What If Man Is a Killer Ape Beset by Original Sin?

A new book probes the roots of humans' destructive impulses.


Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America, by Erika Lorraine Milam, Princeton University Press, 408 pages, $29.95

Today, self-help books and relationship gurus invoke evolution to explain everything from marital infidelity to the paleo diet. Our early ancestors' survival needs echo through our ideas today. But this is not the first time our hominid ancestry's role in our culture and character has played a major role in Western popular culture.

Following the nightmare of the Second World War, the idea of a universal humanity had great appeal. The Holocaust and the atom bomb had proven that human beings have not only destructive impulses but a devastating ability to carry them out. But were these impulses something we were born with, or were they created by our culture? Answering this question became a driving focus of popular anthropology. With Creatures of Cain, the Princeton historian Erika Lorraine Milam explores this period of intellectual debate.

The high-minded internationalism of the postwar period sought to promote a sense of brotherhood, as in the "Family of Man" exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955—photographs showing the lives of people around the world. (This still, rather parochially, treated the nuclear family as the center of all cultures.) Anthropology hadn't covered itself in glory in the previous 50 years: Some of its biggest names, such as Earnest Hooton and Eugen Fischer, had gone all in on the "race science" that drove Nazism and eugenics. The S.S. doctor Josef Mengele even received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation before he went to Auschwitz. So after the war, many scholars believed the path to peace (and academic redemption) was to celebrate the universal family of man, playing down differences and pointing to humankind's immense achievements, from agriculture to rocket science. Violence was aberrant and abhorrent; our true nature was to cooperate. Some scientists, such as Margaret Mead, even argued that behavior, whether cooperative or competitive, was entirely learned. We are made by our cultural environment, so cultures could create peace.

In the '50s and '60s, magazines like National Geographic and Scientific American published stories on various "Stone Age" cultures still alive in the world, from the Kalahari Bushmen to the tribes of New Guinea. The stories highlighted the idea that such peoples represented the lives of our hominid ancestors and focused on how they lived in harmony with nature. There was also a sense of urgency to study these groups before they were changed by contact with the rest of the world.

This idealization of tribal peoples was hardly new—some of that fawning coverage could have been written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Unfortunately, other studies offered less comforting visions in which these "primitive" groups turned out not to be soft-focus prelapsarian Adams after all. Indeed, some of them were pretty violent.

Meanwhile, other scientists treated baboons, chimpanzees, or gorillas as analogs to early man, using them to look for clues to our ancestral patterns. But Jane Goodall's research found that life among chimps was not idyllic either. Territorial warfare, murder, and infanticide were part of their world too.

So the idea that our species is naturally cooperative was changing by the mid-1960s. The "Killer Ape" thesis, popular from about 1966 to 1975, held that human beings are violent because of our genes. Milam argues that Americans' understanding of human nature shifted rapidly "from seeing humanity as characterized by our unique capacity for reasoned cooperation to emphasising, even lauding, our propensity for violence."

One key advocate of this view was the science writer Robert Ardrey, who published The Territorial Imperative in 1966. He argued that competition for territory was part of human character. Around the same time, Konrad Lorenz's On Aggression and Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape appeared in bookstores.

Morris' focus was on sexual behavior, which he argued was different from that of other primates due to humans' relative hairlessness, which rendered our primary and secondary sexual characteristics more visible. He argued that breasts had developed for sexual signaling as well as for feeding infants and that sexual selection had favored men with large penises. The Naked Ape's message was in keeping with the sexual revolution, and the book became a bestseller, reaching readers well beyond the kinds of people who would normally buy books on anthropology. (A Johnny Carson interview with Morris was, by Milam's account, the first time the word penis was said on live American television.)

A number of the experts involved were also focused on public communication. Milam suggests that a sharp line cannot be drawn between the "colloquial" and academic discussions taking place, since several scientists were participating in the public sphere. Their books were published by commercial presses; they appeared on TV; the debate played out not just in Nature but in the letters page of Playboy. (Hugh Hefner liked The Naked Ape and even sponsored a film adaptation of the book. The idea that promiscuity was biologically determined obviously played well with much of Hef's audience.)

It is worth noting that some of the prominent figures in this intellectual debate had no advanced credentials in the field. Ardrey, who was well-known as a Hollywood screenwriter, had no training beyond an undergraduate degree in anthropology. Jane Goodall had not been to college at all when she began her chimpanzee research. (She would later complete a Ph.D. after being admitted directly to a graduate program on the basis of her published work.) Those who did have advanced degrees and university appointments could suddenly attract the kind of attention most academics only dream of. Lionel Tiger, the Rutgers anthropologist who wrote Men in Groups (1969), was profiled like a rock star in The New York Times. Tiger argued that homosocial groups of men formed the foundation of human society. (It was Tiger who introduced the phrase male bonding to common conversation.) The writer Kate Millett called it "a genetic justification of the patriarchy"—and it wasn't only feminists who found the idea of such innate social behavior depressing.

The popularity of these human evolution books made them ripe for parody, by writers such as Elaine Morgan in The Descent of Woman (1972) and Antony Jay in Corporation Man (1971). In his witty account of businessmen (Homo sapiens corporalis), Jay—the future co-writer of the TV show Yes, Minister—mocked the participant-observer anthropologist, saying that he was "accepted so completely by the objects of my study that my presence in no way inhibited or modified their behaviour. Indeed, there were times when I could honestly say that I felt I was one of them myself." Morgan similarly suggested that readers try to observe "specimens of Homo sapiens in his natural habitat. It shouldn't be difficult because the species is protected by law and in no immediate danger of extinction."

This wave of books would give way to further, more nuanced discussions of evolution and its impact on human behavior. E.O. Wilson's Sociobiology(1975) attempted to synthesize group and individual selection pressures, including cooperative as well as competitive traits. Richard Dawkins entered the fray in 1976 with The Selfish Gene, the most popular book about the new evolutionary theories. Dawkins' work focused on individual genetic survival, explaining even cooperation as a strategy for gene transmission. More recently, Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate (2002) came close to capturing the kind of crossover appeal of the Killer Ape genre.

Today, evolution is widely accepted as an explanation not just for how we got here but for how we are. But the understandings of it among the public are not always what scholars have intended. Far from promoting equality, it can be used to justify division. Just as religions could be interpreted as endorsing hierarchies, so evolution could be used to denigrate certain groups who were seen to be at "different stages of development," an idea that appeared soon after Darwin published The Origin of Species.

This mindset was especially widespread in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From the Enlightenment view of "savages" as less culturally developed, evolution allowed Westerners to see them as less biologically developed too, an idea that was weaponized in various forms of colonial oppression. This "scientific racism" was not eradicated with notions of universality. When scholars themselves point to "primitive" tribes as representing how our ancestors might have lived, it's not hard to see how the average reader would interpret that as meaning these indigenous groups were less far along the evolutionary track than Westerners.

Today, DNA testing is widespread—for criminal investigations, for medical diagnoses, for genealogical research. The idea that our genome offers something of a road map for our behavioral characteristics is widely accepted, although the nature/nurture debate does continue.

But the idea that we would instinctively fight and fornicate, were it not for the moderating influence of modern civilization, wasn't created by the Killer Ape theorists. It was the general understanding of the Christian world. We were creatures of Cain. Our ability to control our behavior—our higher consciousness—was what separated us from the animals. Whether we label those instincts "DNA" or "original sin," the idea is the same.

NEXT: With No Info Whatsoever, Fox News Host Randomly Speculates That Video Games Caused El Paso Shooting

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  1. Wow! Another mass shooting! As usual, I’m sure these folks were happy to die to ensure your 2nd Amendment freedoms.

    1. You’re talking about all the murders in Chicago, I’m sure.
      2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
      238 230 270 394 413 326 293

      The shooting crime number in Chicago is much much higher.

      1. And that’s an argument for even more guns…how, exactly?

        1. Guns can be used in self-defense. I don’t carry one, as I live in a peaceful community. If I lived in Chicago, I would like to carry one… Except my supposed moral superiors micro-regulate the living snot out of my right to defend myself! More guns, less crime! An armed society is a polite society!

          1. You’ve watched too many movies, methinks. In reality, gun-related crimes are usually over before you know it. Also, real criminals usually aren’t so sporting as to give their victims time to squint meaningfully, slowly reach into their jackets and grumble “you feelin’ lucky, punk?”.

            You’re just as well off carrying a voodoo doll.

            1. “You’ve watched too many movies, methinks. In reality, gun-related crimes are usually over before you know it. Also, real criminals usually aren’t so sporting as to give their victims time to squint meaningfully, slowly reach into their jackets and grumble “you feelin’ lucky, punk?”.”

              Is it fun making up ‘facts’?

            2. And that’s an argument for fewer guns . . . .how exactly?

              1. It’s certainly an argument to thin out the progressive population. Send them all to Venezuela. Socialism has worked out well there. I’m sure they’ll all be fat and happy..

                1. Free helicopter rides to S America?

            3. That’s why you practice quick drawing.

            4. “I’m sure these folks were happy to die to ensure your 2nd Amendment freedoms.”

              They didn’t die to ensure our fundamental right to Keep and Bear Arms. They died because some asshole killed them.

              “You’ve watched too many movies, methinks. In reality, gun-related crimes are usually over before you know it.”

              Gun-related crimes against armed Americans are often over very quickly, the perpetrator is usually shot dead before he realizes that he’s made the final mistake of his worthless life.

        2. “And that’s an argument for even more guns…how, exactly?”

          If you learned to read, you wouldn’t be making an ass of yourself quite so often.

        3. The problem with statists, like yourself and like so many others, is that you are all control freaks. You know better than everybody else what is good for everybody else. Whether it’s self-defense, what to eat, what to read, what to see, what to do, what to drive, or anything else, you — YOU — and all other control freaks want to expand government control of society to enforce YOUR choices on how everybody else lives.

          Right wing, left wing, doesn’t matter. Statists are the problem.

          While these spree killers are alone responsible for their particular actions, I see in them a backlash to all you control freaks. I believe that people are generally good, that they do want to better themselves and help their neighbors, friends, family, and society in general. But when control freaks like you butt in, steal so much taxes and control so much personal property with occupational licensing, zoning, property codes, building codes, denial of freedom of association — people don’t like being shoved around.

          People push back. Whether it’s black markets or mass shootings, I put the onus on politicians of all stripes for creating the impetus for all this — antifa, NZ shooter and his copycats, Chicago daily crime — all people get irrational at times, but the common thread on all these is people who got irrational over government pushing them around.

          I’m almost an anarchist. I know of nothing government has done which has been either competent or necessary. I believe borders are bullshit. I believe almost all this anti-immigrant reaction is because government is bringing in immigrants who wouldn’t be here otherwise. I can think of no other reason for so many political refugees being resettled here, in climates far different from their home countries. Regardless of how well these refugees assimilate and settle in, they are an easy target of hatred from communities precisely because they were forced upon those communities — by state and local welfare enticements, by federal grants, by political virtue signalling — control freaks like yourself everywhere, telling everybody else who their neighbors shall be and who they shall love, because “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self” — not understanding that people get tired of having their neighbors chosen for them by control freaks like yourself.

          So fuck off, slaver.

          1. Nice try.

            1. “Nice try.”

              Yes, far better than anything you’ve ever posted here.
              But that’s the lefty way: All feelz, no results!

              1. And a lie to boot. Pretty impressive for just two words.

              2. Would you like me to point out that he’s equating conservatives with children who throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way all the time? I thought it best to let that woofer slide, but if you insist…

          2. Statists are control freaks only over the law abiding.
            By definition they do not control criminals at all.
            But they are good at creating more [questionable] criminals without stopping [unquestionable] criminals.

          3. This x 1000

            Statists stink. Don’t care if they’re right or left. They want to control every one else and use government to enforce conformity. They seriously need to fuck off.

        4. So, Which bureaucrat surrounded by armed security guards are you voting for?

    2. “Wow! Another mass shooting! As usual, I’m sure these folks were happy to die to ensure your 2nd Amendment freedoms.”

      Wow! Another fucking lefty ignoramus waving a bloody shirt!

      1. I’ll probably have a few more by the end of the week.

        1. You could collect all you want from leftist cities on a daily basis. Chicago, Baltimore — lots of shootings all day every day. But you don’t care about them, do you? You don’t care about WalMart shoppers usually either, do you — only rednecks shop at WalMart. I bet you and your ilk are making lots of jokes with each other about killing two birds with one stone — dead rednecks providing yet another excuse for gun control which actually makes it harder to prevent spree killers.

          Fuck off, slaver. Control your own cities and show the world how it’s done. Oh wait, you’ve been trying for a long long time, and it hasn’t worked yet.

        2. “I’ll probably have a few more by the end of the week.”

          And being such a piece of shit, I’m sure you’ll wear yourself out waving them, proving all the while you don’t have a clue as to how to keep shootings from happening.
          It’s the lefty way! Feelz, no results!

        3. “I’ll probably have a few more by the end of the week.”

          You’re hoping so, no doubt.

    3. “I’m sure these folks were happy to die to ensure your 2nd Amendment freedoms”

      I am

    4. If they had exercised there’s they might still be alive.

  2. Human beings are rational and rationalizing creatures. It’s easier to get food by stealing it from a weaker neighbor than by harvesting or growing it yourself, so it’s rational to steal. Long term, every man for himself is not as productive a scheme as cooperation and trade, but you can always rationalize a reason why your neighbor deserves to have his stuff stolen and why you deserve to be the one to steal it. Isn’t that right, Bernie?

    1. Except had it not been for the New Deal policies that created and maintained the greatest middle class in history, Bernie’s neighbor would not have a pot to piss in – he, or she, was born owning society a debt. The more wealth, the greater the debt owed.

      To quote Adam, the father of Capitalism, Smith: “It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

      To quote Thomas Jefferson paraphrasing Adam, the father of Capitalism, Smith: “A power to dispose of estates forever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fullness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.”

      The problem with hominids who have the regressive Conservative mutation that is detrimental to having the higher cognitive abilities required to be Homo sapiens is that these hominids think that there are no options between 0% and 100% – to them it’s either the continued destruction of shared prosperity and the genocide of the middle class or “Venezuela.”

      Everyone’s first hint should have been the fact that whenever they attack Bernie they conveniently pretend to mention the first would countries that Bernie is advocating America emulate.

      If you want to live like a Northern European, you have to “Tax and Spend” like a Northern European. It cost a lot of money to maintain “Western Civilization.”
      Congressional Research Service – Tax Rates and Economic Growth

      • 1950-1970 – Average Top Marginal Income Tax Rate: 84.8%, Rate of Growth in Real GDP: 3.86%, Rate of Growth in Real Net Fixed Investment: 0.93%
      • 1971-1986 – Average Top Marginal Income Tax Rate: 51.8%, Rate of Growth in Real GDP: 2.94%, Rate of Growth in Real Net Fixed Investment: 0.32%
      • 1987-2010 – Average Top Marginal Income Tax Rate: 36.4%, Rate of Growth in Real GDP: 2.5%, Rate of Growth in Real Net Fixed Investment: 0.23%

      1. Oh, I see it all so clearly now, the road to prosperity is paved with high taxes! It makes so much sense!

      2. OK, comrade. Now do the middle and bottom tier tax rates (which have pretty much proportionately tracked the upper tier).

        Socialists love quoting the top tax rates in the 1950s, about double those of the past decade, as the root cause of social prosperity. But they seldom mention the lowest tier rates, also about double and kicking in at lower income thresholds than present day.

        Yes, in those golden times, EVERYBODY paid more taxes. And the government paid out less in redistribution. How about restoring that?

        1. They also never mention that income tax revenues were, as a percentage of gdp, identical to those we see today.

          1. And not to mention as a percentage of working age males, the US casualty rate was far less then the majority of Europe and Asia, and the damage to our industrial base was also far less. And it was easier to retool our factories to peacetime because we had been at war shorter. Even still we entered a fairly severe recession after the war ended and only recovered because once again we entered a major war, which removed a significant percentage of our working age males.

            1. Pretty sure the US was the *only* major combatant which suffered zero damage to its industrial plant. Every other industrial nation had to spend time and treasure to simply get the manufacturing functioning again, and add to that the socialist ‘takeover’ of England’s government and the kowtowing to the socialists in France; there was no way either of them was going to compete with Germany, let alone the US.
              Hence, “The Treaty of Detroit” where the US auto mfgrs handed over to the UAW unimaginable benes, *in perpetuity*(!), since no Americans were ever going to buy foreign-built cars.

              1. I believe the US also didn’t suffer any major damage to it’s industrial facilities. Japanese naval artillery from a sub did cause minor damage to a US oil processing facility, a Japanese sub did shell a US base and do damage to a baseball field in Oregon and the same sub later launched a float plane which started a minor forest fire. And Japanese balloon bombs did kill an American family and may have started some forest fires in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, albeit the evidence for this latter portion is unclear at best.

          2. Yep, they love to talk about the marginal rates but ignore that the effective rates have always hovered around 30% at the top tier

      3. “Except had it not been for the New Deal policies that created and maintained the greatest middle class in history,”

        Opinions from lefty idiots =/= facts.

        1. Even FDRs own Treasurer secretary, in testimony before Congress in 1941 admitted the New Deal was a failure that actually extended the depression. It also should be mentioned much of the New Deal was borrowed from Mussolini and some from Germany. US recovery lagged far behind European recovery.

          1. FDR admired and emulated Mussolini, at least at first. When Mussolini started being best pals with Hitler, FDR shied away from all that. But, for a while there, Mussolini was seen as progressive and a great leader by much of the Western Establishment.

            1. FDR emulated both Mussolini and Hitler, and wasn’t completely opposed to Hitler either to begin with. He was almost as racist, just hid it a little better. He also toadied up to Stalin, to the chagrin of Churchill, who criticized him for it after Yalta.

              1. He was also criminally negligent in failing to so much as brief Truman regarding the war and the various ‘agreements’ which he had made.
                The greatest war in history, and that scumbag, knowing he was at death’s door, simply tossed Truman in the lake without so much as a hit as to swimming lessons.
                That dictator-wannabe shoulda’ been impeached posthumously.

                1. How many of the Jews he returned to Germany survived the Holocaust? The sources say that 247 of the 937 were killed in the Holocaust, some were lucky enough to get British Visas.

      4. Anyone who thinks the New Deal did anything other than prolong and enhance the Great Depression is someone who hasn’t learned diddly from history.

      5. It’s funny how the people who bring up 70/80% tax rates from the past never seem to mention that there were also legal ways to avoid paying that rate, and that practically nobody actually did.

        Probably just an oversight.

        1. It was basically a de facto salary cap, but it was circumvented by fringe benefits and stock options, etc.

          1. For which we can thank the Ds for the medical-care market mess.

      6. 1950-1970 – Average Top Marginal Income Tax Rate: 84.8%, Rate of Growth in Real GDP: 3.86%, Rate of Growth in Real Net Fixed Investment: 0.93%

        Number of fully industrialized nations – 1

      7. had it not been for the New Deal policies that created and maintained the greatest middle class in history


        Man, that’s a howler. The New Deal worsened and prolonged the depression.

        1. It still is to a degree how do you think Warren Buffet gets away with his crocodile tears about how his secretary pays more in taxes then he does. Most of his pay is in capital gains and other perks.

          1. That was meant as a response to Juice above.

          2. “Most of his pay is in capital gains and other perks.”

            I dunno if it is yet settled, but he’s had Berk Hath lawyers fighting the IRS for years to claim his travel in his fractional-use jet-charter service is not income, all the while claiming the tax rate is too low.

            1. Yeah. And he also helped fund the protests are Standing Rock and against the Keystone XL pipeline. Guess who has all the contracts to ship Bakken Oil out of Montana and North Dakota, as well as Canada?

      8. I always find it funny that nobody ever points out the bottom marginal income tax rate.
        1960 – 20% on incomes up to $2,000
        1980 – 14% from $3,400 up to $5,500
        2000 – 15% up to $26,250

        Sounds more like tax the poor than tax the rich. We could also look at national debt as percent of GDP where it fell from 89% in 1950 to 35% in 1970. It climbed from 34% in 1971 through many stagflation years to 46% in 1986. Finally it climbed from 48% in 1987 to about 90% in 2010. One might think that GDP growth responds better to lowering debt levels than it does to increasing debt levels.

    2. Being a complete monster to others in your group is good way of getting killed eventually. Even the strongest and most aggressive has to sleep sometime.

      1. So, the strong, aggressive psychopaths band together, and watch over each other while they sleep, and that’s how the Power Elite was born.

        1. The “elite” were only made possible by civilization, which protects them from all sorts of natural challenges

          1. Civilization was made possible by the strong, aggressive psychopaths banding together to form the elite.

      2. It’s rarely the strongest that rules. Rather, the second strongest and the third strongest form an alliance against the strongest and rip his balls off. The ability to form social alliances with others is much more important than raw physical strength. The book Chimpanzee Politics is a good introduction to this topic.

        1. Kings generally had champions, men who were great warriors but may not have been great organizers. Usually, even war Kings and war lords, were not known for their individual prowess so much as their ability to command. Winning a war is about logistics and strategy and tactics. Great war leaders were those who mastered these skills. How good a warrior was Alfred the Great? Or William the Conqueror or Cortez or Sherman or Grant or Eisenhower (neither Sherman nor Eisenhower had seen any real combat). This is what is wrong with the biggest bastard theory. The biggest bastard is usually to busy being a bastard to organize well enough to lead or gain dominance.

      3. Eventually.

        And a quick look at a history book will show that many if not most of the “great rulers” were not very nice people. But they sure has hell rationalized why it was completely necessary and even desirable and noble and praiseworthy to kill a shitload of their neighbors.

        1. More they were successful and able to organize. You don’t have to be a great logistician, but be able to appoint someone who is and listen to them.

  3. “It was the general understanding of the Christian world.”

    Would that be the same Christian world that murdered indigenous populations in the alleged New World in order to steal their land and resources and then imported slaves to work said stolen land, Christian world?

    Most of the BS we have to put up with, from the institutional racism, to the never ending assault on women & gays humans and civil rights, to those currently conspiring to commit mass murder on a global scale with AGW is the result of your “Christian world.”

    The problem isn’t religion, the problem really isn’t even organized religion, the problem is Conservative religion.

    1. Are you saying they should “go back where they came from”?

    2. None of those things were invented by the Christian world. The only limits before were on technological ability to project power.

      1. Exactly. Conservatism and liberalism go all the way back to amoebas. Some amoebas liked to stay where they were with a reliable source of food, while others wanted to venture out to find better sources of food. Both strategies are winning strategies in certain situations, but none is always the winning strategy. Both are needed for the population to survive long term.

        1. Your paradigm of “conservative/liberal” is fittingly shallow, dumb, and inapplicable to the real world and politics.

    3. Control freak, heal thyself before telling others how to heal themselves.

      Oh, you can’t make Chicago or Baltimore safer? You couldn’t make Venezuela or Cuba, or the Soviet Union or China or National Socialist Germany safer? The violent crime rate in Europe is several times higher than the US?

      Then fuck off, slaver. Get your house in order before trying to tell me how to make my house safer.

      1. I don’t understand why Democrat-controlled Chicago doesn’t pass some restrictive gun control laws to show the rest of us how well they work. It would be hard to argue the empirical evidence.

        1. Can I borrow this?

      2. The violent crime rate in Europe is several times higher than the US?

        Huh? Is it? I thought it was quite a bit lower.

        1. Depends on what measure you are looking at. Homicides are less assault may actually be higher.

        2. Last comparison I saw had the least violent EU country 2-3 times the violent crime rate of the US.

          Also said that in the UK, dead bodies are not counted in the murder rate until someone is convicted of the crime. You could find a body with a dozen stab wounds, and it would not be murder unless solved.

          Which means crime rates probably aren’t easily compared between countries. However, I’d think that any country which would artificially deflate the murder rate so stupidly would also deflate other crime rates too.

          I have no citations.

    4. On top of being a lefty econ idiot, you’re also an ignoramus are regards history:

      “Would that be the same Christian world that murdered indigenous populations in the alleged New World in order to steal their land and resources and then imported slaves to work said stolen land, Christian world?”

      Ever hear of Chingas Kahn? Christian he wasn’t.

      1. The 100 million deliberately willfully murdered by socialists last century weren’t murdered by Christians either.

        1. But that’s ok, because socialists are Kuni’s kind of people.

      2. Or the Egyptians. It’s not like those pyramids were going to build themselves.

        Or the Romans. Say, who built that cool Colosseum thing?

        Or, never mind. This could take all night.

    5. Since that wasn’t what happened (even in a simplified version) nice straw man. The main killer of indigenous peoples was introduced diseases that were unintentionally introduced. The death rates appalled many leaders, especially church leaders. Additionally, many of the Church leaders protested the treatment of Indians and slaves both. It should also be pointed out two of the main killers of the Indians were Malaria and Yellow fever, which also killed off many Europeans. African slaves, ironically were less susceptible to these diseases and thus the introduction of Malaria and Yellow Fever actually favored chattel slavery, which in reality is usually not considered economically viable. Adam Smith described well why chattel slavery is not usually economically viable.

    6. Religion isn’t even the ultimate source of the feelings in men (humans) that result in persecution of gays, subjugation of women, etc. The religion just codifies it as divine and righteous. You see these same tendencies crop up in all sorts of disparate, unrelated religions. The religion just gives a justification or rationalization for acting that way and treating people like that.

    7. Religion had 0 to do with it, unless you mean the Native American religion, which kept them stuck in the Stone Age, and unaware of how pandemics work.
      Indians weren’t murdered, 90% were killed by Euro germs.



  4. “But the idea that we would instinctively fight and fornicate, were it not for the moderating influence of modern civilization, wasn’t created by the Killer Ape theorists. It was the general understanding of the Christian world. We were creatures of Cain. Our ability to control our behavior—our higher consciousness—was what separated us from the animals. Whether we label those instincts “DNA” or “original sin,” the idea is the same.”

    A lot of this has gone out the window–among evolutionary biologists as well as Christians. If anything, Christians love the idea that altruism emerged in a world of kill or be killed–like a rainbow in the dark. It suggests that there must be a force higher than ourselves that orders our behavior through conscience. If there were no evidence of altruism in the natural world and no way to explain its emergence from observation of the natural world, then that might be the best possible argument for the existence of God.

    Unfortunately, for Christians, not only is there evidence of altruism emerging from competitive systems in the natural world. It’s also been shown that “selfish genes”, “kin selection”, “inclusive fitness”, and other evolutionary explanations are unnecessary to account for the emergence of altruism in nature.

    “We show that inclusive fitness is not a general theory of evolution as its proponents had claimed,” says Nowak. “In the limited domain where inclusive fitness theory does work, it is identical to standard natural selection. Hence there is no need for inclusive fitness. It has no explanatory power.”

    This really shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s read and understands Adam Smith. Can you imagine someone arguing that the invisible hand of benevolence is about inclusive fitness and kin selection? That would be ridiculous. The benefits of specialization and trade are extraordinary in that they align the interests of homo sapiens who have never met or communicated with each other. Among the most amazing aspects of markets and price signals is their ability to make individuals behave as if they possessed knowledge they do not posses. It works that way with ignorant people, and it works that way with ignorant animals, too.

    When we talk about why bees behave in any manner, much less altruistically, it’s practically impossible to do so without anthropomorphizing them. Bees certainly don’t behave altruistically because they’re plugged into a higher consciousness or because a committee of expert bees orders their society so well. They’re mostly just responding to market forces, like humans do, and altruism emerges from that for the same reasons it does in other markets.

    Hitler was mentioned above, so I guess his ideas about survival of the fittest are fair game. In addition to being evil and awful, I’d point out that Nazi ideas about the survival of the fittest were wrong. The idea that altruism is an inferior alternative to survival of the fittest–rather than a higher product of it–is wrong, and the Nazis paid the ultimate price for being so wrong. They failed so miserably, in no small part, because they were so wrong about altruism and survival of the fittest. Their market oriented and altruistic enemies were able to throw their inferior Nazi asses on the scrapheap of history, in no small part, because the Nazis lacked the adaptation of altruism.

    1. I think you are confusing altruism with cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange.

      1. I think you’re missing the observation that specialization within a species for purposes of evolution, which is ultimately driven by market forces, and specialization with an eye toward trade, which is also ultimately driven by market forces, are the driving forces behind altruism in both systems–and or the same reasons.

        If you’re not familiar with why we’re talking about the same thing happening and for the same reasons, maybe go read up on it. Here’s a good place to start:

        The reason central planning is dumber than creationism isn’t because evolution is fundamentally different from economics and easier to understand. The reason central planning is dumber than creationism is because it’s more reasonable to assume that the universe is so complicated, it must have been created by an infinitely powerful mind than it it is to look at progressives and think that they have minds that are so infinitely powerful, they can organize our economy better than the market forces that drive it.

        Anyone who understands evolution and still believes in central planning is a fucking idiot for that reason. Smart enough to understand that God wasn’t necessary but not smart enough to understand that Bernie Sanders isn’t a god? That’s a truly stupid look.

        1. Looks like you don’t understand altruism, Ken. Altruism is putting the needs of others above your own. Trade is not putting others’ interests above your own. Trade is both parties being better of by cooperating through mutual exchange that furthers each party’s own interests.

          And I am not arguing for any sort of central planning. Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis? Did Steve tell you that, perchance?

          1. “Looks like you don’t understand altruism, Ken. Altruism is putting the needs of others above your own. Trade is not putting others’ interests above your own. Trade is both parties being better of by cooperating through mutual exchange that furthers each party’s own interests.”

            I don’t know whether you didn’t bother to read what I linked or whether you just didn’t understand what you read, but the links I gave you spoke to that directly.

            “He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was not part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.”

            —-Adam Smith


            If you don’t understand why or how altruism emerges from bees or people pursuing their own interests from their own limited perspectives, then you need to go educate yourself. Educating you certainly isn’t my responsibility. I was nice enough to give you a link to an article about the emergence of altruism from bees above. In addition, I gave you Adam Smith explaining it. There’s a cornucopia of information out there about altruism emerging from these kinds of systems. Help yourself!

            Regardless, if you don’t bother to learn or understand what’s being said here, it might behoove you to understand this: When you find yourself in a situation where you don’t understand what other people are saying, it may not because they don’t know what they’re talking about. Do you need a link for projection, or can you go look that one up for yourself?

            1. I already spelled it out to you, and you still don’t get it. I give up, Ken.

              1. “I already spelled it out to you, and you still don’t get it. I give up, Ken.”

                So you’re bullshitting Ken, and he’s calling you on it also?
                You should give it up, bullshitter.

                1. No, Ken’s weirdly wrong in this.

                  He’s conflating the ‘invisible hand’ with altruism. They are not synonymous.

                  In fact, it can be rationally argued that altruism can interfere with the effects of the invisible hand

                  1. Ken is wrong all the time. He’s just so wordy and libertarians are generally ignorant of history and philosophy that no one calls him on it.

                    I mean the level of wrong he is on this should be a hint. He doesn’t even have a twig of a peg leg to stand on. He’s just 100 percent wrong.

                  2. “He’s conflating the ‘invisible hand’ with altruism. They are not synonymous.”

                    It’s more correct to say that biological altruism and the invisible hand of benevolence both arise from self-interested market systems in the same way and for the same reasons.

                    And I’m hardly the first person to notice. For goodness’ sake, do a Google search (if you have to) on “Adam Smith altruism Darwin”. I’m hardly the genius that thought of this. Darwin was thoroughly familiar with Adam Smith and wrote about the emergence of altruism himself. If that weren’t enough, there are a zillion other people who’ve written about it since then.

                    The mystery of altruistic behavior emerging from selfish systems of survival of the fittest isn’t fundamentally different from the mystery of benevolent behavior emerging from self-interested individuals pursuing their own selfish interests in markets.

                    Why would it be different?

                    When a species of birds differentiates and splits into two species, as their progeny compete in different ways for limited resources, they’re doing the same thing firms do when they specialize–and for the same reasons.

                    Do you imagine that other species are free from the constraints of supply and demand? That substitutes work differently for other species? Why would the two things be fundamentally different?

                    We evolved a neocortex to leverage the advantages of things like language and religion and . . . yeah, altruism. It was not necessary for a creator God to fashion us this way. It just turns out that biological altruism comes with certain advantages, and to the extent that those advantages could be leveraged by brains that have evolved a certain way, that’s how survival of the fittest (and genetic drift) configured our brains.

                    Yeah, your capacity for altruism evolved to leverage biological advantages from within a self-interested evolutionary system just like the invisible hand fashions benevolent behavior from the efforts of self-interested participants in a market.

    2. I see little support for your thesis that Christians love the idea of altruism emerging in a world of kill or be killed as some sign that God exists, nor do I see the idea of altruism in the animal kingdom as a repudiation of Christianity. In fact, I have rarely if ever heard any Christian minister or theologician make anything resembling this idea. This would be a surprising summation for a pastoral people like the Hebrews and Europeans to make. Any rancher, herdsman, shepherd etc have often seen evidence of altruism in the flocks and herds. It would have been common place, as late as the 1940s.
      Sorry, this explanation fails to understand Christian theology. I suggest you read the 6th chapter of Proverbs and the 12th chapter of Job. Also, the Bible does not mention anywhere that altruism is a gift from God, but rather a commandment. And Jesus (and Paul in his writings) are very clear that the lack of altruism is far more common than true altruism. That it is altruism, love of each other and selflessness go that are the keys to Heaven. If it were simply a gift, then we would all be saved without effort. That runs contrary to both Catholic and Protestant beliefs (especially Calvinists teachings).

      1. “I see little support for your thesis that Christians love the idea of altruism emerging in a world of kill or be killed as some sign that God exists, nor do I see the idea of altruism in the animal kingdom as a repudiation of Christianity.”

        All of that was meant to say that Christians would love it IF IF IF there were no evidence of altruism emerging in the natural world–because if there were no evidence for the emergence of altruism in the natural world, that would suggest that its existence must have come from a supernatural source.

        IF IF IF is the operating term, there, because evidence for the emergence of altruism is all over the natural world–to the point that the debate within evolutionary science was over various means of it emerging–rather than its existence. That study of bees, I linked, shows that kin selection and inclusive fitness “have no explanatory power” for how altruism emerges in these competitive systems. It’s much like Adam Smith’s invisible hand of benevolence–which, likewise, emerges from competitive markets.

        Oh, and I also don’t see the emergence of altruism from the natural world as a repudiation of Christianity either. It’s simply a repudiation of the idea that the emergence of altruism is persuasive proof the existence of God because altruism arising from a kill or be killed system can only be a miracle. There isn’t anything miraculous about it if we can observe it all over the natural world and understand how and why market systems lead to these altruistic behaviors. Altruism is a natural outcome of those competitive systems–not a miracle.

        None of which has anything to say about whether Jesus was born of a virgin, whether the Sermon on the Mount contains wisdom from God, or whether Jesus was resurrected after three days in a tomb.

        1. It isnt a bunch of ifs. It is a recitation of both Judeo-Christian beliefs (with the corresponding text), Christian theology and a repudiation of the idea that 19th century/early 20th century Christians would be unaware of natural altruism. You haven’t provided any evidence that Christians have ever considered altruism is miraculous. This actually runs contra to the teachings of Christ and Paul, as well as the old Testament prophets (I referred to both the book of Job and Proverbs which repudiates this idea). In contrast you offer Smith’s opinion, which has nothing to do with religion.
          Your argument that altruism was ever seen as miraculous is simply not supported by the Judeo-Christian text, or any mainstream religion that I am aware of, at least to the concept of it being divorced from the natural world. Yes, some versus do refer to love as God’s greatest gifts, but this refers to his love for us, not our own ability to love. Paul addresses this in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. Jesus also teaches us that the Lord loves us so that we should love each other, he also indicates that this may go against our more selfish nature. His teachings would indicate that altruism requires work to overcome selfishness but that the rewards are greater than selfishness. Jesus also insures his followers that God loves all his creations, not just humans, and notices them all. There is no idea that altruism is a miracle given by God to man alone. In fact the Bible verses I pointed out repudiate that idea.

          1. “You haven’t provided any evidence that Christians have ever considered altruism is miraculous.”

            I don’t think you’re getting the gist of what I’m saying here.

            I’d love to be the guy that invented the cosmological argument for God, or the Principle of sufficient reason, or . . .

            This would just be another version of one of those arguments. Some of these arguments are older than Christianity. IF IF IF there were no evidence for altruism emerging in the natural world, theologians and philosophers would cling to it–just as they sometimes have clung to those arguments in the past.


            If something can’t exist without cause–and IF IF IF there were no identifiable cause in the natural world, then we could deduce from that there must be a cause in the supernatural world. Unfortunately, for Christian philosophers, some of whom have and do buy into variations on the cosmological argument, the evidence for altruism emerging in the natural world is readily apparent. So, that conclusive proof of the existence of God is a dead end. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to live with uncertainty and struggle with faith.

            P.S. If I had to pick the greatest mind in the history of the world, Leibniz would be somewhere near the top of the short list.

              1. It is possible I misunderstood your intent. And I grant it appears as I misread it. I normally find your posts well thought out and researched so I was surprised at your assertions (or rather my understanding of them).

      2. Ken is a lonely boomer who just kind of riffs. But yea what an embarrassing take it literally is the first time I’ve ever encountered this nonsense.

        1. It doesn’t matter that I’m actually Gen X, what I wrote is true regardless of my age.

          And your ignorance has never been proof of anything but your own ignorance.

          Given this pathetic response, I suspect the reason you didn’t address the argument is probably because you can’t.

          P.S. Why would someone cite their own ignorance as evidence of anything? “I’m such an ignoramus, that Ken can’t be right.” Why would anyone make an argument like that?

        2. Sam Haysom
          August.5.2019 at 11:29 am
          “Ken is a lonely boomer who just kind of riffs. But yea what an embarrassing take it literally is the first time I’ve ever encountered this nonsense.”

          Sam’s a pathetic PoS who shows up to prove it now and then.
          Sam? Fuck off. Make this a better place.

  5. do you want to change your destiny. if you want you can click here

  6. “The Holocaust and the atom bomb had proven that human beings have not only destructive impulses but a devastating ability to carry them out.”

    One of those is not even remotely like the other.

    1. The fuck it isn’t. But I am not surprised you are an atom bomb apologist.

      1. “The fuck it isn’t. But I am not surprised you are an atom bomb apologist.”

        OK, given that you’ve proven already proven yourself an ignoramus, answer this simple question:
        What strategy of tactic would have ended WWII more humanely than those two bombs?
        Take your time; no stupid fucking ‘moralist’ has managed to answer it in nearly 75 years.

        1. What strategy would have ended the war without killing thousands of innocent civilians? How about accepting Japan’s surrender terms that were offered before the war?

          You mean you actually buy the propaganda of the federal government that there was no other way? Rather than realize they wanted to show off the nuclear bomb to scare the Russians? I mean, I know you love the federal government, especially when your guy is in charge, but come on.

          1. *before the bomb

          2. “What strategy would have ended the war without killing thousands of innocent civilians? How about accepting Japan’s surrender terms that were offered before the war?”

            There were none, you fucking ignoramus. Even while Hirohito was elbowing the cabinet into surrender, there was no consensus on what terms Japan was willing to accept.
            Ignorant piece of shit…

            1. In fact some were planning a coup of peace negotiations were started without Japan being fully defeated. This even extended to removing the Emperor, which would have been considered heresy before the war. They were issuing pointed sticks and cheap Spears to women and children to use to charge American machine-guns, they planned on making the war so costly that the allies would sue for peace on Japanese terms, mainly Japan got to keep what conquered land they still held and no admission of culpability in their war crimes. As it was MacArthur let many, including the Emperor, off the hook for their war crimes (which rivaled Germany’s).

          3. “How about accepting Japan’s surrender terms that were offered before the war?”

            Are you really this ignorant? That was a non starter for very good reasons. But then, your he sort that would have unconditionally surrendered to Japan after Pearl Harbor instead of standing up to them.

            You really are an ignoramus and a fool.

          4. Japan’s peace terms up until Hirohito actually surrendered unconditionally were to stop the fighting, back off, and maintain the new status quo.

            Do you really think anyone would have , or should have, accepted that? Or do you think they had other peace terms? If so, elaborate, with citations of course.

            1. “Japan’s peace terms up until Hirohito actually surrendered unconditionally were to stop the fighting, back off, and maintain the new status quo.”

              In my annual ‘discussion’ with Tony regarding this issue, he gets the challenge of answering the same question.
              Most years, it’s crickets but a year or so ago, he mentioned that the US should have surrendered to Japan and left.
              It’s often hard to tell when he’s drunk or sober, or if he was ‘joking’, but that’s the best he’s ever come up with.
              Similar to chippy here…

      2. The Japanese were still going full-tilt boogies in China, killing 10K Chinese every month. Each atom bomb killed 100K Japanese. If the atom bombs only shortened the war by two months, they were an even-Steven trade. The planned first invasion (southern Japan) was in November, two months later; the planned second invasion (Tokyo) was in the spring.

        The casualty rates on Iwo Jima and Okinawa were about 1:1, Japanese and American; the difference is that the Japanese casualties were almost entirely dead, the Americans were mostly wounded. The invasion planners predicted one million American casualties, which was probably low because there were easily 5-10 million Japanese defenders. That’s a bare minimum of 1M Japanese dead, more likely5M Japanese dead. You think that was a better trade-off than 200K dead, not forgetting the probably 1M dead Chinese?

        One alternative was a starvation blockade. But that wouldn’t have stopped the 100K Chinese dead every month, since they are mostly self-supporting. It would have killed far more civilians than military. I knew Japanese who had lived through the war and occupation; they were living off mice and wild grass for a year or two after the surrender. Do you think life would have been (a) easier, (b) worse, or (c) the same, if they had gone though a year or two of starvation blockade before the inevitable invasion / occupation. Show your work.

        Another reason for the atom bombs was to keep the Russians out of Japan. Do you think the Russians would have been kinder and gentler during their invasion and occupation? Do you think the world would have been better off with a communist Japan even worse off the communist Eastern Europe?

        In other words, dipshit. those two arom bombs saved probably at least 5M lives and untold miseery.

        1. Ugh, another pretend libertarian. Every serious libertarian is familiar with the libertarian take on this issue, which decidedly not in agreeing Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justified. Go to the Mises Institute and read The Hiroshima Myth (I can’t post links).

          1. “Ugh, another pretend libertarian. Every serious libertarian is familiar with the libertarian take on this issue, which decidedly not in agreeing Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justified. Go to the Mises Institute and read The Hiroshima Myth (I can’t post links).”

            Are you familiar with ‘appeal to authority’, asshole? Claiming others aren’t ‘libertarian’ because they know something about an issue is both that and an admission that you are fucking imbecile.

            1. What authority am I appealing to? If someone shows up to a comic convention and can’t tell Star Wars from Star Trek, the nerds will make fun of him or her.

              1. Non-sequitor. That was in no way a repudiation of his point.

              2. “What authority am I appealing to?”

                So you *aren’t* familiar with the term!
                This one, you pathetic piece of shit:
                “Go to the Mises Institute and read The Hiroshima Myth”
                We’re supposed to accept some claim since it is posted on the Mises Institute site.

              3. This is why people make endless hilarious fun of libertarians.

                God damn it’s so much fun.

                1. Sam Haysom
                  August.5.2019 at 11:33 am
                  “This is why people make endless hilarious fun of libertarians.
                  God damn it’s so much fun.”

                  Nope, it’s the reason that those who *do* favor libertarianism laugh at you.

          2. What makes you think that is my choice, or that is what any libertarians would have chosen?

            It is what the reality was back then. If you are interested in saving lives, it was the choice with the fewest possible casualties.

            Apparently you would rather be pure than save lives.

          3. Ugh. Skimmed that link. It hinges entirely on Japan being willing to surrender in May 1945, same time as Germany surrendered.

            I saw no mention of what their terms were, other than the Emperor surviving and not being subject to war crimes trials.

            No mention that they intended to keep what they’d gotten elsewhere — no troops pulled back, no colonies freed, no conquests undone, no removal of their military government.

            What a joke! Maintain the status quo after they had run wild over the Pacific.

            Do you know why the Allies insisted on unconditional surrender? One major reason was they did not want a repeat of WW I where the Germans pretended they hadn’t actually surrendered — it was an armistice, a truce — and the civilians had stabbed them in the back. They wanted a surrender which could not be mistaken for anything else, not under any circumstances. As it was, most Germans didn’t think they’d done anything wrong in the Holocaust, except get caught by the American and British and Soviet Jews of course.

            Gaaccck. Pick a better myth next time.

            1. “I saw no mention of what their terms were, other than the Emperor surviving and not being subject to war crimes trials.”

              Downfall (Frank), pg.344
              “Nor does the record leave any doubt, reasonable or otherwise, that an American offer to retain the Imperial institution would have obtained an earlier Japanese surrender. In the Magic Far Eastern Summary for July 22 (<3 weeks prior to Hiroshima), Togo expressly rejected the advice of Ambassador Sato to accept such an offer. If Togo, the most vigorous advocated within the inner eight of ending the war promptly, dismissed such a proposal, there is no rational prospect that it would have won support from any of the other members of the Supreme Council."

              1. Yes. Any even half-assed summary of all the Japanese peace feelers shows that they were either amateurs with no backing from the Japanese government, or they all involved standing down and keeping the new status quo.

                Any doubt should be erased by the palace coup attempt, by junior officers with the backing of senior officers, after Hirohito had ordered the military and the country as a whole to accept the unacceptable, to bear the unbearable, and to surrender. What would have been the reaction to any real surrender before the atom bombs and before the Russians whipped their ass in Manchuria and invaded the Kuriles?

                Only a fool puts any credence in that myth.

          4. The more I think about this, about this ridiculous myth and your claim that it’s a purity test for true libertarians (because Mises), the more it pisses me off. One of the standard jibes at libertarians is that they are selfish. They think only of themselves; fuck everybody else. It goes beyond the greed they attribute to capitalists.

            And this myth is one of the most selfish possible. Go ahead, accept Japan’s surrender. Let them continue killing 100K Chinese every month, Let them continue raping Korean comfort women. Let them continue stomping over the rest of Asia without any repercussions. All so Americans can just go home after 3½ years of war. No punishment for Pearl Harbor — to accept this myth is to say that the US should have done nothing after Pearl Harbor, because they were going to let Japan get off scot-free in three years anyway.

            What a fucking maroon you are, and what everybody connected with that myth is!

          5. Here’s what REAL libertarians would have done.

            There would have been no war with Spain to collect imperial colonies in the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, or elsewhere.

            There would have been no takeover of Hawaii.

            There would have been no imperial fleet to protect the Philippines to base in Hawaii.

            But in reality, there was a fleet in Hawaii to protect the Philippines.

            Suppose Libertarians had won the 1940 Presidential election by some bizarre rime warp. What would he have done when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor?

            I tell you what — he’d have responded in self-defense as any individual would have. The nation would have turfed him out if not; Congress would have impeached any President who didn’t react the way FDR did.

            Oh, you think the libertarians could have won the Congressional elections too?

            In that case, the Philippines would have been already freed, we wouldn’t have had an imperial fleet to protect imperial colonies, and Japan would have traded for all the rubber, oil, tin, and other goods they wanted. They’d still be raping Korean comfort women. They’d still be killing 100K Chinese every month. They’d probably have started a war with Russia in conjunction with Hitler’s invasion.

            But that’s nothing your kind of libertarian would have interfered with. Other people would have formed Abraham Lincoln brigades to fight with the Chinese, because other people are not as selfish as you.

            I wonder what new myths you would have dreamed up.

          6. You just got nuked

        2. The Hiroshima Myth is deeply rooted in the American psyche. Because if it wasn’t, Americans would have to accept the fact that the U.S. government committed a genocidal war crime. That’s too much cognitive dissonance, so people like you bury their had in the sand and accept the federal government’s official explanation. Well, it wasn’t the first and it will not be the last. From the many massacres of Native Americans, to the atrocities of the Phillippine-American war, the bombing of Dresden, to Waco, and so on, the track record of the U.S. government is grim.

          1. The number of Native American mass murders? Are we talking about the handful perpetrated by the US or the dozens perpetrated by Native tribes against white settlers? Is Buffalo Hump’s March to the Sea also not a war crime?

          2. Chipper is a counter tribalist. Blame America first. He really needs to be exiled with all the progs.

      3. Still waiting for your magic solution, oh, holier-than-thou.
        What alternative was more humane than those two bombs?

        1. If he were in charge, America would have been conquered by the Germans and Japanese.

          Peace in our time!

      4. You may be of the opinion that the Russian declaration of war and their invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria and expected concomitant invasion of Japan proper was what led the Japanese to surrender, and the atom bombs were unnecessary. You might even be right; that kind of alternative history is hard to predict.

        But the atom bombs were something altogether new and unknown, unlike a Russian invasion. The Japanese military were prepared to fight an American invasion to the end; why would the Russians scare them any more? More likely, the novelty of single bombs destroying entire cities was the trigger that led the emperor to his unprecedented direct command to surrender.

        And in spite of that direct order, the military still resisted. A bunch of junior officers, with the approval of some of the most senior officers, actually tried a coup to protect the emperor from himself.

        What more do you need to think the Japanese would have fought on for another year or two at the cost of at least 5M dead Japanese?

      5. Ah, the soothing sound of………………..

        1. Some of us have a life, old man.

          1. Chipper Morning Wood
            August.4.2019 at 2:27 pm
            “Some of us have a life, old man.”

            Well, maybe you ought to spend part of it trying not to be a fucking ignoramus, little boy. Perhaps you might even read something about an issue rather than spouting bullshit.
            And we all notice you had time to post this, but not any response to the question.
            Fuck off, you pathetic piece of shit.

            1. If you’re much over twenty, and hold the positions you do, then you are a failure and waste of life.

              1. That was intended for Chipper, not Sevo.

          2. Enough time to say you have a life, but not enough time to post a simple link.

            Because there aren’t enough facts to back up your assertion. Punt.

          3. Hey, fucktard!
            “But I am not surprised you are an atom bomb apologist.”
            Ignored this during the trouncing of chippy, but you’ll notice that some fucking uneducated piece of shit, lacking the least bit of knowledge regarding the issue, accuses someone who has researched the matter as an “apologist”.
            Chippy, I’m not surprised you proved yourself to be a fucking atom bomb ignoramus.

  7. Original sin deserves as much research and academic attention as the moon being made of green cheese, storks delivering babies, and spilt salt precipitating bad luck.

    Among reasoning, educated, competent adults, anyway.

    1. Except that it is the only reason behind the ethic of showing ‘restraint’ and humility.

      1. Superstition — not just childish superstition, but a particular flavor of childish superstition — is essential to ethical conduct?

        Backwater religious schooling has consequences. Deplorable consequences. Such as the ‘my fairy tale can beat up your fairy tale’ style of argument offered by some ostensible adults.

        1. You don’t seem to understand the difference between superstition and belief. Or, for that matter, between a literalist strawman you erect for ‘religion’, your own hyperliteralist tendencies, and the huge variety of non-literalist exegesis re religious texts/stories in the real world. Your ‘divinity’ school failed you badly.

          Personally I see a lot of value in say the ‘competing’ Buddhist fairy tale re humility. I find none at all in the rather constipated and mundane Kantian/Enlightenment equivalent – which is of course why it is rejected by those, like Nietzsche – or you, who would instead turn humility and self-restraint from a virtue into a vice.

    2. I know this is difficult for someone of your limited intellectual ability to grasp but original sin, as the author was using it, was simply a euphemisim and had no religious connotation. You either didn’t understand that or you are intellectually dishonest enough that you chose to twist it to attack religions like the bigot you are.

      1. The author’s final paragraph and general record make your assertion unpersuasive, you bigoted, poorly educated, stale-thinking, right-wing rube.

        Open wider, clinger.

        1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
          August.4.2019 at 11:49 pm
          “Open wider, clinger.”

          Keep it open, asshole bigot; it is going to be a real pleasure to jam Trump down your throat one more time.

        2. If you want to check my education level, please feel free to. I will provide you with citations to my professional, peer reviewer literature, a link to my university webpage, where you can find me listed as faculty. And his final paragraph doesn’t dispute my assertion as this is the only mention of religion and it was as a contrast. Further, he states that the idea of DNA determination for violence is no different than the concept of Original sin in Christianity, showing his use of it earlier was a euphemism. Reading comprehension, along with original thought, is obviously not one of your strong points.

    3. Something was compelling me to give your girlfriend the dicking of her life last night. And normally I don’t touch fours with a ten inch pole (that’s what I call my penis. It’s actually eleven inches but I’m big into modesty).

  8. so evolution could be used to denigrate certain groups who were seen to be at “different stages of development”…This mindset was especially widespread in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Indeed. One need only look at the actual biology textbook at issue in the Scopes trial. From overt ‘scientific’ racism (finally, the highest race type of all, the Caucasians) to love of eugenics and even eugenic genocide, genetic explanations for crime and ‘parasites’, and appreciation for anti-miscegeny laws.

    And yet – look at the myths we spread today about that trial. Where it is ‘science’ arrayed against dangerous superstitition. Methinks maybe scientists should understand that the regular joes attitudes about such things are based as much on what scientists themselves ‘teach’ as on some misbegotten misinterpretation of what they teach.

    1. Criminality underrated comment.

  9. We men ARE the monsters in the dark. And we are also the gods we conjured up to fight them.

    1. Stare into the abyss, and the abyss stares into you.

      Somebody said that.

      1. I was too scared to stare into the abyss, but I pissed into it once.

  10. What if we quit being negative about ourselves and became more objective? What then?

  11. It’s an illogical premise repeated by criminals and fascists.

    After all if we can’t control our choices, we don’t deserve them or free will. Then they are right to treat us as animals.

    The fact that we can recognize this logic demonstrates that it all comes down to choices.

    So do you choose civilization? If not, you’re my enemy.

    1. After all if we can’t control our choices

      If you can’t control your choice, it’s not your choice.

      1. That’s what I said.

        1. Maybe, but lack of control is often an excuse, for both stupid behavior and for nanny state intervention.

          And people can choose civilization and still be my enemy. How about choosing coexistence?

          1. People who choose civilization can only be your enemy if you reject it.

    2. Can you control your choice to ignore the pictorial evidence of Nazi Mobile Death Squads in the Ukraine?

      1. Misek is unable to control that choice. But give him some credit: he manages to suppress his homosexual urges… most of the time.

    3. Most decisions people make are not conscious choices. Furthermore, except for Western societies over the last century or two, the choices people had available to them were driven by the simple need to survive and procreate.

  12. Humans are intelligent apex predators, the most dangerous the world has ever seen. We have a history of geographical expansion, tribal warfare, and hunting megafauna to extinction. Original sin is a fairy tale.

  13. Another, maybe better question: what if men and women are different in some fundamental ways, and thus both behave differently, and have different expectations from other men and women? And thus ideals and models for human behavior will not likely match reality.

    1. Heretic!!! Burn the heretic! Everybody knows that men and women are EXACTLY THE SAME, and only the patriarchy can be responsible for different outcomes between them!!!


    2. What, are you saying that the social sciences and psychology have a fundamental problem because they are trying to model something that is arguably impossible to model. And that generally, traits are not normally distributive and therefore cannot be adequately analyzed using either Fisher or Bayesian statistics but instead must use lower powered analysis such as Chi Square. And that there is an over reliance on correlative studies and a false misattributing correlative relationships as causative? And that these fields suffer from group think and bias confirmation?

      1. But they have the word science in their names, they must be as empirical as physics and chemistry and biology right?

      2. Scientists believe that everything in reality can be modeled. This belief drives science.

        If God were discovered, science would model him and our mystical perception of god would cease to exist.

        No? What makes you believe that to be true?

        1. “Scientists believe that everything in reality can be modeled. This belief drives science.”
          A statement of an ignoramus. No great surprise.

          “If God were discovered, science would model him and our mystical perception of god would cease to exist.”
          Sophistry worthy of truman.
          Fuck off, scumbag bigot.

        2. As a scientist I never ran across the concept that everything can be modeled. In fact there is a well understood concept known as untestable hypothesis. The idea is that not everything is able to be modeled. The existence of a supreme being is just one of these concepts. Only someone with a passing familiarity with science would make the statement that everything can be modeled. In genetics, all heridity has some degree of randomness built into it. Further, some things are so complicated, that while hypothetically models can be created, practically they are to complicated to model. Additionally, the very act of observation changes the outcome to a degree. We attempt to account for randomness but at best it is a scientific wild assed guess. The more complicated the system the more difficult it is to design a model to account for all the infuental factors. This is why the more established sciences look upon the social sciences with a large dose of skepticism. Scientist also don’t prove anything. We test to see if our models better explain the phenomena than random chance, but random chance is always a possibility. Human nature, emotions, cultures etc tend to involve a lot of randomness, making them extremely difficult, if not impossible, to model.

          1. Take for example the classic test of flipping a coin. Probability would predict that out of ten flips you should have 5 heads and five tails, however, due to randomness this isn’t always necessarily the outcome. Though the more flips you make, the greater the chance is that you will achieve exactly 50% heads and 50% tails. You are not however guaranteed this outcome, so even with this simple test the model has less than 100% predictive power. As a system becomes more complicated, with more factors involved, the ability to model becomes increasingly more difficult, until you reach a point where modeling with any semblance of predictive value is practically impossible. In a closed system you can control the number of factors, though you can’t completely eliminate randomness. In an open system this becomes much more complicated. To simplify, some systems are so complicated, with so many factors (many of which we may not even know, this we describe as randomness) that for all intents and purposes we cannot adequately model them. We can observe, we can measure our observarions but we cannot recreate with any accuracy the natural system. No adequate model can be created, and certainly not one that is repeatable.

            1. And man will never fly.

              Logic demands that everything we observe or perceive , we can describe, that description is a model.

              Yet we don’t know everything today, hence we can’t model it all today.

              I’d hate to be a scientist without imagination.

              1. No observation is not a model. Modelling involves testing. Observation is not modeling because it has no way to verify the results nor any predictive ability. It is useful and inference and hypothesis require observation, but to equate it to modeling is a misunderstanding of the scientific principle.
                Also, man isn’t able to fly. We are able to create devices which allow us to fly, i.e. planes, gliders etc, but as for man actually flying, we aren’t able to. Besides this has nothing to do with modeling. This is an engineering issue not a scientific testing issue. Understanding fluid Dynamics, lift theory etc is science, application of these principles to create manned flight vehicles is an engineering issue. This example definitely demonstrates a poor understanding of science (I am not in any way denigrating engineers, either).
                Third, imagination is a poor substitute for educated and logical deduction. Unlike Hollywood, scientist don’t keep mixing random samples together hoping for a desirable outcome.
                Logic does not demand that we be able to describe everything we observe/perceive. There are a number of phenomena that science has not been capable of describing, much less modeling. The more complex a system the harder it is to describe and the harder it is to model. As you approach infinite factors, the complexity of the model also approaches infinity. This is a fairly basic concept.

    3. Here’s a thought. Rather than presupposing that there are two absolute polar opposites, imagine that either gender can – due to the multitudinous variations possible in the exceedingly complex sphere of human biology and the presence of an abstract, volitional consciousness – express a wide range of behaviors and perceptions?

      1. Humans can’t be modeled, hell we often can’t even model ourselves (meaning we surprised ourselves with our own actions at times).

        1. Did we just agree? I’m not sure.

          1. I think on this principle at least we found some common ground.

  14. Why does reason hate Apes?

    1. I don’t know. Given half the chance I’d be taking off my clothes and running through the jungle.


  15. Ape shall never kill ape.

    1. “A century ago, people laughed at the notion that we were descended from monkeys. Today, the individuals most offended by that claim are the monkeys.”
      ― Jacob M. Appel, Scouting for the Reaper

  16. LOL

  17. “What If Man Is a Killer Ape Beset by Original Sin?”

    WTF are talking about?

  18. Far from promoting equality, it can be used to justify division

    Well, I’m sorry that reality is pissing on your party, but biology does not “promote” ideological or moral choices either way.

    Biology, environment, and moral choices do interact, however. For example, in the West, infanticide is both a suboptimal choice and unacceptable. In some hunter-gatherer societies, infanticide is both (somtimes) necessary for survival and considered acceptable. Moral choices such as not killing one’s infants are predicated on particular environments and economic wealth.

    So, sorry, but stop trying to use biology to justify ideology or moral positions.

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