This week’s Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week comes from an Arizona State evo-psych press release echoed on News-Medical.net and EurekAlert: “Contrary to what most people believe, the tendency to be prejudiced is a form of common sense, hard-wired into the human brain through evolution as an adaptive response to protect our prehistoric ancestors from danger.”The authors of the study hasten to add that their hypothesis does not mean we can’t change our prejudices:People sometimes assume that because we say prejudice has evolved roots we are saying that specific prejudices can’t be changed. That’s simply not the case,” [Steven] Neuberg [ASU professor of social psychology] says. “What we think and feel and how we behave is typically the result of complex interactions between biological tendencies and learning experiences. Evolution may have prepared our minds to be prejudiced, but our environment influences the specific targets of those prejudices and how we act on them.” (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Neuberg can’t get off the hook so easily. If prejudice is an evolved adaptive strategy, then it has no moral implications whatsoever. Nobody can say that this or that target of our hardwired prejudice is wrong. Prejudice, if it evolved, is as “good” as eyesight or hearing. If anything is “wrong” to a consistent Darwinist, it is standing in the path of evolution. But ironically, their very claim shoots itself in the foot. If what they were saying was true, then we would have to dismiss their claims as evolutionary adaptive strategies for their own self-protection, and therefore inapplicable to our own interests. The press release avoids words with moral connotations, like right or wrong, good or bad: instead, it sidesteps moral implications with words like inappropriate – “One important practical implication of this research is that we may need to create different interventions to reduce inappropriate prejudices against different groups.” Well, for crying out loud, who decides what is appropriate? It doesn’t seem very appropriate in a Darwinian world, where might makes right, to deny a bigot his adaptive self-protective strategies. Isn’t that like trying to stop rams from banging their heads together? What gives these ivory-tower intellectuals the power to tell their fellow academics that “we may need to create different interventions”? What does need mean in an amoral world where selfishness rules? Whatever happens is what evolution does. If race riots happen, just observe and take notes. Only those with a foundation for morals can dare to say we should intervene. You’ll notice that the news media never question this stuff; they just regurgitate the barf and say, “Well, I’ll be, isn’t evolution interesting.” No other human enterprise seems so immune from criticism as Darwinian propaganda, even when it is as politically charged as this. What gives any fallible human, including scientists, the right to claim that human evils are amoral artifacts of evolutionary adaptive strategies? Is it their superior wisdom? Is it their empirical evidence? Is it their philosophical neutrality? Don’t be conned. If you get angry at the Darwin Party’s rationalization of everything evil as an evolutionary adaptation, including rape and child abuse, then join the anti-Darwin revolution and help put this foolishness into the dustbin of discredited ideas, where it can take its place beside Bad Marx and Sickman Fraud.(Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
23 January 2006South Africa’s courtrooms are set to go the hi-tech route, with the accused taking part in proceedings from prison via video-conferencing facilities, in a system successfully pioneered at the Durban and Pinetown magistrate’s courts in KwaZulu-Natal.The Mercury newspaper reports that the technology is already being used for half the cases – about 30 a day – heard at Court 10 in Durban, where those accused of serious and violent crimes make pre-trial court appearances.The prisoners do not leave Westville Prison. Instead, they appear before the magistrate on a television set in the courtroom, the newspaper reports.The hi-tech system allows for a two-way interaction, with the camera panning to whoever is speaking at the time. It also provides for private telephone conversations with attorneys and the exchange of documents via fax.If implemented countrywide, the technology will save the government millions of rands in prisoner transportation costs – and end the risk of escapes, prisoner violence in vans and attacks on court orderlies.Deon Boardman, the national manager of the project, told the Mercury that the aim was to simplify court procedures and improve efficiency.“We are in the proof of concept stage,” he said. “It is an impact study and we aim to roll it out to other courts with high case volumes.“The test period is six months. So far, it has gone so well. It is a joint venture between the Departments of Justice and of Correctional Services, the National Prosecuting Authority and the police. In April, a joint decision will be made regarding roll-out.”Some 500 prisoners are transported every day from Westville Prison to various courts.“It is an administrative nightmare,” Boardman told the Mercury. “They have to be checked out of the prison, transported to the courts, checked into the grill, handed over to the police, escorted to and from the courts, fed, and taken back to prison. All of this for a two-minute court appearance.“The costs are enormous and the risk of escape is huge . this project is the way to go.”The project began in October 2005, initially with only a few cases a day to allow the court staff to become used to the system and make the necessary mental adjustment.“It was important for both court staff and prisoners to feel comfortable,” said Boardman. “All prisoners make their first appearance in the court itself so they know what the courtroom looks like.“They are then informed that their next appearances will be via video.“But if they want to come to court, they can. They simply make the request and they are requisitioned either the same day or the next day. But … most prisoners seem happy to appear on camera,” Boardman told the Mercury.The idea for the system came from Peter Benson of Durban-based Digital Voice Processing, which now runs the project, who first saw the technology at work in the US state of Florida, and suggested it to the Justice Department. He said it was inexpensive, with the pilot project only costing about R230 000 so far.“We worked out that if the department equipped every prison and one court in each courthouse with these video remand systems, the total cost of the technology would be recovered within nine months,” he told the Mercury.“I am passionate about this project,” he said. “It will save millions and it will save lives . I want to see this thing happen even if I don’t get the final tender.”SouthAfrica.info reporter
The body of a 65-year-old woman from Rajasthan’s Barmer district, who died in Pakistan last week during her visit to her relatives, was brought back to India via the Khokhrapar-Munabao zero point road route on Tuesday. The Pakistan Rangers handed over the body to the Border Security Force at the India-Pakistan border.The deceased, Reshma, a resident of Agasadi village in Barmer district, went to Pakistan’s Sindh province along with her son Sahib Khan on June 30 to meet her sisters. She fell ill there a few days before she was scheduled to board the Thar Express connecting the two countries and died on July 25, a day before her visa was to expire.The Indian High Commission in Islamabad swung into action after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asked it through a tweet to help out Reshma’s family members who had submitted a memorandum. Though a prompt action was launched with the help of Pakistan government officials to facilitate repatriation of the body, it could not be brought by the Thar Express because of delay in legal formalities.BSF help soughtBarmer Collector Shivprasad Nakate said he took up the issue with the BSF to allow Reshma’s son to enter India along with the body through the road route parallel to the Thar Express’ railway line. The body arrived at the international border near Pakistan’s Khokhrapar zero point railway station and was handed over to the BSF after the gates at the fencing were opened.The body was first sent in an ambulance to Munabao for the immigration formalities and was later transported to Agasadi village, where Reshma’s four daughters and other relatives were waiting for it.The Khokhrapar-Munabao road route was utilised for the first time on Tuesday after the revival of rail link between India and Pakistan through the Thar Express in February 2006. A fortnight before the train started, former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, along with an 85-member delegation, had gone to Pakistan via this road to visit the ancient temple of Hinglaj and other shrines in Sindh and Balochistan.The rail link at Munabao was revived after a gap of 41 years.