Adaptationism: Nazi Science

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Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby Asparagus on December 21st, 2017, 7:20 pm 

The title is provocative. It's true. Where adaptationism isn't Nazi science, it's just wrong. Agree?

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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 21st, 2017, 10:26 pm 

I didn't make it all the way through because it seemed like the argument was that we shouldn't be racist because biology. Which oddly enough is what the biological determinists base their arguments on.

Here are some things I noticed in the first half.

He didn't mention sexual selection or other types of selection but focuses only on natural selection.

Introduced misleading terms such as superior and inferior which scientists don't use preferring fitness.

Ignores all the observered evolution in small population and focuses on theoretical population dynamics.

Asserts that small variations have no effect on selection based only on theoretical models.

Brings up the bell curve and paints it as racist without any supporting evidence.

Mentions the southern poverty law center as if it was an authority on biology.

I will leave the biology aside for now and focus on the IQ issue. Any study of intelligence is going to be controversial. The bell curve was simply a accumulation of the data that was available. There are ethnic differences in IQ, that is just a fact. There is also a direct correlation between IQ and success. Efforts to close IQ gaps have been resistant to environmental changes. To what degree biology plays a role nobody knows. The conclusions made by the authors of the bell curve were not racist because the primary focus was on IQ differences outside of race and the related social issues. The scientific consensus seems to be that ethnic differences in IQ are to be a expected but it isn't a topic worth pursuing.

I also want to comment on cultural Marxism. Denying that Marx is influential seems silly. The problem isn't with studying Marx but how in combination with post modernism Marxism has become very difficult to critique. We could debate to what degree the post modernists were Marxist but I would just leave it at Marx was an influence. It has become popular for academics to disparage anyone who suggests post modernism or cultural Marxism have influenced intellectual life at our universities. Granted some of the connections seem tenuous. It requires that you look at the beliefs of the leaders of movements such as intersectionality not at the tenets of the movements themselves. In this case I think you can judge the book by it's cover. Radial movements on campuses can be characterized as identitarian, collectivist, and authoritarian. To some extent they are also anti intellectual as well.
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 21st, 2017, 11:13 pm 

The thing about Nazism is that it is national socialism while communism is international socialism. They both aim to control every aspect of people's lives the Nazis just have a different definition of people. In practice both forms of socialism are dehumanizing.

If we take a look at some key issues so the point can be illustrated. Racism is anti capitalist because it artificially imposes limits on how a workers talents can be profited by.

Income inequality is anti capitalist when it becomes extreme because it artificially restricts markets. The relationship between poverty and income inequality is also not clear. Hunter gathers have some of the most extreme poverty but are highly egalitarian. Artificial restrictions on profits restrict productivity.

Equality of opportunity will automatically result in inequality of outcome. Communist experiments have not eliminated poverty but have made everyone but a few elites poorer.
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby TheVat on December 22nd, 2017, 11:24 am 

No time to click on a video, but I'm guessing we're back to the spandrels of San Marco again. So NoShips IS back. Teehee.
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby Asparagus on December 22nd, 2017, 11:52 am 

@wolfhnd
Myers is just providing the low down on contemporary perspectives. As Myers explains, neo-Nazis are presently embracing adaptationist views. That just provides a little more impetus for sci-fans to get the story straight.

Chris Stringer tells a funny story about a case of adaptationism. Some guy created a hat to simulate the brow ridges of other hominims. He wore the hat in public trying to discover what survival advantage the ridges may provide.

Watch the rest if Myers' video to learn why that's bad science.
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby TheVat on December 22nd, 2017, 2:07 pm 

Here's a nice summary of The Spandrels of San Marco, which is Gould and Lewontin's famous critique of the old school of adaptationism and its tendency to degenerate into biological determinism (and thus be misused by ideologues and assorted nuts)....

https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/spandrels-san-marco-and-panglossian-paradigm-critique-adaptationist-programme-1979-stephen-j

Brow ridges, blondes, syntax....lots of painted spandrels out there.
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby Asparagus on December 22nd, 2017, 2:48 pm 

@Biv

Cool. I like this Noships guy!
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby wolfhnd on December 22nd, 2017, 3:57 pm 

I'm more worried about the social constructionist communists than "Nazis" at the moment. They seem more numerous.
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Re: Adaptationism: Nazi Science

Postby Asparagus on December 22nd, 2017, 5:46 pm 

@wolfhnd
Social Darwinism has gone out of style? Possibly, but the American version was never much more than a facade for apathy.
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