Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dialogue with a Far-Right Extremist

PERSON: Alt-right and Catholic here.

ME: I must warn you: the alt-right comes straight from Satan himself. As obnoxious as social justice advocates may be, their belief that homosexuality is commendable and that transgenderism is virtuous does not make them Satanic to the core... because it's largely due to scientific research showing that people are "born this way" and that it's "natural" (of course science is always tentative, and what's good science today may be bad science tomorrow). It's a valid inference from bad data. That is not so for the alt-right. The alt-right deliberately and consciously rejects human equality in any metaphysical sense. This is not the same kind of error SJWs have. 
Later on, another interjector joined the discussion and started to ask questions advocating an extreme right wing position. The rest of this post consists of his response interspersed with my replies.

INTERJECTOR:  One of those researchers was Bogaert--Bogaert the guy who collaborated with Rushton on the paper showing Africans have earlier sexual development and other r-selcted traits. In other words, not a shitlib or Cultural Marxist like Gould, Lewontin, Kamin, etc. Lots of people would have much easier lives if they were attracted to the opposite sex, and have tried very hard to make it that way. Why hasn't it worked?

ME: All this shows is that being gay or straight is a lifelong stable individual characteristic. So is narcissistic personality disorder, political ideology, religious belief (usually), and income bracket (usually). Yet none of those things are "biologically hard-wired" in any sense.

INTERJECTOR: [Regarding science being "always tentative,"] this is a common misconception. It's not that "it's always false," it's that our model gets more and more accurate. For example, the change from Aristotelian physics to Newtonian physics to Einsteinian physics to quantum physics. And we know there are flaws with our current model--for example, the universe is actually expanding at an accelerating rate. Does that mean you should throw out your physics book because there might be a change to the model in the future? Only the social science findings that have the replicability problem (which is widespread in social science).

ME: No, because some models are useful. But if one become so married to a model that he starts to turn it into a metaphysical truth, there is a grave risk of turning a scientific theory into a religion. This is, ironically, what happened with Marxism: Popper pointed out that Marx was making a scientific prediction, but when the prediction didn't come true, he became so married to the model that he started to add in so many ad-hoc predictions that it ended up turning into a far-left religion.

INTERJECTOR: Research showing things like "whites have a higher IQ than blacks,"

ME: True, but what does it mean? Asian and Jews have a higher I.Q. than whites. An ancient Roman would probably have a lower I.Q. than a modern member of society today, but I would argue that due to less genetic degeneration that ancient Romans were probably more intelligent than modern humans.

INTERJECTOR: "men and women are neurologically different,"

ME: Mostly due to the effect of sex hormones on brain lateralization, but even then it's not insurmountable: Emmy Noether and Sophie-Germain did great mathematical research.

INTERJECTOR: "gays and straights are neurologically different" has been replicable.

ME: Piano players and non-piano players are neurologically different too. So what? Noticing a difference between people who identify as gay versus those who don't means nothing unless there's a well-founded etiology behind it.