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Nobel Prize-winning physicist provides useful talking point against evo psych

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The next time someone makes a completely absurd claim based on evolutionary psychology, quote this guy:

Philip W. Anderson wrote that:

The behavior of large and complex aggregates of elementary particles, it turns out, is not to be understood in terms of a simple extrapolation of the properties of a few particles. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research which I think is as fundamental in its nature as any other. . . . At each stage entirely new laws, concepts, and generalizations are necessary, requiring inspiration and creativity to just as great a degree as in the previous one. Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry. – “More Is Different,” Science, 1972, 177: 393-396; p. 393.

Most evo psych is transparently and patently nonsense anyway, but were it otherwise, psychology is just not reducible to biology.

(Quoted in From James Barham, “Seeing Past Darwin V: Life and Emergence,” The Best Schools, June 12, 2012)

2 Replies to “Nobel Prize-winning physicist provides useful talking point against evo psych

  1. 1
    Jon Garvey says:

    And religion is not applied psychology.

  2. 2
    Gregory says:

    And Barham is a philosophical emergentist, who’s personally not (yet) accepted any ultimate Source for the original-creativity of emergence.

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