Agree. Back at you. Your original post covers a lot of ground, as does your response back, and we could write essays back and forth. That’s why I hesitated to respond.
@ The issue of gay individuals. I’m going to disagree with you there. For me, individuals who are attracted to the same sex are less common, but within the normal range of human experience. I have green eyes, which is the rarest eye color, for example. Rare, but within the normal distribution. As to the causes, like most complex human characteristics, there are likely many components that impact the manifestation of this trait. So, I think the APA’s decision to declassify this with regard to the DSM was the correct one.
There are certainly areas of study that are sensitive, and that have been historically fraught with problems or assumptions. Race and IQ, and issues of gender, female roles, etc… are good examples. The caution in that regard is well warranted. We’ve been very wrong about some of this in the past, based on observations of people living in third-world conditions for example. Evolutionary psychology has a really spotty history.
That said, I think Haidt is right when he talks about how the response to some of this is to make research in these areas difficult. Sam Harris is one of the people who has been outspoken. Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago. Many other researchers who study things like the neurological basis for gender differences between men and women know that they will hit a nerve and some people will have a gut reaction. Question them for even being interested, wanting to study something like female neurological differences. So, I think Haidt is right when he says that there’s a need to come back around and hopefully be better at looking at some of these very complex human traits.
Anyway, @pat, I recall getting into some arguments with Push about some of the issues that Haidt mentions in the Duke lecture above. I believe Push is a Young Earth Creationist. And he’s someone who interpreted scripture more literally. I had to just agree to disagree sometimes about issues like evolution. I wasn’t sure if you would like Haidt for that reason. Sometimes people assume that religious people are on the same page, when of course there’s a lot of variation. Good people will disagree about the abortion issue, for example. Yeah, any one of these topics could be a book in itself!