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My best understanding of Stapp’s theory and other rival ones is that quantum mechanics may provide some freedom of choice, a yes/no selection of options or brain states. If this is true, as I said, I’m delighted. It certainly breathes new air into the free will discussion, which the determinists have been winning.
... Here is a brief explanation of top down control from an article in the journal Neuron: ...
...Sperry writes that “the proposed brain model provides in large measure the mental forces and abilities to determine one’s own actions. It provides a high degree of freedom from outside forces as well as mastery over the inner molecular and atomic forces of the body. In other words, it provides plenty of free will as long as we think of free will as self-determination.”So, accordingly, a person does indeed determine with his own mind what he is going to do from a range of alternatives, but the ultimate choice is restricted by a variety of factors, including available information and mental acuity. Perhaps the ultimate form of free will would not be complete freedom from all causal factors but rather unlimited causal contact with all relevant information, scenarios, choices, and possible results.And, of course, our choices are in large part determined by our personal preferences, experiences, and cultural and inherited factors. It could be argued that this is a form of determinism, but do we really wish to be free from ourselves? As Arthur Schopenhauer wondered, “We may be free to do as we please, but are we free to please as we please?”With this conception of free will it could be argued that the more we learn, the wider the experience we gain, the more logical we become, the greater our knowledge of ourselves and of history, the more our sciences advance, the greater then the extent of true human freedom. However, an interesting experiment w
Roger Sperry & Split Brain Research://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SBA2X7ZQZk
However, an interestingexperiment was performed by a psychologist in the late 1980s that seems to have bearing on thesubject of free will and may imply a different conclusion.Benjamin Libet, at the University of California at San Francisco, asked subjects to push a button ata moment of their choosing while they noted the moment of their decision as displayed on a clock. Hefound that subjects on average took about a fifth of a second to flex their fingers after they haddecided to do so. But data from an electroencephalograph monitoring their brain waves showed aspike in electrical activity about a third of a second before they consciously decided to push thebutton. Some have interpreted this result as implying that our decisions may be unconsciouslydetermined for us before we are aware of the decision, and thus free will is only an illusion.Before we jump to this conclusion, however, we immediately recognize that we do not typicallymake our decisions the way these subjects arbitrarily decided to flex their fingers. Decisions onanything important are usually made by gathering information and mulling over the differentpossibilities and their implications.
The decision to push a button at the moment of our choosing, bycontrast, seems to involve waiting for the trivial urge to strike us, a rather random, indeterminateprocess.Libet himself believes that one implication of his work is an altered view of how we exercise freewill:The role of conscious free will would be, then, not to initiate a voluntary act, but rather to control whether the act takes place.We may view the unconscious initiatives for voluntary actions as “bubbling up” in the brain. The conscious-will then selectswhich of these initiatives may go forward to an action or which ones to veto or abort, with no act appearing. . . . The existenceof a veto possibility is not in doubt. The subjects in our experiments at times reported that a conscious wish or urge to actappeared but that they suppressed or vetoed that. . . . All of us, not just experimental subjects, have experienced our vetoing aspontaneous urge to perform some act. This often occurs when the urge to act involves some socially unacceptableconsequence, like an urge to shout some obscenity at the professor.33He also considers and rejects the possibility that the conscious veto itself may have its origin inpreceding unconscious processes, writing thatthe conscious veto is a control function, different from simply becoming aware of the wish to act.
There is no logical imperativein any mind-brain theory, even identity theory, that requires specific neural activity to precede and determine the nature of aconscious control function.
And, there is no experimental evidence against the possibility that the control process may appearwithout development by prior unconscious processes.
Popper would take this as another example of downward causation, as nonrandom selection from achoice of random alternatives: “The selection of a kind of behavior out of a randomly offeredrepertoire may be an act of choice, even an act of free will.”34 If quantum phenomena have any realeffect in the brain, then perhaps their random influences are accepted when they fit into the higherlevelstructure; otherwise they are rejected.But there is another interpretation, due to another of Libet’s experiments. In 1973 Libet found thatelectrical stimulation of the sensory cortex—that part of the brain’s surface primarily responsible forprocessing tactile information from the skin—did not result in conscious sensation unless thestimulation was prolonged for at least 500 milliseconds (0.5 second). The necessity of 500milliseconds of cortical stimulation before the signal was felt also held for stimulation of the skin: inboth cases, if the signal as recorded in the cortex was less than half a second long, it was notconsciously experienced. This does not mean that the signal at the skin must last half a second, butrather that the secondary signals at the surface of the brain must last at least half a second before theycan be consciously experienced.However, Libet found that patients experienced their finger shocks almost immediately, between 10and 20 milliseconds after the shock was applied. Typical reaction time—the time it takes to perceive ashock and push a button—is about 100 milliseconds (0.1 second). So how can Libet’s observation that500 milliseconds of neural activity is required before a shock can be felt be reconciled with the factthat we can perceive and respond to such shocks in about one-fifth the time they apparently require tobecome part of conscious experience?In a series of ingenious experiments involving electrical stimulation of both skin and cortex, Libetresolved this paradox. What appears to happen is that the tactile signal reaches the cortex in about 10milliseconds but is not consciously perceived. However, the arrival time is unconsciously marked insome manner. Then, if the cortical activity due to the skin response is not interrupted but allowed tocontinue for at least 500 milliseconds, the shock is felt. But it is not felt half a second late: rather, it is“backdated” to the original arrival time of the signal.
These surprising results seem to refute the idea that every mental experience is directly correlatedwith a physical process in the brain. Or, as neuroscientist John Eccles put it, “there can be a temporaldiscrepancy between neural events and the experiences of the self conscious mind.”v
Dean Radin takes this idea a step further: He notes that the equations of both classical and quantumphysics are neutral with respect to the direction of time and so do not rule out the possibility of futureevents causing events in the past. In addition, he has presented some experimental evidence thatindividuals can subconsciously react to future events.
At the University of Nevada, people were shown a series of pictures on a computer screen. Most ofthe images were of an emotionally calming nature, such as images of landscapes and various naturescenes, but some were meant to be arousing or disturbing, including pornographic photos and picturesof corpses. At the beginning of each trial, the screen was blank. The participant would start the trial bypressing a mouse button. After five seconds, one of these images, calm or emotional, was shown forthree seconds, and then the screen would go blank again. Ten seconds later, a message informedparticipants that they could press the mouse button again whenever they felt ready for the next trial.Five seconds after pressing the mouse button, another picture would be displayed, and the sessionwould continue until forty pictures had been shown. The order in which the pictures were displayedwas chosen randomly by the computer. Throughout the session the participants’ heart rate, skinresistance, and blood volume in the fingertips were monitored.Not surprisingly, dramatic changes in all three physiological measures were recorded when theemotional pictures were shown. But what was remarkable was that the arousal began before theemotional picture was displayed, even though the participants could not have known by any normalmeans what sort of picture was going to be displayed next. This effect, of unconsciously preparing fora reaction to an impending event, has been labeled “presentiment” and has been replicatedindependently by a laboratory in Holland.35As Radin notes, if we allow “for the possibility of signals traveling backward in time, then whatLibet saw [in the experiment involving deciding when to push a button] may be the brain’s response toits own decision taking place a third of a second in the future.”36 In other words, given the apparenttemporal discrepancy between neural events and the experiences of the self-conscious mind, thesubconscious mind may generate neural activity in order to prepare the brain for the execution of animpending decision. The second experiment described may be an example of the reverse: the mindmay experience and respond to a sensation because of a signal from the future state of the brain.
Why the Newtonian 19th Century outdated and superseded Materialism is False ? : Cheryl : This Nobel prize Winner Neurobiologist Roger Sperry might interest you , since you are so fond of neurobiology :
No, I can't explain the results of that experiment. I'd have to look at how it was done. You would expect some anticipatory spike in excitement before the next picture. And you'd have to make sure the participants had not figured out, consciously or subconsciously, any pattern in when a good or bad picture would be shown next.
Of course, this is just a hypothesis, a speculative model, but it seems to fit the data I've seen better than the other models I've seen, and it does account rather well for those disturbing moments of daily life where the illusion of conscious control is broken, such as when you 'find yourself' doing something you didn't intend to do, or when you do something but don't know why, or when you 'can't stop yourself' doing something, etc. (e.g. when you accidentally blurt out the 'wrong thing' - how can that happen if you're really in conscious control of what you say?).
Cheryl :"Mind-Body Interaction" :............In the brain model proposed here the causal potency of an idea, or an ideal, becomes just as real as that of a molecule, a cell, ora nerve impulse. Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other and with other mental forces in thesame brain, in neighboring brains, and thanks to global communication, in far distant, foreign brains. And they also interactwith the external surroundings to produce in toto a burstwise advance in evolution that is far beyond anything to hit theevolutionary scene yet.Mind-Body Interaction:Critics of mentalism and dualism often question how two fundamentally different properties, such asmind and matter, could possibly interact. How can something nonspatial, with no mass, location, orphysical dimensions, possibly influence spatially bound matter? As K. R. Rao writes:The main problem with such dualism is the problem of interaction. How does unextended mind interact with the extendedbody? Any kind of causal interaction between them, which is presumed by most dualist theories, comes into conflict with thephysical theory that the universe is a closed system and that every physical event is linked with an antecedent physical event.This assumption preempts any possibility that a mental act can cause a physical event.28Of course, we know now that the universe is not a closed system and that the collapse of the wavefunction—a physical event—is linked with an antecedent mental event. The objection Rao describes isof course based on classical physics.Furthermore, by asking “How does unextended mind interact with the extended body?” Rao ismaking the implicit assumption that phenomena that exist as cause and effect must have something incommon in order to exist as cause and effect. So is this a logical necessity? Or is it rather an empiricaltruth, a fact about nature? As David Hume pointed out long ago, anything in principle could be thecause of anything else, and so only observation can establish what causes what. Parapsychologist JohnBeloff considers the issue logically:If an event A never occurred without being preceded by some other event B, we would surely want to say that the second eventwas a necessary condition or cause of the first event, whether or not the two had anything else in common. As for such aprinciple being an empirical truth, how could it be since there are here only two known independent substances, i.e. mind andmatter, as candidates on which to base a generalization? To argue that they cannot interact because they are independent is tobeg the question. . . . It says something about the desperation of those who want to dismiss radical dualism that such phonyarguments should repeatedly be invoked by highly reputable philosophers who should know better.29Popper also rejects completely the idea that only like can act upon like, describing this as resting onobsolete notions of physics. For an example of unlikes acting on one another we have interactionbetween the four known and very different forces, and between forces and physical bodies. Popperconsiders the issue empirically:In the present state of physics we are faced, not with a plurality of substances, but with a plurality of different kinds of forces,and thus with a pluralism of different interacting explanatory principles. Perhaps the clearest physical example against the thesisthat only like things can act upon each other is this: In modern physics, the action of bodies upon bodies is mediated by fields—by gravitational and electrical fields. Thus like does not act upon like, but bodies act first upon fields, which they modify, andthen the modified field acts upon another body.30It should be clear that the idea that only like can act upon like rests upon an obsolete, billiard-ballnotion of causation in physics.Chris Carter
[/b]Application to Neuropsychology:[/size]The most direct evidence pertaining to the effects of conscious choicesupon brain activities comes from experiments in which consciouslycontrolled cognitive efforts are found to be empirically correlated tomeasured physical effects in the brain. An example is the experiment ofOchsner et al. (2001). The subjects are trained how to cognitively reevaluateemotional scenes by consciously creating and holding in placean alternative fictional story of what is really happening in connectionwith an emotion-generating scene they are viewing.The trial began with a 4-second presentation of a negative orneutral photo, during which participants were instructed simplyto view the stimulus on the screen. This interval was intended toprovide time for participants to apprehend complex scenes andallow an emotional response to be generated that participantswould then be asked to regulate. The word ‘attend’ (for negativeor neutral photos) or ‘reappraise’ (negative photos only) thenappeared beneath the photo and the participants followed thisinstruction for 4 seconds.To verify whether the participants had, in fact, reappraised inthis manner, during the post-scan rating session participantswere asked to indicate for each photo whether they had reinterpretedthe photo (as instructed) or had used some other typeof reappraisal strategy. Compliance was high: On less than 4%of trials with highly negative photos did participants reportusing another type of strategy.Reports such as these can be taken as evidence that the streams ofconsciousness of the participants do exist and contain elements identifiableas efforts to reappraise.Patterns of brain activity accompanying reappraisal efforts wereassessed by using functional magnetic imaging resonance (fMRI). ThefMRI results were that reappraisal was positively correlated with increasedactivity in the left lateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (regions thought to be connected to cognitivecontrol) and decreased activity in the (emotion-related) amygdala andmedial orbito-frontal cortex.How can we explain the correlation revealed in this experimentbetween the mental reality of ‘conscious effort’ and the physical realityof measured brain behavior?
Quote from: cheryl j on 16/12/2013 03:12:57... You may not like the article, because it is somewhat critical, but it does mention some changes Stapps made to his theory. http://web.archive.org/web/20060623070312/http://individual.utoronto.ca/dbourget/download/QLPM.pdf [Links inactive - To make links active and clickable, login or click here to register]Thanks for that link Carol, it does confirm a few of my doubts. It also points out that while Stapp's view of consciousness as based in multiple patterns of neural activity (representing qualia) is broadly reasonable - pace his need to introduce quantum phenomena, which looks like a case of 'man with a hammer' syndrome - it conflicts with his seemingly dualistic interpretation of free will, which appears to be some unexplained volitional agency that delays wave function collapse until a high probability of the desired outcome is achieved (or something like that). But this apparently separates and distinguishes free will (unexplained volitional agency) from conscious intent (also volitional agency, but based in neural activity), which raises questions of precedence and redundancy. Further, if the neural processing in the brain can give rise to consciousness and a superposition of options for action, yet is insufficient to select the appropriate action, we must ask how the judgement of suitability or desirability in this dualistic, solipsistic view, is made - it would seem that this unexplained non-physical system would also need to somehow process the same data, either to generate a sample desirable outcome to compare with the superposed options arrived at by the physical processing, or to analyse the desirability of some particular outcome on-the-fly. If the physical system is unable to make appropriate selections without an external agency, how this external agency can make its choices without also needing another parallel system to analyse the desirability of its own choices, and so-on, recursively, is unexplained. It smacks of the infinite regression of Dennett's 'Cartesian Theatre' argument.
... You may not like the article, because it is somewhat critical, but it does mention some changes Stapps made to his theory. http://web.archive.org/web/20060623070312/http://individual.utoronto.ca/dbourget/download/QLPM.pdf [Links inactive - To make links active and clickable, login or click here to register]
It is obvious that there are details about consciousness we still have to learn about.
If, as Don contends, the conscious mind is a sovereign agent, above and beyond any material description or control, how does he reconcile the UNCONSCIOUS state we call sleep? Because; thru experiment we have recorded brain wave activity that is separate and distinct from waking moments. Here is the evidence to show that consciousness can be measured and this measuring of it proves it's material basis. If it were completely nonmaterial, these measurements would not be possible...............................
I'm curious to know what he says about questions raised by the split-brain studies he quoted - though judging by previous responses, he'll either ignore them, dump some blather and handwaving about science and materialist ideology, or post a few chapters of someone-else's book...
It almost seems that Stapp and others are tip toeing around what the conscious agency actually consists of, or they don't really care, and are just interested in seeing if it is possible to work in free will in some way. Stapp is not shy about admitting that objective.
And I agree he is looking for a way to re-instate personal accountability he feels is being undermined by neuroscience.
Let's look at the statistics of an "anticipatory response" (y) to emotive pictures. Suppose I have equal numbers of neutral (X) and emotive (Y) images, displayed at random. After a few trials, my subject will have a pretty good idea that they are about equally likely, so if he sees the sequence XX, YX, or XXX he will expect the next image to be Y. Therefore the probability of an anticipatory y response will be greater than then actual incidence of Y images. Summed over a large number of trials, this will look like "the subject correctly anticipated Y significantly more than chance" but the statistically correct inference is that time is unidirectional and people try to impose pattern on random events. Why else would anyone choose lottery numbers based on previous outcomes? And why do lotteries make a profit? The problem with the experiment is that there is no true zero.
... I firmly believe he has a secret religious agenda.
Quote from: Ethos_ on 17/12/2013 16:54:33... I firmly believe he has a secret religious agenda.You reckon? 
I don't see much of a problem with simple personal accountability per se - if an individual can be shown to have acted [without coercion], they can be said to be responsible for that action, and can be asked to account for it (although they may not be able to account for it). For me, the problem arises when you start with an abstraction of cultural convenience, like 'moral responsibility', reify it, generate another (ill-defined, incoherent) abstraction to justify it (i.e. free will), then insist on finding neural or physical correlates for it. By tweaking the concept of free will to make it coherent, it can quite easily be applied, and arises naturally out of even an entirely deterministic behavioural model without any need to find explanatory gaps or uncertainties in quantum mechanics to wedge it into. The question is whether making it coherent spoils the party for moral responsibility - and I rather suspect it does.
It seems to me that much of the effort to support a dualist interpretation for free will in particular, and consciousness in general, is driven by a perceived need to see only consciousness as the 'real' you, and the non-conscious processes as simply some kind of dumb janitor behind the scenes, emptying the bins and handling the mail.
However, evidence has been accumulating for some time that it is the sum of the non-conscious processes in the brain that constitute the 'real' you, and that conscious awareness is an evolutionary latecomer to the feast providing a reflective awareness of what the whole is doing. It's less an agent, more a representative or monitor, providing a unified view of the self; The only 'illusion' of consciousness is the way things are arranged so that the conscious process feels it is the whole rather than being only an awareness of the whole, but that's the way it has to be if you want an integrated conscious sense of self. This misplaced sense of sole agency can be strong enough to produce a sense of complete independence - the concept of a non-physical consciousness that carries on after death - but taking the credit for the team is one thing, that's how it's explicitly set up, but the idea that it can function without them is like the Face of L'Oreal thinking she's the one who makes and sells the perfumes & cosmetics and can still make and sell them even if all the factories burn down and the company goes bust...So I see the 'real you' as a team effort involving all brain processes, and consciousness is one process on the team who's kept informed, is allowed to sit in on the important meetings, and is led to believe it's all his own work
The courts have always taken into account whether a person could control their actions, or if they were unable to because of insanity, mental retardation,brain tumors or brain injuries, youth, even the "heat of the moment" or panic. Neuroscience may have nudged that dividing line in finding more biological causes for behavior. But all I think will happen, and in many respects it already has, is that justice will based less on determining responsibility, and more on whether the person has proven they are a danger to others. It may also come to rely more on the idea of modifiability.If a child scribbles on the wall, we assume this behavior can be modified, either by positive or negative reinforcement, or simply by explaining that paper is for drawing, not walls. The behavior is modifiable. If he scribbled on the wall because he was sleep walking, nothing we say or do the next morning is likely to prevent it from happening again the next time he sleeps walks. We can say he wasn't in control of his actions, but we could also simply say it is not modifiable behavior, other than by directly intervening, placing the crayons out of reach, etc.
So there we have it - when the going gets interesting, cut and run. Two posts, one long enough to answer at least some of the questions, instead used to make a theatrical lovey ('darlings, I love you all, mwaah!') exit; the other, an incoherent insult [)]No surprises there, then 
I wonder if we take our innate resistance to being compelled or restricted from doing things against our will by others and turn it against ourselves or the idea of our own subconscious.Sometimes I even wonder if people's fear of their own subconscious acting without their awareness or consent is related to a primitive fear of parasites.
In addition to providing a unified sense of self, the concept of free will might result simply because I can't foresee the future. Because I don't know exactly what I'll be doing tomorrow or next week or next year, and nothing appears to be constraining me, I believe I can control what happens or what I decide to do. Even if someone successfully predicts what I do or how I react, I still feel that it could have been otherwise, especially if I didn't predict it.
If it's an illusion, it's an oddly inescapable one, except by rephrasing the question, as you have, and asking "free from what?" Do we really want to be free from all causation - learning, past experience, genetic abilities, automatic behavior that allows us to walk across the room without issuing specific instructions to each muscle group?
The only thing I can think of that most people wish to be free of is reacting impulsively in ways they will later regret, kind of like worrying that there is a rogue or deficient player on your team. Casinos often hire pretty women because statistically, men spend more money and take greater risks in the presence of an attractive women, even if they are not aware of doing so, or consciously trying to impress her. Conversely, I once heard of a stock broker who never worked at home because he knew that environment would make him too conservative and risk averse. Does trying to stack ones own the deck, so to speak, support the idea of free will, or is ultimately a contradiction, or make no sense at all?
I will be watching you , from time to time , whenever i can...
And when i will come back, if i come back, i do promise that i will be delivering some challenging material that will be rocking your materialist sand castles , to the point where its sand grains will be flying in all directions ,thanks to the stormy wind that i will be triggering ...
I will be watching you , from time to time , whenever i can : let's see whether you, guys , can or not progress in this discussion without me ............
Whenever i am gone , this discussion becomes clinically dead , untill i come back and revive it again .
Let's hope , it wouldn't be the case this time .
P.S.: I hope that some "geniuses " here such as Ethos will be decent enough to leave this thread , since he cannot ,obviously , understand simple statements ....while he keeps on making wild and silly specualtions accusations ....in order to hide his paradoxical ignorance in the process ...
I don't quite understand what you mean here.
I also liked the fact that I arrived at work the same time I left home. It seemed to make the trip shorter. And he said, "Yeah, but then the trip home is twice as long!" "I don't care about that," I said "because I'm never in a big rush then. I only need to get some where fast in the morning."
... my five senses ...
But , to believe in 2 mutually exclusive world views , that's a bizzare something that cannot be "achieved " but by guys like ...Ethos here . haha
Well, some people, myself included, know they have a tendency to behave a certain way in certain circumstances, and instead of trying to use "will power" they simply prearrange those circumstances so that it less likely to have those effects....
Here's an article from Science Daily that's kind of relevant to control or veto power.Scientists Improve Human Self-Control Through Electrical Brain Stimulationhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131213094949.htm [Links inactive - To make links active and clickable, login or click here to register]
QuoteBut , to believe in 2 mutually exclusive world views , that's a bizzare something that cannot be "achieved " but by guys like ...Ethos here . hahaIt's the very essence of faith and many other perversions. Remarkably common among congregations and psychopaths.
Quote from: Ethos_ on 18/12/2013 00:44:58... my five senses ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense#Definition [Links inactive - To make links active and clickable, login or click here to register], e.g. thermoception , proprioception , nociception.
This is quite amusing to me Cheryl because my wife does the same thing. And I, like most males I'm sure, responds exactly like your boy friend did. But that's a subject for an entirely different thread, or is it?
Quote from: Ethos_ on 18/12/2013 00:59:14This is quite amusing to me Cheryl because my wife does the same thing. And I, like most males I'm sure, responds exactly like your boy friend did. But that's a subject for an entirely different thread, or is it?Gender differences might not be irrelevant to the topic of consciousness, although it’s possible if I respond in much detail a moderator will split off that discussion into a new thread. (Although maybe in the “New Theories” category, anything goes.) The other problem is I am well aware I have a huge bias concerning the biological bases of gender differences. I would like, or strongly prefer, there not to be significant differences between men and women, or between races, because of the potential for discrimination, and probably because of my own issues of self-identity. I sometimes ask myself what I would do if confronted with irrefutable evidence that men were superior in many ways to women. How would I react? Would I, like Don, fervently deny it because of the threat it presents to my world view, or would I simply accept it, shrug my shoulders, and say, “Sucks to be me, I guess.” I’m really not sure.Despite my bias, I can still make my best effort to think about the question reasonably. My strongest argument against strong sexual dimorphism is that only two of the 46 chromosomes are sex chromosomes, and the X is shared by males. So any differences between men and women have to be explained by genes on the Y chromosome (which contains surprisingly little information) regulatory effects of those genes on the Y, or selective gene expression through hormones. You’d have show what genes, and how many, on the autosomes are modulated by hormones. Even if there are different evolutionary pressures on males and females, as long as a selective trait is not a disadvantage for the opposite gender, I don’t see why it would be suppressed. For example, distance vision might be more important for male hunters, and near vision for female gatherers, but if neither is a disadvantage or somehow incompatible (where you can’t have one without the expense of the other) why would both sexes not inherit genes for both good near and distance vision?My other argument is that physical differences that make men and women look so different are primarily related to mate selection and reproduction, but mental differences, like intelligence, perception, problem solving, language may be more important to survival in general, in order to live to the age to reproduce, and facilitate the survival of the group and off-spring. On the other hand, there are documented behavioral differences between men and women, but they are somewhat statistical. It’s been proven in multiple ways that statistically that men are more aggressive than women, but that said, there are many assertive women and many shy passive men. Aggression in men and women are probably overlapping bell shaped curves. Behavioural differences don’t seem to be absolute differences like either having ovaries, or not having ovaries. The other problem with statistical differences, is that statistics are more important to doctors, actuaries, and in marketing research, and less important (and accurate) in our daily relationships with a small number of individuals. Even if you can show statistically that men are better at math, or there are more male math geniuses, what difference does it make to the brilliant female mathematician that she is a statistical anomaly? How would an institution benefit by screening out all females and possibly overlooking her as the best candidate among the rest?Here’s another everyday example. Hunting is a more popular sport among men than women. Yet in the small office I once worked, all of the hunters were female. This is probably explained by the fact that most of the women grew up here, a rural area, where hunting is a popular social activity and even needed in order to have a freezer full of meat all winter. All of the men in the office were doctors imported from cities and suburbs, where hunting is not as common (as were the female doctors.) But the rule of thumb that “most hunters are men”, wasn’t reflected in that small group, and if you applied that rule, you would be wrong. There has been a lot of bias in evolutionary psychology, in my probably biased opinion. A popular book in the 70s was Desmond Morris’s “The Naked Ape” in which every evolutionary change in homo sapiens (walking up right, tool making, language, etc.) was connected to hunting. Obtaining food is a key evolutionary pressure, but so is anything that effects the survival of offspring, especially helpless and late developing offspring like humans, and he just seemed to ignore any evolutionary pressures on females. And I won’t even get into the bad science in books like “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus.”My final argument is that I do not own numerous pairs of shoes. Therefore, any scientific evidence of gender differences must be a result of the “false misconception of nature by main stream scientists blinded by their outdated 19th century, Eurocentric world view.” (Okay, now I know I am biased.)
..My final argument is that I do not own numerous pairs of shoes. Therefore, any scientific evidence of gender differences must be a result of the “false misconception of nature by main stream scientists blinded by their outdated 19th century, Eurocentric world view.” (Okay, now I know I am biased.)