what you say remains unaccountable - social systems becoming less violent. So, from what I understand, theories are there; it's a matter of testing and agreeing on them. The larger argument would be the extent to which social/soft sciences are scientific but the same could easily be volleyed, for example, against some of the more esoteric hard sciences such as theoretical cosmology.

Personally, I do see a lot of value in meme distribution/evolution related theories - it's just another puzzle in a bigger picture - but I do appreciate that certain redactionist theories tend to go against the grain and take a lot longer to get any traction among more established disciplines.

To start with, the more established disciplines hinge on "human nature". Sociobiology, evolutionary behaviourism and others are part and parcel of them.

And no, I have not read anything by Pinker.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#31  Postby SafeAsMilk » Sep 04, 2018 1:18 pm

Thommo wrote:
Strange, not so long ago you said you embraced Darwinism.

Yeah but he stumbled across a day one, bog standard creationist canard, so all that goes out the window.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#32  Postby laklak » Sep 04, 2018 1:32 pm

How do we quantify and measure improvement? Before we do that we'll have to nail down "human nature", so we know what we're trying to improve, of course.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#33  Postby Fallible » Sep 04, 2018 1:55 pm

Yes, what exactly is 'human nature'?
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#34  Postby surreptitious57 » Sep 05, 2018 1:21 pm


I am not sure there is such a thing as an exact definition of human nature
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#35  Postby zulumoose » Sep 05, 2018 1:24 pm

Even if the definition were exact, it would be describing something rather vague, like innate characteristics of behaviour, which gives leeway to draw the line wherever you want to.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#36  Postby surreptitious57 » Sep 05, 2018 1:47 pm

Human nature exists on a spectrum and varies significantly from individual to individual
It is not something that is fixed at any point but instead is in a constant state of motion
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#37  Postby GrahamH » Sep 05, 2018 2:34 pm

jamest wrote:
Looks like some cunt like Darwin got it wrong, since as far as I can tell the survival of the fittest doesn't apply here, just the survival of the most popular/powerful idea/practise. Which, ironcally, over time, will be detrimental to the 'best physical model'.


Try thinking itn terms of survival of the best fit rather than the strongest. In a social species individuals might not need physical strength to do well if they can influence others in their favour.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#38  Postby theropod » Sep 05, 2018 3:58 pm

GrahamH wrote:
jamest wrote:
Looks like some cunt like Darwin got it wrong, since as far as I can tell the survival of the fittest doesn't apply here, just the survival of the most popular/powerful idea/practise. Which, ironcally, over time, will be detrimental to the 'best physical model'.


Try thinking itn terms of survival of the best fit rather than the strongest. In a social species individuals might not need physical strength to do well if they can influence others in their favour.


You sure are asking a great deal there.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#39  Postby jamest » Sep 08, 2018 2:13 am

Don't think that I've forgotten this thread, nor what you contradictory bozos have said here. I'll be back, at my whim.
Il messaggero non e importante.
Ora non e importante.
Il resultato futuro e importante.
Quindi, persisto.
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Re: Will Human Nature Ever Improve?

#40  Postby SafeAsMilk » Sep 08, 2018 2:32 am

Image
"They call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin
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