Category: Evolutionary psychology

An NPR pundit explains the evolution of religion

Evolutionary psychologists will front any thesis, no matter how unlikely or ridiculous, except that religion is a response to a message from a divine source. more

E.O. Wilson reflects on the 1970s controversy around sociobiology

Naturally, the interviewer doesn’t ask him to explain why his theory doesn’t imply racism or sexism. Perhaps it doesn’t, but that’s hardly self-evident. more

Evo psych: “Evolution” explains procrastination?

One explanation we can reject—because it is far too simple and obvious—is that procrastinators typically dither away the time other people spend rehearsing. more

Evo psych: And now, the germ theory of culture

There probably is no single explanation why Canada, Japan, and Jamaica are democracies in some meaningful sense that Belarus, North Korea, and Eritrea are not. more

Philosophy professor offers a Darwinian explanation of spite

All the while admitting that such scenarios don’t match the complexity of real life. Good thing no one expected anything like that. ;) more

Roger Scruton helps Richard Dawkins’ “meme” find its way to the wastebasket

If being on the right side of an argument mattered, we would never hear anything about scientism in the arts again. more

Romantic love? Taking out the trash on evolutionary psychology

A much bigger problem is the apparent assumption that through most of human history, people got to be with whoever they were attracted to. more

Anthropologist David Graeber asks, why do animals play?

In a wide-ranging essay, Graeber not only insists that insects and crustaceans play (not clear what that means in the context) but explores some currents in non-Darwinian evolutionary thought. more

New atheists score higher than conservative commentators on “certainty.” Surprised?

But the reality is that the new atheists can always resort to the Darwinian adaptation of getting people fired—which they increasingly prefer to arguments anyway. more

Further to “Why do gentlemen prefer blondes … ”

Not liking to shave is not a reason mentioned for why men wear beards; after all, that wouldn’t be “science,” would it? more

Guy carts out bad science writing, along with demolished literary Darwinism

None of it missed. The New Republic is, by contrast, getting pretty good at junk removal. This latest is one of the best. more

UCLA introduces evolutionary medicine to fight depression

Thus another course that won’t get you a real job is born. more

Thomas Nagel reviews an evolutionary psychology book on morality

Nagel: Greene’s debunking arguments add an empirical dimension to a venerable utilitarian tradition, but they certainly do not settle the question. more

Altruism is just another form of manipulation?

Where would Darwinian evolution theory be if people were not compelled to support it through their taxes? more

The ghost of literary Darwinism rises from the grave… briefly

Somewhere in this is likely an argument for funding the current art scene. more

Human evolution: You evolved to think holes are poisonous animals?

Can a pop sci book be far behind? And pop sci mag articles? Adorned with beautiful photos of the blue-ringed Aha! octopus that gave a key author the idea? Well, one guesses, that sure won’t be for lack of trying. Is there time for publication before Hallowe’en? more

You have evolved to interact with 150 people or less?

And purely for your own benefit? That’s “Dunbar’s Number, ”apparently. more

Researchers: Apparent helpful behaviour is just evolved manipulation

There, now you know the truth for this week. Next week, another insightful explanation will be along. more

PZ Myers Criticizes Steven Pinker’s Scientism – Pot and Kettle?

On August 6th, Steven Pinker, the well-known Psychology Professor from Harvard, had an article in New Republic entitled Science is Not Your Enemy, in which he lambasts those who decry scientists for propounding scientism.  You’d expect rebuttals of Pinker to come from the likes of Wesley J. Smith who indeed took Pinker to task in […] more

The social sciences of an incipient fascist state …

… would include, of course, “social neuroscience, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology and social epigenetics.” more

Next Page »