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Extending Darwin’s revolution to oblivion…?


Further to Jonathan Marks on why “evolutionary” “psychology” is neither (Marks: And finally, I can’t shake the feeling that the methodologies I have encountered in evolutionary psychology would not meet the standards of any other science.):

Also from the Evolution Institute,

Historians will look back upon the 21st century as a time when the theory of evolution, confined largely to the biological sciences during the 20th century, expanded to include all human-related knowledge. As we approach the 1/6th mark of the 21st century, this intellectual revolution is already in full swing. A sizeable community of scientists, scholars, journalists, and their readers has become fully comfortable with the statement “Nothing about X makes sense except in the light of evolution”, where X can equal anthropology, art, culture, economics, history, politics, psychology, religion, and sociology, in addition to biology.

Written by chair David Sloan Wilson,  (SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and Arne Næss Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo).

Wilson mayn’t  have noticed that, generally speaking, things that explain everything explain nothing and are more typically associated with pseudoscience and oppressive totalitarian movements than with science.

Never mind that right now, there is so much agitation against the current key theory of evolution, Darwinism, coming from within the discipline, that the evolution prof’s most obvious problem is as follows: Evolution happens. Lots of ways. Everything evolves. And sometimes devolves or re-evolves.

But so what? Heraclitus said that two and a half millennia ago.

It’s not a discipline, just an observation.

It was a discipline back when people’s careers could be wrecked for minor deviations from Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation generates huge levels of information, not noise).

Wilson again:

Still, it might well take the rest of the century for the rest of the world to see the light and many Americans will be left behind. The Evolution Institute exists to make that day come sooner rather than later with its projects and communication outlets: This View of Life, the Social Evolution Forum, and Evonomics. Now, with the help of Eric Michael Johnson, we have taken a giant step forward by making the Social Evolution Forum a single location for some of the brightest evolutionary thinkers on the internet.

That would mean the Institute should feature the The Paradigm Shifters: Overthrowing “the Hegemony of the Culture of Darwin,” and we’ll look forward to hearing more from them.

It is best to get one’s bearings before trying to take over the world.

Another friend, observing Wilson’s remarks, wrote to say,

This statement ignores the social Darwinist movement in the later part of the 19th and first-half of the 20th century, which gave us World War I and II, and eugenics. How soon we forget.

Yes, but we aren’t supposed to talk about it, are we?  We are supposed to forget. When the world sees “the light,” as above, they probably won’t matter.

See also: Human evolution, the skinny


The human mind, the skinny

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