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Thread: Gender differences in sexual attraction: An illustration of the complex nature -nurtue interaction

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post

    I don't know that " our genetics build the environment in the first place" is a meaningful thing to say, and I'm not seeing much of an argument that it is.
    It's one of those things that you're not going to see a scientific study done on, because it's not really something that would be the object of a study. But if you understand anything at all about neurophysiology then you basically just need to look around.
    I'm fairly positive I understand more of neurophysiology than you do.

    Or just use logic - how could every aspect of human cultures not be tied back to human nature, somehow? Where else would it originate?
    In the same sense it's connected to gravity and the electromagnetic force - trivially true in the abstract, but not very informative in practice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    I'm fairly positive I understand more of neurophysiology than you do.

    Or just use logic - how could every aspect of human cultures not be tied back to human nature, somehow? Where else would it originate?
    In the same sense it's connected to gravity and the electromagnetic force - trivially true in the abstract, but not very informative in practice
    I'd call it informative, in a lot of ways. But I'm not talking about it's predictive power, I'm claiming that our biology is an ultimate force beyond the environment, because the environment is constrained by it.

    Besides things like variation in political ideals, religious beliefs, and sexual practices, human cultures don't really vary that much. And that's because human nature sets the framework. So even if there are environmental influences within culture, the entire culture is set in motion by our biology in the first place, which is why I'm calling biology the primary influence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    I'm fairly positive I understand more of neurophysiology than you do.

    Or just use logic - how could every aspect of human cultures not be tied back to human nature, somehow? Where else would it originate?
    In the same sense it's connected to gravity and the electromagnetic force - trivially true in the abstract, but not very informative in practice
    I'd call it informative, in a lot of ways. But I'm not talking about it's predictive power, I'm claiming that our biology is an ultimate force beyond the environment, because the environment is constrained by it.

    Besides things like variation in political ideals, religious beliefs, and sexual practices, human cultures don't really vary that much. And that's because human nature sets the framework. So even if there are environmental influences within culture, the entire culture is set in motion by our biology in the first place, which is why I'm calling biology the primary influence.
    You could say the same about particle physics. In fact it's more clearly true about insofar as even historical contingencies are constrained by it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    I'd call it informative, in a lot of ways. But I'm not talking about it's predictive power, I'm claiming that our biology is an ultimate force beyond the environment, because the environment is constrained by it.

    Besides things like variation in political ideals, religious beliefs, and sexual practices, human cultures don't really vary that much. And that's because human nature sets the framework. So even if there are environmental influences within culture, the entire culture is set in motion by our biology in the first place, which is why I'm calling biology the primary influence.
    You could say the same about particle physics. In fact it's more clearly true about insofar as even historical contingencies are constrained by it.
    You could. Human history is a subset of ecological history, and ecological history is ultimately about resource availability and all that entails.

    It might seem trivial, but it's really not, and I'll throw back to an earlier comment I made:

    I'm more or less of the opinion that those mold-able parts of our culture are actually much more rigid than you, which seems to be the main difference between our arguments
    To me there is more of a danger in the belief that man can disrupt the evolution of history and culture in a dramatic fashion for the better, than the belief that he can't. Take something like Marxism as an example - we had some high ideals, but they ended up having a massive human cost.

    Social change needs to be slow, intentional, scientific, deliberate, and based on the reality of how people work - which is more rigid than most of us realize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    You could. Human history is a subset of ecological history, and ecological history is ultimately about resource availability and all that entails.

    It might seem trivial, but it's really not, and I'll throw back to an earlier comment I made:

    I'm more or less of the opinion that those mold-able parts of our culture are actually much more rigid than you, which seems to be the main difference between our arguments
    To me there is more of a danger in the belief that man can disrupt the evolution of history and culture in a dramatic fashion for the better, than the belief that he can't. Take something like Marxism as an example - we had some high ideals, but they ended up having a massive human cost.

    Social change needs to be slow, intentional, scientific, deliberate, and based on the reality of how people work - which is more rigid than most of us realize.
    Indeed... humans, like all animals, are driven by self interest. Humans can, and do, have altruistic ideals of how cultures should be to attain whatever lofty goals they can imagine but it really boils down to how they think others should live. Certainly humans will help others but not (or extremely rarely) at the cost of their own well being. We are concerned with the plight of the homeless but how many of those who wear that concern on their sleeve invite a homeless family to share their home? A recent example in the news is Bernie being a millionaire even though he continually rants that it is unfair for there to be millionaires while there are people in need. If not for the human (animal) concern for self interest Bernie would have, without giving it a second thought, shared his wealth with the needy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Besides things like variation in political ideals, religious beliefs, and sexual practices, human cultures don't really vary that much.
    ... if we interpret "political ideals" very loosely as conceptions and expectations about how you should treat whom, and "religious beliefs" similarly broadly as ideas about how the world functions, and "things like" as everything else that happens to vary, sure. There's variation in whether or not your paternal grandparents are considered family, and cultures that, under certain circumstances, expect you to kill your half-brother if a feud breaks out between your families. Now there may well be a biological disposition not to kill the people you share genes with irrespective of what your culture considers relatives, and cultures to some degree avoid putting individuals into this kind of dilemma by making up taboos against marrying people from non-allied clans, but that's some really broad sense of "political ideals".

    How did "sexual practices" get onto this list though? It's quite possibly one of the most culturally invariant (though with a large degree of inter-individual variation) aspects of human behaviour, if only because it's often a taboo topic to talk about so every generation has to figure it out on there own, with little culture to build upon.

    And that's because human nature sets the framework. So even if there are environmental influences within culture, the entire culture is set in motion by our biology in the first place, which is why I'm calling biology the primary influence.
    That statement is so broad as to be meaningless. You can do better than this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Certainly humans will help others but not (or extremely rarely) at the cost of their own well being.
    Unless you're living a life in total isolation, I'm pretty certain you've done so several times today. I'm sure I did

    - when I held the door of the tramway open for a stranger
    - when I passed my colleague a cup during coffee break
    - when I held my daughter tight instead of moving to the couch to get some proper sleep
    ...

    The cost in each of these cases may be minor, but it's very real. Far from "extremely rare", it's so common that we don't even notice it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Certainly humans will help others but not (or extremely rarely) at the cost of their own well being.
    Unless you're living a life in total isolation, I'm pretty certain you've done so several times today. I'm sure I did

    - when I held the door of the tramway open for a stranger
    - when I passed my colleague a cup during coffee break
    - when I held my daughter tight instead of moving to the couch to get some proper sleep
    ...

    The cost in each of these cases may be minor, but it's very real. Far from "extremely rare", it's so common that we don't even notice it.
    That is a really odd interpretation. None of those actions were at a cost to your well being. In fact common courtesies are generally helpful to your well being because they make you more acceptable in society. Now if you had taken a homeless family into your home or some other action that actually cost you a reduction in your personal living standards (to raise the living standards of someone needy) you would be closer to what my post said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    That statement is so broad as to be meaningless. You can do better than this.
    Can you explain why in reference to the core point of my post?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    That statement is so broad as to be meaningless. You can do better than this.
    Can you explain why in reference to the core point of my post?
    The core point being what? As far as I can tell, you just like the sound of "biology is the prime mover" without being able to construct any kind of hypothesis out of this proposition that's precise enough to derive any predictions whatsoever.

    This forum is social science, not social musings.

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