Even in the study of the emotions:
A reader lobs this in:
Abstract: Recent quantitative studies have advanced emotions research substantially, but they have done little to resolve enduring large-scale controversies. This article suggests that tacit creationism is at the root of the problem. Envisioning emotions as aspects of a designed machine encourages searching for answers of a kind that do not exist. The quest for the Holy Grail of agreement on the number, nature, and functions of emotions is futile because the emotions are aspects of organically complex systems whose structures and functions are radically different from those of machines. A fully evolutionary foundation for emotions research discourages hopes for simple elegant models but it can nonetheless advance research by dispelling misconceptions and suggesting new questions.Randolph M. Nesse, “Tacit Creationism in Emotion Research” at The Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University
From the paper:
This article argues that progress in emotions research has been slowed by tacit creationism. By tacit creationism I mean viewing organisms as if they are products of design, without attributing the design to a deity. Few scientists attribute the characteristics of organisms to a supernatural power, but many nonetheless view organisms as if they were designed machines. Organisms are, however, different from machines in several crucial ways.Randolph M. Nesse, “Tacit Creationism in Emotion Research” at The Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University
Thinking about emotions as if they were products of design encourages searching for a specific number of emotions with distinct boundaries and specific functions, as if they were parts of a machine. However, because emotions are products of natural selection, we should instead expect many states with indistinct boundaries and multiple functions. The desire for a simple taxonomy of emotions is deep, but such proposals necessarily provide a false sharpening that distorts our view. The system is not only more complex than we would like it to be, it is organically complex in ways that make it difficult to describe.Randolph M. Nesse, “Tacit Creationism in Emotion Research” at The Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University
Thinking about bodies and minds as designed machines is natural, but it reflects a tacit creationism that fosters major misconceptions that obstruct progress in emotions research. These misconceptions are not universal among emotions researchers, and they are fading as evolutionary perspectives are coming to be accepted as essential. However, embracing a fully evolutionary view of emotions will not be fast or easy. We especially love science when it provides simple generalizations that explain otherwise complex phenomena, for instance, the laws of gravity. Simple principles can make prediction and control possible. Discovering an underlying simple reality can also arouse pleasure and awe. Confronting the organically complex reality of biological systems can arouse very different responses. One that has been prevalent in emotions research is to persist in trying to describe the system as if it were a simple product of design. The result is frustration and controversy as different schemas compete without a clear way to adjudicate their claims. The other response is to acknowledge that organically complex systems do not have the kinds of simple structures and functions we crave. This arouses disappointment (Nesse, 2014). However, it also can relieve the frustration of looking for what does not exist, and it can open up opportunities to ask new questions with new kinds of answers.Randolph M. Nesse, “Tacit Creationism in Emotion Research” at The Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University
Most likely, “emotions research” is nonsense. But tying it to Darwinism means that its practitioners can hammer down hard on that lectern even if they are not making sense to the people whose emotions they are supposed to be describing. It’s all those people’s fault for being “creationists.”
Further reading: Philosopher flattens evolutionary psychology. There is no such thing as a fossil mind. Rejecting evolutionary psychology means realizing that we cannot both claim to represent “Science!” and refuse to be bound by its standards.
Fatherhood is not “subpersonal” Human fathers care (but gorillas don’t) because fatherhood depends on explicitly human ideas. Why do men see themselves as “fathers” but male gorillas don’t? Proposed answers from evolutionary psychology are hopelessly inadequate.
Does COVID-19 lead women to cheat? The “subpersonal” approach to human psychology is popular but is it valid? It’s an open question whether the mind evolved at all and therefore whether evolutionary psychology is any help in understanding it.