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As shown in the Libet experiment, conscious decisions appears to be an illusion and an afterconstruct.
In 1966 a man named Charles Whitman took an elevator to the top floor of a tower on the campus of the University of Texas. He killed a university receptionist with the butt of his rifle, shot two families of tourists in the tower, and fired on pedestrians down below. Earlier that day he shot his mother and stabbed his wife. In a suicide note he described how he had always been a reasonable and average person but recently started having irrational thoughts and overwhelming violent impulses. He requested an autopsy after his death. He killed 13 people including ambulance drivers that arrived, and wounded 33 others that day.The autopsy did in fact find a large tumor in Whitman's brain, in a region called the amygdala which is responisble for emotional regulation, fear and aggression. More and more, science discovers relationships between violent behavior and brain dysfunction. There are also genetic links which by themselves do not predict criminal behavior but when combined with an abuse or neglect in childhood, vastly increase the risk. None of this makes violent behavior somehow acceptable or excusable. It merely says that perhaps blame-worthiness is the wrong question. Regardless of the cause, until people who commit violent acts can be cured or rehabilitated, they have to be separated from society, for the safety of others. Until parole boards can predict accurately who will reoffend, great caution has to be exercised in deciding who can be released back into society. It really has little to do with either punishment or justification. I do agree with you, though, that a society that only views behavior in terms of "good" and "evil" has no hope of ever solving this human problem.
@cheryl jYou are conflating "needed to some extent" with "needed to the same extent". That is two completely different claims. I did not deny that intelligence and cooperation were useful to some extent on all continents, but you cannot seriously be claiming that they were useful to the same extent. And several types of animals have been domesticated in far fewer generations than humans have evidently lived separately (fox experiments in Siberia, rabbit domestication began in the late medieval), as well as feralization (stray dogs, stray cats, North American mustang horses). And if your argument about multiple genes hampering change was taken face value, there would have been no way of noticing mental conditions running in families. And you cannot seriously be denying that certain events may regionally have killed off families without members with a certain condition and spared families with said condition.When you use the lack of evidence for racial mind differences as an argument to claim that evolutionary psychology does not predict such differences, you are conflating empirical outcome with prediction of theory. That a prediction fails to empirically pan out does NOT mean that it did not follow logically from the theory. The prediction still follows logically from the theory, and the mismatch means that the theory is wrong. If your conflation between prediction and observation was used in physics, the theory of a lumiferous aether would have been defended by claiming that "there is no evidence for annual changes in the speed of light in different directions, therefore the theory of a lumniferous aether does not predict such changes". Exactly the same form of conflation of theoretical prediction with empirical evidence.And why did you ignore the examples of Homo sapiens/ archaic Homo admixture?Furthermore, if the de facto selective breeding by capital punishment of whole families took place in recent centuries (and some countries have applied such punishment in recent centuries), your theory of natural selection "restoring the balance" would be inadequate for explaining non-raciality today even if there was no other problems with it.And yes, there is empirical evidence for completely symptom-free people with no cerebral cortex at all. If you find that hard to believe, then the theory that makes you find it hard to believe is falsified. When a theory predicts that a confirmed empirical outcome should be impossible, then the theory is wrong.Yes, the newly peaceful baboon case is genuine, but it is also one of the many examples of behavioral change that computerist brain theory is unable to explain. Their acquired drop in stress hormone levels was greater than the difference between a wild wolf and a bordercollie dog, a degree of drop that computerist brain theory considers to be impossible.And as for the example of Huntington's disease, there is evidence that the bulk of the heredity shown by twin studies cannot be correlated with what neo-Darwinists accept as functionally active DNA (they believe that most DNA must be junk or else there would be too many deletirious mutations). This confirms the ENCODE discovery that most DNA is indeed functionally active (and of course large amounts of meaningless DNA activity is rendered highly unlikely by its energy consumption). This proves mathematically that we are all born with several mutations that should, by any reductionistic rights, be lethal. So mathematically speaking, simply being alive is proof of having undergone multiple spontaneous remissions from mutations that, according to all mainstream medicine, should have been lethal. But since belief in genetic determinism and physician authority is widespread in society, diagnosis may create a nocebo (destructive version of placebo) effect that paralyzes the self-correction (just like having to read racist articles makes black students perform poorer on tests). I think enzymes processing DNA does the practical job of self-correction.
No, that genes can be changed by the organisms themselves is NOT "body/mind duality" at all. It is a combination of enzymes building and decomposing DNA, cells learning to predict things by associating, and signals between cells. Emergent, but not dualistic. Since thoughts are based on material processes too, it is just logical that they can affect their constituent particles.You completely ignored the mathematical evidence for too many lethal mutations to be manageable by natural selection. That means that actual remaking of the genome to solve problems created by mutations is necessary to explain how anybody can be alive.You also ignored the evidence for rapid domestication and feralization in various animals. And I was not talking about something as sloppily defined as "intelligence" at all. I was talking about noticeable, definable traits. Rapid domestication/feralization effects should, if genetic limit theory was correct, have produced racial differences in moral values and violence.
Yes, you are right. In your last post alone there are probably about 15 topics that would have to be considered separately!Given the time we have spent on this discussion, I would like you to at least clearly understand my position, even if you don't agree, and if I could leave you with one closing thought of mine, it would be this: Just because a trait or disorder has a strong proven environmental factor, that doesn't exclude or disprove a genetic component as well. It's not always either/or. That is precisely why researchers use tools like twin studies to "tweeze out" mixed causes, and calculate the influence of both. I've cited several examples of traits and disorders that seem to require both a genetic and environmental factor. Sometimes it takes two keys to unlock a single door, so to speak. (And that thought occurred to me today when I was fumbling around for both keys to open the door to my cottage to do spring cleaning!)