“Survival, not Truth”

There’s a lot of talk about vaccines right now as medical researchers race to test one that works against SARS-CoV-2. Gayathri Vaidyanathan, speaking in a news feature in PNAS, is looking for another vaccine: “Finding a vaccine for misinformation.”

[…]

Vaidyanathan expresses pessimism that she and the scientific experts can get people to change their minds. She calls on Damon Centola, a network analyst from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Valerie Reyna, a psychologist at Cornell University, and Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, for help in delineating the “psychology of misinformation.” They decide that the key ingredients involve social contagion, framing and worldview—”none of them having much to do with objective truth.” (Sock that away; she seems to acknowledge that “objective truth” is a thing.)

Fact-Checking Requires Biblical Morality by David F. Coppedge

I’m fairly confident that, within 10 years – and certainly within 20 years – the term “objective truth” will be deemed obsolete within academia.

In their eyes….

“There are no lies.”

“There are no truths.”

“There is only power.”

“Words and pictures that get us what we want.
In contrast to words and power that don’t get us what we want.”

Either Vaidyanathan has to admit that she herself is operating from a “mental tapestry of culture, knowledge, beliefs and life experiences” that biases her own views, or that she has found an objective way to extricate herself from that bias and “see” truth for what it is. Oddly, neither she or the experts she calls on seem to acknowledge their own biases. She only uses the word “bias” one time, and that’s against people she feels are misinformed. She seems to think that she and her friends just “know” what constitutes misinformation, but the peasants out there don’t. They have a bad case of the Yoda Complex.

Fact-Checking Requires Biblical Morality by David F. Coppedge

I’m going to do my level best to insure that the peasants can figure out things on their own, and have their own ways of knowing, their own ways of getting things done.

Ways that have no need to hook up with the State, or with it’s supporting Academic Priesthood, or it’s fawning media choir cheering every fleck of nonsense the State chooses to promotes.

Ways that will last — being grounded in objective truth — long, long after the power-driven vision of Our Betters have passed into dust and wind.

And when I say “objective truth”, I mean “seeing things the way God sees it.”

It ain’t easy. But with the Bible being our guide to the way God things, we can get a decent ways to God’s perspective on things.

And the more we act in ways that line up with God’s view, the more successful and prosperous we will be. Usually so in time and on earth, and perfectly so in the afterlife.

The Great Unmasking

Looking at some of her previous writings, we find that Vaidyanathan has accepted human evolution (“How have hominids adapted to past climate change?”, Scientific American 13 April 2010). We don’t know her current views other than to assume that PNAS would probably not print the views of a Darwin doubter. If that is the case, then Vaidyanathan has just shot her credibility. Any mutation in a hominid brain would be selected for survival, not for truth. Information and misinformation are meaningless; they devolve into strategies for power.

It gets worse; evolutionary psychologists frequently invoke “game theory” to explain human behaviors like cooperation, cheating and punishment (see recent example from the Max Planck Institute). In this very article, Vaidyanathan advocates various psychological games to inoculate other hominins (a term which encompasses living modern humans) to cooperate with her views. She could only advocate these, not because they promote truth, but because they would increase her evolutionary fitness. What else could she be doing? “Truth” is not found in the Darwin Dictionary.

In fact, her entire presentation about “vaccinating people against misinformation” is all about strategy, not truth! That plays right into a criticism that undermines her whole point. Her Yoda-complex strategies are exercises in evolutionary fitness that have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of controversial views. She just wants to increase the number of hominins on her side. Whether or not some of her interventions seem noble to the reader, they are not about objective truth. They are about strategy in a Darwinian fitness game.

Fact-Checking Requires Biblical Morality by David F. Coppedge

“Information and misinformation are meaningless; they devolve into strategies for power.”

“Her Yoda-complex strategies are exercises in evolutionary fitness that have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of controversial views. She just wants to increase the number of hominins on her side.”

People eventually look like the gods they worship.

In this case, the quest for power.

And that’s all the Right Sort has: Strategies for Power.

Nothing else.

Such things will work, until they don’t.

(See: the Great Default.
That’s the thing with Objective Reality: it carries a baseball bat.
Or, more correctly, the Sword of Truth that comes out of the mouth of Christ,
as seen in Revelations.)

Christians must prepare for the day the idols fall.

And Christians must be committed, as when the carrots are gone, Our Masters may resort to sticks, at least for a while.

The moment the Beast realizes that it is dying, is the moment when it is most dangerous.

It need not happen: there was only one slaughter among the Communist states in 1989.

But it can happen.

Be prepared.

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