Re: Fwd: [evol-psych] Charles Murray: Deeper into the Brain

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 08:01:42 MST

Hal Finney wrote:
>Robin forwarded a provocative article by Charles Murray:

Just so it's clear to everyone, I didn't forward it because I necessarily
agree with it, but because I thought it was provocative, and as another
indication of how futurist ideas are gaining more attention.

>He is no doubt right that we will learn a great deal about human nature
>and the determinates of behavior over the next decades. But he describes
>these revelations almost purely in genetic terms. He focuses on what
>we will learn about what our genes have to say, ignoring what we will
>learn about memes, culture and other environmental influences.

He is probably right that for the next few decades the rate at which
we will learn about genes will be faster than the rate at which we
learn about other influences, because of recent dramatic advances
in our ability to learn about genes.

>And last I must object vehemently to his claim that the Left will
>support eugenics.

Hmm.. What odds would you give? I'd say he has at least a 30% chance
of being right that the left will support broad requirements for
eliminating "bad" genes from new kids.

>Like many people who write about the future, he is really making a
>statement about the present. He can't resist the temptations to take
>jabs at his opponents, and ultimately that is all he has done here.

I agree with you up until that last phrase.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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