The Bad Medicine blog (not quite as good a name as Bad Astronomy, and I’m not just saying that because I hate Bon Jovi) recently linked to my blog due to a clock-evolution simulation on youtube I linked to in a comment. From that blog I found NeuroLogica which is dedicated to “Neuroscience, Skepticism and Critical Thinking”, all nifty things as far as I’m concerned.

Robert Lindsay says Altruism Does Not Exist. He seems to be taking the position that Eliezer Yudkowsky mocked here, as did Bryan Caplan here, but those always struck me as weak arguments from incredulity. One thing I like about Robin Hanson is that rather than using a typical division of altruism (sometimes of an absurd Kantian kind) from selfishness he shows how sub-optimal actions can result from things evolution has done to benefit us (or our genes) but fooled us into thinking are self-less. Genuinely having an irrational devotion to others helps to signal your loyalty, and so there are ways evolution can select for it while still acting in our “self-interest” in some sense. I can’t improve upon Saint Max, so I will end by linking to what he had so say on the subject.

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