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Unread April 12th, 2006, 11:55 AM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 271
Default Re: Pinker's Blank Slate

Hi Tom, You said,
My 'hearing what I want to hear' says that "complexity of neural development" is more about neural development itself being complex, without saying whether there are any genetic or cultural effects, much less their respective influences. In other words, I think you might be reading a bit more into the statement than the words convey to me.
You may be right. Perhaps I'm trying to find moderation in his position where it does not exist. If you are right, does that mean that he and JimB agree? That white males of European descent are the rightful rulers of civilization and therefore for the good of all, they should (continue to) get to decide how the earth's resources should be distributed?

So far, I have been resisting the notion that EP (or any scientific discipline) would have a purpose of justifying political ends. But maybe I am missing something important here.

When the disciples of EP finally overcome the weak sentimentality of other evolutionary scientists, who will finally accept the bitter truth about human nature, will we then get to live in a world that will be more properly ordered by group genetic differences? Will poor brown skinned children and all girls no longer have to grow up with the heartbreak of unreasonable expectations?

I'm not trying to be snarky. I may be wrong about what EP actually is. I'd really like to know where the line lies between science and politics in this field. What do you think the purpose of EP is? Where does the statistical analysis of IQ scores end and the genetic re-organization of society begin?


Fred, Notice how Tom used a self-depracating statement to make his point? Instead of suggesting that I was being childish or something, he prefaced his point with a suggestion that he might be seeing something that was not there - but this is what he saw. That actually makes his point stronger, not weaker - both to me and to others who may be reading his post.

I like to use a method of argument that is both effective and polite. You provisionally accept your opponent's point and then ask him or her to justify whatever outcome it may reasonably lead to. That may not provide the emotional satisfaction of a sarcastic insult but it allows a rational discussion to proceed.

You seem to think Tom and I are allies against you. I think we both appreciate the others' attempt to argue politely - but we strongly disagree on fundamental ideas here. I really enjoy having a polite but purposeful discussion with people I disagree with. I find Amen choruses boring. That's why I'm here - and hoping to stay.

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; April 12th, 2006 at 12:14 PM.
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