Thursday, February 09, 2012

Scientific views and deviant behavior

In the Folly of Fools, Robert Trivers describes experimental research which shows that people are more likely to cheat after being told that behavior is determined by a combination of nature and nurture. The idea that scientific views corrode morals made me wonder what the GSS might tell us. I looked to see if biologists are more likely to cheat on their spouse. Only 15 of them were asked about cheating, but their numbers are similar to the general population. Twenty percent of male biologists and ten percent of females have strayed. The corresponding numbers for the overall population are 23 and 14.

9 comments:

RS said...

Thing is, doesn't infidelity vary by class, or am I making that up? Non-scientists with the same IQ and C as biologists might cheat a lot less than 0.10 to 0.20.

Though even if so, it still might not satisfy p < 0.05

Jim Bowery said...

In a society where environmental determinism is axiomatic, to be credibly told that that axiom is a lie is, in essence, to be told that defection is the rule rather than the exception in the real-life prisoner's dilemma.

This is one reason why I often wonder whether, at some level, the politically correct aren't deeply committed to genocide -- not against their own but against the other.

I mean think about it for a moment:

If you're promoting policies that are clearly insane -- policies that are not only depopulating almost half of your people in a generation or two, but are replacing those people with "the other", aren't you basically just attacking your own people with a biological weapon to which immunity is easily developed? And once that immunity is developed aren't you virtually guaranteeing that there will be absolutely no restraint on the backlash against those who participated in this genocidal replacement of your people? And furthermore, by making virtually ALL other people in the world participate, aren't you basically promoting what you claim Hitler supposedly promoted (ie: wipe out everyone but blond-haird blue eyed "Aryans"?)

Steve N said...

Are biologists more likely than the general population to believe in biological determinism? Seems like they should know better.

Jim Bowery said...

This Steve N guy's comment is a perfect example of the insane political correctness to which it is easy to develop immunity of which I spoke:

"A combination of nature and nurture" is, to Steve, "biological determinism".

Sheesh I've been hearing this ever since Lewontin and Gould formed their little "movement" at Harvard in response to Wilson's "Sociobiology". It is so pervasive that I can only assume that most of the academic world is itching for an all out genocidal bloodbath against the non-white world.

Anonymous said...

This is one reason why I often wonder whether, at some level, the politically correct aren't deeply committed to genocide -- not against their own but against the other.

This is supported by the fact that the politically correct elites tend to be hypocritical and avoid mixing with others. And also by the fact that they try to gain political, economic, and moral influence and control over the others' societies via globalism.

Anonymous said...

Trivers was trying to say that when people are told that nature partly determines how they'll act, they might tend to be less inhibited, blaming their shortcomings on innate factors.

SFG said...

Biologists are scientists. Scientists are nerds. Nerds are less likely to cheat.

You want to correlate with religiosity or something like that--a belief system that might replace the belief in nature alone.

Olave d'Estienne said...

The only way I can think of to stop the tide of bad behavior stemming from a vernacular impression of "biological determinism" is to threaten eugenics. That is to say, if the rabble start saying "I was born this way, it's in my genes, I can't help it", the authorities need to say, "No problem, we'll just take your gonads, thanks."

Not my most serious proposal, of course, but I'm worn out from being serious. Despite my tagline. On the whole, I'm pretty nervous about the knock-on effects of more information about the influence of genes on behavior, though I do believe genes have tremendous influence on behavior and I'm curious myself. This makes me a sort of elitist; I only want people like me to know. Selfish, I know.

Jim Bowery, would you like to talk about your tax proposal on my site?

Jim Bowery said...

Anonymous wrote: "This is supported by the fact that the politically correct elites tend to be hypocritical and avoid mixing with others."

And what should pop up today but a CPAC speech by John Derbyshire in which he basically states that the not-too-distant-future elites will, indeed, plausibly become viciously "racist".

The touching, if forlorn, hope of John Derbyshire is that these hypocritical vipers can be brought into "candor and realism" about race rather than either "preening in their moral vanity" of political correctness (boy I like that idiom, "moral vanity" I wonder where he got that) or "racial divisiveness and hostility that is as great as, or greater, than America experienced before the civil rights movement".