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← The real danger in Darwin is not evolution, but racism

Melomel's Avatar Jump to comment 274 by Melomel

You know, I see a whole lot of people laying out very good reasoning as to why this article is wrong.

That's great - it's good to be on clear ground and reason is a great way of getting things done. However, the problem is that it's not persuasive, at least not to the people who need to be persuaded. The religious have long ago decided that reason is not paramount - at best, it is a tool to be used in the service of their religion. Where reason and their religious prejudices differ, it's clear which gives way in their head.

Furthermore, as lamentable as it is, even the most casual observer should be able to quickly perceive that reason is not the way our populace makes its decisions. Reason can often play a role in the process, but other factors are always - always - primary.

More than any other group, we should be best suited to understand that we are barely domesticated apes and are, as much as might wish otherwise, subject to basic primate social dynamics. More often than not, people will follow the argument put forward by the ape they trust, npt the argument that sits upon the most solid logic underpinnings.

I really would like to see the current Atheist movement (or whatever you would like to call it) show a more pragmatic understanding of what factors in public discussion actually persuade people and start using tactics that acknowledge it. I'm not saying that we should be dishonest or put forward fallacious arguments, but I am saying that it's folly to completely ignore primate social dynamics.

The Clintons' people are experts at using primate social dynamics to achieve their goals, and anybody wishing to counter them really needs to answer with a similar awareness.

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 19:10:00 UTC | #110311