Darwinian “triggers to persuasion and captivation” read more like the seven deadly sins.

by Denyse O’Leary From my recent MercatorNet column:

The Darwinian world of brand marketing

We all know what evolutionary psychology (EP) has meant for sociology, psychology, and religious anthropology: a serious effort to explain human behaviour in terms of ape behaviour or “hardwired” Stone Age genes. For example, you get your selfish genes from your mother, so it’s her fault if you don’t visit her…

The EP academics, however pernicious their ideas, are doubtless just trying to understand. But what happens when their theories hit the business world? Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead (Harper Business, 2010) gives us a glimpse of the Darwinian universe, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian one.

Hogshead is a brand marketing specialist. She helps executives persuade us to pay more for a brand than for a reliable service. Her special theory, gathered from research studies of apes and brain scans, is that the best strategy is “fascinating” people, and she has identified seven triggers for the spells a perceptive marketer can cast on them: lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, power, vice, and trust. This list vaguely echoes the seven deadly sins, except for the last. But caution! Here, trust is not an intuition about how the universe really works; it is manipulative. We are told, “trust doesn’t demand a moral absolute—only absolute consistency.” (p 175) Hogshead begins by disposing of free will. (MercatorNet, 30 September 2010) And she’ll end by disposing of your bank account if you don’t look sharp. For example,

Still more news from the world of privilege:

Not so long ago, the height of epicurean indulgence was a gold box filled with Godiva chocolates … Then, in an effort to expand, in 1999 Godiva made a fateful decision to distribute in mass retailers such as Barnes & Noble. The chocolates, which for the first time now included preservatives, were no longer a treat to be craved and desired. Now you could buy the gold box in strip malls. (Strip malls!)” (79) Huh? Does this writer really not know that millions of her fellow Americans crave the goods of strip malls in vain?

Read more here.

So tell me again, Uncle Doddy: Given the stats, how does sin promote survival – for anyone but the rackets downtown? Denyse O'leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

Richard Weikart: If Darwinists believed that conscience really exists, he would be their conscience

Here and here, historian of Nazi Germany Richard Weikart responds to yet another whitewash of Darwinism's role in helping to create a particularly malignant type of racism, this time by Darwinist Michael Ruse:

Last November at a conference on Darwinism I conversed with a graduate student in philosophy who embraced Ruse's position on the evolution of ethics, which is not all that unusual among evolutionists. He told me he believed that morality is a biologically innate response shaped by evolutionary processes. It has no independent, objective, or universal existence.

I pressed this graduate student, asking him how far he was willing to take his ethical relativism. Upon his affirmation that he subscribed to it completely, I asked him if he thought Hitler was morally evil. After explaining that he personally found Hitler's views repugnant, he admitted that he had no basis for condemning Hitler and finally he conceded, "Hitler was OK." I doubt Ruse would be comfortable saying that Hitler was OK, because Ruse's (and Darwin's) political views are miles apart from Hitler's. However, Ruse's worldview (and Darwin's own) does not, as far as I can see, provide any objective basis for opposing or condemning Hitler (or Stalin or Mao).

Weikart is repeatedly accused of saying things he does not say, principally, one suspects because the things he does say and can demonstrate are so damning that the only alternatives are acknowledgement or obfuscation.

Here's an interview I did with Weikart on how he got interested in Darwin and Hitler anyway (not how you might think).

Also just up at Access Research Network:

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Darwinism and pop culture: Pop fiction discovers the Discovery Institute

That shows, like nothing else, how the design debate is taking off. The previously faceless functionaries at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute get to be villains for the public at large, not just for threatened Darwinists, in a new anti-DI novel, The Book of God and Physics :

The Jesuits aren't the villains in this clash between God and physics. Joven's target is the real-life Discovery Institute, an American think-tank that promotes the theory of intelligent design. Ross King, "Intelligent, By Design," June 9, 2009

I wonder when the film is coming out. Pass the cheese popcorn.

PS: I have met the Discos. They are actually nice people just doin' a job, taking out the Darwin trash that the Darwinists can't take out themselves – on account of their theory having degenerated into a popular cult.

Also just up at The Post-Darwinist:

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