Case in point.
"When we had real social scientists, such as Aristotle, they knew that man is the "rational animal," and as such, distinctly different from other animals, and so in need of special analysis, such as political science.
If you can't tell the difference between a dandelion and a redwood tree, you are going to make an awful botanist, and we have awful social sciences because the practitioners can't tell the difference between a human being and a tapeworm."
First, Aristotle - to the best of my knowledge (and I'm no Aristotle expert) - was not a social scientist. He was a social philosopher with some good ideas that anticipated social science. That's fine in my book.
Second, of course humans are "distinctly different from other animals". Nobody said otherwise, Gene. And I agree they are in need of special analysis because they are so different. I'd never presume to disagree with that point.
Third, I agree on the botanist point... I'm note sure what he's getting at there.
Fourth, I would wager there is not a single social scientist that has trouble telling a human being from a tapeworm.
It's good Gene stopped where he did - see how every sentence in that post got goofier and goofier?
So why is Gene being so goofy? Well whenever I emphasize that social scientists study the social behavior of highly evolved primates, he seems to think it's diminution of humanity. I don't understand why. He seems to think that morals and beauty and wonder and significance and meaning go out the window if we're just animals. Why? I'm not sure. He's never quite explained that one yet.
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