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evolution foot poll - wanton_heat_jet
wanton_heat_jet
wanton_heat_jet
evolution foot poll
These are the topics and issues that I prepared for the evolution foot polls I ran at Burning Man. The game was that I, acting as emcee, would have the players move right or left to indicate their stance on various topics related to evolution. In addition to straight dichotomies, I would sometimes run a poll on two axes. Players would move left or right in response to one proposition and then move forward or back in response to another.

I was surprised in general at the lack of support enjoyed by the "culture" side on the culture v genetics issues.

These are my working notes, not a summary. Skimming is recommended.

I had several general topics in line to turn to as need be.
Music
Dogs
Star wars
Mind
Soul
Morals
Western civilization

In particular, I had these questions and propositions that I put to the players. Some have followup propositions.

Humans have a special place in the world
...Because they were created by God
...In whose image they are made

Warfare is natural

The technology singularity is coming

Humans will destroy the earth.

Evolution proceeds toward a goal or according to divine intent.
v
Evolution has no goal and proceeds without intent.

Even in a free democracy in which individuals can choose their life careers, men and women differ in their choices about love, family, jobs, etc.

Are these differences primarily the result of how human nature and sex differences evolved.
v
Or are these differences primarily the result of how people are socialized.

On average, men have a stronger built-in tendency to act violently than women do. This tendency reflects the rough and tumble social environment in which humans evolved.
v
In terms of built-in predispositions toward violence, men and women are basically the same, and the reason men act more violently is socialization and the enforcement of gender roles.


As other mammals have evolved many of the same nerve systems and hormones that are associated with feelings in humans, we can presume that many other mammals experience some feelings, such as fear or motherly love, fundamentally similar to our own.
v
Human emotions have an intangible quality that makes them fundamentally different from the emotions of other mammals, possibly a spiritual or cultural quality.

Humans evolved from apelike ancestors.
v
Not.

Humans are the end goal of evolution on earth.
v
Not.

With the advent of cultural evolution, the human species stopped evolving genetically thousands of years ago.
v
The human species has continued to evolve genetically while evolving culturally.

Differences among various races and ethnic groups can best be explained as both cultural and genetic.
v.
Any significant differences between one race or ethnic group and another is bound to be cultural, with no genetic component.

In terms of personality traits, adults who grew up in adopted families resemble their adopted siblings more closely than they resemble their biological siblings.
v
Adults who grew up in adopted families resemble their biological siblings more closely than they resemble their adopted siblings.

Humans evolved brains with a general capacity to learn behaviors but few built-in instincts toward one behavior or another.
v
Humans evolved brains with powerful, built-in instincts that shape individual behavior and society in general.

Your personal life work is more oriented toward the literary, verbal, personal, psychological, or artistic.
v
Your personal life work is more oriented toward the numeric, factual, scientific.

The mind is the human brain at work. The mind is a trait or capability that humans evolved, sort of like we evolved color vision or the ability to recognize faces.
v
The mind reflects the experience of a spiritual or immaterial entity or presence, not merely the physical brain.

If a human behavior is natural, then it's wrong to suppress that behavior.
v
It's legitimate and prudent to suppress certain natural behaviors.

Rape is natural.
v
Rape is a deviation from natural behavior.

Sexual orientation is generally built in at birth.
v
Sexual orientation is generally learned.

Homosexual orientation is an evolved trait that one way or another improved the fitness of our ancestors who carried the genes that brought it about.
v
Homosexual orientation doesn't reflect any sort of fitness advantage for our ancestors and is best understood as a deviation from the evolved form.

Given that humans think fire is beautiful...
Humans evolved an appreciation for fire. The beauty that we see in flames is a beauty that we evolved to see there.
v
Humans see beauty in flames for other reasons, but not because we evolved a taste for them.

Humans today are genetically superior to humans of a million years ago.
v
Not

Evolution was God's plan.
v
Evolution just happened.

::All across the globe today and down throughout history, men have been more concerned with dealing with outsiders, especially through violence, while women have been more concerned with dealing with clan members, especially tending to children.
This basic difference fundamentally reflects evolved sex differences.
v
This basic difference fundamentally reflects cultural norms with little to no basis in evolved capacities.

Evolution by natural selection is the best way to account for the appearance of humans on earth.
v
Some process or entity outside the scope of modern science is the best way to account for the appearance of humans on earth.

Human emotions, such as jealousy and friendship, are best understood as evolved behaviors.
v
Human emotions are best understood as learned behaviors.

Engineering the human genome is a violation of the natural order and should not be undertaken.
v
The human genome is one more frontier for humans to explore and master.

Humans are more advanced than the first vertebrates that swam in the oceans 500 million years ago.
v
It's meaningless to talk about one species being more "advanced" than another.

Only humans deserve any sort of legal rights and any rights granted to animals should only be by way of those animals being the property of one human or another.
v
Animals that are sufficiently similar to humans, such as dogs and apes, deserve at least some rights.
v
All animals deserve equal rights with humans.

Hunting mammals of a different species and killing them is OK.
v
Hunting humans of a different race and killing them is OK.

A thousand years from now, there will still be a single human species.
v
A thousand years from now, there will be more than one species evolved or engineered from the current human stock.
v
A thousand years from now, there will be no biological descendants of humans.

Antisocial impulses, such as possessiveness, deceitfulness, and envy, are built-in instincts.
v
Antisocial impulses, such as possessiveness, deceitfulness, and envy, are learned behaviors and children could readily be raised not to express those traits.

Standards of human beauty are basically built-in, evolved to help us identify healthy people and appropriate mates.
v
Standard of human beauty are basically determined by culture.

Human life is more important than the life of other animals.

Animals have basic feelings like ours.

Immaterial soul?

Absolute morals.

Major religions all equal?

Genes and memes. Same system or not?Cultural evolution is biological evolution.

Boss relationship modeled on evolved instincts?

Humans developed as a water transportation device.

There is an afterlife.

There is a God or equivalent.

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