Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 07:07:14 GMT

  • Next message: Robin Faichney: "Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work"

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    Subject: Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work
    Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 23:07:14 -0800
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    > Philip:
    > > > If you are conscious of some event you can express it in words right?
    > Ted:
    > > What is this "you" that's conscious of events and can express it in
    > > If there really is a "you" in there somehow, then why assume the human
    > > "you" came from memes as opposed to the animal "you" that preceded you
    > > evolutionarily?
    > This *you* consists of the brain-machinery inside my head interacting with
    > the world through sensory perception together with the execution of
    > meme-programs from my (self-)meme database.

    If brain-machinery has a self, why not the engine in your car? Does the
    dishwasher have a self, the toaster, the telephone? Aren't all these
    machines too?

    Once you define organisms as machines, then all machines must have
    self-nature. Where do you draw the line between your brain and your vacuum

    This is similar to the mistake Ray Recchia makes when he imagines that memes
    can exist in the minds of animals. Once you locate memes in unreflective
    organic activity, there's nowhere to draw the line between animals and
    amoeba. The supposed division-- between learned activities and genetic
    activities-- breaks down upon close examination. The problem is evolution.
    Whatever is genetically programmed now had to be consciously learned when it
    first evolved. Every function of the body had to be built up through
    learning and imitation. Memetics turns out to be the basis of all living
    forms, as innate to protozoans as primates. Not so different from cars
    running around with their own self-nature.

    > Ted:
    > > I think what it shows is that the feral child tells us nothing about
    > > nature. The child raised by wolves is a wolf in the body of a human.
    > > when removed from its "family" and raised as a human, it remains an
    > > What makes this research so significant is that it shows exactly the
    > > of the beast we evolved from. It helps us imagine the organism that
    > > two million years ago and looked remarkably like us but was absolutely,
    > > positively *not* us.
    > The feral child phenomenon tells us that if we are raised isolated from
    > our cultural environment we do not obtain our typical human character.
    > That is, unlike the roots for developing a human character humanity itself
    > is not purely innate, it is something that needs to be nurtured and
    > developed.

    Yes, indeed. However, as Kenneth pointed out, that we must open our eyes
    doesn't mean vision arises from the retractile motion of the eyelid.


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