Evolutionary psychologists take dead aim at mathematician who says they don’t add up
|May 17, 2011||Posted by O'Leary under Evolutionary psychology, Human evolution|
Recently, as some may recall, the pastor wrote to E. O.Wilson:
Gr8 you got it str8 about humans vs. ants. Keep on keeping on. – Yr Pastor
Seems the pastor didn’t believe in Wilson’s sociobiology theories and lots of other tenets of materialist faith. Now Wilson doesn’t either.
Earlier this year, sociobiologist E. O. “Dear Pastor” Wilson disowned his “inclusive fitness” (kin selection) theory, developed from his study of ants and bees. According to his theory, among life forms that live in groups, many members may give up the chance of reproducing their selfish genes so that the group as a whole is more fit. The problem is that it’s not clear how this situation could arise.
What’s very clear is that hundreds of cast members of the long-running Evolutionary Psychology Show ( everyone from the evolutionary agony aunt to the big bazooms boys) sense their jobs at risk. Hence viper mode!
In “Biologists Team Up to Quash New View of Cooperation”, Thomas Bartlett profiles Wilson’s co-author Martin Nowak, a Harvard math and biology prof for Chronicle of Higher Education, outlining that Nowak may have “an enviable resume, with tens of millions in grants and hundreds of publications,” but he also has a red bulls-eye on his back.
Darwinian evolutionist J.B.S. Haldane explained kin selection simply, long ago: “I would lay down my life for two brothers or eight cousins.” And Wilson was actually trying to save this theory at late as 2008, before abandoning it.
The odd thing about the controversy is that, as applied to human beings (and it usually is), the thesis is obviously untrue, as David Stove pointed out in Darwinian Fairytales. It sheds light mainly on how far Darwinism has parted company from observation.
Some people risk their lives for no one, others for an old woman who fell into the subway or stranded foreign air passengers.1 The only way most people even know who their genetic relatives are is that they are told so from a young age and grow up with the information, correct or otherwise.
Some cultures encourage clannishness, so some researchers try to blame that on genes. Then do different genes explain the high level of public-spiritedness I grew up with or why there was no rioting in Japan after the earthquake? As if on cue, the evolutionary psychologist will say yes! Then offer a far-fetched theory, to show that nature does the work of nurture if we can just let go of or inhibitions agaisnt far-fetchedness. Because, you see, kin selection’s a sure thing. It’s got to be true because, well because evolution happened, that’s why, get used to it.
Evolution happened. But, sorry, these imaginary histories of the human race didn’t.
Nowak has the right attitude for a man who must fend off the guardians of “science”:
… he sees the ad hominem attacks as a good sign.”If the argument is now on this level,” he says, “I have won.”
And the prize is a free copy of Expelled
1 See The Spiritual Brain. Pp. 10-13.