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Re: [evol-psych] Re: The God Problem: An Interview with Howard Bloom

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  • james kohl
    ... DWZ: I think you will find that scientists and philosophers alike veered away from religious doctrine long before psychology as a science, let alone
    Message 1 of 20 , Sep 1, 2012
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      --- On Sat, 9/1/12, Don Zimmerman <dwzimm@...> wrote:
      --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, james kohl <jvkohl@...> wrote:


      > It would be interesting to learn if the "scientists" who dismiss the more popular notions of God, creationism, and intelligent design, have been trained by behaviorists to think that organisms like us have a blank-slate origin rather than genetic predispositions that ensure appropriate responses to sensory input in cases where no training is required.

      DWZ:
      I think you will find that scientists and philosophers alike veered away from religious doctrine long before psychology as a science, let alone behaviorism, even existed. And quite a few of the early behaviorists adopted their theoretical position and methodology from philosophers of the Vienna circle, logical empiricists, positivists, operationalists, etc., not the reverse. 

      JK: Thanks. I don't think they missed much given the lack of scientific progress in psychology. That suggests the early behaviorists adopted positions based on psychological theory, which would explain their inability to distinguish between receptor-mediated effects of sensory stimuli  on genes in cells of hormone-secreting brain tissue (i.e., classical conditioning), and operant conditi0ning via effects of foot-shock on receptors for pain.

      Theories that training cause behavior fail to incorporate epigenetic cause and effect, which they must if they are to have any explanatory power. Do you know if any behaviorists/philosophers/  logical empiricists/positivists/ operationalists et al., have ever learned about the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization that are required to link sensory cause to behavioral affects? If not, how can they be compared to the scientists who have?


      James V. Kohl
      Medical laboratory scientist (ASCP)
      Independent researcher
      Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.

      Yahoo! Groups
      .

    • Don Zimmerman
      ... Thanks. I don t think they missed much given the lack of scientific progress in psychology. That suggests the early behaviorists adopted positions based on
      Message 2 of 20 , Sep 2, 2012
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        --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, james kohl <jvkohl@...> wrote:

        Thanks. I don't think they missed much given the lack of scientific progress in psychology. That suggests the early behaviorists adopted positions based on psychological theory, which would explain their inability to distinguish between receptor-mediated effects of sensory stimuli  on genes in cells of hormone-secreting brain tissue (i.e., classical conditioning), and operant conditi0ning via effects of foot-shock on receptors for pain.

        > Theories that training cause behavior fail to incorporate epigenetic cause and effect, which they must if they are to have any explanatory power. Do you know if any behaviorists/philosophers/  logical empiricists/positivists/
        > operationalists et al., have ever learned about the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization that are required to link sensory cause to behavioral affects? If not, how can they be compared to the scientists who have?


        DWZ:
        Yes, there are quite a few! And there are also biologists well versed in molecular biology who have wholeheartedly accepted an empirical/materialistic point of view. Here are some names of biologists with speculative and philosophical interests and writings, and some philosophers who come to mind: Herbert Spencer, Jacques Loeb, Ernst Haeckel, Julian Huxley, Jacques Monod, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, David Hull, Francis Crick, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Elliott Sober, Susan Oyama, and Ernst Mayr. You would find the "philosophical" works of any one or two or three of those people to be informative reading. There are probably a host of others of similar bent in academic institutions in the area called "philosophy of biology."

        The interesting thing is that I cannot think of a single one of those distinguished theorists who have professed a belief in God and religion. None of them as far as I know accept anything like today's version of creationism or intelligent design. And major modern philosophers who do use the word "God" in their writings usually mean something quite different by it that probably would not appeal to doctrinaire religious people of the USA Bible Belt who talk about creationsim and intelligent design.

        Best regards,

        Donald W. Zimmerman
        Vancouver, BC, Canada
        dwzimm@...
        http://www3.telus.net/public/a7a82899
      • james kohl
        ... Thanks. I don t think they missed much given the lack of scientific progress in psychology. That suggests the early behaviorists adopted positions based on
        Message 3 of 20 , Sep 2, 2012
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          --- On Sun, 9/2/12, Don Zimmerman <dwzimm@...> wrote:
          --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, james kohl <jvkohl@...> wrote:


          Thanks. I don't think they missed much given the lack of scientific progress in psychology. That suggests the early behaviorists adopted positions based on psychological theory, which would explain their inability to distinguish between receptor-mediated effects of sensory stimuli  on genes in cells of hormone-secreting brain tissue (i.e., classical conditioning), and operant conditi0ning via effects of foot-shock on receptors for pain.

          > Theories that training cause behavior fail to incorporate epigenetic cause and effect, which they must if they are to have any explanatory power. Do you know if any behaviorists/philosophers/  logical empiricists/positivists/
          > operationalists et al., have ever learned about the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization that are required to link sensory cause to behavioral affects? If not, how can they be compared to the scientists who have?

          DWZ:
          Yes, there are quite a few! And there are also biologists well versed in molecular biology who have wholeheartedly accepted an empirical/materialistic point of view. Here are some names of biologists with speculative and philosophical interests and writings, and some philosophers who come to mind: Herbert Spencer, Jacques Loeb, Ernst Haeckel, Julian Huxley, Jacques Monod, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, David Hull, Francis Crick, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Elliott Sober, Susan Oyama, and Ernst Mayr. You would find the "philosophical" works of any one or two or three of those people to be informative reading. There are probably a host of others of similar bent in academic institutions in the area called "philosophy of biology."

          The interesting thing is that I cannot think of a single one of those distinguished theorists who have professed a belief in God and religion. None of them as far as I know accept anything like today's version of creationism or intelligent design. And major modern philosophers who do use the word "God" in their writings usually mean something quite different by it that probably would not appeal to doctrinaire religious people of the USA Bible Belt who talk about creationsim and intelligent design.

          JK: The distinguished theorists seem to put their faith into their theories. Philosophers put their faith in facts that change more rapidly than ever before given new insight into the underlying common molecular biology of life. Where does that leave the "philosophy of biology."? Which of the philosophers is most familiar with epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones, for example?

          One would think, if they were thinking at all, that the philosophers might understand that no individual organism survives without nutrient chemicals, and no species survives without pheromone-controlled reproduction. Have you seen either nutrient chemicals or pheromones incorporated into the philosophy of Herbert Spencer, Jacques Loeb, Ernst Haeckel, Julian Huxley, Jacques Monod, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, David Hull, Francis Crick, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Elliott Sober, Susan Oyama, Ernst Mayr, or Howard Bloom (in The God Problem)?

          James V. Kohl
        • Edgar Owen
          Don and Jim, My impression is that Kohl is down south somewhere smack in the middle of the Bible belt. Isn t that correct Jim? Edgar
          Message 4 of 20 , Sep 3, 2012
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            Don and Jim,

            My impression is that Kohl is down south somewhere smack in the middle of the Bible belt.

            Isn't that correct Jim?

            Edgar



            On Sep 2, 2012, at 6:00 PM, Don Zimmerman wrote:

             

            --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, james kohl <jvkohl@...> wrote:

            Thanks. I don't think they missed much given the lack of scientific progress in psychology. That suggests the early behaviorists adopted positions based on psychological theory, which would explain their inability to distinguish between receptor-mediated effects of sensory stimuli  on genes in cells of hormone-secreting brain tissue (i.e., classical conditioning), and operant conditi0ning via effects of foot-shock on receptors for pain.

            > Theories that training cause behavior fail to incorporate epigenetic cause and effect, which they must if they are to have any explanatory power. Do you know if any behaviorists/philosophers/  logical empiricists/positivists/
            > operationalists et al., have ever learned about the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization that are required to link sensory cause to behavioral affects? If not, how can they be compared to the scientists who have?

            DWZ:
            Yes, there are quite a few! And there are also biologists well versed in molecular biology who have wholeheartedly accepted an empirical/materialistic point of view. Here are some names of biologists with speculative and philosophical interests and writings, and some philosophers who come to mind: Herbert Spencer, Jacques Loeb, Ernst Haeckel, Julian Huxley, Jacques Monod, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, David Hull, Francis Crick, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Elliott Sober, Susan Oyama, and Ernst Mayr. You would find the "philosophical" works of any one or two or three of those people to be informative reading. There are probably a host of others of similar bent in academic institutions in the area called "philosophy of biology."

            The interesting thing is that I cannot think of a single one of those distinguished theorists who have professed a belief in God and religion. None of them as far as I know accept anything like today's version of creationism or intelligent design. And major modern philosophers who do use the word "God" in their writings usually mean something quite different by it that probably would not appeal to doctrinaire religious people of the USA Bible Belt who talk about creationsim and intelligent design.

            Best regards,

            Donald W. Zimmerman
            Vancouver, BC, Canada
            dwzimm@...
            http://www3.telus.net/public/a7a82899


          • Don Zimmerman
            ... DWZ: If it were somehow possible to measure intensity of religious belief, we would be able to make a map of the USA with contour lines, representing
            Message 5 of 20 , Sep 3, 2012
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              --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen <edgarowen@...> wrote:
              >
              > Don and Jim,
              >
              > My impression is that Kohl is down south somewhere smack in the middle of the Bible belt.
              >
              > Isn't that correct Jim?


              DWZ:
              If it were somehow possible to measure "intensity of religious belief," we would be able to make a map of the USA with contour lines, representing regions of equal intensity of belief, like the contour lines of equal elevation on a map of mountainous country. Then the term "Bible Belt" would have a concrete meaning that could be visualized. I suspect there would be an area surrounding roughly parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and parts of a few other states, where the measure would take on its highest values.

              I am not sure where the summit would be; there probably would be multiple summits in widely separated regions. Instead of "Deep South" it would be convenient to introduce terms like "Elevated South" or maybe "Peak South" where religious fervor is at its most intense. (It should be realized that there a few high spots in the North too.)

              Best regards,

              Donald W. Zimmerman
              Vancouver, BC, Canada
              dwzimm@...
              http://www3.telus.net/public/a7a82899
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