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Comments by NakedCelt

Go to: The Dawkins Challenge

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by NakedCelt

Note the caption on that photo, by the way. Dawkins and Krauss are sitting on chairs. That's all. But the Catholic Thing has to insinuate something about their view of the world and their place in it without actually making any statement that someone might be able to refute.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 10:06:20 UTC | #947370

Go to: Evolution skeptics will soon be silenced by science: Richard Leakey

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by NakedCelt

Sadly I have to agree with most earlier posters. The evidence for evolution has been overwhelming for many decades. Anyone still unconvinced is not going to be convinced by evidence; except of course for those who are unconvinced because they are children and their parents have sheltered them from the evidence.

Tue, 29 May 2012 04:07:26 UTC | #944145

Go to: Why do French intellectuals "know nothing about science"?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by NakedCelt

Comment 3 by Neodarwinian :

This " scholarship " is as much to be feared by supporters of the scientific method as creationism is. Perhaps more as these people are in academia. Get a clue France and remember Marie Curie and not Michael Foucault!

Not really fair to pick on Foucault. Yes, he writes a lot like a postmodernist, but if you get hold of a transcript of him talking -- an interview or a lecture -- he is, at least, able to express himself coherently, and some of the ideas are even worth hanging on to. Derrida, Lacan, or Baudrillard would have been better targets.

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 04:47:25 UTC | #936598

Go to: In Defense of Dawkins’s Reason Rally Speech

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by NakedCelt

I still don't entirely agree with the use of mockery against religious ideology. Not to say I'm against using mockery for social change, it's proved very effective against repressive and violent honour cultures. But mockery is at base an appeal to common sense; and many of science's most fundamental concepts affront common sense (though not evidence or logic) just as much as religious beliefs.

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 03:26:44 UTC | #932049

Go to: Three articles by Steven Pinker, Russell Blackford and John Gray

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by NakedCelt

Gray's approach basically seems to be: "I disagree with Pinker's conclusion, now I just have to find a hole in his argument." Which is the wrong way to do things.

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 07:08:19 UTC | #931829

Go to: Three articles by Steven Pinker, Russell Blackford and John Gray

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by NakedCelt

Comment 7 by TeraBrat :

Christian violence is down, Muslim violence is up. Since there are more Christians than Muslims overall violence is down. I'm worried that Christian violence will make a comeback.

Not according to Pinker -- Christian (and most other) violence is down, Muslim violence is plateauing.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 05:18:23 UTC | #931111

Go to: Higgs’ View: The Real Reason People Doubt Richard Dawkins is an Ape

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by NakedCelt

Comment 34 by QuestioningKat :

They are mammals...generally friendly and affectionate and do not pose any threat of disease like mice.

They may well be "affectionate" -- I have seen my cats be extremely affectionate towards mice and small birds -- but the behaviour motivated by that very affection should have selected for instinctive avoidance in their potential prey! They may not pose a threat of disease, but boy do they pose other kinds of threat!

I have a crazy hypothesis, for which my evidence is one episode of David Attenborough's Life of Mammals series, in which a troop of vervet monkeys respond to the threat of a leopard (in this instance, a life-size stuffed toy leopard placed there by Attenborough) by surrounding it just out of reach and staring at it. Attenborough explains that, as stealth hunters, leopards generally prefer not to attack prey that is clearly aware of their presence.

Let us suppose that pantherines in general really are deterred from attack by being stared at. Let us further suppose that hominins run more slowly than lions and cannot scamper up into trees out of reach as effectively as our simian cousins. We might well then develop a compulsion to stare at pantherines. What would such a compulsion feel like inside? Why, it would feel like we were fascinated with them...

Please shoot this hypothesis down. Go on, go ahead.

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 03:56:22 UTC | #930683

Go to: Higgs’ View: The Real Reason People Doubt Richard Dawkins is an Ape

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by NakedCelt

On a sidetrack... Why do cats fascinate us? Snakes and spiders we find icky and scary, just as we do heights and darkness and small spaces (but not guns, knives, electric wires, or fast-moving vehicles) because those were major hazards for our pre-modern ancestors in tropical Africa. But large felines were also major hazards -- among the few things that would actually have preyed on our ancestors, as opposed to injecting them with venom for self-defence as snakes and spiders do -- and yet the most common emotional adjectives used for even the largest and most powerful felines are things like "beautiful", "magnificent", "majestic", "gorgeous". Why?

Mon, 26 Mar 2012 02:05:03 UTC | #930476

Go to: Blessed are those with a persecution complex?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by NakedCelt

Excellent piece. If anyone tries to tell me that you can't simultaneously be honest about your own views and fair to those who hold other ones, I shall show them this.

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 00:57:41 UTC | #930014

Go to: Civilian Pastor Attacks Atheist Soldier - Reverend Bryan Griem Claims Atheist Solders Are "Big Fat Chickens"

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by NakedCelt

Here's a counter-argument to the reverend:

Timor mortis conturbat me, quia in inferno nulla est redemptio.

"The fear of death stirs me up, because there is no redemption in hell."

Seems a belief in the afterlife doesn't necessarily guarantee courage.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 04:55:57 UTC | #928547

Go to: Human fossils hint at new species

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by NakedCelt

Are these the Denisovans?

Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:58:50 UTC | #928018

Go to: The "So" meme

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by NakedCelt

Comment 1 by Michael Austin :

I'm America, many teenagers say "He was like" instead of "He said." This seems to be pretty new, I've only noticed it in the last 5 or so years.

I doubt it. No offence, but how old are you? Because my generation have been saying "He was like" since at least the early '90s, and I'm pretty sure we got it from America.

And it's not exactly equivalent to "He said". "I said" (mind if I switch pronouns?) begins a report of my actual words; "I was like" means that I am about to summarize the intent behind what I said and did next. Even if I didn't actually say anything. "So I spotted this big threatening guy looking in my direction, and I was like 'I'd better get out of here'..." may be an accurate report, even if I in fact said nothing and simply backed quickly away into the surrounding crowd.

Comment 10 by DrDroid :

The word "like" appears everywhere in the sentences uttered by teenage girls these days, at least in the USA. I'm not sure how the fad got started or what it's intended to convey. It's almost like (no pun intended) the girl is broadcasting "like me" messages into your subconcious.

"Like" as a sentence adverb has been around since at least the 1960s, when it arose in hippie culture. Along with the habit of addressing everyone as "man" it was most often used as a symbol of the many things non-hippies didn't understand, or were more interested in laughing at than understanding, about hippies. It is certainly not functionless -- no linguistic feature is -- but it is hard to analyse, I'll grant you that.

Most often, I think, "like" signals inexactitude in the clause that follows it -- "This is like what happened, as seen from my point of view, rather than an impartial, objective, or strictly accurate report."

As for "So..." introducing a topic, I know I've done this myself quite a bit, and I'm trying now to think why. I meant to convey something by it, something that would not have been conveyed had it been missing, but I'm finding it nigh impossible to articulate what that something was. It does (to me) seem to create a certain immediacy -- as if I'm dropping the reader right in the story, rather than leading them in with introductions. But I don't think that expresses it very well.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 07:35:55 UTC | #924255

Go to: “It’s Part of their Culture” - Reading Nick Cohen in the light of the Jaipur affair [Also in Polish]

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by NakedCelt

Comment 34 by LucindaE :

This reminds me of Sam Harris' hypothetical situation of a culture in which the third-born child of every family must be blinded at birth - based on a scripture (he came up with "The third must walk in darkness" as a hypothetical example).

Anyway, he presented the idea to a philosopher, who replied that we could not see this as being something wrong, if it was their culture and/or religion, despite the fact that children were being blinded.

I'm not so impressed by Harris's hypothetical culture. Like the ethics consultant he posed it to, I think I would have had to inquire why -- why the bloody hell -- any society would pluck out every third child's eyes at birth; why anybody would find that a plausible hypothetical example; and how, since clearly none of what we do know about human social interaction (yes, even among Muslims) applies to these people, I should be expected to form any sensible, let alone generally applicable, judgement about them.

Don't get me wrong. The Eye-Pluckers aren't implausible because their belief is false, nor because their practices cause needless misery. Both conditions are sadly common worldwide. But let me contrast them with a couple of real-world cases. First, Harris's account (citing anthropologist Ruth Benedict) of the Dobu islanders:

Every Dobuan's primary interest was to cast spells on other members of the tribe in an effort to sicken or kill them and in the hopes of magically appropriating their crops. The relevant spells were generally passed down from a maternal uncle... Spells could be purchased, however, and the economic life of the Dobu was almost entirely devoted to trade in these fantastical commodities.

...the conscious application of magic was believed necessary for the most mundane tasks. Even the work of gravity had to be supplemented by relentless wizardry: absent the right spell, a man's vegetables were expected to rise out of the soil and vanish under their own power.

To make matters worse, the Dobu imagined that good fortune conformed to a rigid law of thermodynamics: if one man succeeded in growing more yams than his neighbour, his surplus crop must have been pilfered through sorcery. As all Dobu continuously endeavoured to steal one another's crops by such methods, the lucky gardener is likely to have viewed his surplus in precisely these terms...

...the power of sorcery was believed to grow in proportion to one's intimacy with the intended victim... Therefore, if a man fell seriously ill or died, his misfortune was immediately blamed on his wife, and vice versa. The picture is of a society completely in thrall to antisocial delusions. (The Moral Landscape, pp. 60–61)

The difference between the Eye-Pluckers and the Dobu is that the Dobu belief does, and the Eye-Plucker belief does not, make (apparent) sense of its practitioners' day-to-day lived experience. Obviously the "experience" of constant magical attack, upon which the Dobu belief fed, was a product of the belief itself. But in bypassing experience altogether, the Eye-Plucker religion departs from the known range of human variation.

My second real-world case is this. I grew up in a religious group which believed that every woman, man, and child on the planet was so vile that consigning us to unbearable torture until the end of time would have been a fitting response to our evil ways. Fortunately, the Creator of the Universe had performed an unwarranted act of mercy which will allow a chosen few – all members of the group, of course – to avoid this fate and start afresh.

People whom my parents respected and counted as friends taught me the doctrine that I have outlined above; as children will, I accepted it. I felt the appropriate guilt for my existential filthiness, and was filled with reverent gratitude for the Creator's mercy. Had you asked me at the time, I would have recited the above belief with complete sincerity.

How do these people treat their fellow human beings? Well, in case you don't recognise it, the religion in question is Christianity. Now we were Protestants, and believed that one accepted God's mercy through a private prayer of faith, whereas I understand that Catholics accept it via pious acts prescribed by a priest. But both agree that it is mercy, without a crumb of desert.

Yet, curiously, it is extremely rare nowadays to find Christians acting as if they truly believed other people deserved to go to Hell. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church are one such rarity. Most Christian proselytizers behave as if they believe people deserve to be rescued from going to Hell.

Here we have a belief every bit as clearly opposed to human well-being as that of the Eye-Pluckers. Yet, unlike either them or the Dobu, its believers do not enact it, regardless of the sincerity of their belief. Why not? Because it does not even pretend to explain anything they commonly experience. Its function is to reinforce gratitude to God with feelings of unworthiness, and soothe cognitive dissonance as to his coexistence with the evil that one is supposed to thank him for disarming.

Anthropologists find the same thing in every culture they investigate. Some beliefs are irrational; some practices are harmful. But no belief is put into practice unless it seems, to its believers, to answer a practical need. Many repellent practices remain uninvestigated -- we will never be able to ask the Inca why they felt they needed to expose children on mountaintops -- but the finding is so consistent that we can now take it as a working assumption in any new case.

Sat, 04 Feb 2012 02:08:41 UTC | #914396

Go to: Letter from a Medical Doctor

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 98 by NakedCelt

When I told the other students at my church that I was studying science (way back before I switched to anthropology), they would always say "Health sciences?" and when I said "No, geology" they would look sideways as if I'd confessed to smoking marijuana in my spare time. They seemed to think that studying sciences, beyond what was strictly necessary to become a good Christian doctor, was the path to the Dark Side. They were, in the end, absolutely right.

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 07:40:45 UTC | #913705

Go to: “It’s Part of their Culture” - Reading Nick Cohen in the light of the Jaipur affair [Also in Polish]

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by NakedCelt

This provides an eloquent answer both to "It's their culture" and to "Where are the moderate Muslims?"

As for "cultural relativism", I think this term covers several different ideas:

  1. The methodological relativism without which anthropological fieldwork simply cannot be done. One has to recognise that even repellent beliefs and practices make sense to the people who believe and practise them, and that they do so by fitting into the cultural schema through which your informants view the world, said cultural schema being your (the anthropologist's) subject of study.
  2. The realization that just about everything you've grown up thinking of simply as "the way things are" is another such cultural schema.
  3. The false deduction that, since we cannot know anything without a cultural schema, everything we know is nothing but a cultural schema. And that, therefore, the only standard by which to judge a belief or a practice is its fit into its believers' or practitioners' cultural schema.

In my opinion, recognising (1) and (2) is necessary to becoming an enlightened person in today's world; (3) will therefore always be present as a pitfall to avoid.

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 07:08:50 UTC | #913702

Go to: The atheist who tried to steal Christmas

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by NakedCelt

Oh, but Christianity did give rise to science and the Enlightenment... if, by "Christianity", you mean the horrific century-and-a-half or so of chronic warfare and assassination between the Reformation and the Peace of Westphalia, upon which Europeans were quite open to finding a way to run things that didn't depend on killing everybody with the wrong faith.

Wed, 04 Jan 2012 01:34:37 UTC | #905138

Go to: Refusing to Kill Daughter, Pakistani Family Defies Tradition, Draws Anger

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 132 by NakedCelt

The ones at the top of the heap are -- less so, the average Saudi.

Come to think of it, the United States is pretty prosperous and pretty religious... and pretty unequal. I recall reading somewhere (perhaps someone here has a reference readier to hand than I have) that inequality is a strong predictor of religiosity. I wonder why that should be?

Fri, 07 Oct 2011 01:52:21 UTC | #878644

Go to: Refusing to Kill Daughter, Pakistani Family Defies Tradition, Draws Anger

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 130 by NakedCelt

Comment 128 by Functional Atheist :

Each of the Abrahamic faiths has vile scripture, and vile historical precedents, but to say that this means they are equivalently evil in their behavior today is to disregard ample evidence.

For example, one might cite homophobia among some Evangelicals and Catholics in an attempt to draw a false equivalency, but isn't it fair to say that death by stoning for the sin of homosexuality is a more extreme and obvious evil than non-violently opposing same sex marriage?

Indeed it is. But given that Christians in Uganda have recently been urging the death penalty for homosexuality -- and despite their defeat, I'm sure they haven't given up -- I'm not convinced that it's being Christian rather than Muslim that makes the difference. I think it has more to do with the fact that, currently, most majority-Christian countries (outside of Africa, and borderline in Latin America and the Pacific Islands) are comparatively prosperous, whereas most majority-Muslim countries are in grinding poverty.

That's a simplification, I hasten to add; and the historical reasons why the world is that way right now do have a lot to do with the values of the two religions. Specifically, around 600--800 years ago Christendom and Islam reversed their respective prior positions on scientific thinking, with Christian civilization embracing it and Islam rejecting it. Nevertheless, it remains the case that it's religion plus economics, not religion by itself, that gives rise to these atrocities.

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 23:09:50 UTC | #877621

Go to: Muslim rules at swimming pool

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 154 by NakedCelt

A local swimming pool in my town hosts twice-monthly Muslim women's swimming hours outside of normal pool opening hours. I presume the idea is that a certain degree of attire is expected at these sessions. I can't say I see a problem with this; the same pool also hosts twice-monthly clothing-optional swimming hours, which I occasionally attend.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 04:55:55 UTC | #872468

Go to: Disbelief is not a choice

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by NakedCelt

I'm not sure it's helpful to insist that "belief is not a choice". We may not choose what we believe, but our beliefs can be justified or altered by reasoned debate, and are critically dependent on the information available to us from moment to moment. They are much more like choices than like sexual orientation.

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 01:33:17 UTC | #870606

Go to: Case Closed for Dino Killer?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by NakedCelt

Comment 23 by 12PM :

I do believe that most giants lived in shallow water there they could walk with their hind legs - like half swimming wherever they went. Think about Amazon river region. there their tails and necks were used for swimming too.

Footprint evidence shows even the largest dinosaurs were land-based.

Particularly for this story: I think there is alternate theory about super-volcanic events that certain eruptions were sudden and severe and also letting out poisonous gases. I once read the sudden death of two (one birdlike & another different species) dinosaurs who were in a fight. In this case, I don't know which era there were in. If the researchers could determine whether there is volcanic ash with the find, it would be good.

If scientists could locate the sites of some of the giant volcanoes of that time, it could be very useful - if it's not so difficult.

There certainly was at least one episode of intense vulcanism associated with the K-T Boundary: the Deccan Traps of India.

Intriguingly, however, I have seen it alleged -- and perhaps someone could confirm or rebut -- that the Deccan Traps were almost exactly opposite the Yucatan meteorite impact site at the time; which would suggest that the vulcanism was a consequence of the impact in some way. Presumably the impact would create surface waves, like a powerful earthquake, which would spread out from the epicentre. Generally such waves become less energetic as they expand; but if they managed to get more than halfway around the earth without dissipating all their energy, they would no longer be expanding but converging on the opposite point.

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 01:38:29 UTC | #851999

Go to: Case Closed for Dino Killer?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by NakedCelt

Just guessing by which organisms survived and which didn't, my guess would be:

  1. Asteroid impact.
  2. Dust clouds block sunlight for months.
  3. Practically all plants die; seeds, however, survive.
  4. Many animals die, leaving lots and lots of carcasses.
  5. Organisms that can survive on seeds and carrion -- i.e. decomposers, mostly arthropods -- enjoy a glut, which fortunately lasts long enough that there are plenty of seeds still left when the sun finally comes out again.
  6. Organisms that can live on arthropods therefore also do OK: small mammals and birds.
  7. However, organisms of all sizes die out in the oceans, especially surface-dwellers such as air-breathing vertebrates and floating nautiloids.

Mon, 18 Jul 2011 06:28:09 UTC | #850683

Go to: Why sexual reproduction is so popular...

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by NakedCelt

Comment 27 by aquilacane :

Comment 3 by Ornicar

It's popular because it's fun, isn't it now ?

More seriously, sexuality was one of my two points of disagreament with The God Delusion. I think I remember that Richard Dawkins states a couple of time in that book that the purpose of sexuality is reproduction.

I have to agree with you, Ornicar. I tend to question why words like purpose or goal are ever used when explaining evolution; it couldn’t be further from the truth. It surprises me more when it is used by people at the top of their field who seem dedicated to teaching things the way they really are (or seem to be) to the best of their knowledge and ability. It’s a let down.

I find it hard to think of an evolutionary byproduct of reproduction, like human sexuality, to be anything other than simply a byproduct or an effect. This particular byproduct just happens to activate sexual stimuli and potentially furthering the event of reproduction. So what?

That reproduction can also cause genetic mutations to be duplicated in offspring is also a byproduct. We think, because reproduction is currently the only way we can observe the affects of genetic mutation from one generation to the other, we should give it the undeserved title of Having Purpose. It has as much purpose as a snowflake.

Technically, of course, you're correct. Being (after all) only molecules, genes do not anticipate the future or engage in value-judgements of any kind. They just get copied -- or not.

However, the genes which make it into the next generation will always be those that best achieve survival and reproduction. They, and more pertinently their phenotypic products, will have the distinctive features they have because they best achieved survival and reproduction. There is no purposive mind planning ahead, but natural selection comes as close to doing things for future utility as any non-purposive system can.

It may be somewhat misleading to talk about genes doing things for reasons, but we'll get incredibly long-winded if we don't. And it's not as inappropriate as it may appear. All entities which are purposive, such as ourselves, became so through natural selection. Our purposes, no scare-quotes, are products of the "purposes", with scare-quotes, of our genes.

There are, I think, three separate questions being discussed here, and recognising that they're separate is probably just as important in understanding the situation as finding answers to them:

  1. Why -- due to what genetic selective process -- do the great majority of organisms reproduce by throwing half their genes away and combining the other half with those of another organism, instead of simple self-replication? I attempted a partial answer back at Comment 13.

  2. Why -- due to what motivation -- do organisms, including ourselves, engage in mating and related behaviours? Here the answer is a bit of a no-brainer. It brings us pleasure.

  3. Why -- due to what genetic selective process -- do so many different organisms, including ourselves, gain pleasure by mating? At first sight the answer is another no-brainer: failing to have sex is just as much of a dead end for your genes as neglecting to eat. However, less easy questions arise due to the fact that many organisms enthusiastically engage in non-reproductive mating behaviours: one thinks of same-sex mating, masturbation, oral sex, and (in humans) the use of contraceptives and mating during pregnancy and after menopause. To these I don't have a simple answer.

Comment 26 by Seashore :

I've often wondered how it is that at every evolutionary turn, and in every species that reproduces sexually, each male and female developed the mutually responsive and interacting sexual organs and the required egg and sperm genetic features that would result in a genetically viable offspring?

Just checking -- how do you think evolution works? What do you think an "evolutionary turn" is? Imagine what would happen to the genes of an animal which found itself unable to mate with its conspecifics, and I think you will have your answer.

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 05:00:26 UTC | #844660

Go to: Why sexual reproduction is so popular...

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by NakedCelt

Could evolvability have something to do with the "popularity" of sexual reproduction? Let me lay out the argument with a couple of parallels...

  1. Why do plants go to such lengths to send their seeds far away? Why hasn't any plant species thrived by dropping its seeds in its own neighbourhood? Sure, the seedlings would be competing with the parent plant for light and water -- but surely kin selection could reach some arrangement. A biennial plant might be sheltered from the elements by its parent in its first year of life, then shelter its own seedlings in its second. Why doesn't any plant actually do that?

  2. Why aren't there four or five classes or orders of land fish? It's not all that rare for particular fish species to evolve the ability to wriggle or crawl over land: mudskippers and lungfish do it, and so do climbing perch, and so does the longfin eel here in New Zealand. Why then has there been only one successful colonization of the land by fish?

My guesses would be:

  1. Because a plant like that would take too long to spread into new areas. A local population might slowly migrate, say a metre per generation; but whenever a new area opened up, say because a tree died in the forest and left a clearing, the fast-spreaders would get there first and colonize the new area.

  2. Because, after that first time, there have always been amphibian and reptile species already occupying the nearest niches, and the new land fish have been unable to compete with them.

So, applying these principles, perhaps sexually reproductive species occupy new evolutionary niches faster than asexual species. In a given location, the same selection pressures will apply both to sexual and to asexual species; but the sexual species will respond to them faster, and hence will, as a general rule, out-compete the asexual species.

Or, at least, I would add that to the pile of possible advantages of sex (along with Hamilton's parasite hypothesis, and probably others) which, together, might add up to overcome the problems of throwing genes away and producing only half as many offspring.

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 03:03:46 UTC | #843244

Go to: UPDATE: Fashionable Nonsense?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 468 by NakedCelt

Comment 463 by malreux :

Would Lewis object to the idea that a persons decisions are caused by subelements of that person, though some of these might be non-rational?

Yes. He would.

Comment 467 by Helga Vierich :

But all of the various factors you mention above ARE physical events. the fact that they happen within the brain does not make them non-physical. They may not seem rational to anyone else, but that is because they result in behaviour outside the norm for a person who is "thinking clearly". Psychological reasons, for the same reason, are hardly non-physical. I grant you, behaviour based on tumor-induced delusions or rage is not "rational", nor would be behaviour resulting from ingestion of drugs or other hallucinogens.

But nobody is arguing about whether irrational behaviour can result from such physical effects on the brain. I believe the argument is about how rational behaviour originates.

Well, you see, Lewis's whole point is that we consider this behaviour "irrational" because it results from physical effects on the brain.

At the cellular level there is no possible distinction between rational and irrational...

...A cell can be working "well" (be "healthy"?) of not, but it cannot be rational.

My premise is that the application of the term "rational" does not apply to a cell, whether it is a neurone or not.

Again -- exactly Lewis's point:

The mere existence of causes for a belief is popularly treated as raising a presumption that it is groundless, and the most popular way of discrediting a person's opinions is to explain them causally -- 'You say that because... you are a capitalist, or a hypochondriac, or a mere man, or only a woman'. The implication is that if causes fully account for a belief, then, since causes work inevitably, the belief would have had to arise whether it had grounds or not. We need not, it is felt, consider grounds for something which can be fully explained without them...

An act of knowing must be determined, in a sense, solely by what is known; we must know it to be thus solely because it is thus. That is what knowing means... If it were totally explicable from other sources it would cease to be knowledge, just as (to use the sensory parallel) the ringing in my ears ceases to be what we mean by 'hearing' if it can be fully explained from causes other than a noise in the outer world -- such as, say, the tinnitus produced by a bad cold. If what seems an act of knowledge is partially explicable from other sources, then the knowing (properly so called) in it is just what they leave over, just what demands, for its explanation, the thing known, as real hearing is what is left after you have discounted the tinnitus. Any thing which professes to explain our reasoning fully without introducing an act of knowing thus solely determined by what is known, is really a theory that there is no reasoning.

But this, as it seems to me, is what Naturalism is bound to do. It offers what professes to be a full account of our mental behaviour; but this account, on inspection, leaves no room for the acts of knowing or insight on which the whole value of our thinking, as a means to truth, depends...

Reason is our starting point. There can be no question either of attacking or defending it. If by treating it as a mere phenomenon you put yourself outside it, there is then no way, except by begging the question, of getting inside again.

---C. S. Lewis, The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism

Daniel Dennett also wrestles with this question, most notably in Elbow Room -- this is what the stuff about semantic vs. syntactic engines was all about.

Lewis never knew of Alan Turing's insight (discussed, among others, by Dennett and Pinker) that a machine can generate valid reasonings algorithmically. I suspect that if he had known, he would have responded that a machine could also be built to generate invalid reasonings algorithmically, and we would still need an external source of "reason" to tell whether the algorithms our brains used were of the valid-inference-generating or invalid-inference-generating type.

My reply would be twofold. First, yes, technically it would be easy to build a machine that, when you fed in the input sequence "2 + 9 =" came up with the output "15". Far harder would be building one that did that without also systematically adding 4 to every other addition operation. In which case, in interpreting the machine's output, we would simply systematically subtract 4 from every addition output -- "15" would "mean" 11. More relevantly, any machine with algorithms designed or adapted to "learn" from its past mistakes would also effectively end up subtracting 4 whenever it performed an addition operation.

Secondly, one thing that distinguishes human brains from computers is that, faced with a problem, we run several different algorithms at once to solve it, and race them against each other to get to the answer. (Not that you can't do that with a computer, but since computers are purely sequential, there is no time benefit -- it takes just as long as running all the algorithms one after the other, which is not the case with the massively parallel structuring of the brain.) And, of course, when we've generated a rational conclusion, we then have the opportunity to retest it yet again -- against reality, against other people's reasonings, against still other algorithms the next time we meet it. To invalidate reason, our brains would have to be wired up to get the same wrong answer from every test.

Don't think "gang". When physical violence starts happening, that means dominance displays have failed. Dominance displays and territorial displays are a way to circumvent the need for violence to settle disputes. Usually, they are elaborate, ritualized versions of actions originally selected to make an animal look (or sound) big and powerful.

I think we may be a cross purposes here. I was not suggesting that discussions and arguments with people are not involved in the process whereby a group decides who will lead it, or who will be dominating whom. I am merely saying that these things are not always the deciding factors.

They don't have to be always the deciding factors. They only have to sway things enough to have a persistent non-random effect on the transmission of genes.

I do wonder, though, if both you and Foucault are a bit culture-bound in your thinking. What if you consider a kind of society were there are no officials? In other words, a society without permanent positions of leadership? Where being an "expert" in one thing may mean you are called upon and deferred to by the group in the kind of activity where your superior skills have been acknowledged, but that this does not translate into leadership in other activities?

Among the Kua hunter-gatherers, this was the case...

(Allow me to express my thanks for the account of Kua life you have shared with us, which I omit here for length's sake. Please allow me also to express my envy. My own degree is in cultural anthropology, but my social disability -- since diagnosed as Asperger's syndrome -- prevented me from pursuing anthropological field research as a career path.)

I gave you this long description because these people are egalitarian foragers. They live in the central Kalahari, which is an open savanna with lots of wild plant foods and large groves of trees, usually acacia, but scant surface water in the dry season. It has one of the largest biomass of wild animals left in the world today.

The group, the Kua, are only one of many Khoi San populations that live there, and they are the surviving representatives of the foragers who used to occupy much of souther Africa up to the Indian ocean.

They are also the most genetic diverse population of humans on the planet, and it is thought to be from the ancestral population of todays Koi san people that the rest of humanity are derived.

Indeed. Again, I envy your first-hand experience of what must, for me, remain distant and academic. You might be in a position to confirm what I've read about another San forager group, the !Kung: although their society is indeed egalitarian, this takes considerable care and effort on their part, mainly manifested through gentle ridicule of those who might be tempted to dominate, before they start getting any big ideas.

It's reasonable to suppose that, before the invention of food production, humans all over the world lived in egalitarian hunting bands as the San currently do. It is also noteworthy, however, that wherever food production (and consequent wealth accumulation) arose in the world, dominance hierarchies similar to those found in other primates soon followed.

So, although there probably was a time when people everywhere lived in egalitarian societies, that doesn't mean we should think of it as our "natural" state; it's something that's evolved very recently, if not as recently as food production. Primate dominance and submission behaviours were not lost from our neural repertoire. When circumstances favoured them once more, they resurfaced.

I hope my example might give some insight into why freeloaders might not be carried within a hunter-gather system. First of all, because each person was expected to contribute, for while skill was admired and deferred to, no one was expected to be allowed to slack off and just go along and get fed.

Well, of course -- but I didn't exactly mean "slacking off", I meant more "doing what they were told and letting others do their thinking for them".

If I can jump ahead a little...

I do not think that simple dominance hierarchy is an adequate description for what humans have. I also don't think that the idea that most offspring are being sired by the dominant male in a group is quite the model we ought to be using for humans: it hardly even works for the chimps, after all, since their females mate with all the males promiscuously. And the bonobos may have male dominance hierarchies, but the reproductive consequences of these appear to be nuanced by the the roles of dominance relations among females as well. i agree that "status" is important, but the human system provides a lot of different avenues to achieve status and these do not necessary for a straight line from top male to bottom male.

As you can see from my examples, It is quite possible that the "social dynamic" in our species is more complicated, and likely was more complex, during the time period that constituted our evolutionary crucible. Evolving as foragers, we adopted a pattern more complex than many other primates, in that we did not have a simple dominance hierarchy but instead a set of intersecting or intertwining skill-based hierarchies...

In chimpanzees, dominant males claim mating rights for themselves, and generally punish subordinate males they catch approaching females. And, as you yourself note --

A person who consistently made stupid choices and decisions and simply did not develop skills tended to wind up at the bottom of the hierarchy of respect. Such a man would tend to have trouble finding a wife.

I recall being surprised by the lack of respect (although there was tolerance and kindness) extended to one elderly man. I asked one of my closest informants about this privately, "why do you treat him this way - he is an elder" (translates as grandfather) My informant responded "He was a fool when he was young, and he is still a fool. No woman would put up with him. Now he is old but he is still a fool and not an elder".

So even in an egalitarian forager society, knowledge still correlates with social influence and with mating opportunities for men. I would hazard a guess, and you can confirm whether this is true, that for a forager woman, gaining influence through skill or knowledge means a better chance of her children surviving. In general, I think we're agreeing more than we're disagreeing here.

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 08:17:23 UTC | #842160

Go to: UPDATE: Fashionable Nonsense?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 461 by NakedCelt

Comment 457 by Helga Vierich :

Comment 455 by NakedCelt

However, I think something like Foucault's hypothesis of knowledge (if not necessarily Foucault's hypothesis itself) has to be true. The alternative is, ultimately, the Argument from Reason for God's existence, articulated most recently by C. S. Lewis, which goes something like this:

We are engaging in rational discussion. To engage in rational discussion, one must rely upon reason. One can only rely upon reason if one's reason is not interfered with by non-rational influences. Physical events are non-rational. Therefore, reason cannot be a product of physical events -- in the brain or anywhere else. It further follows that reason can never have begun to exist as the result of any cause. Therefore at least one rational being must have existed prior to the beginning of the universe.

The only way out of this is that, somehow, knowledge and reason evolved from neural functions/behaviours that were not knowledge or reason. One could adapt Foucault's views on this and hypothesize that rationality in humans evolved as a form of dominance contest -- if A is right and B is wrong (on a given issue), B must defer to A.

I think this a false dichotomy. The Lewis argument is bizarre anyway, since there is no evidence that physical events are non-rational. For instance, if I hit someone (a physical event, surely) I always have a perfectly good reason for it. And I would have, of course, arrived at that reason by a rational analysis of the best way to make a particular kind of point.

So that dog won't hunt.

Lewis certainly never denied that physical events could be caused by rational decisions. What he denied -- what he found himself unable to believe ("it is a shape into which my mind simply will not go") -- was that rational decisions could be, in turn, caused by purely non-rational physical events such as neurons firing.

To take your own example: suppose that you had, unbeknownst to yourself, ingested a hallucinogen that interfered with your brain chemistry, and that this had had a signal effect on your decision to hit someone. We would then -- immediately, unproblematically -- argue that you had not arrived at your decision by a rational analysis of the best way to make a point.

We would conclude the same if your decision-making was found to be disrupted by a freak electrical disturbance in the region of your skull, or a high-frequency sound that somehow bounced some critical neurons around. Or, more plausibly, a stroke, aneurysm, or brain tumour.

And we would probably draw the same conclusion again if we found that your decision to hit someone was mediated by psychological, but still non-rational, causes -- say a loved one was in some kind of trouble, and the stress it caused in you was manifested as furious anger.

Lewis generalized: as soon as we find a non-rational cause for a decision, we consider the decision itself to be irrational. Hence, if our mental faculties are a product of non-rational neural events, we cannot rely on our reason -- and therefore cannot engage in rational discussion about what produces our mental faculties.

Lewis's own suggestion, that there is a Primordial Reasoner identifiable as the God of traditional Christianity, is of course a mysterian, obscurantist non-solution. But the conundrum he has raised is not as easy to unravel as you might think.

As for Foucault's idea that we learned how to argue with (have rational discussions with) other people using our reasoning ability to defeat their arguments, because we are driven to take competitive roles in forming a dominance hierarchy, well… I suppose that might sort of work, except that a lot of other animals for perfectly good pecking orders without getting into rational discussions, let alone verbal debates.

That's not much of an argument. One might just as well argue that other animals make perfectly good territorial displays without growing enlarged throat sacs and howling at each other from treetops -- therefore, when howler monkeys do it, it's not a territorial display. (Though the evolutionary application here is not Foucault's own theory but my extension of it.)

Plus, it assumes that power struggles and dominance hierarchies are settled by rational discussion.

I hate to break this to you, but the person with the best debating technique, and the most reason on his side, may not always be the one that leads the gang.

Don't think "gang". When physical violence starts happening, that means dominance displays have failed. Dominance displays and territorial displays are a way to circumvent the need for violence to settle disputes. Usually, they are elaborate, ritualized versions of actions originally selected to make an animal look (or sound) big and powerful.

And Foucault's concept of power does not start with violence. To Foucault, power is any relationship between two or more individuals, in which one individual controls or influences the other's behaviour. I am typing this sitting in a library. Around me people are conversing -- all in whispers. Why? Well, because that's what you do in a library. But why is that what you do in a library? Because, if your conversation gets too loud, people will look over at you disapprovingly. The power exerted here is trivial and benign, and it's distributed among all library users rather than concentrated in an elite person or group -- but it's still power.

One stumbling block for many people encountering Foucault is that when we think "power", we think objectionable power. We think gang leaders swinging their fists, we think Hitler or Stalin, we think Darth Vader or King Richard III. But Foucault's concept of power extends also to the means of influencing people that we consider legitimate -- indeed, the notion of legitimacy itself is a primary vehicle of power.

Here's a quick-and-dirty example so's you can get the idea. A palaeontologist discovered dinosaur footprints in pieces of slate, and decided to take them to his lab for detailed analysis. The difficulty: the pieces of slate were being used as paving-stones in the public streets of the local town. So he dressed up in a visibility vest and hard-hat, and removed them with a jackhammer in broad daylight. Because he looked "official", no-one interfered with him. "Looking official" is a tremendously effective way of getting people to do what you want, or at least getting them not to do what you don't want. It is, in short, an exercise of power.

Do I need to expound the connection between being able to make a persuasive case that you are in the right, and having your viewpoint recognised as "legitimate" or "official"? If you can consistently make the most persuasive case, won't people start to defer to you as the "expert"?

Finally, it is also possible that reasoning ability has other uses. Such as figuring out where the migrating herd is likely to go, when the best time to tell a girl you love her, how to start a fire in a downpour, what time in the morning to leave if you need to cover 15 kilometres to get to a place where some necessary thing can be found…. need I go on? Oh, and to debate empirical evidence about the kinds of things that are really important to your group's long term survival. that might also be kind of a good use of reasoning ability.

There's a problem with survival-value explanations of human intelligence: selective pressures for survival, operating from the environment, tend to apply to lots of different species in the same way, resulting in convergent evolution. If it was a good idea for us for survival reasons, it should have been a good idea for lots of other species as well; we should be having conversations with parrots, elephants, macaques, dolphins, crows, and what not. Reason does have survival value, but at a heavy cost:

A large-brained creature is sentenced to a life that combines all the disadvantages of balancing a watermelon on a broomstick, running in place in a down jacket, and for women, passing a large kidney stone every few years.

---Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct

Any neurologically-cheaper way of solving the problems you mention would be favoured by natural selection: tracking animals by scent rather than by forensic science, responding to behavioural or hormonal cues rather than cognitive empathy, keeping warm by huddling with your groupmates rather than lighting fire, using your own teeth or claws or making tools on the spot rather than depending on things that have to be remembered and accessed at the right time. This is what non-humans do, and we can be pretty confident it's what our ancestors did.

As for our group's long-term survival, the question is the same here as for any group-selection argument. What happens if one individual doesn't participate in the debates, but goes along with whatever the group does anyway? That individual can then get away with having a smaller brain and lesser cognitive faculties, and put more energy into reproduction. Genes for being dull-brained will spread at the expense of genes for being intelligent, and the population will become steadily stupider. If that puts them in danger of dying out, die out they will.

So no. First, there must have been selection pressure not just for being able to navigate the environment, but for being able to re-evaluate one's navigation techniques through abstract thought -- despite the fact that the book-keeping (so to speak) required for such re-evaluation drastically slows down the computation, and that keeping it up to practical speed requires a bloated energy-sink of a brain. And second, this selection pressure must have been species-specific to humans, which means it was probably exerted by humans in some kind of runaway feedback loop.

Among primates -- humans definitely included -- status correlates strongly with mating opportunities for males, and offspring survival for females. If status in our ancestors depended on being the most persuasive reasoner, then we could expect to see a runaway feedback loop towards greater and greater cognitive ability. On Foucault's view, the dominance-by-persuasion social dynamic posited by this hypothesis continues in our species to this day.

Comment 458 by Rationem :

When I look at postmoderism, I ask what does it explain that wasn't already obvious? To put it slightly differently, I think this example doesn't show that the "principles"(in this case Foucault's relational/emergent view of power) lead to conclusions that we and others had not already reached on other (and frankly better) grounds and further does not show why the conclusions are different from, or better than, what others, such as Bakunin, had been doing long before and have continued to do, without resorting to inflated prose etc.

Fair enough for this particular example, and I certainly won't try to defend Foucault's prose. But there are situations where Foucault's theories cannot be ignored. Social workers or famine relief volunteers, to take a couple of instances, who walk into a situation blithely ignoring the effects that their own status as "officials" is going to have on the people they are trying to help, are asking for trouble.

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 06:20:59 UTC | #641086

Go to: UPDATE: Fashionable Nonsense?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 455 by NakedCelt

One writer often classed as a "postmodernist" -- he himself refused the label -- I think is an exception: Michel Foucault. Foucault doesn't bother with Freud, for one thing; also, he's capable (at least at times) of expressing himself coherently. There is a (probably apocryphal) story of an interviewer asking him why he didn't write as clearly as he evidently could all the time, and Foucault replying that, regrettably, it was necessary to talk nonsense to be taken seriously in French philosophical circles.

Foucault's view of power as relational and emergent comes off better in real-world tests than at least one of its major competitors. The Marxist hypothesis holds that if a workers' revolution eliminates class distinctions within a state, everybody will soon be both free and equal, because power differentials are consequences of class distinctions. On the Foucauldian model, however, we can predict that the leaders of the revolution will quickly become a new ruling class, because class distinctions emerge from the network of power relationships between individuals. The history of socialist revolutions through the twentieth century would seem to favour Foucault over Marx.

Foucault's connection of knowledge, and truth, with power relations, is trickier. One may wonder if he was misled by a happenstance of language -- in French, "power" is pouvoir, the infinitive of the verb "to be able"; and "knowledge", "to know", is savoir, which is often used synonymously with pouvoir (je sais nager and je peux nager both mean "I can swim"). Certainly he opens himself to the charge of claiming that there is no truth and no-one can really know anything.

However, I think something like Foucault's hypothesis of knowledge (if not necessarily Foucault's hypothesis itself) has to be true. The alternative is, ultimately, the Argument from Reason for God's existence, articulated most recently by C. S. Lewis, which goes something like this:

  1. We are engaging in rational discussion.
  2. To engage in rational discussion, one must rely upon reason.
  3. One can only rely upon reason if one's reason is not interfered with by non-rational influences.
  4. Physical events are non-rational.
  5. Therefore, reason cannot be a product of physical events -- in the brain or anywhere else.
  6. It further follows that reason can never have begun to exist as the result of any cause.
  7. Therefore at least one rational being must have existed prior to the beginning of the universe.

The only way out of this is that, somehow, knowledge and reason evolved from neural functions/behaviours that were not knowledge or reason. One could adapt Foucault's views on this and hypothesize that rationality in humans evolved as a form of dominance contest -- if A is right and B is wrong (on a given issue), B must defer to A.

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 07:23:56 UTC | #640724

Go to: UPDATE: Fashionable Nonsense?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 454 by NakedCelt

Most of the postmodernists share a curious common factor that you wouldn't necessarily suspect: a commitment to Freudian psychoanalytic theory. The father of postmodernism would be the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, whose philosophical works are dedicated to redefining "science" so that both physics and psychoanalysis fall within its scope.

Sigmund Freud was a charlatan; his sexual theory of psychological development was devised entirely so that he could talk dirty to young female patients and get away with it. Somehow every such patient would be found not only to have formed an inappropriate sexual attraction to her father, but also to have transferred it to her psychoanalyst, i.e. Freud himself. If she denied it, well, that just went to prove that she was repressing her own desires (out of fear of the sheer strength of them, or something).

Now a centrepiece of Freud's sexual theory was the idea of "the phallus" as something both desired and feared; when children came to learn that their father had one and their mother did not, they concluded that their father must have taken it and developed a desire to keep their own or gain one, as appropriate, and take their father's away.

Like other pseudosciences, psychoanalysis held on to its discredited theories by reinterpreting them as metaphors. Hence Lacan's identification of "the erectile organ" with the square root of minus one; it is that which is missing and desired.

Derrida's notion of "phallogocentrism" is similarly rooted in Freud's sexual theory. Basically, the desire to distinguish one thing clearly from another is a disguise of the desire for the phallus, which after all stands out clearly from the body. Hence patterns of thought (and therefore of language) which depend on clear distinctions are manifestations of phallic domination. If you're not talking twaddle, you're a filthy imperialist.

For my money, precisely one idea worth holding onto has emerged from the postmodern movement as a whole, and it is one that has been articulated far more clearly and intelligibly by none other than Richard Dawkins, in Gaps in the Mind: reality is continuous -- qualitative distinctions are a crutch for the limited human brain. The postmodernists think this crutch can be discarded by talking in a distinction-blurring fashion. I think we can all judge how well they have succeeded.

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 06:26:12 UTC | #640713

Go to: Sex selection and the shortage of women: is science to blame?

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by NakedCelt

I think we have here a classic case of cultural contamination -- scientific knowledge muddied by existing beliefs. (Another would be the persistent idea that humans are "higher" or "more evolved" than other species, hence "Why are there still monkeys?" -- originally a contamination of Darwinist theory by the older cultural belief in the Great Chain of Being.)

Is it "science's fault"? No -- science is not the kind of entity that can be held responsible for anything. Was this situation caused by science? In the sense that it wouldn't be happening in the absence of scientific knowledge, yes. But will taking away the science fix anything now? And how would anyone propose to do that?

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 03:17:06 UTC | #640249

Go to: Forgery in the Bible

NakedCelt's Avatar Jump to comment 130 by NakedCelt

Comment 129 by JHJEFFERY :

Arggh! That is the standard for a criminal conviction in the U.S., not the standard professional historians use which is simply, the most likely explanation. I still think you guys are disagreeing more on the stantdard of evidence than substantive claims.

True enough; I guess I should have said "they see no reason to doubt it".

But I think we're disagreeing on more than the standard of evidence. gr8hands appears (I presume the appearance is deceptive) to be of the opinion that, if you think Jesus existed even as a human being, that makes you a theist; and that, for Jesus, you should accept nothing less than -- all together now -- contemporaneous eye-witness evidence. Whether he accepts the existence of Boudicca and other historical figures for whom we have no contemporaneous eye-witness evidence, he has not yet deigned to say.

We can be pretty sure, I think, that the Gospels have antecedents going far back beyond the versions we have. Note Jesus' prediction of the apocalypse in Mark 13: there are some pretty clear references to the events of the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, and it's evident the original writer thought the end of the world was coming hard on that war's heels, which obviously didn't happen. We can therefore date that passage fairly confidently to within a year or two of 70 CE (verse 32 evidently being a still later addition to talk their way out of the fact that the apocalypse hadn't arrived).

Another significant piece of evidence is the phrase "the Son of Man" in the Synoptics -- ho huios tou anthropou in Greek. This is a common Aramaic phrase (bar enash), roughly equivalent in usage to English words like bloke, chap, fellow, guy, etc. In most places, therefore, it indicates an Aramaic antecedent.

It was unfamiliar, however, to Greek-speaking Christians, who presumed it was some kind of theological title for the Messiah (an interpretation which has persisted into modern times) due to its appearance in a vision scene from the book of Daniel. Its appearance with that meaning therefore indicates a later, Hellenic addition. One such place is in the Sanhedrin trial. Another is -- guess what? -- in the apocalyptic prediction of Mark 13.

See what this implies? Mark 13 dates to 70 CE; Mark 13 belongs to the later, Hellenic layer; it follows that the earlier, Aramaic layer predates 70 CE.

There's more. The Gospel of Thomas is known from a fourth-century Coptic manuscript, but Greek fragments are known from the second century. It is not, as some enthusiasts have claimed, "the unaltered words of Jesus"; it contains bits of Egyptian mysticism and at least one Aesop's fable. Its significance is that it does share some content with the canonical gospels -- but with thoroughly different wording. Hence, it was not copied or translated from a text source, but derived from an oral tradition.

Now, if you have an oral tradition as well as a written corpus, it's pretty much a given that the former predates the latter. Therefore, the oral tradition is earlier than the Aramaic text, which is earlier than the Greek text, which dates to 70 CE. This is getting pretty close to being "contemporaneous", wouldn't you say?

Sun, 29 May 2011 06:05:36 UTC | #631964