August 08, 2014

#PopEvPsych, more legit version, gets some definite refudiation

I differentiate what seems to be more legitimate work in evolutionary psychology (without in any way turning off my skepticism) and the "pop" version, which is what's given over to the more outrageous pronouncements, like rape being evolutionarily adaptive, and about anything else that makes claims for a set of extreme gene-driven male-female sexual differences.

That said, as I've also noted before, even the "legit" version of ev psych founders on its presuppositions in this area, namely that one point in human evolution was critical for human psychological evolution, and it just happened to be when man the male was a noble hunter-gatherer.

First, there's absolutely no way, at this time, based on current human DNA or analyzable scraps from long-ago ancestors, that we can get a firm handle on rate of genetic change in general, let alone on specific genes for psychological development.

Second, even legit ev psych still often seems to be in the one gene, one result school of genetics.

Third, as we learn more and more about epigenetics, and learn more and more about what we have yet to figure out, it's also clear that all versions of ev psych have little room for it, and no room for testing for long-ago epigenetic effects.

Fourth, back to all versions' of ev psych's "keystone" from the EEA, man the male as a noble hunter-gatherer? Man the male was a grubby scavenger-gatherer long before that and for much longer, as far as we know.

All of this is why I take great pleasure in reading that increased "feminization" was a key point in leading to the development of behaviorally modern humans.

Game. Set. Match. Not just versus Pop Ev Psych, but at least game and set vs. more "legit" ev psych, overall, and also against its defenders in the so-called "scientific skepticism" movement like Rebecca Watson.

Hey, Ed? Watson's understanding of the issue may be muddled, and she may also have an Atheism Plus or SJW ax to grind. None of that is true for me.

On the "scientific skepticism" issue, also, with at least one offender who has 15 months of free time to rethink such things, this is also connected to the issue of conflating libertarianism and skepticism.

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