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Evolutionary psychology

Surprise! War trauma makes people more religious

The researchers offer various evolutionary psychology musings, bypassing the obvious point: When tragedy or disaster strikes, merely facile, trendy accounts of life don’t work anymore. So people turn to timeless questions and timeless truths. Read More ›

Evolution: If mental illness helped us adapt, Michael Behe is right

But, of course, Michael Behe’s point in Darwin Devolves is that natural selection primarily breaks or blunts complex things, resulting in survival at a cost. Sounds like Dr. Nesse is saying the same thing, not that he would admit it. Read More ›

Social justice warriors (SJWs) turn their sights on another evo psych prof

It actually doesn't matter what Kanazawa concludes. You can’t reason with a pack. Having been taught from childhood that humans are animals, the SJWs have become a pack. For technical reasons, that is easier than becoming a hive. Read More ›

The perfect storm: Darwinists meet the progressive “evolution deniers” — and cringe…

An evolutionary biologist chronicles the onslaught: At first, left-wing pushback to evolution appeared largely in response to the field of human evolutionary psychology. Since Darwin, scientists have successfully applied evolutionary principles to understand the behavior of animals, often with regard to sex differences. However, when scientists began applying their knowledge of the evolutionary underpinnings of animal behavior to humans, the advancing universal acid began to threaten beliefs held sacrosanct by the Left. The group that most fervently opposed, and still opposes, evolutionary explanations for behavioral sex differences in humans were/are social justice activists. Evolutionary explanations for human behavior challenge their a priori commitment to “Blank Slate” psychology—the belief that male and female brains in humans start out identical and that Read More ›

Evolutionary psychology: The cat among the pigeons!

Confession: Some of us never took evolutionary psychology (a discipline whose subject died a very long time ago but allegedly lives on in all of us) seriously enough to wonder if it could actually create controversies in psychology. Apparently so: In terms of the political bias among social psychologists, Buss and von Hippel found that 95 per cent were mostly liberal and left-wing in their views (also, among the US respondents, only 4 had voted Republican in the prior Presidential election while 305 had voted Democrat). Quizzing the social psychologists on their views of evolutionary theory, Buss and von Hippel found that they overwhelmingly accepted the principles of Darwinian evolution and also that it applied to humans, but when it came Read More ›

Nature’s war on sex

From Nature’s editors: “A move to classify people on the basis of anatomy or genetics” should be abandoned. According to a draft memo leaked to The New York Times, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposes to establish a legal definition of whether someone is male or female based solely and immutably on the genitals they are born with. Genetic testing, it says, could be used to resolve any ambiguity about external appearance. The move would make it easier for institutions receiving federal funds, such as universities and health programmes, to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity. The memo claims that processes for deciding the sex on a birth certificate will be “clear, grounded Read More ›

Who knew that Bret Weinstein would be a bigger Darwinist than Richard Dawkins?

Not Paul Nelson, if you go by his account of the discussion between Weinstein, the biology prof driven by “woke” students from Evergreen State University and iconic Darwinist Richard Dawkins: I witnessed something last week that I never thought I’d see. Richard Dawkins, pressed to affirm the explanatory power of Darwinian reasoning for human life, backed off, expressing great caution. In fact, he said that talking about human behavior in Darwinian terms was “not helpful” and “not Darwinian.” Pressing Dawkins was evolutionary biologist (and atheist) Bret Weinstein, who, as the evening progressed, out-Darwined Dawkins — if I may coin a neologism — on several fronts. Dawkins, come to discover, turns out to be a rather reluctant Darwinian, at least where Read More ›

The failed search for an evolutionary morality

Richard Weikart, author of The Death of Humanity And the Case for Life, reviews James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky’s new book, Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality There are many scientific problems with this project. Hunter and Nedelisky, however, only rarely point out the empirical difficulties. (They do point out the problems with Paul Zak’s claims about a “moral molecule.”) This is likely for the sake of argument. However, their critique would have been stronger if they had asked more questions about the scientific evidence. Instead, for the most part they accept the descriptive claims. However, they still point out a glaring problem. Many of these “moral scientists” overreach by making prescriptive claims. Read More ›

WSJ publishes Laszlo Bencze’s thoughts on evo psych and who pays on the first date

Readers may remember photographer Laszlo Bencze’s reflections here at UD on why men pay on the first date (or don’t) when we first posted his letter to us here (September 5, 2018). He also sent the letter to the Wall Street Journal, which — we are told — posted it on September 16. You must buy a subscription to see it there, plus you will probably hear from them for the rest of your life. Here at UD you can just read and comment, and occasionally hit the Donation button. Over at Evolution News & Science Today, they enjoy a slow roast of evolutionary psychology now and then too, as this item shows: A letter to the Journal from Laslo Bencze of Read More ›

If a conventional evolutionary psychology claim is true, masculinity is “in crisis”?

We just tried to pull a Darwinian out of the way of the southbound freight called Progress when here it is rumbling back into town again: This week’s peer-reviewed portrayal of fragile masculinity comes to you from the journal Science Advances, which recently published a depressing new study about online dating. Researchers looked at nearly 200,000 heterosexual users and found that while men’s sexual desirability peaks at age 50, women hit their prime at 18. And then it’s all downhill from there apparently. Can I just remind you that 18-year-olds are teenagers, and so this study is basically saying that straight men don’t find women attractive; they like girls. While these studies may focus on sexual relations, they’re yet another Read More ›

Darwinian risks all, takes aim at gender theory

Look, as Barry Arrington noted recently, you can’t even publish research today that suggests that some teen girls believe they are boys mainly because of teen groupthink even though such a conclusion must be obvious to anyone who has spent time with teens. Now, a Darwinian has blundered in front of the overloaded freight train of Non-Binary Progress: A sturdy defender of Darwinian evolution, he was drawn into a discussion of gender studies a couple of years ago. In interviews he argued that gender ideology is incompatible with biological facts and theories. After severe criticism from feminists and gender theorists, he published a controversial book in 2016: Das Gender-Paradoxon. Mann und Frau als evolvierte Menschentypen (The Gender-Paradox. Man and Women as Read More ›

Mortarboard mob “disappears” respected mathematician

He and Gunter Bechly should talk. Recently, Barry Arrington noted the story out of Brown University, where a paper got “disappeared” for making the point — that would seem so obvious to anyone who spends much time with teen girls as to hardly merit a paper — that sexual attitudes can be contagious. Ted Hill is discovering what it is like to be Gunter Bechly (driven from his post and “disappeared” from Wikipedia). In Bechly’s case, it came about because, a former Dawkins fan, he saw that there is evidence for design in nature. In Hill’s case, he was not just marketing eye candy about why men pay on the first date (or don’t) or promoting anti-Semitism (fashionable once again). Read More ›

Evolutionary psychology explains why men pay on the first date. And don’t.

Explains everything and its opposite! Our philosopher and photographer friend Laszlo Bencze writes to apprise us of “the definitive explanation” of why men want to pay on a first date: “There is an evolutionary reason for this, says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. ‘Women want to know if a man will spend his resources on her,’ she says. ‘For millions of years they needed a partner to provide for their young, and they keep looking for that signal.’” Elizabeth Bernstein, “Who Pays on a Date? That’s Still a Complicated Question” at Wall Street Journal Okay, but on the other hand, as Bencze observes, evolution could also explain the Read More ›