Re: [asa] "Pure Altruists" - Scientific study: People love to .." (Was Re: [asa] STATEMENT ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN BY IOWA STATE)

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Mon Jun 18 2007 - 11:33:33 EDT

On 6/17/07, Janice Matchett <> wrote:
> At 03:06 PM 6/16/2007, D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:
> I think there is a simple answer: we hear what we intend to hear. Indeed,
> *there was a report of some recent experiments indicating that different
> parts of the brain light up when the same slanted information is presented
> to individuals with different political views.* The "I'm right: how come
> you're so stupid" syndrome now has empirical demonstration. ~ Dave
> *@ *"A report", huh? Better check out the "scientist" who did it.
> Competent scientists know that empirical evidence is not derived by
> beginning with a false premise / illogical methods.
> *"...*Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, the researchers
> observed the ??brain?? activity of *19 women* ... *Paying taxes can make
> citizens happy*," Ulrich Mayr, a professor of psychology, said in a
> release accompanying the study in the Friday issue of Science. "People are,
> to varying degrees, *pure altruists.* On top of that, *they like that warm
> glow they get from charitable giving*. Until now, we couldn't trace that
> in the brain. .."

The report referenced studied partisan men and fed them false stories about
their favorite and the "other" candidate -- one about a relationship with a
notorious CEO and the other about changing positions on domestic policy.
Both sides believed the false story about the other candidate and
disbelieved the false story about their candidate. In addition to this, the
study looked at MRIs of the men when answering the questions. In no case did
the rational part of the brain light up. This happened on both sides of the
political spectrum.

Another way to look at the more recent study is that voluntary giving and
involuntary giving provides the same biological "pay off". Puting this in
evolutionary terms, there is no differential fitness between them. Thus, how
do you explain voluntary giving?

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Received on Mon Jun 18 11:33:42 2007

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