Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
The "need to believe" as Darwinian adaptation can be explained by sustained individual functionality, or our ability to keep a social function and relationships despite going through any sort of dire circumstance.

Reality, it appears, is more accurately portrayed by the clinically depressed. Using a therm i find very appealing, they have their Psychological Immune System malfunctioning. This PIS does all sorts of funny tricks to keep us happy, it's what a horrible experience becomes uplifting and a learning and growing experience, when we look back at it after some time. It actively paints reality in beautiful colors whenever it can (sometimes its just not possible, of course).

This way we can carry on nourishing our offspring or searching for mates, hence the Darwinian aspect.

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gilbert05/gilbert05_index.html

by Torres on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:24:00 AM EST
I do not like darwin approach for the "need of blief". I clearly stated that I hate the frame "need of belief" like if we were stupid...

Besides, it is a wrong approach... things do not ahppen because of adaptation to anything.

the darwing approach is like a child that can not accept taht we may not know how soemthing worked out so we invent a fairy history to calm us down..s ure sure.t here is an exaplanation.. look if some group or person beat another one because he was 2best". This is not onlya  disgusting approach.. is usign psuedo-science to carry the water for a particualrly western and hierarchical structure of the world. The darwin appraoch looking at soem adaptative advantage is a nonsense from my poin of view.

Animals , chimps, bononos lived in a complex environemnt with multiple interactions and relations. the complexity that can self-arised in this network landscape makes any attempt to approach this problem in this way futile.

It merely shows the biased opinions of the researcher. it is not science.. it is pseudo-science.

I also can not share your opinions about happines or sadness.. it recalls me of some pshychologists trying to defend that they could do exactly their work with the eskimos, the dowayos, the dogon ... and so on and on. Happiness is universal like deression (despite clear evuidence to the contrary) the freudian or purely pshychological approach is nonsense. Emotions are mostly narratives (maybe with a couple of exception whcih are truly universal like empathy or fear) about how we must behave.. they do not have an independent-frame  values .. they depend on the frame. So they can nto explain why we do things.

So I must and do completely disagree with you...

But great to show the disagreement :)

A pleasure


I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being that humans are biological beings, to start with, i don't see the problem with trying to trace certain traits  to their biological roots.
As for meme theory, the jury is still out on its validity on explaining cultural phenomena, and i agree other avenues may prove more fruitful.

Having said that, i do believe that most cultural human diversity we witness is a fruit of it's environment. (Here im using a broad definition of environment, including history and other cultures).

"Need to believe" or the "need to construct compelling narratives" are, for me, one and the same thing. Both are attempts at a coherent and functional representation of reality.

As a side note i think there is a lot of prejudice regarding Darwinism. Darwinism is a description not a prescription. "Social Darwinism" and other similar ideas gave it a bad name, but anyone familiar with the naturalistic fallacy should be able to see through the misconstructions.

Finally, i must add that i don't feel qualified to extend this debate much further as i got my understanding of these matters mostly from my Biology course and books of popular science. I admit sometimes i'm lost when you go deeper into anthropology 's terminology. :)

by Torres on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 09:57:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No problem whatsoever to look for bioogical explanations int he environemnt biology and culture when there are universal traits. No problem.. my problem is with the so-called purely darwinian explanation (oh yes i know darwin was a much more better scientists that all his followers make it to him, it is amazing how many things people say he said that he never actually uttered. Darwin was an incredibly good scientist by any measure of the word).

And as I have said we disagree in your second paragraph in the sense that most cultural evolution is probably self-contained. Some elements can certainly have a mixture of biology and culture..and be two sides of the smae coin.. but I really fight out any attempt to disentegrate culture and environment and fix biology and environemnt as the leading role for cutlure. Not at all.Cultural questions should be answered either with purely cultural frames/research or with integrated research. Normally, people who do not follow that path  and try to explain culture as a sbusidiary of some kind of folk biology have a clear agenda behind.. they try to fix our cultural situation as soemthing given by "nature" that you can not fight. It is one of the most dangerous aspects of the bad-use of science. I feel responsable for it .. so I fight back at every iopportunity :)

Third paragrpah and fourth.. could not agree more!!!

And finally..well I am  physicist working in biology.. go figure!!!

A real pleasure to argue with you torres!!!

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 01:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant before that thinking that happiness and depression or sadness has an universal value like pshychologists thinks, goes agaisnt all the data recollected.. despite that, most phychologists stillt hing that their science universal.

they do not let any study or ethnography messed with their preconceived view.

So feelings do explain things.. but not in a vacuum. that was my point. They explain things but you need the context, this is why happiness or sadness can not give you a general answer to a general proble involving all societies.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Mar 8th, 2007 at 07:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series