Steve Pinker – actually – thinks that most people believe evolutionary psychology but don’t see it as a force for good
|November 30, 2011||Posted by News under Evolutionary psychology, News|
And the New York Times science writer offers no curiosity.
In “Human Nature’s Pathologist” (New York Times, November 28, 2011), Carl Zimmer lavishes praise on Steven P:inker and evolutionary psychology: Dr. Pinker set out to synthesize all these patterns and find an explanation for them. And in the process, he wanted to rebut stereotypes of evolutionary psychology.
“There’s a common criticism of evolutionary psychology that it’s fatalistic and it dooms us to eternal strife,” he said. “Why even try to work toward peace if we’re just bloody killer apes and violence is in our genes?”
Nonsense. The common stereotype of evolutionary psychology is that it promotes rubbish like the Big Bazooms theory of human evolution or the “apes throwing poop” theory of human cognitive development. And guess what, it does. And many similar claims.
All of which are about as well sourced as Steven Pinker’s claim that the world is becoming a less violent place – even some of the usual sycophants have had a hard time with that one, in the wake of the twentieth century. But Carl Zimmer doesn’t bat an eye.
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