Skatje, daughter of a well-known Darwinist bloggers, rips a piece off new atheist Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values:
In “The Moral Landscape decreased my wellbeing,” she writes:
So, to summarise:
1. Utilitarianism is right, but not any more justifiable than anything else. But who cares what other people think, anyway?
2. Because utilitarianism is right, we don’t have to be loopy post-modernists.
3. Science can tell us what makes us happy. Here’s a smattering of scientific studies about the brain.
Why in the hell do they give out book deals so easily?
Tell us more. At Genomes Unzipped: Personal Public Genomics, Joe Pickrell starts another round of “What’s wrong with peer review,” raising the stakes: He asks, “Why publish science in peer-reviewed journals?” (13/07/2011), arguing
Uncommon Descent’s Barry Arrington, once lawyer for the families of murdered Columbine students, writes:
A couple of months ago a young university student contacted my law office seeking help in a dispute she was having with a university here in Colorado. [To protect my client’s privacy, I am using neither her name nor the name of the university. ]
The previous week she had voiced opposition to Darwinism to her biology professor, who proceeded to scream at her, denigrate her religious views, and generally demean and humiliate her in front of the rest of the class. After hearing her story I sent a demand letter to the university seeking redress. Good news. We resolved the matter on very favorable terms. One of the terms we insisted on was a letter of apology from the professor. This is the full text of that letter: Here.
Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.
Charlie Jane Anders tells us "Zookeeper is a horror movie about evolutionary biology" (IO9, July 8, 2011), but she must mean "evolutionary psychology." Briefly, the zookeeper wants this girl, and the animals (who can talk, of course) advise him to use their mating strategies:
Griffin is encouraged to become an Alpha Male, to pee in public to mark his territory. (There is a lot of urination.) The Adam Sandler-voiced monkey tells him to fling poop. At various times, his mating seminar starts to seem like an episode of the Pick-Up Artist, as a lion tells him to throw some negs. He's encouraged to pick fights with competing males, to separate his desired mate from the pack, and to make his nerdy-but-gorgeous best friend pretend to be his girlfriend to make Stephanie jealous. There is much slapstick involving Griffin attempting to do a frog confrontation stance and making his pants split open.
Eventually, though, it starts to work — Griffin, implausibly, becomes an Alpha Male and everybody admires him. He becomes a kind of super-yuppie and God among ordinary shlubs.
The usual keenness of evolutionary psychology's insight into human nature is on display here;
Prevent parasite infections by promoting "genetic variation" (Jul 7, 2011):
Sexual reproduction, then, serves as a way to keep introducing genetic variety, a process that has to constantly be repeated in order to continue staving off attacks the latest and deadliest parasites. This is known as the "Red Queen Hypothesis", taking its name from a line in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass in which, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
But no, wait. According to another study, "Sex Is Not About Promoting Genetic Variation, Researchers Argue" (ScienceDaily, July 7, 2011):