Says some evo psych prof:
Of course, for absolute proof that dreams are a linchpin of reproductive fitness we must show enhanced fertility in those who dream more. The experiment would be massive, requiring we correlate variations in fertility rates across large numbers of dreamers from many different cultures to eliminate competing explanations. That study has begun, with help from dreamboard.com, an app that aims to help users record and understand their dreams and contains more than 200,000 dreams from people all over the world. Several thousand dreams are added to the site every couple of weeks.
There was a time when “science” expected its practitioners to actually do the experiment first and also to not use only a self-selected population of true believers.
Stories like this rely, among other things, on a reader group that knows the Darwinian terms of art like “reproductive fitness.” And not much else.
Us rubes and yokels would just ask, is he saying that people who dream more have more kids?
It’s hard to see how it could possibly be demonstrated, but one thing’s for sure: People who have lots of kids don’t have much time to sleep. So maybe they dream while making lunches and folding laundry when half asleep? Figures.
What’s encouraging is that the very first comment is “Wow – combining the worst of pseudoscience – Freudianism, Evolutionary Psychology, and schlock neuroscience – all in one non-falsifiable meta-theory … ”It is met by a predictable “yer just promoting a religion” response when an apparent third party comes in saying
… what he means is that evolutionary-psych speculation like the above article is schlock science because all it amounts to in this here (and in many but not all cases) is an untestable just-so story, and an implausible one at that. Not every aspect of human existence – cultural or biological – has a selection-enhancing effect.
Yes, exactly. That’s just what all critics of evo psych have been saying, ever since evo pscyh replaced that high-priced shrink with the German accent with Ooga! Ooga! shrieking in the trees.
The shrink was better art, among other things. One of the less tacky aspects of popular culture.
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