To:    Comment at the Guardian
Re:    The social sciences' medieval models of reality
Date: Thursday 4 January 07

In response to a Guardian article, "Losing his mind", by Richard Dawkins on the loss through execution of a prime piece of research material

Link to article and thread at The Guardian.

A brilliant article from an eminently human(e) and rational mind!

The problem behind ALL our problems - from global warming to nuclear proliferation, and all those in-between - is our lack of a deeper understanding of human nature and behaviour and how they have shaped (and are shaped by) society.

Natural science and the technology that is based on it have made such mind-boggling progress in the past 300 years because our models of physical reality have improved so much. We still cannot grasp exactly what that reality is (and probably never will), but the models we now have are brilliant.

The social sciences, by comparison, are still in the middle ages, their models of human and social reality still hopelessly inadequate.

This is going to offend a lot of social scientists, I know. But it's true - and explains why our civilisation, in a million different ways, is in such a hopeless mess, and most importantly of all, why we are plundering and spoiling the very planet that our own children's future depends upon.

The reason for this lack of progress in the social sciences lies in the fact that, like the rest of us, social scientists themselves are totally immersed in, familiar with and DEPENDENT upon the existing socio-economic order (and environment), the irrationalities and insanities of which they use their big brains and prodigious intelligence to rationalize and justify, thus blinding themselves, and the rest of us, to them.

This serves individual, short-term survival and advantage in the "socio-economic environment", which with the advent of civilisation REPLACED the natural environment, but not the long- or even medium-term survival (let alone advantage) of our species. But then, this is not what Darwinian evolution adapted human nature and behaviour to achieve.


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