Evolutionary psychology News

Robert Trivers, the evolutionary psychologist who wants to fix us, admits that he has been “remarkably unsuccessful” at avoiding self-deception

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In “Evolutionary Guru Deceives Himself” (October 12, 2011)n Creation-Evolution Headlines reported on Robert Trivers, the evolutionary psychologist who wants to fix you but really doesn’t have a good reason why:

An evolutionary psychologist explained the origin of lying, then admitted he is self-deceived.

The irony of the situation was apparently lost on Graham Lawton, reporter for New Scientist, who interviewed evolutionary psychologist Robert Trivers about the evolution of self-deception. It’s intuitive that both parties must speak honestly to discuss such a subject, or else one or both could be deceiving the other. Trivers undercut his own credibility in two ways. First, he ascribed deception as a pervasive trait in the living world, something that evolved to increase the number of offspring. Second, he said this at the end of the interview:

Are you a self-deceiver?

I end the book with a chapter on fighting our own self-deception. I’ve been remarkably unsuccessful in my own case. I just repeat the same kinds of mistakes over and over.

Which raises a number of issues. Is he deceiving himself and/or us when he says that? If he can’t use his ideas to fix himself, why should we pay any …

Predictably, as CEH notes, a pop science interviewer (and later a reviewer) did not notice these obvious warning flags.

Five Feet of Fury likes to say – and she is right – when people tell you who they are, believe them.

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