RE: Chunking intelligence functions (was Re: [Fwd: com-mensa-rate digest#1] )

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed May 09 2001 - 15:26:37 MDT

> Heh. Well, that's your decision. Just bear in mind that where an
> academic field has been corrupted by political influences, it's very easy
> for people who have been working there for "decades" to be totally,
> flagrantly, utterly wrong.

Regardless of political influences, it is possible for people who have been
working on something for decades to be totally, flagrantly, utterly wrong.
That is the nature of science and any other intellectual endeavor.

> I'd trust an amateur reader of "The Adapted
> Mind" over any academic trained in the "soft" social sciences when it
> comes to knowing, for example, "whether the brain has domain specificity
> or is a general learning machine", because it is known that the standard
> social sciences model is blatantly untrue, for political reasons, with
> respect to that particular question.

This strikes me as a rather absurd statement. I grew up around academics
trained in the social sciences and I can assure you that they hold a very
wide variety of views -- much wider, for example, than the set of views
represented on this e-mail list.

In fact this statement of your strikes me as a flagrantly wrong attitude
that is directly attributable to corruption by political influences ;>

I don't like Political Correctness any more than you, but nor do I like glib
stereotyping of social groups with which the stereotyper lacks detailed

Sorry if I'm being touchy -- my dad is a social scientist, and he actually
isn't the ONLY one out there who's not a complete idiot.... There is LOT
of idiocy in the social sciences, to be sure -- my dad recently wrote a
paper arguing that about 90% of statistical work ever done in sociology has
been useless. But there is also a lot of good work and solid thinking, by
people of both liberal and conservative persuasions.


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