notes 4-02-08

notes 4-02-08 - Obstacles in the way of truth Why might...

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Obstacles in the way of truth Why might someone believe something? Evidence that it is true Light travels faster than sound To feel better Dogs go to heaven “looks don't matter” Demonstrate moral superiority “just as bad for a boy. ..” “all children are smart. ..” Manipulated into believing it Per-act rate of transmission for AIDS About 1 in 1500 Santa knows when you've been bad “Prewired” to believe it “the grass IS green” People are either “male” or “female” Goal of science: nothing but the evidence Science cannot answer moral questions Hume: Cannot derive an “ought” from an “is” Science CAN inform moral debates Science ignores the moral consequences of an idea e.g. Are men better at math than women? Science changes when new data arrives (nothing is “written in stone”) All ideas are considered, even if they contradict “obvious” facts. (nothing is taboo/sacred) What has science found? “Everything you know is wrong” - The sky isn't blue - If a tree falls in the forest and there is someone to hear it, it doesn't make a sound. - Nothing has a smell - Synesthesia - What does sunlight smell like? POINT: Most of what we think are properties of the world are, in fact, constructs of the human mind. “Instinct blindness” Outline Evolutionary theory What are organisms? Logic of Darwin's argument - Despite this potential for exponential growth, natural populations normally are relatively stable - Many individuals do not leave as many offspring as they might - Those best suited to the prevailing environment will leave the most offspring (i.e. The best “fit” to the environment) - Because of heredity, offspring are like their parents - Over many generations, natural selection builds individuals that are progressively better adapted to
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This note was uploaded on 05/25/2008 for the course ANTH 7 taught by Professor Sell during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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notes 4-02-08 - Obstacles in the way of truth Why might...

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