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Posted: 27 July 2007 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Barto - 27 July 2007 10:37 AM
George - 27 July 2007 10:24 AM

If, for example, a genetic mutation offers an advantage in battling the malaria in one group, I don’t see why we couldn’t expect the same with intelligence.

Intelligence is a evolutive adventage, beyond any doubt. But solving IQ test is too?.

Being able to run fast has an evolutionary advantage, beyond any doubt. But does winning the Olympics?

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Posted: 27 July 2007 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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I would generally agree with Brennen as well—we have to take claims of high intelligence very carefully, and be explicit precisely what is being said. Whether or not Gardener’s idea itself is correct, I think we can all agree that there are many ways of being smart or a “genius”. For example, I doubt that Mozart could have invented the calculus, and I doubt that Newton could have composed the Requiem. And I doubt that Shakespeare could have done either. So clearly there can’t be a single thing, “intelligence”, which covers all three. Whatever intelligence turns out to be, it must in some sense be compartmentalized and extremely complex.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Thank you Brennen. I will read it.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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George - 27 July 2007 10:42 AM

Being able to run fast has an evolutionary advantage, beyond any doubt. But does winning the Olympics?

Well, but running in a olympics competition and running to scape from a hungry depredator is, at the end, the same thing. You need very similars skills.

But the IQ test are a good representation or model of real life troubles? ( taking into account all the kinds of troubles, like solving calculus troubles or imaging how the things would behave in the air, or figuring your partner or clients feelings ). I don’t have an answer for this.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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dougsmith - 27 July 2007 10:45 AM

I would generally agree with Brennen as well—we have to take claims of high intelligence very carefully, and be explicit precisely what is being said. Whether or not Gardener’s idea itself is correct, I think we can all agree that there are many ways of being smart or a “genius”. For example, I doubt that Mozart could have invented the calculus, and I doubt that Newton could have composed the Requiem. And I doubt that Shakespeare could have done either. So clearly there can’t be a single thing, “intelligence”, which covers all three. Whatever intelligence turns out to be, it must in some sense be compartmentalized and extremely complex.

If one part of your brain develops “above the average” you’ll be able to compose the Requiem. If another part of your brain develops “above the average” you’ll invent the calculus. If both of these parts succeed developing “above the average” you’ll be able to paint Mona Lisa and design a helicopter. Doesn’t seem that complex to me.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Barto - 27 July 2007 10:51 AM

But the IQ test are a good representation or model of real life troubles?

No. A good test that would represent a model of real life troubles would be something I’ll call the Bond-Freud-Darwin Test:

This is how you play it:

1) Compare yourself to Bond (attractiveness, intelligence, financial status, physical condition. etc.)
2) Once you know where you stand, advertise these qualities next time you meet a girl
3) Count the amount of your DNA copies

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Posted: 27 July 2007 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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George - 27 July 2007 11:39 AM
Barto - 27 July 2007 10:51 AM

But the IQ test are a good representation or model of real life troubles?

No. A good test that would represent a model of real life troubles would be something I’ll call the Bond-Freud-Darwin Test:

This is how you play it:

1) Compare yourself to Bond (attractiveness, intelligence, financial status, physical condition. etc.)
2) Once you know where you stand, advertise these qualities next time you meet a girl
3) Count the amount of your DNA copies

LOL  LOL  LOL

But you have to support your ‘dna copies’? (I mean, feed them, send them to school, play with them and so on?. Because I find terrible hard to support one, I cannot image trying to raise my ‘bond-freud-darwin’ score)

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Posted: 27 July 2007 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Barto - 27 July 2007 12:00 PM

But you have to support your ‘dna copies’? (I mean, feed them, send them to school, play with them and so on?. Because I find terrible hard to support one, I cannot image trying to raise my ‘bond-freud-darwin’ score)

Right. It’s up to you to calculate how many balls you can juggle.  wink

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Posted: 27 July 2007 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Ashkenazi intelligence

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Posted: 27 July 2007 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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george,

i respect Pinker and he does acknowledge universal morals. he provided a list of them as an appendix in the back of his book, the blank slate.

maybe a different humanoid species existed without the universal morals we share now, but we know they dont exist anymore. we know that the only human species is ours and we in fact do have SOME universal morals.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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truthaddict,
no we don’t.  Psychopaths don’t at all and just because people like me who use ethical thinking instead of a set of morals might arrive at certain conclusions that are the same as things you hold as morals on certain issues, does not them morals to me.  They are values my reasoning tells me to live by and they are subject (within reason) to changes in society not set in stone like morals are.  So no, for those (count them) two reasons, I not only think, but indeed know that there are no universal morals.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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citing psychopaths undermines your argument. why? because they are psychopaths. there is a specific reason they are called such.

and your personal argument is not much different then those who use the same tactic for paranormal and supernatural claims.

there is a fundamental concept - with slight variations - about what is right and what is wrong. this is demonstrated with anthropology, history, literature, religion, etc.

also, unless youre going to make a semantical argument out of it, ethics and morals are synonymous. goto dictionary.com and under thesarus type in “moral” and look at its definition. now do the same for ethic. i think you are refering to the same by using a synonym.

again, I am not referring to all morals/values/virtues/ethics/etc. I have stressed the words “some” and “fundamental.” just as we find the smell of a decaying elephant carcas to be unpleasant, a vulture finds it pleasant. seriously, why do you think all of our cultures frown upon murder, rape, stealing, cheating and lying? is it just a coincidence? not hardly.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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narwhol - 27 July 2007 05:12 PM

truthaddict,
no we don’t.  Psychopaths don’t at all and just because people like me who use ethical thinking instead of a set of morals might arrive at certain conclusions that are the same as things you hold as morals on certain issues, does not them morals to me.

I believe that Pinker in fact argues that psychopaths are perhaps genetically distinct, or in some other way have a brain that functions abnormally. Apparently there are a constant percentage of psychopaths in all cultures (IIRC), which is some indication that their existence is not due to cultural factors alone.

The argument that Pinker makes for a rough universal morality isn’t that everyone is going to agree; it’s rather that there are certain general ethical universals shared in all cultures. Indeed, there are certain moralistic behaviors we share with non-human animals.  (E.g., vampire bats will not share blood with bats who are themselves stingy. Parents will put themselves in great danger to help their children). Since these exist in every culture and in animals without language or culture, they aren’t due to cultural forces. They are instead due, in some sense, to our genetic heritage.

But this genetic heritage—and the ethical notions it provides us—are kind of like a statistical average. Most people share them most of the time. This can be true on average and still there be great disagreement on the fringes.

[ Edited: 27 July 2007 05:38 PM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 27 July 2007 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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truthaddict - 27 July 2007 04:59 PM

we in fact do have SOME universal morals.

Agreed: some!

The difference between psychopaths and the rest is in the way we judge certain situations. We use reason and emotions. Psychopaths only use reason; they know they have committed a crime but they don’t feel it.

From Moral Minds by M. Hauser:

“[Psychopaths] appear to deliver normal moral judgments, but due to the lack of appropriate emotions, behave abnormally, with morally inappropriate actions.”

[ Edited: 27 July 2007 07:18 PM by George ]
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Posted: 28 July 2007 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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truthaddict - 27 July 2007 05:26 PM

citing psychopaths undermines your argument. why? because they are psychopaths. there is a specific reason they are called such.

and your personal argument is not much different then those who use the same tactic for paranormal and supernatural claims.

there is a fundamental concept - with slight variations - about what is right and what is wrong. this is demonstrated with anthropology, history, literature, religion, etc.

also, unless youre going to make a semantical argument out of it, ethics and morals are synonymous. goto dictionary.com and under thesarus type in “moral” and look at its definition. now do the same for ethic. i think you are refering to the same by using a synonym.

again, I am not referring to all morals/values/virtues/ethics/etc. I have stressed the words “some” and “fundamental.” just as we find the smell of a decaying elephant carcas to be unpleasant, a vulture finds it pleasant. seriously, why do you think all of our cultures frown upon murder, rape, stealing, cheating and lying? is it just a coincidence? not hardly.

I don’t need to go to dictionary dot com thank you very much. Ethics is one of the three main branches of philosophy.  Morals are not the same thing.  Not by a long way.  Your personal ethics might actually be the same as someone else’s personal morals, but that is a coincidence, not an adoption of morals by an ethical thinker.  On some of the major things like murder that you mentioned before, ethics will usually bring a person who reasons them round to having the idea that it’s not generally a good thing to do, but this is not a shared set of morals with people who go down the stone tablets route.  On the more minor things, the ethical thinker is much more likely to not consider it wrong to say covert their neighbours’ asses ass long as they do so in moderation and don’t let it become bothersome either to themselves or anyone else.  If situations change an ethical thinker’s personal ethics can adapt to the situation since their ethics are based on the consideration: what course of action does the least harm and to the fewest people.  People who slavishly stick to their morals don’t do this.

Citing psychopaths wins my argument they are called people and there is a reason they are called such.  And there are far more of them than you might think.  There are white collar psychopaths who don’t go out commiting crimes and who lead reasonably decent lives, and studies show that a higher percentage of these people become business people than is seen in the rest of society.  And my “tactic” is to look at humanity as a whole and consider the question do we all subscribe to a set of universal morals.  The answer is, plainly, no we don’t.

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