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The Disadvantage of Smarts June 21, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Life, Lifestyle.
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Why would being a good problem solver mean you were less good at the ordinary more instinctive behavior?

General intelligence evolved to solve evolutionarily novel problems, so intelligent people are more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values. They are more likely to recognize and develop tastes for things that our ancestors did not have 100,000 years ago. For example, more intelligent people are more likely to be left-wing liberals because our ancestors were “conservative” by the contemporary American definition—they only cared about the well-being of their friends and family. They are more likely to be atheist because the preferred theory in evolutionary psychology is that humans are designed to believe in God.

Really?

Humans appear to be designed to be paranoid; they are designed to see intentional agents behind natural phenomena. This is because making the mistake of thinking that a natural event has an intentional agent behind it is less potentially costly than being oblivious and thinking that an intentional event, like someone trying to kill you, has a coincidental cause. The paranoid outlive the oblivious. Belief in God may be a consequence of this tendency. Intelligent people are more likely to be nocturnal because humans are designed to wake up when the sun comes up and go to sleep when the sun goes down. They are more likely to be homosexual, because humans are evolutionarily designed to reproduce heterosexually. They are more likely to enjoy instrumental music because music in its evolutionary origin was vocal, and they are more likely to consume alcohol, cigarettes and drugs because all of these substances are evolutionarily novel.

via Quick study: Satoshi Kanazawa on intelligence: The disadvantage of smarts | The Economist.

Stephen Hawking: “Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution” July 4, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Religion, Science & Technology.
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Steven HawkinsHawking says that we have entered a new phase of evolution. “At first, evolution proceeded by natural selection, from random mutations. This Darwinian phase, lasted about three and a half billion years, and produced us, beings who developed language, to exchange information.”

But what distinguishes us from our cave man ancestors is the knowledge that we have accumulated over the last ten thousand years, and particularly, Hawking points out, over the last three hundred.

“I think it is legitimate to take a broader view, and include externally transmitted information, as well as DNA, in the evolution of the human race,” Hawking said.

In the last ten thousand years the human species has been in what Hawking calls, “an external transmission phase,” where the internal record of information, handed down to succeeding generations in DNA, has not changed significantly. “But the external record, in books, and other long lasting forms of storage,” Hawking says, “has grown enormously. Some people would use the term, evolution, only for the internally transmitted genetic material, and would object to it being applied to information handed down externally. But I think that is too narrow a view. We are more than just our genes.” (more…)

Monkeying With Darwin’s Theory of Evolution February 13, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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darwinevolution

Thanks to Adam Brown

It is 150 years since the publication of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which suggested that all living things are related and that everything is ultimately descended from a single common ancestor. This has troubled many, including Darwin himself, as it subverted ideas of divine intervention. It is not surprising that the countries least accepting of evolution today tend to be the most devout. In the most recent international survey available, only Turkey is less accepting of the theory than America. Iceland and Denmark are Darwin’s most ardent adherents. Indeed America has become only slightly more accepting of Darwin’s theory in recent years. In 2008 14% of people polled by Gallup agreed that “man evolved over millions of years”, up from 9% in 1982.

via It is 150 years since the theory of evolution was unveiled, but which countries believe in it? | Untouched by the hand of God | The Economist.

Expelled Exposed April 21, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Science & Technology.
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Expelled Exposed

Well it sounds like the Right has their own docu-propagandist, in the best Michael Moore tradition.
Welcome to Expelled Exposed, a detailed look at the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We’ll show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none.

To learn why the claims made in Expelled are false, find out The Truth behind the Fiction. For information on the producers and their actions, go Behind the Scenes. To learn more about evolution and intelligent design, or to see what other people thought of Expelled, view our links to other online Resources.

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