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Elspeth
07-26-2012, 03:00 PM
According to this guy, our biology is too ancient for our cultural innovations.

(If you go to the link you can sign in and comment or just read the comments by others.)

http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/the-hare-the-tortoise-and-the-aurora-madman/50307

The Hare, the Tortoise, and the Aurora Madman
By David Barash


I’m not so naïve as to think that the Aurora tragedy will cause any change in the stunning U.S. refusal to engage in anything that even approaches minimally common-sense gun control. (How crazy is it, for example, that people on terrorist watch lists are still permitted to purchase assault rifles?) The Republican Party is besotted with the NRA, while the Democrats are scared silly of it. And of course, following every massacre, the claim will be made, as it has been before, that if only the populace were more armed—not less—we would have witnessed a classic Gunfight at the OK Corral, with citizen Wyatt Earp blowing away the bad guy(s) … just like in the movies.

Nor am I so egotistical as to think that my biological argument for gun control will likely persuade those self-styled “gun nuts” who are probably beyond any logical argumentation. Moreover, I’ve made this particular argument before... But I nonetheless remain persuaded that (1) it applies and (2) it offers what might for some people be a new and useful way of looking at the wider problem of violence—toward the environment as well as each other—more generally. So here goes, in summary form:

Far more than any other critter, we Homo saps are stuck between two worlds, biological evolution and cultural evolution. The former is a Darwinian, genetic process, necessarily slow because it cannot proceed more rapidly than the replacement of genetic alleles by alternatives; hence, it is limited by generation times as well as selection coefficients. The latter is Lamarckian, a process of cultural change that occurs via the non-genetic “inheritance” of acquired cultural/technological characteristics; hence, it is several orders of magnitude more rapid, with dramatic changes often occurring during one lifetime....

...Although I believe that the hare-tortoise discrepancy shows itself in many aspects of modern life..., the issue is especially joined, I believe, when it comes to violence. In short, our ancestors are biologically ill-adapted to inflict violent death on each other, what with our recessed jaws, laughably small teeth and absent talons, lethal poisons, etc. We are, however, inordinately capable of doing just this because of our cultural “advances.” Accordingly, we are more threatened by the evolved adaptations we lack than by those we possess: especially, by our relative lack of inhibitions (appropriate to a biologically non-lethal species) combined with our extraordinary technological “advances” when it comes to killing, at distance, and with very little physical effort....

...But the argument applies, as well, to the recent Aurora tragedy, and to gun violence generally: Although it is possible, I’d imagine, to kill someone with a ping-pong paddle or a fly swatter, it is much easier to do so with a gun. Thanks—no thanks!—to weapons technology, we have armed ourselves with inordinate force multipliers, capable of transducing a fraction of an ounce of pressure into an immensely lethal outcome. And doing so again and again....

Gina
07-26-2012, 03:05 PM
When someone comes up with a way to disarm criminals and figure out how to teleport to the future to know what steps to take to avoid tragedy, then we'll talk. This scared suzy bit is getting old. It is scary, knowing there's people like Holmes out there but unless we're all willing to be locked up so we'll all be safe, there's only so much we can do.

Jim54
07-26-2012, 03:17 PM
According to this guy, our biology is too ancient for our cultural innovations.

(If you go to the link you can sign in and comment or just read the comments by others.)

http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/the-hare-the-tortoise-and-the-aurora-madman/50307

The Hare, the Tortoise, and the Aurora Madman
By David Barash


I’m not so naïve as to think that the Aurora tragedy will cause any change in the stunning U.S. refusal to engage in anything that even approaches minimally common-sense gun control. (How crazy is it, for example, that people on terrorist watch lists are still permitted to purchase assault rifles?) The Republican Party is besotted with the NRA, while the Democrats are scared silly of it. And of course, following every massacre, the claim will be made, as it has been before, that if only the populace were more armed—not less—we would have witnessed a classic Gunfight at the OK Corral, with citizen Wyatt Earp blowing away the bad guy(s) … just like in the movies.

Nor am I so egotistical as to think that my biological argument for gun control will likely persuade those self-styled “gun nuts” who are probably beyond any logical argumentation. Moreover, I’ve made this particular argument before... But I nonetheless remain persuaded that (1) it applies and (2) it offers what might for some people be a new and useful way of looking at the wider problem of violence—toward the environment as well as each other—more generally. So here goes, in summary form:

Far more than any other critter, we Homo saps are stuck between two worlds, biological evolution and cultural evolution. The former is a Darwinian, genetic process, necessarily slow because it cannot proceed more rapidly than the replacement of genetic alleles by alternatives; hence, it is limited by generation times as well as selection coefficients. The latter is Lamarckian, a process of cultural change that occurs via the non-genetic “inheritance” of acquired cultural/technological characteristics; hence, it is several orders of magnitude more rapid, with dramatic changes often occurring during one lifetime....

...Although I believe that the hare-tortoise discrepancy shows itself in many aspects of modern life..., the issue is especially joined, I believe, when it comes to violence. In short, our ancestors are biologically ill-adapted to inflict violent death on each other, what with our recessed jaws, laughably small teeth and absent talons, lethal poisons, etc. We are, however, inordinately capable of doing just this because of our cultural “advances.” Accordingly, we are more threatened by the evolved adaptations we lack than by those we possess: especially, by our relative lack of inhibitions (appropriate to a biologically non-lethal species) combined with our extraordinary technological “advances” when it comes to killing, at distance, and with very little physical effort....

...But the argument applies, as well, to the recent Aurora tragedy, and to gun violence generally: Although it is possible, I’d imagine, to kill someone with a ping-pong paddle or a fly swatter, it is much easier to do so with a gun. Thanks—no thanks!—to weapons technology, we have armed ourselves with inordinate force multipliers, capable of transducing a fraction of an ounce of pressure into an immensely lethal outcome. And doing so again and again....


So the "professor" wants our guns...


He's quite wellcome to sashay on down this way to try and collect 'em. In fact, he can have the bullets first!:evil-grin:

Seriously, in his own control freak way this dip shit prof is just as grave a threat to our society as freaks like Holmes.

noonwitch
07-26-2012, 03:48 PM
Nature is violent and humans are part of nature. We are the only animal known to have complex emotions and controls.

People who can't control violent impulses shouldn't have guns. But the vast majority of people can and do control their occasional violent impulses (we all have them), so they should not lose their guns because of the small number of violent people who do a lot of damage.

After reading on another topic that Holmes sent a package to a psychiatry professor at UC, and the package contained details of his plans, but sat in the school's mailroom until after the incident, I think his rampage could have been prevented if the damned school delivered their mail to their staff in a timely manner.

AmPat
07-27-2012, 10:34 AM
Nature is violent and humans are part of nature. We are the only animal known to have complex emotions and controls.

People who can't control violent impulses shouldn't have guns. But the vast majority of people can and do control their occasional violent impulses (we all have them), so they should not lose their guns because of the small number of violent people who do a lot of damage.

After reading on another topic that Holmes sent a package to a psychiatry professor at UC, and the package contained details of his plans, but sat in the school's mailroom until after the incident, I think his rampage could have been prevented if the damned school delivered their mail to their staff in a timely manner.
You should advise other liberals, they could use your logic. As fro the professor, I have seen their work ethics and organization, and most I would give an F on both counts. I can imagine the package was actually delivered and placed in the prof's "ignore til later" file.

AmPat
07-27-2012, 10:37 AM
So the "professor" wants our guns...


He's quite wellcome to sashay on down this way to try and collect 'em. In fact, he can have the bullets first!:evil-grin:

Seriously, in his own control freak way this dip shit prof is just as grave a threat to our society as freaks like Holmes.
Cars kill more every day. I wonder if he wants to confiscate the cars of speeders and DUI's? DUI and speeding is against the law, right? Doesn't that mean we shouldn't have any more instances of speeding and DUI???:rolleyes:

Generation Why?
07-27-2012, 01:20 PM
Sorry, I like my guns.

DumbAss Tanker
07-27-2012, 01:31 PM
Professors deciding what biology wants and then getting legislation enact their vision has never worked out too well, from respected professors 150 years ago who thought Blacks were a half-wit subspecies, to more recent times when sterilization, eugenic breeding policies, and ideas of inherent biological racial superiority of one group over another led to some pretty ugly outcomes. What is 'Respected academic opinion about biological imperatives' today tends to become 'Outmoded and dangerous crackpot fantasy' within about 50 years or less.

Bondai
07-27-2012, 03:05 PM
Another LIBERAL elitist pinhead with too many degrees and too much time on his hands. I will admit that I enjoyed reading the article. He is obviously an educated man and he writes very well. That being said I am not sure I like being compared to a baboon. In closing I would like to invite the professor to come to my home and take my guns if he thinks he is man enough to do so but somehow I don't think I need to lose any sleep over it. Have a nice day professor.:asshole:





Recall the opening scene in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A space odyssey. It had been the world’s first murder, after which the perpetrator, a prehuman hominid throws the murder weapon—the long bone of an ungulate—into the air as an act of self-congratulatory celebration, which, as it spins, morphs into an orbiting space station. In those stunning five seconds, we see the gravamen of my argument and my worry: Biologically, we are mostly stuck in the early Pleistocene, but we have given ourselves, culturally, the power to destroy whole civilizations, even—in the worst case—life on our small, precious planet. Imagine baboons trying to pilot that space station, or—worse yet—at the launch controls of a barrage of nuclear warheads.

Elspeth
07-27-2012, 07:22 PM
Professors deciding what biology wants and then getting legislation enact their vision has never worked out too well, from respected professors 150 years ago who thought Blacks were a half-wit subspecies, to more recent times when sterilization, eugenic breeding policies, and ideas of inherent biological racial superiority of one group over another led to some pretty ugly outcomes. What is 'Respected academic opinion about biological imperatives' today tends to become 'Outmoded and dangerous crackpot fantasy' within about 50 years or less.

:applause::applause::applause::applause::applause: :applause::applause::applause::applause::applause:

Unreconstructed Reb
07-28-2012, 11:11 AM
"In short, our ancestors are biologically ill-adapted to inflict violent death on each other, what with our recessed jaws, laughably small teeth and absent talons, lethal poisons, etc."

This professor is an idiot and the above sounds like it could have come straight from the mouth of another widely recognized idiot:

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/002514087/2958989732_funny20obama20image20pic20photo20laughi ng20face_xlarge.jpeg

Novaheart
07-28-2012, 11:20 AM
Barash.

Enemies behind our lines, no doubt a devotee of Howard Zinn. Living proof that being an US citizen and an American are not synonymous.