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Fred Reed on Evolutionary Psychology

Is it fair to judge scientific theories by their offspring? For the greatest theory ever conceived, Darwinian evolution has begotten an idiot in evolutionary psychology. Here’s Fred Reed on the topic:

I find in Psychology Today a piece called “Ten Politically Incorrect Truths about Human Nature,” explaining various aspects of behavior in Darwinian terms. The smugness of that “politically incorrect” is characteristic of those who want a sense of adventure without risk. Nothing is more PC than an evolutionary explanation, unless it explains obvious racial differences that we aren’t supposed to talk about.

OK, the authors are going to explain why we mate as we do.

“Blue-eyed people,” they write, “are considered attractive as potential mates because it is easiest to determine whether they are interested in us or not.”

Or, as the authors explain, men like blue eyes because, since eyes dilate when the owner is interested in something, in this case getting laid, and since blue eyes better show a large pupil, then men will know when the woman is interested. This produces more children.

Ponder the solemn fatuity of this. Does any reader over the age of thirteen believe that women with any sort of eyes have trouble letting a man know when they are interested? The authors need to get out more.

Why is this sort of story-telling so widely engaged in when an alert porcupine would reject it? Because it is PC. As a fellow I see on the internet said in another context, “This is a stretch and illustrates how easy it is to believe what fits your world view.” . . .

SOURCE: www.fredoneverything.net.

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23 Responses to Fred Reed on Evolutionary Psychology

  1. If you notice, evolutionary psychology will always try to justify a violent act, such as the “Why Men Rape” fiasco, in an evolutionary light while never offering a tangible solution for the behavior. (Rapist will breed more offspring, so in evolutionary terms this behavior will be spred throughout the population) They say the behavior evolved that way so there is really no control over the behavior since it “is in our physical genes”. Whereas, Theism will recognize the behavior as truly deviant behavior and call it as such, and offer a solution to the behavior since the spiritual nature of man is automatically recognized as ultimately dominant over the the physical nature of man.

  2. And how exactly does evolutionary psychology explain homosexuality?

  3. tribune7: Surely you can figure that one out. Homosexuals, not having children of their own, have time on their hands to help rear the children of their straight relatives. It has selective value for the group to have a small but not insignificant percentage of homosexuals in the population.

  4. Botnik: Ya right. Selective advantages are omnipresent in Darwinism. Indeed, they have no other explanation.

    In Darwinism, selective advantage is the whole of the meaning of the universe. How totally boring.

    And, considering the enormous disadvantages homosexuality brings to a population you’d have thought selection would have weeded it out – if it were merely some genetic quirk.

    Once again, it doesn’t add up under Darwinism.

    If all were to turn homo overnight the race would be extinct in less than a century. And given the human record on this beautiful world, one could suspect that ‘mother nature’ would be glad of the result.

  5. My ‘iris detection’ cognitive sense works just as well on brown eyes, let me tell ‘ya, but Alan Miller does bring up some interesting ideas regarding so called ‘Social Darwinism’, and he does back some his ideas with data. I personally do not believe that most personality traits are due solely to gene selection, however. I’ve seen too many families where while the offspring may look like a parent (or each other), their personality traits vary widely.

    On the other hand, there is probably more substance to examples of social darwinism than of the neo-darwinian synthesis, but I give little credit to either with regard to their widely touted attributes, so yes, you can judge a theory by its offspring!

    While I agree that iris/pupil dilation is a subtle ‘body language’ signal, and that yes, people notice it, although mostly unconsciously, it’s a stretch to propose that it offers a selection advantage to blonds.

    Fred Reed’s piece is a hoot, and he states:

    “To force mating into the mold of reductionist fitness-shopping, it is necessary to connect beauty and sexual attractiveness with fitness. This is easily done by making up stories.”

    Agreed, and if you substitute the words “NS of RM” for ‘mating’, and the rest with “you then come up with innovative new biologic functions and species”, or some such, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion of, “This is easily done by making up stories.” Well said, Fred.

    He also posed an interesting hypothesis, that those with wider set eyes have better depth perception, since that sense is as a result of the eyes forming an isosceles triangle with the subject, with the decrease of the two eyes from parallel producing a depth perception in the brain due to the associated muscular tension of the lateral rectus muscles.

    Wider set eyes will therefore produce more muscle tension, and would therefore provide better depth perception for more distant objects. Reed states that that helps prevent death from jumping about on high rocks.

    My eyes are wide set. That makes me feel better about rock climbing! Could it be that I share a gene with mountain goats and lizards? …

  6. Homosexuals, not having children of their own, have time on their hands to help rear the children of their straight relatives. It has selective value for the group to have a small but not insignificant percentage of homosexuals in the population.

    LOL. Excellent! Good one!

    Now let’s try how does evolutionary psychology explain the failure of the Chicago Cubs to have won a World Series since 1908? I betcha it can.

  7. LeeBowman:
    Agreed, and if you substitute the words “NS of RM” for ‘mating’, and the rest with “you then come up with innovative new biologic functions and species”, or some such, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion of, “This is easily done by making up stories.” Well said, Fred.

    Why not take it a step further and say that RM + NS explains everything. That way you don’t have to think.

  8. Borne #4 and Tribune7 #6

    I think Botnik was being facetious. I believe the homosexuals-raising-siblings’-offspring story has actually been proposed by evolutionary psychologists.

  9. I have so far seen evolutionary psychologists and psychologists in general try to explain everything from why we like music (Because a caveman hit a log, and the other cavemen liked it!) to why people may not believe in neo-darwinism (This was on the sidebar on UD at one point.)

    Maybe there should be a contest for this site: Come up with an evolutionary psychological explanation of militant materialism and scientism.

  10. I think Botnik was being facetious.

    I don’t care!!

    I still think evolutionary psychology can be used to explain why the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908!!!!

  11. Or, as the authors explain, men like blue eyes because, since eyes dilate when the owner is interested in something, in this case getting laid, and since blue eyes better show a large pupil, then men will know when the woman is interested.

    Ponder the solemn fatuity of this.

    Yep. And while you’re pondering, look up
    Belladonna
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....#Cosmetics

  12. I still think evolutionary psychology can be used to explain why the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908!!!!

    Apparently, the Chicago Cubs have hired a disproportionate number of blue-eyed pitchers since 1908. Statistically, a certain percentage of those pitchers will be “sibling babysitting non-reproducers”, whose blue eyes will be dilating when pitching to sweaty, muscular batters. If these batters, and the umpires behind them are homophobic, (as its know in the academy that most American men are), then this sign of arousal will produce hostility from umpires—resulting in unfavorable calls, and a desire on the part of enraged batters to knock the ball between the Cubs pitchers’ eyes. Combine the unfavorable umpiring, and fired-up opposing team batters, and you have 99 years of defeat.

  13. Apparently, the Chicago Cubs have hired a disproportionate number of blue-eyed pitchers since 1908.
    That’s it!!!!!
    Once again the predictive power of evolutionary psychology has been established!!! :-)

  14. 14

    So…if polygyny produces more selective pressure on males than monogamy does, and that naturally means males will get bigger, then why are Middle Eastern males smaller than Western males?

  15. 15

    “Studies demonstrate unequivocally that men are far more interested in short-term casual sex than women.”

    This contradicts the idea presented earlier that polygyny favors females and monogamy favors males. Now they are saying females favor monogamy and males polygyny. What?

  16. A couple of supposed scientists are telling us that blond, blue-eyed people are more highly evolved than other types?

    I’ve heard this somewhere before, and I’m sure the scientists in question wouldn’t like to be linked to the group of people from whom I heard it.

    That group also thought polygyny might help them.

    Everything old is new again.

  17. 17

    Homosexuals, not having children of their own, have time on their hands to help rear the children of their straight relatives. It has selective value for the group to have a small but not insignificant percentage of homosexuals in the population.

    Remember- these “evolved” traits supposedly came about during the hunter/gatherer days. So, homosexuals in the population wouldn’t have been sitting around with time on their hands, just because they had no kids of their own. I think we can all agree there must have been quite large populations of these societies, and just as we see today- not every single person would have had children to begin with. You could easily argue that those straights without kids would have taken care of the kids of others. Then again, even they wouldn’t havehad much time to do so, as everyone would have been out looking for food, shelter, safety from animals, etc. On top of all of that, the straights without kids still have the opportunity to have children. The homosexuals, if they are homosexuals due to biology (this has yet to be seen itself) would not have that chance to have kids at all. They could always call themselves homosexual, yet reproduce with the opposite sex- but then there goes the idea that they were biologically “created” homosexual to take care of kids. Plus- we have to remember that darwinian-wise, all newly formed groups (like homosexuals) are mere accidents via mutations that have no rhyme of reason in where they appear and which ones stay in the lineage. Point being- NDE couldn’t possibly use any intelligence and thought to say “homosexuals are good for this purpose”, thus the mutation will stick.

    I think homosexuals would, worldwide, have an issue with being described as a distinct form of human, different in a mutation here and there in their genetic code that makes them different.

  18. 18

    By the way. I prefer brown eyes and smaller breasts. Does that make me a weirdo mutant with the wrong DNA mutations?

  19. By the way. I prefer brown eyes and smaller breasts. Does that make me a weirdo mutant with the wrong DNA mutations?

    Yes. Your genes are doomed because you can’t tell when members of the opposite sex are interested in you. However, if you spend your free time taking care of your siblings’ kids, you might have a shot at passing on your genes, or your parents’ genes, anyway.

  20. Manufacturers of this product should be required by the U.S. government to display the following warning:

    “EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGIST GENERAL’S WARNING: Use of this product may inhibit the formation of meaningful opposite sex relationships, thereby reducing your chances of producing offspring.”

    http://www.cosmeticeyes.com/brown-eyes-2.html

  21. 21

    I just knew I was doomed. (sigh)

  22. Arg! just more just so stories!

  23. I’ll have to break the news to my poor browneyed oldest son that he is genetically inferior. I may have to inform Yale as well so they’ll stop sending invitations to him.

    It’s my browneyed wife’s fault. She’ll have to give up the law practice and do whatever it is primitive underevolved creatures do, like, I don’t know, hit rocks with sticks or something.

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