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Evolutionary psychology

Diversity: Maybe Google’s worst fears will come true – Updated 2 wow 2

Lots of people are now saying that the king is a fink*. A friend kindly offers some useful update links on the subject: Neuroscientist Debra Soh defends Damore. No surprise, she is also not a fan of the marchin’, marchin’ pussyhats for science and has warned about the danger of fad post-modern concepts like intersectionality invading science and just plain stompin’ down hard on fact. Updated: Breitbart News’ interview series, Rebels of Google, has revealed an atmosphere of profound fear at the company, in which employees who challenge Google’s hyper-progressive narratives face bullying and ostracization from co-workers, and frequently find themselves added to blacklists aimed at destroying peoples’ careers both inside and outside Google. Our last interviewee even described an Read More ›

A note on that fired Google engineer (a biology major)…

The one who got drowned in diversicrat social media politics. The story provides good illustration of the way in which traditional media today are not up to the job of newsgathering in a non-gatekeeper digital age and should not be trusted. From Bre Davis at the Federalist: Here Are All The Media Outlets Blatantly Lying About The Google Memo E.g.: 3.Time Magazine: The magazine that’s been slowly dying for nearly a decade published a writeup of the ordeal, calling the memo a “tirade” in their headline: “Google Has Fired the Employee Who Wrote an Anti-Diversity Tirade, Report Says”. To anyone who’s actually read the memo, it’s clear a “tirade” is the least accurate way to describe it. It’s calm, it’s rational, Read More ›

Fired Google engineer got his ideas from… evolutionary psychology

In a coherent system, that would be a dilemma. As progressives turn and rend each other with increasing ferocity—as a break from attacking others— we learn that the engineer who was fired from Google for authoring the anti-diversity memo was relying on the principles of evolutionary psychology. From Nitasha Tiku at Wired: The 10-page missive was posted on an internal discussion board and went viral inside, and outside, the company Friday and Saturday. The document cited purported principles of evolutionary psychology to argue that women make up only 20 percent of Google’s technical staff because they are more interested in people rather than ideas, which the author considers an obstacle to being a good engineer. The author, James Damore, said Read More ›

Evolutionary medicine: Insomnia in the elderly is due to evolution?

From ScienceDaily: They call their theory the “poorly sleeping grandparent hypothesis.” The basic idea is that, for much of human history, living and sleeping in mixed-age groups of people with different sleep habits helped our ancestors keep a watchful eye and make it through the night. “Any time you have a mixed-age group population, some go to bed early, some later,” Nunn said. “If you’re older you’re more of a morning lark. If you’re younger you’re more of a night owl.” The researchers hope the findings will shift our understanding of age-related sleep disorders. “A lot of older people go to doctors complaining that they wake up early and can’t get back to sleep,” Nunn said. “But maybe there’s nothing Read More ›

Are there “war genes”?

A comparatively sensible article from at the Genetic Literacy Project: Systemic rape used to go hand in hand with war as women, resources and lands were assimilated into the victors’ communities. The victorious men had more children, more land and more power. Some researchers have argued that this is proof of the ‘deep roots theory of war:’ Human males fight each other for reproductive advantage, proving that war is an evolutionary advantageous behavior. But this theory has been hard to prove. In fact, studies of human groups and other primates have added to the evidence both for and against the controversial idea that humans were made for war, evolutionarily speaking. A January 2015 study indicates that societies don’t actually benefit Read More ›

Well known psych study cannot be replicated

But by now, so what? Apart from political issues (gaining power by manipulating fake science claims), all this stuff would be so long discredited that it would only survive as a branch of the “Cultural Studies Department.”  Anyway,t his stuff: Over 30 years ago, Leonard Martin, Sabine Stepper, and I (Strack et al., 1988) conducted two studies to test the “facial feedback” hypothesis (Darwin, 1872). At the time, the hypothesis itself, namely that facial expressions may affect emotional experiences, was well established and frequently tested (e.g., Leventhal and Mace, 1970; Laird, 1974). However, the underlying mechanism remained largely unexplored. … The resulting “pen study” was meant neither to demonstrate a cute phenomenon nor to identify a powerful intervention to improve Read More ›

Relax after work with the Drunken Monkey Hypothesis

From Nick Hines at VinePair, on why we like to drink alcohol: The theory was originally put forth by Robert Dudley, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, in a 2000 article called “Evolutionary origins of human alcoholism in primate frugivory.” The hypothesis proposes that apes and early humans evolved to seek out ethyl alcohol because it led them to food. These early primates are known as frugivores, referring to their preference for fruit over any other food. But in order to locate that desirable fruit and those crucial calories, frugivores couldn’t just hit the local Whole Foods. They had to rely on their sense of smell. And one thing that routinely led them to fruit Read More ›

Yes, the new science of morality can ground moralities in science—all of them, in fact

Further to Barry Arrington: Can science ground morality?, looking at James Davison Hunter’s and Paul Nedelisky’s  Where the New Science of Morality Goes Wrong: Indeed, some believe that we are at the start of a new age, when the power of science will dispel myths surrounding morality and moral difference and establish a truly rational foundation for ethical truth.1 If so, this age will be based on a new moral synthesis that derives from the conceptual architecture of three main schools of Enlightenment thinking on this matter. The first is the psychologized sentimentalism of David Hume: the idea that the basis of moral judgment lies in human psychology, which can be studied empirically, like any other aspect of the physical Read More ›

Darwin’s wastebasket: The evolutionary purpose of suicidal behaviour

From Matthew Hutson at Nautilus: The second strategic model of suicidality is the bargaining model, which relies on the notion of “costly signaling.”6 A colorful example of costly signaling is the peacock. Managing a big, eye-catching tail is costly, in that it wastes energy and draws predators. But the fitter a peacock, the less costly a big tail, and so big tails have evolved to signal genetic fitness to peahens. They are attractive not despite their costliness but because of it. In addition to communicating fitness, costly signals can also communicate need. Consider baby birds. They don’t need to chirp for food if their mother is right there, and chirping attracts predators, making it costly. But the more hungry or Read More ›

Darwin’s wastebasket: “Evolutionary” explanation for female genital mutilation

From Nature Ecology and Evolution: Frequency-dependent female genital cutting behaviour confers evolutionary fitness benefits Female genital cutting (FGC) has immediate and long-term negative health consequences that are well-documented, and its elimination is a priority for policymakers. The persistence of this widespread practice also presents a puzzle for evolutionary anthropologists due to its potentially detrimental impact on survival and reproductive fitness. Using multilevel modelling on demographic health survey datasets from five West African countries, here we show that FGC behaviour is frequency-dependent; the probability that girls are cut varies in proportion to the FGC frequency found in their ethnic group. We also show that this frequency-dependent behaviour is adaptive in evolutionary fitness terms; in ethnic groups with high FGC frequency, women Read More ›

Ten tips for spotting a fake science news story

From Alex Berezow at American Council on Science and Health, including, 5) The article is sensationalized; i.e., it draws huge, sweeping conclusions from a single study. (This is particularly common in stories on scary chemicals and miracle vegetables.) … 9) The article is about evolutionary psychology. More. The “huge, sweeping conclusions” problem is especially scandalous in fields like nutrition, which is already a mess. And, as noted elsewhere, evolutionary psychology does not explain puzzling human behavior. It offers Darwinian explanations for conventional behavior, with no insight that exceeds the results of applying common sense. Evo psych is big in pop science media precisely because it’s so easy. Just call your town Bedrock, build a story about it on some recent evo Read More ›

New Scientist offers a psychological analysis of Trump’s election

It’s all about fear, see? From Dan Ariely and Vlad Chituc at New Scientist: It’s explained by the fact that, in a famous 1950s experiment, baby rhesus monkeys preferred a soft cloth with no nourishment to a wire that dispensed milk. In nature, emotions typically align with self-interest: most mother monkeys provide both comfort and milk. Emotions are how evolution motivates us to do what we need to survive. A newborn triggers love, so we nurture; a rustle at night triggers fear, so we run. … Earlier this week, the US joined the likes of Russia in electing somebody who knows the power of fear very well. Although many forces brought us here, it’s notable that Trump pawned the nation’s Read More ›

Fighting over wives: Darwinism fits human conflicts into mold, chops off what doesn’t fit

From Sal Perkins, describing indigenous Panamanian customs at MEL: I first heard about the fights at Mi Lucha from my fellow expats in Volcan. The legend they perpetuate is that these impromptu street-boxing matches between Ngäbe men are for each other’s wives. Specifically, the wife of the loser can go with the winner of the fight if she so chooses. It’s not obligatory, they swear, but she often does. It’s Darwinism in action, they argue: She chooses the winner because he’s proven to be a stronger mate who can likely provide for her better. “The great thing about living in Volcan is if you get tired of your wife, you can just go down to the bar and pick a Read More ›

“Evolution” programs women to have affairs?

From Ekin Karasin at Daily Mail: David Buss, Cari Goetz and their team told the Sunday Times: ‘Lifelong monogamy does not characterise the primary mating pattern of humans. ‘Breaking up with one partner and re-mating with another – mate switching – may more accurately characterise the common, perhaps the primary, mating strategy of humans.’ For our ancestors, disease, poor diet and poor medical care meant few lived past 30 – meaning experimenting to find the most suitable partner may have been key to survival. More. Reality check: These people aren’t “scientists”; they are evolutionary psychologists. Their discipline is without a live subject (a human who lived 100kya) so they are forever emptying Darwin’s wastebasket and trying to combine it with Read More ›

Evo psych: Watching porn for science

From Steven Hayward at Powerline: … this article actually appears in the current issue of Evolutionary Psychological Science: Duration of Cunnilingus Predicts Estimated Ejaculate Volume in Humans: a Content Analysis of Pornography Abstract Humans perform copulatory behaviors that do not contribute directly to reproduction (e.g., cunnilingus, prolonged copulation). We conducted a content analysis of pornography to investigate whether such behaviors might contribute indirectly to reproduction by influencing ejaculate volume—an indicator of ejaculate quality. We coded 100 professional pornography scenes depicting the same male actor copulating with 100 different females, affording control for between-male differences in estimated ejaculate volume. … (public access) Hayward: A few observations. First, it sounds like a fancy excuse for a bunch of pervs to watch a lot Read More ›