By popular demand here is what we saved before the thread got the axe. I’m going to go ahead and post it, and then go back and start tagging to try and make it legible. Unfortunately, bold type doesn’t show up well on this page, and I’m not familiar enough with the Style Sheet thing to adjust it, or even if it’s possible.
My comments are in red, comments normally seen in bold type, inserted by Dave, are in blue.
1. Speaking as a brilliant man I can honestly say this is the greatest line of bs I have ever heard. It does, however, explain a lot about the radical acceptance of Darwinism.
Comment by Jon Jackson — July 15, 2006 @ 10:45 pm
2. OTOH, Darwin was, a I understand it, faithful to his wife.
This is either BS.
Or Darwin wasn’t brilliant.
Comment by tribune7 — July 15, 2006 @ 11:03 pm
3. Bravo, Tribune7, well put!
Comment by bFast — July 15, 2006 @ 11:36 pm
4. I lost all respect for Richard Feynman after reading James Gleick’s book, “Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman.” (Gleick is the famous New York Times science writer best known for “Chaos: The Making of a New Science.”)
From the Feynman biography, page 287:
“…he had pursued women with a singlemindedness that violated most of the public, if not the private, scruples associated with the sexual ballet. He dated undergraduates, paid prostitutes in whorehouses, taught himself (as he saw it) how to beat bar girls at their own game, and slept with the young wives of several of his friends among the physics graduate students.”
This has nothing to do with Darwinian evolution. It is quite simply complete moral degeneracy.
Comment by GilDodgen — July 15, 2006 @ 11:56 pm
5. My dog must be a genius, who knew?
Comment by mentok — July 16, 2006 @ 2:29 am
6. Not all brilliant men are skirt chasers of course but…
There’s a lot more to it than what the author suggested. The temptations are greater for brilliant men. A lot of women are very attracted to smart men regardless of wealth, power, or physical good looks. They don’t necessarily want to wed but they do want them for the father of their children. That drive in women would probably be the major factor. Monogamy for humans is a social convention not a biological imperative. Polygamy for men is a biological imperative. Look at the setup – men produce millions of gametes fresh every day for most of their lives. Women are born with a fixed number of gametes of limited shelf life. Clearly two different reproductive strategies set in opposition are in play there. But even given that women have a biological imperative to attract a keep a single mate she doesn’t have a biological imperative to be sexually monogamous with him.
At any rate, what I described above should work to cause allelic evolution to favor high intelligence in humans. And remember, when it comes to the science of evolution, should is the same as does.
Comment by DaveScot — July 16, 2006 @ 9:48 am
Given the appropriateness of the subject matter, and the fact that we’ve managed to tick off enough people for one week, we’d like to explore your comment a little further at our blog.
Is it ok if we quote your last comment there? We won’t do it without your ok.
No problem. -ds
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 10:36 am
8. This is stupid. He is just describing frequent male behavior at any intellectual level. I have known many guys from the playground who never got pass driving a truck who would act the same way if they could and probably still do when the opportunity arises. It has nothing to do with IQ but is a matter of opportunity or the ability to attract the female. And certainly fame and money help a lot. But other skills helps too, such as verbal ability. When I was a teen ager, the guy with the best lines is the one that always seemed to have a different girl.
Does he mean that low IQ males are more faithful? Or does he mean that low IQ males are more easily socialized by religion or Victorian standards?
Comment by jerry — July 16, 2006 @ 10:47 am
9. “A lot of women are very attracted to smart men regardless of wealth, power, or physical good looks. They don’t necessarily want to wed but they do want them for the father of their children.”
Huh? I don’t know whose this idea is, but there is a barking great hole in it: People who have affairs rarely want children to come of them. I hardly need enumerate the reasons why that is so, but for women such reasons have included – in historical times for which we really have information -extreme poverty, divorce, unmarriageability, induced abortion, infanticide, and a shameful death by stoning.
Of course, we could always default to Darwinian storytelling about Pleistocene cave guys and gals who “must have” or “would have” thought, said, or done this or that.
Well, “must have” and “would have” never caught the fish, right?
The only humans of whom we have any real knowledge are the modern ones, and they KNOW why they rarely want their affairs to end with a bun in the oven.
Women who want a bunch of kids typically get married to one stable guy who owns land and/or works for a living – and they don’t fool around. They get involved with a religion that promotes “family values”. They know their rights and make sure the guy knows his duties. If he doesn’t, the priest or witch doctor, or whoever is happy to explain them.
I suggest you do some googling before going off half cocked next time. Human history stretches back millions of years and you are evidently running on about your own anecdotal experience and some knowledge of the most recent eyeblink of human history where social custom made monogamy a more expected behavior. My anecdotal experience is far different from yours but that’s neither here nor there when it comes to monogamy in the human species. Something’s barking alright but it wasn’t me. -ds
Comment by O’Leary — July 16, 2006 @ 11:12 am
10. Thanks, Dave.
We appreciate it.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 1:28 pm
11. While I was waiting for my comment to clear (#8), I added to it. I happen to agree with Denyse more than Dave though I am sure there is something in the “getting the best for my eggs” theory. Here is the rest of my comment that didn’t get posted at first.
I don’t think this behavior of women has anything to do with who is the father of their children. Everyone wants an exciting life and for many women, the easiest way to an exciting life has been to associate with someone of wealth or fame or maybe just a fun or interesting person. This is changing somewhat though we may always have the groupies.
When I was in graduate school, one of the female students was pursuing a concept in a marketing context that women were not fulfilled unless they were married and had a child and how this related to purchase behavior. She thought it was a biological imperative and in fact had been taught that theory in Social Psychology. The drive to have children was supposedly wired into the female neurons. Obviously, present day female behavior patterns has dispelled that hypothesis. A very large segment of the current female population don’t care if they reproduce and many wait till their late 30’s or 40’s and finally do so more from lingering social prescriptions than I think from biological needs.
I also knew a very prosperous women who said she did not want to go into old age without children. She had seen too many lonely old women with no one to care for them and did not want it to happen to her. She made sure she had children in her late 20’s and early 30’s. So there are a lot of motives to have or not have children and they may not be wired in.
I also had an anecdotal conversation with someone who trains Olympic level athletes and was commenting on how pretty the females tended to be in Australian and US sports such as swimming and beach volly ball. We were commenting that maybe the good athletes are able to marry an attractive mate and the result is beautiful athletic and often very tall children. Hey, Darwin in action.
Comment by jerry — July 16, 2006 @ 1:42 pm
12. Folks, I think the salient point here is how easily Darwinism “explains” Einstein’s infidelity. Had Einstein remained faithful to his wife, Morris could have just as easily formulated a Darwinian explanation for that as well. Darwinism explains everything and therefore explains nothing.
Comment by terrylmirll — July 16, 2006 @ 1:43 pm
13. Well, at least DaveScot and Denyse make a good illustration of where evopsych goes wrong. Both positions can be argued: that women will be promiscuous/faithful in order to have more children/better cared for children. But Dave, don’t you realize that Denyse actually does have a clue what she is talking about–and have you noticed she has a far more civil way of saying it, besides?
Comment by TomG — July 16, 2006 @ 1:49 pm
14. A little bit of old-fashioned dualism might shed some light here (I know you hate this stuff, Dave, but here goes) : The human is physically an animal, and so it is of course true that the physical demands of procreation will have a primarily physical/animistic form, such as the greater male tendency toward promiscuity, etc. as Dave described. However, and here’s the key: the human posesses a spiritual core which should at all times govern the material body, ennobling it in all of its forms and activities. This holds especially true with regard to the sexual instinct, the proper sublimation of which can yield tremendous creative energy for spiritual/cultural work in every field. The recognition of a hierarchy of value-giving elements within the human (physical/spiritual) explains the presence of the physical tendencies toward promiscuous behaviour while at the same time providing the key to the healthy conquest of this potentially chaotic nature.
Comment by tinabrewer — July 16, 2006 @ 2:02 pm
15. Ok, we gotta say something about that.
Exactly what does spirituality have to do with sex or monogamy? How many wives did the Old Testament Kings have again? How many concubines?
Start with Solomon, please.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 2:28 pm
16. Wilt Chamberlain is the most brillant man in history!
Comment by tribune7 — July 16, 2006 @ 2:31 pm
17. Dave — Human history stretches back millions of years.
If you take history to be what’s recorded in the written word it’s only 8,000 or so years. If you take it in a more general sense to mean everything relating to man’s past (i.e. including the “prehistoric”) the age of man is estimated via archaeology, paleontology etc. at 200,000 years.
Comment by tribune7 — July 16, 2006 @ 2:45 pm
Adam just had one
Comment by tribune7 — July 16, 2006 @ 2:47 pm
Where did you read Solomon was very spiritual? He was given great wisdom but in his own words point out in Ecc. he was the most wise fool around. Those wifes turn Solomon into idolatry. It’s hard to remain spiritual when you got wisdom, wealth, and fame. I seen even the most humble christians change (became very proud) after God bless them with these three.
Comment by Smidlee — July 16, 2006 @ 2:48 pm
20. Seems to me he was smart and wise enough to get at least two books in the ol Bible. He must have been doing SOMETHING right. You should read his stuff sometime. If you can’t read Song of Solomon and see how absolutely divine it is, your issue isn’t with me, it’s with girls in general.
And don’t blame the wives for what Solomon did. He was a big boy, capable of making his own decisions.
Monogomy…. hmmm.. was there a commandment on that I missed? Bishops, yes… general population? ‘fraid I missed that one.
The point was WHAT DOES ONE HAVE TO DO WITH THE OTHER?
As for Adam, the books that didn’t make the cut because of a bunch of misogynistic men decided they didn’t like them mention another wife. A first wife. Look it up.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 2:56 pm
21. Janiebelle: First of all, when I use the term “spiritual” I am not referring to “things having to do with religion”. Although religion should of course concern itself with the spiritual, it often doesn’t, unfortunately. Instead, I use the term to denote a particular inner substance or composition of a being: in humans, the animating core is “spirit” i.e. the substance which is not bound to and limited by matter. Not everyone would agree on this use of the term, but that is how I meant it.
Also, I am not using the Bible as a starting-point for understanding all things spiritual, and I happen to be of the opinion that lots of really bad stuff made it into the Bible. Thats neitherhere nor there, however, and we are specifically instructed to avoid religious disputations here. I just brought up dualism in order to shed light upon the fact that science will always be able to find out things about our bodies which make it possible to argue that we are determined in our behaviour like many animal species appear to be. That is because we have animal bodies. However, no successful human society has ever developed which has based itself upon the frank and unquestioned acceptance of biological urges and necessities. In human society, these urges are AlWAYS chaotic and destructive. There is a reason why this is true, and I am merely proposing that the reason is that unbridled promiscuity violates not a material value set, but rather a spiritual value set which might include concepts such as ‘fidelity/steadfastness/faithfulness”.
The animal value of procreating the species can easily be fulfilled in many sexual contexts. If the only necessity is a loosely defined ‘i need to make sure my young are cared for’, then any number of arrangements would suit, and there would never be the necessity of powerful inner urges toward fidelity and sexual limitation, which urges are obvious even in societies in which, for example, forms such as polygamy are encouraged.
It seems to generally be the case that monogamy is a sort of “latter-day” development; the more primitive the society, the more likely that there will exist formal, accepted, non-monogamous arrangements. While I cannot speak helpfully about the characters in the bible, I could take a stab at an explanation just based on a developmental idea: In general, it appears that most sets of things in creation develop from rudimentary states into more complex, individuated forms. This is true of plants, animals, planets, you name it. It is also true of human spirits. Perhaps (and again, I am making a stab here, not claiming to know for sure on this one) at an earlier period in human spiritual development, polygamous marriage was still a harmonious form because the individuation process for the humans involved had not yet progressed to the point where the unique monogamous relationship, with all of its clear spiritual benefits, had become necessary or beneficial. Just as we expect different patterns of bonding and interrelationships for young children than we do for adults, perhaps the human spirit has a “childhood”, “adolescence” and “maturity” over the long-haul, and the differing forms for human society reflect what is appropriate for the particular maturity of a given people at a given time. I dunno. I tried…
Comment by tinabrewer — July 16, 2006 @ 3:03 pm
22. Solomon did right when he was young but if you study the scriptures you will find Solomon changed as he got older. A spirtual man will do his best to please his wife instead of himself. Solomon admitted in Eccesiastes he did whatever he desired which he’s conculsion was all is vanity. A carnal beleiver is one who give into his desire and lives for “I,me,myself”… lives by “if it feels good do it”
Comment by Smidlee — July 16, 2006 @ 3:04 pm
23. What the heck are you going on about? What “spiritual benefits” of monogomy? Back that up. SHOW ME. First it sounds like you’re saying that the human spirit evolved from a less spiritual state, then the rest of all that blather sounded like a good ol’ fashioned Billy Sunday rant to me. Nothing more.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:08 pm
Back it up. You’re making the claim that Solomon was not spiritual because he was polygamous. Prove that the one was caused by the other. The burden is on you. BACK THAT UP.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:10 pm
25. Someone left this comment in response to my previous post:
“I suggest you do some googling before going off half cocked next time. Human history stretches back millions of years and you are evidently running on about your own anecdotal experience and some knowledge of the most recent eyeblink of human history where social custom made monogamy a more expected behavior. My anecdotal experience is far different from yours but that’s neither here nor there when it comes to monogamy in the human species. Something’s barking alright but it wasn’t me. -ds “
Denyse replies: That human history stretches back millions of years seems immaterial to me.
The history for which we have evidence features the following very important fact: Children are usually born singly and take a long time to grow up. (Typically 14 through 18 years in the last few millennia.
Even if children matured a bit earlier in previous millennia, how much earlier?
Indeed, it may well have been the opposite. In our current experience, we find that hardship actually RETARDS puberty, so it is quite possible that our hard-pressed Ice Age ancestors did not even mature as quickly as humans do today. And that might be one reason why their numbers grew so slowly.
For example, starving girls and women typically don’t menstruate. Hence they are much less likely to conceive. And if they die young, well … Historically, in tough times, women married later; there may be a relationship between that and later and irregular menstruation.
The long years of strenuous effort involved in raising even a single child must – alone – give potential parents pause for thought. I simply don’t know how googling a bunch of stuff can persuade me that a woman with enough survival smarts to leave healthy and socially acceptable offspring would not take great care about how she goes about acquiring a “bun in the oven.” If anything, that was a much more important concern in times long past than it is today.
Of course, it is possible that in an early stage in human history, people did not know how babies got started. But they could hardly have avoided knowing the circumstances under which babies thrive or don’t. Indeed, that might be the way we first began to learn HOW the babies get started.
You seem to be conflating genetic parentage with who raises the child. While this is usually one and the same for the woman it often isn’t for the man. Sexual fidelity and pair bonding are two different things. For millions of years of human existence people didn’t even know that sex and babies were connected. A very many species that pair bond for life don’t practice sexual fidelity. Sexual fidelity is a social custom in humans and compared to the total time humans have been around it’s not a very old custom. So if women are doing the nasty outside the pair bond one might ask what instinctual criteria drives the selection. I’m positing intelligence is one of those criteria and given that intelligence is what makes our species so special it makes perfect sense that intelligence is a powerful aphrodisiac for many women. Thus, while Einstein’s actions are in the end his personal responsibility it makes it tougher to remain sexually monogamous when women are throwing themselves at him. -ds
Comment by O’Leary — July 16, 2006 @ 3:23 pm
26. Lllith is something I always thought cooked up by “misogynistic men” i.e woman as a demon.
Of course, I always thought polygamy, assuming it was not warranted by circumstances, was a bit on the misogynistic side too. At least it certainly seems unadvantageous to you ladies.
Comment by tribune7 — July 16, 2006 @ 3:39 pm
27. OK, who left the door open and let the 19th century back in?
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:39 pm
28. Hey tribune. Polygomy shouldn’t have to be misogynistic. What’s good for the gander should be good for the goose, right?
Oh, the comment above was for Denyse.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:41 pm
I see the point you’re making about Lilith. And it’s a valid one, the misogyny of her consorting with demons and all. But I’ve always thought of her as more heroic. She supposedly told Adam “I will not lie below” when he (very misogynistically) yacked about being superior and all.
She took the position of a strong woman, and said “eh, piss off, I don’t need you if you’re gonna be a jerk”.
That’s the part the church found too dangerous to let the masses hear, even if she was portrayed as a whore and a demon. “Don’t want them there womens gettin no idears or nuthin” (in Latin, of course)
I like Lilith.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:49 pm
30. ‘course Mom says I’m part demon…..
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 3:52 pm
31. What? Little girl stood up to the self-loathing loud-mouthed women of the board and everybody ran for cover?
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 4:08 pm
32. Well then, I think I’ll just take my ball and go home. Since I’m the only one left, I declare myself the winner by default. You may all come to my blog and compliment me on my stunning rhetorical skills at your leisure.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 4:28 pm
33. Janiebelle — if you want to be wife #2 that’s cool.
I wouldn’t want to be husband #2.
Anyway, here’s the story of Lilith as per Wiki — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith.
She appears to have come into our culture via the Babalyonians.
Comment by tribune7 — July 16, 2006 @ 4:39 pm
34. I must admit, even though I dismiss the majoritity of evolutionary psychology, there was one evolutionary researcher who actually made serious empirical observations which got my attention. Dr. Helen Fisher used brains scans to actually measure romantic feelings in her subjects.
Dr. Fisher was married at age 22 (or so) and got divoreced 6 months later, and thereafter went on a quest to understand what it was that drives people to love in the hope of finding what will make love last. Her lifelong quest to find lasting love made her one of the world’s experts on romantic love.
She has her Darwinian viewpoints as to why love evolved. Though I don’t agree with her view that love is a consequence of Darwinian evolution, her accounts of the theme of romance repeated in the biology of other creatures is fascinating. Evolutionary convergence at it’s best.
I give my alternate explantion at ARN:
Why We Love by Rutgers Antrhropologist Dr. Helen Fisher
I tie it to Bill Dembski’s post:
Legitimizing a Thoughtful Form of Anthropomorphism
Comment by scordova — July 16, 2006 @ 4:43 pm
35. BTW, in case anyone thought otherwise, evolutionary psychology is considered to be a psuedoscience by a large number of evolutionary biologists. Case in point, PZ Myers:
“[Evolutionary Psychology] is a controversial sub-discipline (despite some uninformed claims that it is the accepted doctrine of evolutionary biology) that attempts to explain modern behavior in terms of adaptive solutions to ancient problems in the human lineage. The idea has serious problems, in that it consists mainly of adaptationist just-so stories and bizarrely doctrinaire assumptions that many complex behaviors are driven by genetic predispositions—and those actual genetic mechanisms are not supported by any concrete evidence.”
Comment by BC — July 16, 2006 @ 4:49 pm
OK, we promised Dave we would behave here at this blog, but I can’t do that and say what I really need to say. My response to your little parting-shot-after-she’s-turned-her-back can be found at our blog.
Show up if you’ve got the mettle in your spine.
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 6:04 pm
37. Maybe I just don’t get it, but it seems to me that there is an obvious, absolute, moral truth at issue here.
I have a wife to whom I have been married and faithful for almost 30 years, and I have two daughters. I would not even consider trying to seduce another man’s wife or daughters, for the same reason that I would be outraged if a scumbag like Richard Feynman tried to seduce mine.
Of course, I’m one of those hideously seditious and nefarious evangelical Christians who wants to establish a theocracy, so perhaps I’m just brainwashed.
Comment by GilDodgen — July 16, 2006 @ 10:47 pm
38. Gil, I don’t think we were talking about cheating. Cheating is a betrayal, a lie. I think what was at issue was non monogomous relationships between consenting adults absent other commitments in general.
Polygamy in general. If everyone involved is a consenting adult and is honest, what’s the issue?
Wherein lies the inherent moral depravity of that relationship that seems to be being suggested by previous posters?
Comment by janiebelle — July 16, 2006 @ 11:40 pm
39. Everyone – may I be so bold as to suggest that the intent of this post is not about the morality of polygamy/adultery/mistresses or it’s benefits/disbenefits as relating to geniuses but rather the false role evolutionary-psychology (the idiot-step child) has assumed in predicting this behavior from hindsight.
In fact most ‘proclamations’ trumpeted from the halls of evo-psycho have as much to do with science (and sometimes evolution itself) as the three stooges have to do with neuro-surgery. Every few month they come up with another corker just to remind themselves they exist and are important. Remember the one a month back about where laughter and humor originated??
Just a thought, use it – don’t use it.
Comment by lucID — July 17, 2006 @ 2:52 am
40. [From Denyse: (My last comment, as I msut get back to work:)
1) it is a fundamental demographic fact that children are a heavy long-term investment. I do not know of good evidence that they were ever otherwise for modern humans.
2) a creature unable to foresee something as obvious as that is not a modern human.
3) it is irrelevant whether women connect babies to sex. If they did not prevent them by abstinence, they can get rid of them by infanticide, thus removing them from the gene pool all the same.
4) Sole support moms have always had a low birth rate compared to married moms, and the human race would have died out a long time ago if it depended on their fertility.
5) Women have not usually been entirely free in their choice of mates, mainly on account of the high cost of investment in children. Women are most free when there is no question of children.
6) There is simply no evidence that women have usually preferred men of higher intelligence as such or are more willing to raise their babies. Skills and circumstances that produce wealth have always been much more important to most women, but these skills and circumstances correlate with many factors, not just intelligence. (Incidentally, far more women who rock with high-status men hook up with movie stars than mathematicians.)
7) There is no evidence that men of higher intelligence are consistently more fertile; evidence would seem to go the other way.
8) Higher intelligence is not necessarily heritable, but where it is, its outcomes are not predictable. Were Einstein’s sons great revolutionary physicists? cheers, Denyse]
2) a creature unable to foresee something as obvious as that is not a modern human.
There are a lot of women TODAY who are unable to foresee that. Maybe you should put a little more thought into this. -ds
Comment by O’Leary — July 17, 2006 @ 4:02 am
41. I think there are clearly idiots IN evo-psych but the concept that human experience shapes human behavior isn’t idiotic. It also seems clear that some human behaviors become heritable in the form of instincts. There doesn’t seem to be the first clue about a mechanism behind the heritability of behaviors. My bet is that somewhere in the vast expanse of DNA with no known function lie coded instructions for instinctual behaviors.
Comment by DaveScot — July 17, 2006 @ 6:05 am
Now, we’re missing the next comment, we didn’t expect the thread to get dumped and hadn’t updated our copy. However, I had already cross posted my next comment to this blog:
2) a creature unable to foresee something as obvious as that is not a modern human.
This from the woman stuck in 1872? Perhaps modern is a word with which you are not familiar.
Here, let me help:
From the Free Dictionary
“mod·ern Pronunciation (mdrn)
a. Of or relating to recent times or the present: modern history.
b. Characteristic or expressive of recent times or the present; contemporary or up-to-date: a modern lifestyle; a modern way of thinking.
a. Of or relating to a recently developed or advanced style, technique, or technology: modern art; modern medicine.
b. Avant-garde; experimental.
3. often Modern Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a living language or group of languages: Modern Italian; Modern Romance languages.
1. One who lives in modern times.
2. One who has modern ideas, standards, or beliefs.
3. Printing Any of a variety of typefaces characterized by strongly contrasted heavy and thin parts.”
Here’s another one:
“ar·cha·ic Pronunciation (är-kk) also ar·cha·i·cal (–kl)
1. also Archaic Of, relating to, or characteristic of a much earlier, often more primitive period, especially one that develops into a classical stage of civilization: an archaic bronze statuette; Archaic Greece.
2. No longer current or applicable; antiquated: archaic laws. See Synonyms at old.
3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of words and language that were once in regular use but are now relatively rare and suggestive of an earlier style or period.
[Greek arkhaikos, old-fashioned, from arkhaios, ancient, from arkh, beginning, from arkhein, to begin.]”
And I believe that should conclude our lesson on adjectives for the day, class.
Comment by janiebelle — July 17, 2006 @ 10:32 am
There were at least a few more comments, but it was shortly after this comment that the thread disappeared, as far as we can determine.