Fri Jul 27, 2012, 12:12 AM
hifiguy (24,009 posts)
Actually it is not hard to imagine an experiment
that would be most interesting if not exactly practical. There are peoples in the world who have had virtually no contact with the modern world. Examining their responses to the sorts of images/inputs used by the scientists in the study cited in the OP would at the very least provide an interesting control or baseline.
One either accepts the scientific method or one doesn't. If one does not accept the validity of the scientific method and its applicability to the investigation of phenomena in the universe, one is inhabiting the same intellectual (and I use that word loosely and advisedly) world as the cretins responsible for the creation museum.
No reputable scientist in any field starts with a conclusion, for this is antithetical to the scientific method and deductive logic. All real science starts with a hypothesis of the "Might there be a connection between X and Y, and if so, how might it operate?" Such a hypothesis fulfills the first, and most important principle of real science: Is the hypothesis falsifiable? If such a hypothesis is not shown to be false, it is then subject to further and deeper investigation. This is the basis for every advancement in knowledge humankind has made since at least the Renaissance in every field from physics and astronomy to medicine to psychology. Even something as abstract as philosophy is bound to the iron rules of logic and reason.
Lastly, while I have only a nodding acquaintance with evolutionary psychology and will argue neither for or against it, it seems entirely possible that certain pathways are hard-wired in to the human brain. Any reputable evolutionary biologist will tell anyone willing to listen that virtually everything about humans and their ancestors has changed, via the process of Darwinian natural selection, over many millennia. It does not seem at all far-fetched that certain behavior and perceptions patterns may be embedded in the depths of the brain, which neuroscience is only beginning to understand. To say that there is no case to be made, on what are essentially ideological grounds, for saying that certain behavior and perception patterns may not have contriuted to the process of human evolution seems to me to be short-sighted and close-minded. Further investigation is definitely merited. Let the chips fall where they may, but let science and its methods make that determination.
Science is what it is. It has rules, embodied in the timeless principles of the scientific method, the first of which is that nothing can be precluded unless it has been subject to experiment and falsified thereby. One either accepts and respects those rules or rejects them; however, they remain true whether or not one accepts them. As a matter of pure logic, that is simply the way it is.
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