Acceptable sceptical.

/Acceptable sceptical.

Interesting skeptical look from John Horgan at capital-S Skepticism, especially of its dogged pursuit of “soft targets” like religion and homeopathy at the expense of other, equally unfalsifiable (but “insider”) nonsense like multiverse theory and the Singularity.

One of the most interesting sections is on what Horgan calls the “deep-roots” theory of war, which is essentially the idea that the drive to war is an inevitable part of human nature (and seems to be Horgan’s personal hobby horse). Apparently there’s an alternate school of thought that suggests to may have been a much more recent cultural invention. Note that this is specifically talking about organised warfare, not interpersonal violence or conflict; no-one’s denying humans can be awful to each other, just the notion that we have to be, on a group- or state-based level.

I don’t think I’ve really come across this idea before–even the Pinker-esque Better Angels types tend to agree war is a “base” trait we must overcome–so that was kind of interesting to read about.

2016-11-17T21:10:00+00:00 2nd September, 2016|Tags: culture|3 Comments


  1. latenightliar 2nd September, 2016 at 5:07 am
  2. oldabhorsen 2nd September, 2016 at 6:44 am

    This article is a pretty fascinating read about something you hope is going on already but really isn’t: scientists being critical of their own work.I ran into this first when I was doing my astronomy research, and my advisor was referencing papers by people in his group and almost no one else recent. Turns out our group was at odds with a few others. Rather than joining forces, critiquing each other rationally to get to the root of our findings, and do better science, we were just bashing each… (more)

  3. vozdelanoche 2nd September, 2016 at 10:52 am

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