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Are Objectivists Mutants

Posted by Zenphamy 3 years, 4 months ago to Philosophy
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Although the linked article discusses the topic of critical thinking from the viewpoint of science based medicine vs. 'complementary and alternative medicine, I find a great deal of similarity to my thoughts concerning being an Objectivist in life as well as a member of this site, lately. From childhood till now as an senior, I've often thought that there was just something different going on in my mind than that in others' minds. I've found a very few in my life that think much like I do, but they are rare.

From the Article: All emphasis added.
"There is a huge disconnect between what science-based medicine calls evidence and what alternative medicine and the general public call evidence. They are using the same word, but speaking a different language, making communication next to impossible."

"“Alternative medicine,” along with “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and “integrative medicine,” is not a meaningful scientific term, but a marketing term created to lend respectability to things that we used to call by less respectable names like quackery, folk medicine, and fringe medicine." (Add Like Politics, Conservatism, Progressivism, Religion, etc. etc.)

"Today we have more sources of information, but our minds still work the old way. We prefer stories to studies, anecdotes to analyses. We see patterns where none exist. We jump to false conclusions based on insufficient evidence. Emotions trump facts. If your neighbor had a bad experience with a Toyota, you’re likely to remember his story and not buy a Toyota even if Consumer Reports says it’s the most reliable brand. That isn’t logical, but humans are not Vulcans. When we act illogically, we’re just doing what evolution has equipped us to do. It takes a lot of education and discipline to overcome our natural tendencies, and not everyone can do it."

"Ray Hyman is a psychologist and one of the founders of modern skepticism. When I asked him why some people become skeptics and others don’t, he said he thinks skeptics are mutants: something has evolved in our brains to facilitate critical thinking."

So, are we mutants? If we are, will we succeed into the future and become a successful branch of humanity? Or will we continue helping our non-mutated cousins not face extinction, even if inadvertently?
SOURCE URL: http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/it-worked-for-my-aunt-tillie-is-not-evidence/


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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 4 months ago
    Hello Zenphamy,
    Once one has conceived and accepted that “a posteriori” is superior to “a priori” much of the world seems mad.
    Mutant..some would say, awakened, enlightened... Nature--- nurture...
    Whatever. Badge of honor.
    O.A.
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    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 4 months ago
      I would say this is partly people recognizing something different about Oists. After all, that introspection (thinking before saying) doesn't tend to make one the life of the party-therefore, often, not always, you witness the introverted nature of Oists. Nice to see your comments in here OA, as usual. :)
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 years, 4 months ago
    Due to my electrical engineering beginnings, I refer to people as being "wired" differently all the time. That or being a mutant is the only explanation. One of my sons asked me once "Don't you just BELIEVE anything." I told him that I believed only the conclusions that I arrived at by rational analysis. He then asked the question that he must have been taught in school "Who are you to determine what is believable and what is not?" My answer was that I am my mind and it is the only instrument I have to determine anything so I have to rely on it. I can't feel about something, I have to think. I don't think he ever got it. My oldest son lives it, the second son follows but the believer continues to be influenced by anything that sounds right.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 4 months ago
      The difference is in what is perceived as "right." Anytime emotional, morally relativistic judgement enters the argument, facts and evidence are in jeopardy. Rigid ideology, whether philosophical, political, or spiritual, is a belief system that undermines scientific thinking.
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      • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
        I'd go a little farther and say that any belief endangers scientific thinking.
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        • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 4 months ago
          I wouldn't go that far. The human brain is a form of neural network that cannot always be precisely deterministic. We are not binary computers, and can often make correct decisions (or at least more often than not) based on the totality of information without a re-traceable path. We call it intuition. When properly used, it is capable of better decision-making than the best computers. Of course, one must always understand its limitations, but that applies to everything.
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 4 months ago
            Actually, recent studies have revealed that the human brain is a bit more mathematical than previously suspected. What we call "intuition" or "gut feel" turns out to be a process of statistical analysis.
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            • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
              I think I agree with that, though I also think that the brain operates more in the analog realm than the binary. But what's so amazing to me is the degree of sub-conscious activity involved in some of it's operations.
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            • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 4 months ago
              Yes, I was referring to that. The brain is mathematical, but we don't (yet) know how to describe the process exactly and we certainly cannot repeat it reliably. By the classical definition of a scientific method and as determined by the American Medical Association, intuition would be considered quackery.
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          • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
            I've experienced a lot of 'Aha' and 'light bulb' moments in my life, but invariably I've sat down and found the traceable path that led to it, even if sub-consciously arrived at. I've known some that used 'intuition' and relied on it. I've never known anyone that could progress in their knowledge relying on their 'intuition' or be constant in their performance. Sometimes with drastic consequences to themselves or others.

            Luck or bad luck.
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            • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 4 months ago
              This is a question of balance. An extreme in either direction is detrimental to success. For example, being able to judge human intentions falls predominantly into the intuition category. Of course, if a person displays a chain of certain decisions (good or bad), they can be assessed empirically with a high degree of confidence; but what do you do when you don't have that empirical chain? As a logical person, I've learned over the years that in certain areas (not all - knowing limitations is the key) my less logical wife is consistently a better judge of character than I am. Try to define it mathematically!
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      EE's rock!! That's an interesting response,"Who are you to determine what is believable and what is not?"

      I like your answer.

      A mind truly is a terrible thing to waste.
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  • Posted by  $  SarahMontalbano 3 years, 4 months ago
    I'm proud to have learned the skill of critical thinking. I don't think that how we think is inborn or predetermined. It's a skill like any other, but it's one of the more difficult ones to learn.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      Sarah, you may well be right, but from life's experience I've known and worked with a lot of people that simply could never learn. Some might think it's a sad condition, but I think it's real.
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  • Posted by tkstone 3 years, 4 months ago
    The aspect of Objectivism that appeals the most to me is the feedback loop of "Contradictions cannot exist" and check your premise. We all make decisions based on current understanding and only the wise are happy to find that contradiction to improve their understanding. I do not see the word mutant as a bad thing. Only the mutants who started using their mind enabled the rest of humanity to enjoy the fruits of their labor. That will not change. The people of the mind are the only force that can save humanity and I do "believe" it is worth saving. Mutants will save the day.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      But the question still hangs, is it in the best interest of 'mutant' Objectivists to save non-mutant humans or is it in their best interest to let them fall to the side as the remainder of the evolution of life has done?
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 4 months ago
        It is in mutant Objectivists' best interest to let non-mutant humans fall to the side. Anything else would be altruism. This is a small part of why I thought that the return to greater society at the end of Atlas Shrugged was not the proper ending. If the situation got as bad as Venezuela is now, does anyone think that producers would go to rebuild Venezuela?
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        • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
          If one could go as a free individual in a free market opportunity, what a better place to be a part of rebuilding? I'm afraid that few of the people there now could accept those two conditions.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 4 months ago
            It would take at least 20 years, and probably more, for enough of the looters to die off before a society that once had looters to be sufficiently "clean" enough such that I would take the entrepeneurial risk to go back. Rare is the opportunity to make a high enough ROI to break even in 5 years, and most such opportunities are add-ons to existing production facilities, rather than startups from scratch.

            As you acknowledge, those are two pretty daunting conditions.
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  • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 4 months ago
    The author here is allowing a glaring hole to exist in her argument. She separates medicine into two binary options - either mainstream, scientifically corroborated and approved medicine, or everything else that belongs in the field of quackery. However, if we may agree that some form of medicine is required for humans to treat their ills and injuries, as do all animals, in order to continue to exist, then we must accept the fact that prior to the discovery of the scientific method and its implementation, humans have been successfully practicing medicine for millions of years (blending the transition line here with whatever mammals were originated from). No doubt much of that medicine was not successful, but enough of it was to allow us to survive and flourish. Thus, her argument that all non-scientifically proved and accepted medicine is a waste is contradicted by facts and her own existence is one proof of it. Then, there is no mention of the medical community intentionally shutting out forms of medicine that do not bring profit and compete with more profitable, although sometimes less effective methods. Some of those “unapproved” methods are perfectly well approved, accepted and effective in other countries. Then there’s no mention of scientifically approved methods that cause side effects that may be as bad as or worse than the original condition, due to either intentionally hiding the facts, or due to lack of knowledge. I agree with the direction of her thesis, but the example chosen is a bad one – too many gray and controversial issues that her own critical thinking approach should have easily been able to demonstrate.
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 years, 4 months ago
      RE: “If a treatment currently considered to be alternative were adequately tested and proven to work, it would be incorporated into mainstream medical practice and could no longer be considered “alternative.” It would become just “medicine.” So-called “alternative” medicine can be defined as medicine that isn’t supported by good enough evidence to earn it a place in mainstream medicine.”

      Welcome to the Argument from Authority, in this case “establishment” medical wisdom dispensed by government force. “Mainstream” medicine is nothing more than theories and treatments approved by medical licensing boards and the FDA. Doctors who challenge this conventional wisdom can lose their licenses and be forced out of business. Look how many decades it took for the “mainstream” explanation of the cause of peptic ulcers to be overturned.
      http://www.slate.com/blogs/thewrongst...
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_M...

      It’s typical of this kind of propaganda to label any non-mainstream medical theory as “questionable” or “quackery”. While there is plenty of actual quackery to go around, there is also plenty of legitimate science that has not gained acceptance by those who wield the power in the medical community. If we had a free market in health care articles such as this one would not matter, but until that day arrives it’s best to be as skeptical about “conventional” medicine as we are about “alternative” medicine. In both cases, health care consumers need to shop carefully.
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      • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
        Buyer Beware! The heart of laissez faire free market.

        But it remains that adequate evidence and repeatable experiment by critical thinkers has given us the level of medical care we have today.

        My grandmother was the local herbalist and mid-wife in Arkansas consulted by neighbors, because there wasn't readily accessible Medical care of any other kind. I had wounds treated by her with kerosene, sugar, and spider webs, drank a lot of sassifras root and willow bark tea, cod liver oil, castor oil, Denver mud on infections, chewed tobacco on wasp stings, had warts removed with a penny put in a hollow stump on the full moon, and suffered the indignities of enemas. When more Drs. became available and better transportation to them, her neighbors as well as she, and thankfully me, went to the Drs.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      I don't say you're wrong, but the scientific method and critical thinking applied to medicine in particular has led to an increase of the life expectancy and quality from something like 40 or 50 around 1900 to the mid 70's today. Could it do better? Sure, there's no endeavor of humans that can't do better, but it's a cost/benefit analysis that also includes profit in a free market.
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      • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 years, 4 months ago
        I would agree with you if medicine was in anything resembling a free market. Many of these advances occurred decades ago, when the health care market was much more free than it is now. Many people are alive today thanks to taking responsibility for their own health care and using "alternative" therapies when appropriate.
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      • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 4 months ago
        I would never discount the scientific method, or real medical advances. My point was that the article was not only biased, but written by a person with a rather closed mind, as I think that I have demonstrated in my comment above. Closed mindedness can just as well hide under the umbrella of science as it can under the umbrella of religion.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 4 months ago
    I will readily admit an overreliance on anecdotal evidence. However, the vast majority of that was acquired under conditions where I know the underlying premises and biases.

    On the other hand, I have a lower confidence in "studies" because both one of my old bosses and I have each had about 50% success in reproducing experiments that we have read in the scientific literature. I have become more skeptical via experience, rather than being skeptical by default.

    With regard to anecdotal evidence regarding alternative medicines, I am skeptical, but not immediately dismissing. I am quite sure that most people in Galt's Gulch Online are more immediately dismissive of partial, but inconclusive, evidence than I am.

    Most of today's pharmaceuticals were originally plant extracts, and some still are, for example. Your point regarding the nature of evidence, and how to act on it, is a good one.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      j; the author admits the same on herbal medicine being the origin of much of our pharmaceuticals. I can't speak for others on GG, but for myself it's not dismissive of partial evidence, but absolutely dismissive of the leaps to conclusions without sufficient, reproducible evidence. It does seem that there's much of that going on in the sciences today, not to mention social and psychological and economic studies. I think there is a lot of difference between so called studies and science experiments.
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  • Posted by wiggys 3 years, 4 months ago
    Don't your think it an insult to be considered a mutant simply because you have learned to think. If you are a Objectivist it means you have learned to think. The thing that ray hyman has to learn to do is think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    • Posted by MJHolcombe 3 years, 4 months ago
      I agree. A "mutation" is as passive as an appendix; born with it, but what's it's objective? Those who have their appendix removed have done so upon consultation with someone with more medical knowledge. The choice: live or die. The thought: do I trust this person to keep me alive?

      And this dovetails nicely into Capitalism!

      A Capitalist doctor would want to remove my appendix so I would pay him, and continue using his services for the rest of my life. A doctor paid by the Obamacare State is paid by the operation; successful or not. So why should he care if I live or die?
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 3 years, 4 months ago
    This article illustrates the difference between belief and understanding. Belief is the acceptance of something as "true" based on the dictates of authority while understanding is the acceptance of something as "true" because you understand WHY it is true.
    I have used this example before. I was once asked if I believed that two plus two makes four?
    My answer was "NO" but because I understand the rules and procedures of mathematics I understand why and under what circumstances two plus two makes four.
    Belief is a word I use rarely and with great care. I would far rather understand something than simply believe it. Understanding is much more difficult but it is worth the effort.
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  • Posted by chad 3 years, 4 months ago
    Are 'we' mutants? Objectivists and libertarians (using true definition of words) are rare. My best friend once pointed out that in my family (I married a woman who already had two children) out of the five children, we had two more daughters and son were all exactly like me when it comes to critical thinking and the two older girls are declared socialist and communist like their mother (to whom I am no longer married, she was married to a socialist) who voted twice for Barracula Obama. He wondered if there was some genetic predisposition. Sounds like a good book topic.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      I think that's a good example, though not necessarily scientifically sound. I doubt in our society of everyone's equal and nurture counts more than accident of birth, such studies will ever be performed, or at least published.
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  • Posted by  $  dukem 3 years, 4 months ago
    As a trained scientist and engineer, and of a certain age (not a millennial), I am constantly being taunted and ridiculed - mostly, but not always, humorously - as "thinking like an engineer," presumably meaning evidence and logic based rather than emotions. I have had much experience with the "emotion is better than fact" concept in my heady and mis-spent California days, and of course we can all see where that got us, and is continuing to become more and more prominent.
    For me, living in Oregon now, it is almost as if I have landed on a different planet (compared to flyover country), and I grow increasingly aware of two very different species of people out there. I hate to say "us vs. them" but that's how it seems. And "they" are winning.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      Are they 'winning' or are they just out-breeding us or subsisting from our efforts?

      I too spent a lot of time in Oregon, and I'm really pleased to be away from all of that.
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 4 months ago
    Excellent article. She expresses very well what I've been trying to say. Thanks.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      Mama, yes it's one of the better worded explanations and examples of the difficulties in communication we all face. It is very much like we're speaking two different languages with words that sound alike, but with entirely different meanings. But I loved the 'critical thinking' and 'mutant' ideas.
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 4 months ago
        Yes, mutant is a good word. I like that the author says that when we research on the internet or read the results of a "study" we should approach it with skepticism to determine first if the study is valid, and also if the "results" are facts or speculation. It drives me crazy when a patient comes in thinking they are informed about a subject because they have looked on the internet, then especially when they assume that I don't know what I am talking about. Arggh!
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        • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
          Good example Mama, but it can work both ways. I was prescribed Statins a few years ago and within a couple of weeks started noticing severe aches in fingers and toes along with some numbing. About 3 weeks later, I started experiencing several opportunistic infections that I'd had no previous problems with--a severe bronchial infection, some boil like infections, a wart on the back of my neck that arose to the size of a pencil eraser in just 2 weeks, and increases in numbing and aches progressing up the fingers and toes. The only thing that had changed was the Statin, so I began researching and found that though rare, Statins in some can cause myopathy, neuropathy, and diminishment of the immune system. I went back to the same Dr., told him what was happening and what I'd found--he ridiculed me and told me I didn't know what I was talking about.

          I left him, quit the Statins and found another Dr. The new Dr. knew of the rare results, did some tests and concluded that I was correct. I still have some residual numbness in my toes, but I've had no other related problems. That Dr. asked me how I'd figured out my problem and I answered that through a Masters and a year in a PhD program, that I'd probably done as much research as he had--just in a different area of science.

          The silliest situation I've encountered was being sent to a dietician for advise only to find that she was damn near a 300 pounder and maybe 5'4".

          I'm in no way critical of your point, but I find that just an education and a profession does not automatically confer or imply the ability of 'critical thinking'. It's a lot of work.
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          • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 4 months ago
            Oh, Zen, I couldn't agree more. I will NEVER take statins. Actually, the scientific studies show that the ONLY group that statins have been shown to extend the life of is middle aged or older men with a history of a previous heart attack. So to me it is unconscionable that so many docs have put so many people on statins. No, my skepticism extends to "traditional medicine" as well as the pseudo science crap that is out there. For example, I will also NEVER take a bisphosphonate drug (so called bone builders).
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            • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 4 months ago
              And, yes, an education and a degree in NO way confers ability. I am astounded at the number of doctors and dentists :) who take what the drug reps say as truth and treat their patients accordingly. It is crucial that all of us use critical thinking to determine our own care. I just want my patients to not believe things just because it's on the Internet!
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              • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
                Yes. The internet can provide valuable access to information and knowledge--but it also provides a lot of nonsense, as witnessed by some of the Posts we get. I wonder how much of it comes from the ease of sitting by oneself reading the internet rather than having the self esteem to ask a Dr. for more explanation. I've met a few that were arrogant when questioned, but most were happy to explain.
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  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 3 years, 4 months ago
    Great question, Zenphamy! I have a theory. Bear with me as I outline it step by step.

    1. All life forms are the result of mutation. Natural selection builds on changes that work.

    2. Evolution is continuous. Life’s algorithm drives growth and the urge towards greater complexity as new features are added to the previous levels.

    3. From microbes to nation-states, organisms grow by building on an originally simple template.

    4. I posit that both hardware and software are involved in maintaining life and building the template. The software is the electro-magnetic process in the brain and actually throughout the body. Even single-cell organisms have a field around them with which they can connect to other cells and transmit information, albeit of a very simple kind. They join in clusters to form larger collective organisms. (Sorry about that.) By the time larger animals, including humans, have evolved, they contain trillions of cells organized into symbiotic aggregations.

    5. I posit that the software of consciousness is a similarly evolving and emerging system, that it attaches itself to living tissue with which it co-evolves from conception to adulthood, and develops the same operating directive of survival and self-defense. This software is composed of bits I call “memes” (as named by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene)”.

    6. In humans, what we call intelligence is the development (evolution) of brain functions with problem-solving, creative thinking, critical analysis, abstract reasoning, systems building capabilities. Since survival depends on an accurate appraisal of the real world —reality—and of the natural laws that operate in it—the laws of cause and effect—the cognitive functions of the brain and its fitness for supporting more complex software will naturally evolve through that process of mutation that favors higher efficacy. And when brain function maps accurately onto reality, we call that rationality.

    7. Not all humans are equal in their brain capacity nor their efficacious meme set, just as not all humans have equal talents in other functions. Further, not all brains have equal receptivity to appraising reality. What brains (and their software) do have is a subroutine for accepting second-hand information—just as young animals learn from their parents about the basic necessities for survival.

    8. Humans thus do not all possess the most highly evolved brain hardware nor the most enlightened software. Each individual is different. Some are content to be patterned by their culture. Thus the argument from authority can embed errors of judgment from childhood on. Some may rebel but without a better alternative. what they all share is being linked to their emotional chemistry. At this point in human history, the prefrontal cortex is in place, but only the rarest individuals have self-generated operating systems, alias free will.

    9. Once memes (information received second-hand or even experienced first-hand) are internalized, they will block attempts to remove or change them. We see a parallel to this in computer programs that are protected from outside tampering. This is how belief systems take on a life of their own, with “truth” no longer the measuring rod or compass for the content of consciousness, and sometimes even to the detriment of the host.

    10. So, yes, Objectivism is the outgrowth of a mutant emergence in the brain of its creator, from where it spread virally to the minds of others whose equipment is capable of downloading it. Yes, Objectivists are the latest stage of evolution. And our eagerness to teach it to everyone else illustrates the life force and survival drive of ideas that use human brains as incubation and replication devices.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      puzzle; Wow, you've put a lot of wok into this. I appreciate all your effort. Txs
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      • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 3 years, 4 months ago
        Thanks, Zen. I hope to do a book soon. And a wok makes great stir-fry. Like philosophical ideas that people stir around until their brain is fried. :)

        Seriously, Ayn Rand laid the foundation. Her concepts of concept formation, checking premises, non-contradiction, volitional consciousness, and the rest of her entire opus are the template for a quantum leap in human evolution. If only the destructive old ideas were not so difficult to dislodge. You can watch them fight for their survival every day in the news. It's to weep.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 4 months ago
    The term "mutant" has a negative connotation, but it doesn't have to be that way. All of the positive aspects of evolution regarding life required mutations that better enabled the "mutants" to survive.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      j; As you say, and that's always disappointed me about people that can't 'critically think' and can't or won't separate their societal connotation and feeling about certain words from the actual meaning of words and the ideas behind them. It's a form of cognitive behavior control imposed on the listener by others that 'feel' bad about the concept in the context expressed or fear the expression of the concept behind the word.

      The author discusses some of that difficulty with the word 'evidence' used by the scientific vs. the non-scientific. It's like talking a different language that uses words that sound the same, but have entirely different meanings in the different language.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 4 months ago
    Objectivists are born tabula rasa, with no innate ideas so no room for the content or method of thought to be imposed on the brain by using it rationally. You are stuck with Hyman's ill-informed use of a scientific term. As Ayn Rand said, "Man is a being of volitional consciousness" you have to choose to use it and how you use it. Objectivists just know and care a little bit more about their use of their brains. That's why we like the feel of using reason. Hyman probably thinks sesame bagels are mutants of plain bagels.. .
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    • Posted by 3 years, 4 months ago
      cat; I'm not comfortable with the idea of "That's why we like the feel of using reason." or that O's care as an explanation. However, I agree that there are no Innate ideas. But I do contend that the 'wiring' is different and the ideas can be encouraged at a very early stage in the children that continually ask, why.
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      • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 4 months ago
        Z Biologically we all get the same neurological contents and it is up to us to decide what content we want those billions of neurons to work with. The feeling of reason is that there is a actual saving of energy when the contents fit with each other instead of contradicting each other. The brain can quickly act for your survival versus being unable to integrate. SO we all have that feeling of when stuff fits. Reason for lots of biological reasons actually fells good. Its called noise versus coherence in information theory. It has good biological consequences.
        Best Z.
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  • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 4 months ago
    What you can say is that it takes critical thinking to be able to become an Objectivist. When you see someone who shows no inclination to think that way, you will not likely be able to convert him. This is why education is sooooo important.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 years, 4 months ago
    Seeing chiropractic put down in that article was a big time turn off. Not saying the writer was wrong about anything else.
    Just last week my chiropractor made another arthritis flare up go away in a hurry.
    This has been going on since the 90s after prescribed medication failed to do the trick..
    Early in this decade old dino's knees began to ache.
    I was told I needed some kind of shots in my knees.
    Decided to take my knees to my chiropractor first. He determined my knees hurt because thigh muscles were tight and went to work on them.
    BINGO! .I got better oh so fast.
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 years, 4 months ago
      "Conventional" medicine is slow to accept findings not approved by the medical "establishment", including government bureaucrats with the power to license and oversee the entire medical profession. I'm a skeptic, and one thing I'm skeptical about is articles like this one.
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  • Posted by khalling 3 years, 4 months ago
    I think, opposed to "feel" takes effort and time. Elevating one's consciousness in acquiring objective knowledge is not for the laze about or the person driven by emotion. Mutant? that's sci-fi BS and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that Mr. Hyman is a big fan. Thanks for the post, Zen. :)
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 4 months ago
    Let's start with the word "alternative" as in Alternative Medicine. It means the difference between two or more incompatible things. Usually, the newer idea is considered the alternative. But is that bad? It's always good to be skeptical of something new, but the skepticism should not be so strong that it doesn't allow for innovation. Our history is filled with instances of new ideas and propositions that were held up because of a refusal to accept them even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Even the evidence was greeted skeptically.

    In addition, humans have imagination. Imagination is supreme in the arts. But it can be a deterrent to science. We as a race love stories, and often, the more imaginative the story, the more we tend to accept them. That is one reason why the majority of Homo Sapiens loses the sapiens part when told a good story as an explanation of what our senses tell us. The bible and religions are cases in point.

    If it's the Mutants who are the skeptics, they are also the imaginers. For they are the one who are willing to discard the usual for the new and prove the new to be better. The 20th century is filled with such examples, the greatest of which is probably the work of the patent clerk, Albert Einstein.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 years, 4 months ago
    It has been determined that .01% of the American population has reached the second tier of conscious thought, behavior and world view. It is important that in order to reach this tier of consciousness one must realize the certain values of each of the preceding memes or levels. Do Objectivist fit into this category in some way...I think so and Yes, we will be seen as mutants, different and more evolved. See: Spiral Dynamics

    In reference to modern day medicine - (allopathic medicine) has in fact, it's roots in a procedure translated as Quackery. Both allopathic medicine and quackery is the practice of treating symptoms of disease and not the cause, This practice started in earnest during the beginning of the "Progressive era".
    Natural medicines, (not the voodoo stuff), always attempted and largely did, address the causes of disease and today use science to find out how and why certain treatments eradicate disease.

    See this link about Quackery...if anything, it's interesting: http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/history...
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