Hypergamouse is Real

The punchline: I came up with this quote just a few minutes ago. I thought /r/atheism would appreciate

It’s the smug, pudgy gammatude that radiates from creatures like this that is almost impossible to parody or even exaggerate. You just know the guy is so impressed with his own lofty 110 IQ that he can’t figure out why the hot babes aren’t climbing all over each other just to be lectured by him.

And the grammar. Ye cats, what is with the creative approach to punctuation? It’s astonishing how many of these self-quoting self-enlightened philosophers still haven’t mastered the basic rules of the language they are attempting to use.


High Verbal, Low Math

Steven Hsu explains why so many evolutionary biologists, and other would-be scientists, simply don’t understand the topics or implications of the topics they are attempting to discuss:

I sent the message below to a social scientist I know who (like many, perhaps understandably) is confused about Stephen J. Gould’s status as an evolutionary theorist. Many Gould readers are surprised to learn that his main expertise was the paleontology of snails and that he struggled with higher mathematics. When I first encountered Gould’s essays as a kid, I concluded that there was just no there there. He was all literary flourish and little depth.

Which brings me to an observation I’ve been meaning to write about. It is that high verbal ability (which Gould certainly had) is useful for appearing to be smart, or for winning arguments and impressing other people, but it’s really high math ability that is useful for discovering things about the world — that is, discovering truth or reasoning rigorously. The importance of math ability manifests in two distinct ways:

(1) Powerful (deep) models of Nature (e.g., electrodynamics or evolutionary theory) are themselves mathematical. Most of the incredible progress in our understanding of the universe is just not available to people who do not understand math. For example, we can talk until we are blue in the face about the Uncertainty Principle, but there is no precise understanding without actual equations.

(2) The statistical techniques used to analyze data obtained in a messy, complex world require mathematical ability to practice correctly. In almost all realistic circumstances hypothesis testing is intrinsically mathematical. It is quite easy to fool yourself statistically if you don’t have strong math ability, but rather are simply following cookbook recipes.

High verbal ability is useful for more than just impressing others — it typically implies a certain facility with concepts and relationships between ideas — but high V alone is a dangerous thing. The most confused people I meet in the academy tend to be high V, low (modest) M types.

We see this repeatedly in people like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, JF Gariepy, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Sargon of Akkad, and Curtis Doolittle, as well as most e-celebrities. They talk and talk and talk in circles in a manner that is superficially convincing to the average intelligence, but an analytical critique of their positions reliably reveals fundamental flaws that render them incorrect, if not nonsensical.

This is because most people don’t have what I think of as “a sense of math”. It doesn’t necessarily mean any higher math training, or even much knowledge of mathematics per se, so much as an instinctive grasp of statistics and mathematical relationships. You don’t actually need much math to understand the basics of statistics and percentages, but you do need a sense of math to immediately know that Ashkenazi Jews in the United States cannot possibly have an average IQ of 115 given the fact that their relatives in Israel do not have IQs nearly two standard deviations below them.

You don’t need to know much about math or DNA to immediately know that the number of genes that are fixed in any given species cannot have been fixed in the time allotted for them to have done so given the fact that we cannot observe species literally morphing before our eyes in real time. You don’t need anything beyond a basic sense of math to immediately understand that religion is not, and has never been, a significant cause of war, much less the primary one.

And you certainly don’t need much math, although a little knowledge of military history is useful, to immediately recognize that claims of 1,000 dead Russians per day in an invasion that has conquered territory at a historically rapid pace are absurd.

The High V Low M scientists tend to be popularizers rather than original thinkers, which is why Steven Gould was always going to be a fraud once he decided to try to make a name for himself as “a very original and great evolutionary theorist.”


Gatekeeper U

Because the universities don’t already have enough thought police, the world-healers are setting up a new fake alternative, featuring a fake conservative New York Times journalist as the nominal figurehead:

The University of Austin has been hailed as a milestone for open discourse, but it’s hard to be too enthusiastic about it when you consider high-profile backer Bari Weiss’ track record of not welcoming dissenting views.

Writer Bari Weiss has become a figurehead among the left-leaning intelligentsia who eschew modern “wokeness” in favor of classical liberalism. She solidified her status as a bold defender of diversity of thought when she publicly resigned from The New York Times, citing a hostile work environment rife with pressure for ideological conformity. Following that, she was called a “self-styled free speech martyr” by the Financial Times, and is reported to have even compared herself to Galileo Galilei, who was forced by the Catholic Church to renounce his scientific views, lest he be burned at the stake.

Now, Weiss has announced she will be part of a team of similarly disaffected intellectuals in founding a new institution, the University of Austin (UATX). Other figures involved include enlightened liberals™ such as Steven Pinker and Jonathan Haidt. Currently, the project is in its early stages and hopes to offer a summer program for students in 2021, but graduate programs are planned for launch in 2022 and 2023, with an undergraduate college to follow in 2024.

However, while many supporters welcomed news of the university and its claim to stand for free expression and open conversation, one can’t help but notice the ironic ideological homogeneity of those involved. And similarly, despite her rebranding as a stalwart defender of free speech, those familiar with Weiss’ career will note that she has not always been so welcoming of dissenting views.

And interestingly, it’s not just those to the left of Weiss who so far have been excluded from UATX, but those to the right as well. Many conservatives may view Weiss’ condemnation of the woke left as a tacit embrace of right-wing thought, but as recently as 2018, that is far from the case.

In a piece on the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) for the New York Times, Weiss spoke disparagingly of Stefan Molyneux, Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, and Alex Jones, and even repudiated Dave Rubin, a popular interviewer who frequently engages with figures who have views different than his own, simply for platforming those she views as “controversial.”

Weiss’ tenure at The New York Times may have been a lifetime ago as far as the internet is concerned, but a quick glance through her cohorts at the university raises doubts as to whether her disdain for the dissident right has changed with her new-found appreciation for diversity of thought.

As conservative commentator Michael Knowles pointed out, despite the attempt by leftist publications to paint UATX as some right-wing thought experiment, in actuality, there are only two conservatives currently attached to the project, neither of whom has been known to stray from the right-wing talking points deemed acceptable.

This omission by the university’s team is especially strange considering the statement of principle put out by Kanelos specifically decries the treatment of conservatives in academic institutions: “Over a third of conservative academics and PhD students say they had been threatened with disciplinary action for their views. Four out of five American PhD students are willing to discriminate against right-leaning scholars.”

For a group that seems to lament the exclusion of right-wing thought from academia, the team at the University of Austin have so far done little to remedy it.

This so-called “University of Austin” is simply the latest, and grandest, gatekeeper grift intended to intrigue clueless conservatives and direct them and their resources away from Christian nationalism. The pseudointellectuals who serve as the poster children are complete mediocrities – you can read my 13-part response to Peter Boghossian’s hapless and unconvincing effort to redefine the concept of faith, entitled The Fifth Horseman, if you want a detailed look at the quality of thinkers on offer – and this is little more than another attempt to invade the territory they used to deride as flyover country.


Never Laugh at God

Because He will have the last laugh. And sometimes, He’ll even have a chuckle or two while you’ve still got time to repent:

Penn Jillette, the tall half of the hugely successful magician duo Penn & Teller, is one of the entertainment industry’s most outspoken atheists. For decades, Jillette has smugly condemned all manner of religious, psychic, and pseudoscientific irrationality. He also has a fan base on the right, because as a self-described libertarian, Jillette’s often mused about how “taxation is theft” and government compulsion is bad.

Penn Jillette: a man with no gods, including government. A man who falls for no (to use the title of his Showtime series) “bullshit.”

Then his teenage daughter decided that she’s a man. And the world witnessed how quickly the “smug” vanishes from the rationalist when the bullshit hits too close to home.

About a year or so ago, Jillette’s daughter, Moxie Crimefighter (yes, that’s her name), decided that she’d been “assigned the wrong sex at birth.” And she demanded that her parents no longer use female pronouns for her, like, ever.

Back in 2014, Jillette bragged on his podcast about how he’d raised Moxie to “laugh at God.”

There’s an old saying I just coined: “When you laugh at God, He laughs back and best.” Because now Jillette—Mr. “no pseudoscience,” Mr. “no cults or flimflam”—has become the spokesperson for the biggest pseudoscientific cultlike flimflam of the 21st century. The guy who’s spent a career deconstructing magic (“no, the bouquet of flowers didn’t actually become a rabbit; it was sleight of hand”) is now a true believer that a girl can actually become a boy overnight, by the sheer power of mentalism!


There’s no such thing as anyone who “believes in science”. That’s nothing but rhetoric from people who need an excuse to justify their disbelief in anything that causes them emotional pain or prevents them from doing what they want to do.


Thank you for your service

Sooner or later, the Black Rider always throws his servants from his high horse:

Established in 1953, the Humanist of the Year Award is conferred annually by the American Humanist Association (AHA), recognizing the awardee as an exemplar of humanist values. Communication of scientific concepts to the public is an important aspect of advancing the cause of humanism. Richard Dawkins was honored in 1996 by the AHA as Humanist of the Year for his significant contributions in this area.

Regrettably, Richard Dawkins has over the past several years accumulated a history of making statements that use the guise of scientific discourse to demean marginalized groups, an approach antithetical to humanist values. His latest statement implies that the identities of transgender individuals are fraudulent, while also simultaneously attacking Black identity as one that can be assumed when convenient. His subsequent attempts at clarification are inadequate and convey neither sensitivity nor sincerity.

Consequently, the AHA Board has concluded that Richard Dawkins is no longer deserving of being honored by the AHA, and has voted to withdraw, effective immediately, the 1996 Humanist of the Year award.

The wicked may prosper for a season, but often the rewards for which they sold their souls don’t even last a lifetime.

How do you like that post-Christian culture you sought to bring about now, Mr. Dawkins?

Outgrowing logic

Scientists can’t do logic. Especially not atheist ex-scientists:

Thankfully, though, the farther this book gets from God, the better it gets. A chapter on the increasing niceness of humanity is neatly presented, contrasting popular support for attacking enemy civilians in the Second World War with condemnation of even accidental civilian casualties in the two Gulf wars. By the time we get to part two, which focuses on his first passion of evolution, the bitterness has evaporated. Instead we have delight at the way a cheetah can accelerate faster than a Tesla and five pages on what goes on with a chameleon’s tongue. The skin of an octopus, we learn, changes colour according to the same principles as a TV screen, to the extent that if we could hook an octopus brain to a computer, “we could play Charlie Chaplin movies on its skin”.

We hear about goosebumps being a leftover from the days we were hairier, and about the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which loops down into the chest of a mammal, then loops back up to where it is needed, in the throat. In a giraffe it is metres longer than it would need to be if the damn creatures had been designed properly. In other words, it offers irrefutable proof that they, like us, evolved from something else.

It should be noted that almost none of this is new, and especially not for the readers of Dawkins. The laryngeal-nerve stuff, for example, is lifted almost wholesale from his 2009 book The Greatest Show on Earth. For the earlier, more cantankerous anti-religious stuff, you might as well just read The God Delusion, where you’ll find most of the same arguments, and usually with the same examples too.

It’s rather amusing the way scientists attempt to convey a permanent status on themselves. For example, no one describes me as “a chart-topping techno band member” because my band no longer records music or hits the Billboard club charts. But Richard Dawkins’s most recent science paper is nearly as old as Welcome to My Mind.

Anyhow, scientist or ex-scientist, logic has always been well beyond Richard Dawkins. Consider the logic of his 2009 argument about the giraffe in syllogistic form.

Major premise: That which is designed is perfectly efficient.
Minor premise: The giraffe’s recurrent laryngeal nerve is not perfectly efficient.
Conclusion: The giraffe was not designed.

As I pointed out when he first wrote The Greatest Show on Earth, this logic is not merely based on a false major premise, but the false premise requires almost complete ignorance about engineering and design. No one who has ever seen a prototype computer board would fall for such nonsense, and indeed, the core concept that underlies this false logic is obviously ridiculous from a philosophical perspective, as it could be used to logically disprove the existence of the material world.

Major premise: That which is not its Platonic Form does not exist.
Minor premise: The world is not ideal (i.e. we can imagine a more perfect world)
Conclusion: The world does not exist.

It’s the reverse ontological argument for the nonexistence of God, the universe, and everything. And then, of course, even if we ignore the incorrect initial logic and simply grant the assumption that the giraffe was not designed, that does not mean that the giraffe must have evolved, much less that the giraffe evolved by natural selection as per Darwin by way of Mendel.

Another atheist shooter

Interesting that the low-status atheist angle doesn’t seem to come up often amidst all the theatrics and diagnostics that have been performed over the years concerning mass shooters. Notice the patch on the right side of the Dayton shooter’s chest.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that says Against all Gods. The primary pattern to be recognized here is low-status white male atheist. Perhaps they make the best wind-up toys.

“The best blogger”

This is very flattering, particularly as the designation comes from an intellectual for whom I have a considerable amount of respect, and to whom I really should link more often:

Blogs are clearly on the way out, and many of the best bloggers have gone – but let’s just express our opinion on who is – overall – the best blogger… Leaving-out myself (!) and also my co-bloggers at Albion Awakening and Junior Ganymede (because we are really the best ? – then who do you think is the best?

My vote goes to Vox Day (Theodore Beale) – whose blog is quite remarkable in terms of posting very frequently, across a wide range, and with great ‘originality’ – in the sense that he is so inventive and so good at discovering, elaborating and refining ideas.

Read the rest of it there. And also read this post, which should demonstrate why I have a high opinion of Prof. Charlton’s perspicacity beyond his excellent taste in bloggers.

What makes modern people ‘naturally’ disbelieve in God?

(My answer; speaking from the experience of several decades of living as an atheist…)

The fact that all modern public discourse excludes the divine.

As a modern child grows up, he becomes socialised, he becomes trained in modern public discourse of many kinds: school work, everything to do with the mass media, sports, pastimes, hobbies… and all of these exclude the divine.

It Just Isn’t There. The lexicon of objects that function in the system  exclude the divine; the causality of the system excludes the divine.

As the child reaches adolescence – these modes of thought become more dominant, and they become habitual to the extent of being simply taken for granted; and eventually they become so habitual as to be extremely difficult to break out from.

Culture matters and the globos know it. That’s why they have been relentlessly campaigning to force Christianity out of the public spaces, by hook, crook, and Christmas carol, for generations.

He’s not wrong

Richard Dawkins appears to be rethinking the consequences of his decades-long assault on Christianity.

Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar.” Or is that just my cultural upbringing?

To paraphrase my previous assertion, never bring a philosophy to a religious war.

No problem, Sam

Sam Harris never thinks anything through:

“Alt-right: You can’t keep blaming us for our ancestors crimes against other people
Also Alt-right: We are just as responsible for our ancestors accomplishments as they are

You can’t have it both ways.”

Absolutely. Stop blaming us for our ancestors’ crimes against other people. We are not responsible for our ancestors’ accomplishments, only for our own accomplishments and our own crimes.

Now will you stop? Yeah, I didn’t think so.