Re: Emotional Expression

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 22:20:22 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Emotional Expression
    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 14:20:22 -0800
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    >Subject: Emotional Expression
    >Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 21:17:30 +0000
    >I think ONE of the reasons we chose to couch the ideas of science, law
    >medicine in Latin and Greek words is bacause they didn't carry with them
    >emotional baggage of words we use to talk about our daily lives.  Words
    >honor, duty, country and faith rouse certain emotions that have been
    >into us since birth.  For scientific purposes and objectivity we have to
    >separate what we see from what we feel about it.  Many a false theory
    >sprung up because the researcher wanted to believe in it.  My theory can
    >sometimes have as much of an emotional influence as my wife, my
    >children, my
    >home or my faith.  Emotions often shape what we believe rather than
    >shaped by it.
    >Surely combinations of emotions can be considered as memes (or memeplexs)
    >which carry with them thier own connotations. If you say that emotions of
    >others or theories(?) can influence you how is this different from ideas
    >influencing you? If you swap idea for emotion were is the difference?
    >Incedently, as someone noted earlier, i agree that this is a good place for
    >exibiting a theory, and congrats for doing so. If a list like this can't
    >stand some innovation, suggestions or theories what is the point of it?
    Emotions are chemical reactions created by genes and used by the body to
    respond to certain situations based on past experience. The amount and
    relative proportions of these chemicals is genetic in nature so we can all
    get angry but some of us will be more so than others. We learn from our
    family and our society what to get angry about. So the mix we get is a
    combination of input from both genes and memes.

    What we do with our emotions can be changed by memes, but it takes conscious
    effort. The man who slams his fist into the wall when he gets angry has not
    yet learned to direct his anger toward a useful purpose. John Kennedy used
    to say, "Don't get man, get even." But the same desire that makes a
    researcher want to prove his theory has the potential to make him read the
    figures from his tests in a light that favors one interpretation over

    A local company developed a new drug to help HIV sufferers. They did all
    the proper tests on both animals and people and concluded the drug was
    useful. Other researchers tested the drug and came to the opposite
    conclusion. They could find no benefit for the patient. Rigorous review of
    the original figures showed that the company had made mistakes in their
    interpretation. As a result, the company and the stockholders lost a great
    deal of money. I was one of the losers.

    But why did they misread their own data? The fact is they wanted it to
    confirm a certain conclusion and sure enough it did. But additional tests
    by people without an emotional stake in the outcome arrived at a different
    and more accurate conclusion. In areas where objectivity is required,
    emotions get in the way of finding the truth. That's why trials are subject
    to a change of venue. It's also why O. J. Simpson was able to get away with
    murder. Emotion can overrule the meme of evidence.


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