The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

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jimbob
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The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by jimbob » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:31 pm

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11 ... -europeans

this sounds like another evo-psych just-so story. The sort of thing that's amusing to chat about, but without much science to back it up - or even provide alternative hypotheses.

The sort of thing that might make an interesting premise for a science fiction story.

The church’s early ban on incest and cousin marriage, the researchers say, weakened the tight kinship structures that had previously defined European populations, fostering new streaks of independence, nonconformity, and a willingness to work with strangers. And as the church’s influence spread, those qualities blossomed into a suite of psychological traits common today across Western industrialized nations, they argue.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:56 pm

Does it work in reverse? If you like to conform then you're more likely to boff your sister?
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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by jimbob » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:42 pm

Cousin, I believe, cousin.

I think it's an exemplar of one of my eldest daughter's favourite words - problematic.

As in "Jared Diamond books are often problematic"
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by lpm » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:10 am

I believe Tom Holland's new book is on this subject. But haven't read it yet. Looks good, though.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dominion-Makin ... 408706954/
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:06 pm

Ohhhh. I’m a fan of Holland, might have just bought that for myself.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by cvb » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:36 pm

jimbob wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:31 pm
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11 ... -europeans

this sounds like another evo-psych just-so story. The sort of thing that's amusing to chat about, but without much science to back it up - or even provide alternative hypotheses.

The sort of thing that might make an interesting premise for a science fiction story.

The church’s early ban on incest and cousin marriage, the researchers say, weakened the tight kinship structures that had previously defined European populations, fostering new streaks of independence, nonconformity, and a willingness to work with strangers. And as the church’s influence spread, those qualities blossomed into a suite of psychological traits common today across Western industrialized nations, they argue.
It sounds like over stating the evidence, or just making stuff up.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by jimbob » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:51 pm

cvb wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:36 pm
jimbob wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:31 pm
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11 ... -europeans

this sounds like another evo-psych just-so story. The sort of thing that's amusing to chat about, but without much science to back it up - or even provide alternative hypotheses.

The sort of thing that might make an interesting premise for a science fiction story.


It sounds like over stating the evidence, or just making stuff up.
Yup. Hence my comment about evo-psych.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by cvb » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:59 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:51 pm
Yup. Hence my comment about evo-psych.
I was just agreeing with you, albeit not particularly well.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by shpalman » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:05 pm

But when the church forced people to marry outside this network, traditional values broke down, allowing new ones to pop up: individualism, nonconformity, and less bias toward one’s in-group.

“These are things that don’t come to mind when you think about the influence of the Catholic Church,” Stich says
Well, that's putting it mildly.

I don't really remember what book I read it in, but I read that since dividing up a family's resources between all the sons would be inefficient, the eldest son got everything and the others ended up in the church, where they tried to implement all sorts of rules designed to prevent their older brothers having sons so that they'd actually be next in male-line succession. This goes a bit against the traditional no-contraception-so-have-lots-of-offspring thing which people actually associate with the Catholic Church. It's almost as if you can ascribe all sorts of contradictory motives depend on what you're trying to prove.

But yeah you can imagine why the church would want to break up or disperse any networks which had more power than it.
molto tricky

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by jimbob » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:10 pm

cvb wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:59 pm
jimbob wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:51 pm
Yup. Hence my comment about evo-psych.
I was just agreeing with you, albeit not particularly well.
Cool, I wasn't sure if I'd made my view clear...
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by jimbob » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:59 pm

lpm wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:10 am
I believe Tom Holland's new book is on this subject. But haven't read it yet. Looks good, though.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dominion-Makin ... 408706954/
Thanks, I might be doing a fair bit of travelling, so that'll do nicely.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by noggins » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:51 pm

jimbob wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:42 pm
Cousin, I believe, cousin.

I think it's an exemplar of one of my eldest daughter's favourite words - problematic.

As in "Jared Diamond books are often problematic"
Its a bit unfair to lump Jared in with this utter rubbish.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by Iain » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:16 pm

The quotes from Stich almost sound like he's calling it bunk by applying hyperbole. Does anyone else get an underlying tone of sarcasm from this?
“If the authors are right, or even in the vicinity of being right, it couldn’t be bigger,” says Stephen Stich, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who wasn’t involved in the work. “What they are offering to explain is the emergence of democratic institutions, of individualism in the West.”
The whole thing smacks a little of the approach offered by writers like Hannam. I enjoyed God's Philosophers and I think it is important to include the role of religious institutions in any history of a society, but I am wary of the whole ‘without Christianity you'd have no science or freedoms as you know it’ argument. Religious institutions were part of the whole mix, sometimes they did the pulling and sometimes they were pulled along.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by Boustrophedon » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:16 pm

Western mindset? Is that the one that results from being buggered as a child by a priest?
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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by cvb » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:18 am

Boustrophedon wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:16 pm
Western mindset? Is that the one that results from being buggered as a child by a priest?
You have to forget about the bad things and only concentrate on the good things.

Forget about colonies and slavery didn't democracy come out of it?

It's f.cking stupid.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by spinybear » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:31 am

There are three key paragraphs in the quoted article worth paying attention to:
Working under the assumption that more time spent under church rule would ingrain those values more deeply, the researchers compared psychological and kinship traits of modern populations with the time their ancestors spent under Roman Catholic rule. The researchers built a vast database from historical records of church exposure in every nation on Earth, beginning in the first century and ending in 1500 C.E., when European society had become nearly fully Christianized.

Next, they consulted anthropological data to assign a kinship intensity score to each of the world’s major ethnolinguistic groups. This score was based on historical rates of cousin marriage, polygamy, and other factors. Finally, they drew on dozens of studies that used established psychological measures such as the World Values Survey to determine modern population-level scores for traits such as individualism, creativity, nonconformity, obedience, and ingroup/outgroup trust. (Two of the more unorthodox measures of obedience and outgroup trust, for example, were unpaid parking tickets issued to United Nations diplomats and participation in blood donation drives.)

Plotting these points together, they found that the longer a population spent under the rule of the Roman Catholic Church, the lower its kinship intensity score, meaning lower rates of cousin marriage and polygamy and looser familial and clan structures. And as kinship intensity drops off in their data, a certain suite of traits grows stronger, including individualism, nonconformity, and willingness to trust and help strangers, the researchers report today in Science.
Before we dismiss this entirely merely because of the subject matter it treats, the methodology looks sound — it reads to me like they've just built a multi-variate model and looked for correlations. Because they do appear to have temporal data on more than one variable, it's easier to push correlation into causal relationships.

Where I would question the soundness of the research is on the quality of the data. They would have been working with historical data from mixed sources, which would have a high amount of variability — it would have been noisy and uneven. It'd be good to have an understanding of how they went about normalising the data that fed the model, to arrive at their conclusions.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by noggins » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:55 pm

Surely the non-european world's exposure to catholicism before 1500 CE is almost f.ck all ?

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by dyqik » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:07 pm

noggins wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:55 pm
Surely the non-european world's exposure to catholicism before 1500 CE is almost f.ck all ?
Well, bits of the Middle/Near East and Africa were definitely exposed.

Just ask St Augustine...

The Eastern boundary of "Europe" is a pretty soft concept.

E.g. Armenia became an officially Christian country in the 300s CE, and isn't always thought of as Europe. It borders Iran now, but is Orthodox, not Catholic. The Roman Empire reached what is now Kuwait, but before it became Christian. There would have been contact still after that though.

I don't know that you can really count Leif Erickson as Catholic, although he did convert to Christianity around 999 CE and introduced Christianity to Greenland before his explorations in North America.

Then there's merchant explorers like Marco Polo heading east on the Silk Road in the first half of the second millenium.

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Re: The Catholic Church - creating Western mindset

Post by Martin Y » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:28 pm

spinybear wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:31 am
… Next, they consulted anthropological data to assign a kinship intensity score to each of the world’s major ethnolinguistic groups. This score was based on historical rates of cousin marriage, polygamy, and other factors …
Where I would question the soundness of the research is on the quality of the data. They would have been working with historical data from mixed sources, which would have a high amount of variability — it would have been noisy and uneven. It'd be good to have an understanding of how they went about normalising the data that fed the model, to arrive at their conclusions.
My initial guess would be that the data for the proportion of married couples with at least one shared great grandparent, worldwide, over the last 15 centuries, is probably pretty thin.

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