[ExI] The mosque at Ground Zero

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Aug 10 04:28:28 UTC 2010

On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:01 PM,  BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:


> *Humans* are inherently irrational.  That's the way evolution made them.

I don't believe that to be the case.  Genes are rational if you take
that to mean doing the right thing to persist generation after
generation.  Most of the time, human interest and genetic interest is

But genes have the upper hand and if it is in the interest of genes,
the psychological mechanisms they build can result in irrational
humans when it meets the interest of the genes.

> So obviously their Gods are irrational as well.
> Humans normally operate as emotional, prejudiced, power-seeking beings.
> Rationality is not much use in the day-to-day struggle.
> Cunning, yes. Superstition, yes. Lying, yes. Flattery and bribery, yes.
> Rationality is usually a disadvantage in human interactions.

It's rational not to walk off cliffs.  We don't do that very often.

> See: Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
> <http://www.michaelshermer.com/weird-things/>
> and many other references in human psychology.

Is it rational from the viewpoint of genes to seek power?  Status?  To
have a good reputation?

Since genes are largely "concerned" with reproductive success, you
need to frame the questions above in such terms.  And the answer to
all of these is yes.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list