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26 February 2015

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kao_hsien_chih

bth,

The term "evolution" as used in English language is misleading in application to the biological phenomenon. As Darwin himself put it (I'm paraphrasing), it is not the "better" that thrive but those who are most adaptable to the changes. Technology, if anything, creates people who are too dependent on the general status quo (i.e. having access to the internet, etc) even if the particulars in the workings of that status quo might change (faster internet, for example). That would make people less adaptable, if by some chance, a lot of that status quo comes crashing down, even if they might be "better" adapted to the present.

turcopolier

Jackson B

There is very little science that supports the idea that homosexuality is inherent in other than a small number of people for whom it is an in utero developmental accident. But, if you wish to believe otherwise, fine. i could care less. Nor do I oppose legal tolerance fr people who live gay. OTOH, thanks for providing an example of people who seek to create right and wrong sides of history. pl

turcopolier

KHC

What you describe is really not "evolution." This is social adaptation in present form and type humans. As you say this often leads to a general weakening. IMO this is occurring now in the US. pl

turcopolier

KHC

"If anyone were to take propaganda so seriously..." You are not paying attention to what is in the mouths of media marionettes and politicians and what are being taught as assumptions in the public schools. pl

turcopolier

rjj

try finding a public platform from which to do that. pl

JLCG

There is no wrong of history because everyone participates in History, winners and losers are all actors in that development. History does not seem to have direction but there is the dialectic that allows us to understand certain facets of development.
For example once property was discovered to be the concrete manifestation of freedom it followed that defense of freedom was and is the defense of property. That defense requires tools so armies become defenders of property that is a police force where we are at this moment. The police itself then becomes militarized because within every political unit freedom is merely the maintenance of order and that requires force so military force and police force amalgamate. There is where we are today. The Pentagon providing heavy weapons to police that in former times used only some kind baton to keep order. This moment in history is the manifestation of freedom mutated into service because freedom without duty is empty.
Some one will say that to choose the color of a shirt is freedom but that is simply an arbitrary wish, an irrational desire fulfilled. History is pure reason, it takes thought to bring some order to the vagaries of human activity. What we take as history generally is simply a collection of epiphenomena.
Underneath it all there is the development of thought.
Because the universe is pure thought, pure relations.

walter

PL, I gotta disagree with you here. It is a scientific (measured) fact that homo sapiens has become less and less violent over time.

As quantified in a variety of ways by Steven Pinker in: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) ISBN 978-0-670-02295-3, there has been a steady, dramatic, precipitous, decline in violence between/amongst human beings since the dawn of man; as time marches on, Man becomes more and more peaceful, less and less violent within all parameters of measurement (epochs, centuries, decades; civilizations, Nations, states, families), etc.

Would your view that human history does not have a direction change if you were persuaded of the veracity of his historical/statistical findings regarding violence amongst humans? It was a pretty surprising and pleasant realization for me when I read this book.

turcopolier

TMYK

"History is written by the winners..." No. As an example, there was for a long time in the US a strong tradition of fiction writing (GWTW), TV fiction (the Grey Ghost), movies (She wore a yellow ribbon, The Searchers,The Birth of a Nation) etc), history, etc. that was quite sympathetic to the cause of the South in the WBS. That is all gone now, buried under constant repetition of the "on the wrong side of history" meme. pl

turcopolier

walter

"It is a scientific (measured) fact that homo sapiens has become less and less violent over time." I am happy you were comforted but that is all nonsense. I am a board member of a foundation that funds the dreams and micro-studies of social scientists who desperately want to believe that the naked ape within us is going away. Ridiculous! Consider the record of the last hundred years and see if you wish to continue deceiving yourself. pl

C Webb

A bit more info about the origins of the phrase.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/04/17/the_phrase_the_wrong_side_of_history_around_for_more_than_a_century_is_getting.html

It would be very handy if there was a dictionary of PR phrases or a browser plugin that could highlight them.

These Slogans have been around a long time. They're designed to cause an emotional reaction. They don't have to have a meaning.

I recommend..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_of_the_Self

it's on vimeo

turcopolier

FB Ali

"with all other behaviours being "unnatural." I did not say that but it remains true that the LGBT and their allies have won the argument with precious little real evidence for the "normality" of such behavior in biological terms. This argument has been won by them on the basis of skilled PR generated "shaming" as we have seen demonstrated here in Jackson B's comment. pl

Jim Buck

If I believed that my destiny is in the stars, I would be on the wrong side of history if it lead me to allow my life be dictated by horoscopes; and I would be on the right side of history if it lead me to study astronomy and train to be an astronaut.

FB Ali

It is true that the LGBT community in North America and parts of Europe has mounted skilful PR campaigns to win a 'place in the sun'.

However, I think it is correct that human beings fall along a fairly wide spectrum, with many different varieties of behaviour, some culturally acquired but quite a lot arising from their innate natures. It is dangerous to label some pattern of behaviour "natural" and thus open the door to people who are different being ostracised or persecuted.

Of course, with the caveat: "your freedom ends where my nose begins"!

Jim Buck

Normality may either be enforced by social opinion; or it may be defined by individuals, for themselves. Same-sex couples are found wherever mammals abound. And human history, including military history, is replete with covert homosexuality. There are well developed, and respectable, scientific explanations for the evolutionary emergence of homosexuality. In this age of abundance we tend to forget the advantages that non-marrying males and females bring to tribes and human groups generally. A female who does not consort with men may contribute extremely valuable auxiliary childcare to he reproductive siblings and cousins. A male who loves the company of other men, above that of women, may play a decisive role when self-sacrifice is required to save the polis. It is the in-utero accident thesis that is suspect. That species of logic can be applied to any human trait whatsoever.

kao_hsien_chih

Jim Buck,

You'd be still be on the wrong side of history if you studied astronomy but NASA budget cutbacks eliminated the astronaut program. You'd still be on the right side of history if you took horoscopes seriously if you could make good money off of other gullible people who do the same. Defining what is "right" side of history is not easy as way too many weird things can happen on the way to the "end of history."

bth

Col,

Adults lived to 28 in ancient Greece and people now live worldwide to 67. Older may be wiser. It is real human change for the better.

Poverty is declining, education is rising and the flow of information is a global reality available to rich and poor.

Sci & Tech has changed the scenery on the world stage. It also is changing the characters in the play - their age, their condition and their knowledge of differing perspectives.

The human constant is the heart which hides one thing and speaks another. The mortal heart keeps the Greek tragedies relevant in a changing world.

turcopolier

Jim Buck

Is your response an example of the "zero tolerance" methodology being employed by the greater LGBT forces? "It is the in-utero accident thesis that is suspect." What makes it "suspect?" BTW I don't give a damn abut gay rights one way or the other. My post was about the right side of history" fallacy. If you persist in this annoyance I will assume you are a troll. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think if one looks at what studies of primates and other social mammals have revealed, it is quote clear that monogamous marriage to one woman is an un-natural act.

What is needed, then, based on the results of the observations of those sciences of anthropology and ethology, is to re-organize all human societies into something resembling the late Sassanidd period where men could marry and indefinite number of wives.

The heard wife, would be lording it over all the other wives, enjoying and indulging in her whims all the while the cook, the gardener, the servants etc. would be available to the Master for his sexual indulgence.

In this manner, over a few decades, homo sapiens societies - just another species of animals - could be brought to resemble something approximately the chimpanzee bands or flock of wild horses.

None of this stuff about marriage being a covenant, only one being confined to only 4 wives....

Science is teaching us that we have been wrong all along...

kao_hsien_chih

Patrick Bahzad,

One important finding from (ahem) political science research is that the more politically interested and "knowledgeable" you are, the more pigheaded you get in your political opinions. The reasoning for this is simple: because you (think you) know what is "really" going on, you feel emboldened to jump to conclusions even when it is not warranted. While your knowledge may be enough to get you right more often than not in general, it also gives you false sense of certainty when things are unclear, dangerous, or changing rapidly and unpredictably--precisely when real expertise is desirable. But these are exactly when many people can't pull themselves back by a few steps and think things through as they are.

turcopolier

bth

The human condition is generally improving? It may be that material conditions of life are improving for some but that does not mean that the behavior of the human primate has changed in the flicker of an eyelash that is recorded history in the context of human evolution. How do the Ukraine or Syrian civil wars fit into your thesis? How about the Boku Haram barbarism? No. Man is still a savage beast and likely to remain such for a long time with his savagery mitigated only by the kinds of values that are reflected in the US Constitution, now so pitifully perverted. pl

turcopolier

FB Ali

Once again my post was not about gay rights, although that is clearly a raw spot for many. IMO behavior that would lead to extinction of the species if it became general is not "normal" in terms of evolutionary biology. pl

turcopolier

All

I am uninterested in LGBT rights. I don't care what they/you do to and which each other so long as such behavior does not become mandatory. My post was not about gay rights. I will not post any further comments that are about gay rights in connection with this thread. pl

BabelFish

Companion thoughts:

Humans and violence: In the mid-70s, I had a chance to meet Richard Leaky, son of Louis. He was passionate that our species did not spring from violence (nature, red in tooth and claw) and that cooperation was the evolutionary path we took from Australopithecus to us. And, he further stated that there was no evidence of agression among our closest relatives (chimps, bonobos, gorillas). And then Jane Goodall came along, reporting that chimps were, in fact, pretty damn violent. That included hunting colobus monkeys with a passion, murder and cannibalism, even within the same troop. If you believe in evolution (I do), this is part of the stock we came from.

People are smarter now: does anyone think that Imhotep wasn't a full out genius? IMO, cultures may have changed but people, their behaviors and tendencies, have not. Nor have we grown any more intelligent. We have, for what reasons I can fully explain, held on to our knowledge in this current phase of human experience for quite a patch and are probably better at knowledge transfer than at any other time. IMO, none of that equals an increase in intelligence.

turcopolier

Babelfish

IMO Richard Leaky was a sentimental liberal who allowed his sentiments to mislead him. Humans are as savagely cruel as the chimps. How else do you explain the history of the last century? The German people were misled by a bad man or the evil capitalists and militarists? What a joke! Look at the newsreels of masses of Germans cheering the Nazis on. pl

turcopolier

Jim Buck

"If I believed that my destiny is in the stars, I would be on the wrong side of history if it lead me to allow my life be dictated by horoscopes; and I would be on the right side of history if it lead me to study astronomy and train to be an astronaut." I share these preferences but they are only that. IS jihadis have an entirely different set of preferences and they are only that. pl

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