The Problem with Behavioral Determinism: 1

One common theme found on many ‘game’ blogs and other HBD related bullshit is-

Genetics is this almighty force that shapes human behavior and we understand it well.

Human society is like that because we are destined to be like that…

I have previously called such thinking- ‘white man fatalism’, and see it as the manifestation of secular religions. One of the tenets of such secular religions is the belief in determinism.

Determinism is a fucked-up concept, unfortunately present in many world views, because it actively deters believers from trying other ways.

Unfortunately most western, and eastern thinkers, are not intelligent enough to look at their own history and see the problems caused by absolute certainty about their state of knowledge.

How can you be sure that you know it all?

We have decoded the human genome, but still have no clue how that information relates to most common diseases. Many ‘famous scientists’ believed that decoding the human genome would allow us to instantly identify genes important for common diseases, and so far they have failed miserably (inspite of their frequent misleading press releases to the contrary).

Two themes popular on ‘game’ and ‘HBD’ blogs is that human society has always been like this and humans are just cleverer apes.

While these statements might sound reasonable superficially, they are deeply flawed. I am not saying that each woman is a wonderful individual snowflake, but neither can we model our understanding of human behavior on apes/ monkeys/ wolves/ lions etc… because WE are not them, and they are not US.

Consider apes, who are as good a proxy for humans as you can find. Each major ape type has a completely different socio-sexual organisation. While gorillas build harems, chimpanzees are sneaky fuckers, bonobos are into free love orgies, orangutans are reclusive shut-ins and gibbons are monogamous family types.

Now consider that chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans have almost equal proficiency with tools, imitation and general mental capabilities. So why do they have different socio-sexual lives? and why are chimpanzees and bonobos, while almost identical in many respects.. not alike in their socio-sexual organisation?

Why are bonobos far more likely to engage in casual sex than chimpanzees? What is the advantage? Why did it evolve? If it is advantageous to bonobos, why not chimpanzees?.. they live in very similar conditions.

If we cannot predict or model the socio-sexual organisation of bonobos based on chimpanzees or vice-versa, what makes you so sure that we can do the same with humans and other ape species (or other animals).

While nobody claims that women behave or think like men, did they always behave like women in the west do? Why not? Did women in the west always behave like that? The genetic component has not changed much in the last 300 years, has it? So why do we get such different behaviors and attitudes?

For most of human history, most people had a subsistence-level existence in groups of 150-2,000. Indeed, before the last 100 years of rapid and global urbanization, most people lived in villages where everyone knew everyone’s business. Do you really think that such societies would have lasted if women behaved and acted the way they do now?

All this talk of alpha, beta, omega males does not even work in primitive tribes, where a single injury or illness can make a notionally ‘alpha’ male dead or dependent on the kindness of others. What recourse did woman have in such societies from “sexual harassment” and unwanted (but not forced) sex?

You don’t really believe all that scientific-sounding crap is true, do you? Wishful thinking can often make clever people create crappy models which appear to explain the world, but are really just self-serving.


  1. Yup
    July 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    So how do non-white males survive in this cruel and harsh Western world?

    I don’t think that is problem. It is the converse which will be a problem.

    • Yup
      July 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      What I mean is what do we do?

  2. Lucid
    July 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Just out of curiosity, but are you black?

    Obsidian is like the only black Game blogger I’m aware of. It’d be nice to have more of us out there. I don’t mind the white Game bloggers but they kind of have an anti-black slant to things that gets pretty annoying.

    Nope.. but am sympathetic to the black viewpoint. In any case, I am not white.

  3. Nestorius
    July 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I can tell you, your advices will not have any effect on whites and their annexes. Because none of them knows where the enemy is. They don’t even know he exists. He’s in every one of their heads. And they trust him because they think they are him. If you try to destroy him to save them, they’ll destroy you to save him. (quotation from the Movie ‘Revolver’)

    I am aware of that.

  4. Gorbachev
    July 7, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I suspect humans operate on an Opportunistic model. Alas, our australopithecine ancestors didn’t leave any other progeny, just us. It would be great if we had Homo Erectus or Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis around to study. Alas.

    I think you’re right about one thing: different human cultures have slightly different responses. But the females seem to be remarkably similar in some ways. Especially when they’re not controlled by males directly.

  5. Rollo Tomassi
    July 7, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Biologically prompted imperatives evolved over centuries ≠ Biological determinism.

    This is the problem with the nature vs. nurture argument when it regards mating, socialization and acculturation. There will always be a faction in support of “biology-made-me-do-it” reasoning, and another camp that will say they’re blaming controllable behavior on a convenient excuse. Biology AND socialization influence behavior. Nature AND nurture. Then add to that mix the environment in which that biology, that society, modified those behaviors. Behaviors, like biological traits, are selected in or out depending upon their usefulness in a specific environment. All of the hominids you chose to use in your example evolved into their separate acculturation due to their various environments. The biological prompts are different because what works in one environ fails in another.

  1. July 7, 2010 at 8:51 am
  2. July 11, 2010 at 2:23 am

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