Morality and Evolution 1: The Milvian Bridge

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] A while back I gave a talk to a group of theologians on the question of Darwinian accidents. It had no ethics content. The first question I was asked was “If you are an atheist, how can you have moral rules?” Like many others who talk about Darwin and evolution, I Read More…

On knowing the rules

The reader may have become aware of some examples of sexual harassment on the interwubs lately. I do not propose to get involved or to make detailed comment as I do not know much about the cases apart from what has been mentioned online. I take it as read these are echt cases of sexual Read More…

Are emotions 2D?

I recently became aware that there is a new development in emotion classification. Previously, as far as I knew, emotions were thought to be human universals, give or take some variation (such as the emotion “metagu” among the Ifaluk islanders, see Linquist 2007) and researchers like Paul Ekman, who works as a human ethologist of the Read More…

Evopsychopathy 5: Conclusion

The criticisms of evolutionary psychology and its predecessors sociobiologies 1 through 3 focus on three major points: 1. It is adaptively-biased; 2. It is gene-centric (or biological determinist, which amounts to the same thing); 3. It is culturally biased in favour of the privileged classes of the people making the claims. I hope I have Read More…

Evopsychopathy 1. Conditions for sociobiology

Well I better put up or shut up, I guess. Here are my ruminations, excretions, and expressions regarding evolutionary psychology, or, as we might call it, evopsychopathy. I am, as I have said, a born again sociobiologist, so I guess that makes me an evopychopath. Let’s get a few things out of the way first. Read More…

Why is Darwin’s theory so controversial?

So asks this essay and gets the whole thing wrong. Darwin’s theories (plural) are not controversial because they imply that species are mutable. This was a widely held view by preachers, moralists, Aristotelians, naturalists, breeders, formalists, folk biology, and even biblical translators. Darwin was not controversial because he implied racist ideas about humans. He never Read More…

Evolution quotes: Social Darwinism by Haldane

The actual application of Darwinism to contemporary capitalist society is quite clear. The poor leave more offspring behind them in each generation than the rich. So they are fitter from a Darwinian point of view. And if, on the average, they differ genetically from the rich, their innate characteristics are spreading rapidly through the population. Read More…

Jack Smart has died

The Twitterverse is reporting that Jack (J. J. C.) Smart has died at the age of 92. Smart was a very influential philosopher who, although born in the UK, was regarded as an Australian materialist. Smart held that mind and brain are identical, along with another UK philosopher turned Australian, Ullin Place. However he holds Read More…

Free Will

I’d laugh if I didn’t think this was believed

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