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Re: [biopoet] re : Reading Human Nature

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  • Jeff P. Turpin
    I don t think I ve read a serious biological or evolutionary scientist in the last decade that thought pure determinism determined anything, but particularly
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 11, 2011
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      I don't think I've read a serious biological or evolutionary scientist in the last decade that thought pure determinism "determined" anything, but particularly not humans and their behaviors.  Genes and environment in concert.  Straw man? jt

      Jeff P. Turpin, PhD.
      Turpin and Sons Inc.
      Cultural Resource Management
      2047 Lakeshore, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
      (512) 922-7826
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:01 AM
      Subject: Re: [biopoet] re : Reading Human Nature


      Merely philosophical. But see, e.g., philosopher and science advocate Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves (not one of his best books), whose title says it all. See also philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards, Human Nature after Darwinism, for a trenchant analysis of the confusion in discussions of free will: the panic at things uncaused, because they're then irrational and arbitrary, and the panic about things caused, because then they're not "free."

      Brian Boyd

      On 11/02/2011, at 4:31 AM, Stephen Berer wrote:


      Just curious, as a non-professional in this field:
      How does science deny humanism, including freedom and dignity and individual identity? Is this a philosophical stance by some scientists, or is there data to suggest or even "strongly suggest" that these "humanist" ideas (tho they far predate Enlightenment humanism) are illusions or misunderstandings?
      Even 2 or 3 sentences and a pointer to a couple of books or articles to help me clarify what the evidence is (vs philosophical reasoning, which is of no interest to me), would be a great help. But to restate, if this is merely philosophical, then a 2 word reply, eg "merely philosophical" will be sufficient.
      Steve Berer

      On 2/10/2011 8:38 AM, Mike Tintner wrote:

      1) humans have freedom and dignity (& by extension, true individuality - are "self-made" to a considerable extent - the result of their own free decisions, including the course of actions, say, covered by a novel)  - all of which science and Darwin deny

      ...In a similar manner, we may begin a journey from a place we don't know so well, or perhaps from a place we don't know as well as we thought we knew it. We keep asking, "is this the right road?" Or we keep asking, "how can I find the right road?" All the while we are taking pictures of the landscape and of each other, but it's important to remember our doubts, our lostness, our wonder, even if that's not the essential purpose of our travels. It is as if we thought we were heading north from Caesaria to go to Rome, yet somehow we ended up in Yavneh outside of Jerusalem. We look around startled, and maybe think, "hey, this isn't where I thought I was going, but it's an interesting place to be."
      	-- From Musings on a Non-linear Narrative Poetry

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