[ExI] EP in 10 Easy Steps

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Sat Oct 6 00:13:12 UTC 2007

At 03:30 PM 10/5/2007, Jeff Davis wrote:


>So many seemingly intelligent, seemingly normal folks have fallen for
>the "911 Truth" hoohah.  Incredible! So, I've returned to the question
>"What in the human animal makes this "brain/behavioral disease"
>possible?"   My jumping-off-point is tribalism and the peer
>pressure/echo chamber of the mob, but I want more substance.  I would
>like to hear from the EP folk

I guess I am the resident EP guy, though if there are others, please speak up.

You are right about "tribalism and the peer pressure/echo chamber of 
the mob" but you need to go back even further and think about the 
genes that built humans with such traits.

The basic theory of EP is that if humans have a behavioral trait 
today it is the result of selection (ultimately of genes) in the EEA.

So you need rephrase such questions into how the trait you are 
thinking about could have made a difference in the reproductive 
success of our ancestors.  You need to watch out for the trait being 
a side effect of something that was under selection pressure (like 
drug addiction being a side effect of chemical social brain reward mechanisms).

I have seen people make a case (in, for example, _Human Inference_ by 
Nesbitt and Ross) that making good enough decisions fast was a 
positively selected trait.  Jumping to the conclusion that a bush 
shaking was due to a bear wasn't a bad idea when there were bears in 
the bushes.  That extended to hearing from someone else there was a 
bear in the cave or the next valley.  This could be corrected by 
looking to see if the bear had moved on.

Now if something like this is an evolved behavior trait in humans, it 
isn't hard to see how vivid and memorable stories (memes) of bears 
[class dangerous] could spread among people and how it would be hard 
to correct them, especially when part of the meme is "don't trust the 
authorities," and you don't have any personal way to see the bear has 
left the cave.

Belief in these sorts of stories isn't likely to threaten your 
survival or reproductive success even today.  All it's likely to do 
is downgrade your reputation among a statistically insignificant pool 
of people.

Keith Henson

PS  One of the persistent stories I have read about is that the feds 
didn't investigate to find who was behind the well known speculation 
of AA and UAL stock in the days before 9/11 (and won't let it be 
privately investigated either).  I have no way to verify this 
story.  My own experience with the government has not been good as 
you are well aware.  I don't think our leaders are that competent 
enough to run 9/11 as an operation.

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