Evolutionary psychology Intelligent Design

Evolutionary psychology explains why men pay on the first date. And don’t.

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Wine Glass Vector Explains everything and its opposite!

Our philosopher and photographer friend Laszlo Bencze writes to apprise us of “the definitive explanation” of why men want to pay on a first date:

“There is an evolutionary reason for this, says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. ‘Women want to know if a man will spend his resources on her,’ she says. ‘For millions of years they needed a partner to provide for their young, and they keep looking for that signal.’”
Elizabeth Bernstein, “Who Pays on a Date? That’s Still a Complicated Question” at Wall Street Journal

Okay, but on the other hand, as Bencze observes, evolution could also explain the opposite: If the man doesn’t pay there’s an evolutionary reason for that, too: he’s conserving his resources until he has established the worth of the woman as a child bearer. If, as a result of this, the woman shoots the man, then the evolutionary reason is obvious: she thereby decimates the male population of deadbeats and via group selection improves the lives of all women.

As he says, “Evolution is so very wonderful. There’s simply nothing that it cannot explain. “

Seriously, why does the nonsense persist? Legacy media survived the tsunami of the internet and they are living in the flotsam and jetsam that have washed up around them, unable to move beyond it.

See also: Darwinian conniptions over domestic violence

The recent anti-Semitic outburst in evolutionary psychology

“The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”

Can sex explain evolution?

7 Replies to “Evolutionary psychology explains why men pay on the first date. And don’t.

  1. 1
    Barry Arrington says:

    News asks:

    “Seriously, why does the nonsense persist?”

    Just spitballing here. Perhaps it is motivated by the same impulse that propeled the Gnostics. There is a sort of thrill associated with holding secret esoteric knowledge. Even if the “knowledge” really isn’t. The Gnostic gospels quickly wither under scrutiny. Evolutionary psychology’s just so stories are the same.

    But both still capture the imagination of a certain type of mind — the mind that says “I’ve uncovered a secret, and that makes me smarter than you.”

    Still, a theory that explains genocide and selfless altruism with equal alacrity is a bit much and one wonders why anyone takes it seriously.

  2. 2
    daveS says:

    Hm. It seems to me that the just-so story presented by Fisher is at least plausible, where the one Bencze relates is much less so.

    If I were trying to investigate an “evolutionary” explanation for this phenomenon, I might look at examples such as the bowerbird. The male builds an elaborate structure (form depending on species) as part of his courtship. I believe there are other examples of animals where the male metaphorically “pays for the first date”, and perhaps it’s less common for the female to do so (but I’m not certain). If so, the question becomes, why this asymmetry?

    And in any case, why do male bower birds build bowers?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Science has a place for imagination. It is the forming of a hypothesis so as to explain why something acts the way it does. Yet, science also has a very effective tool for constraining unrestrained imagination. And that very effective tool is empirical testing against the real world.

    As Richard Feynman stated:

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    In Darwinian evolution I have found that this check and balance between imagination and empirical evidence is missing.

    In fact, empirical evidence, such as the following fact, is often completely ignored,

    “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations”
    (James Shapiro, molecular biologist, National Review, Sept. 16, 1996).

    Moreover, more often than not, in Darwinian evolution unrestrained imagination has somehow, in the minds of Darwinists, become the confirming empirical evidence for the theory.

    As Stephen Jay Gould himself noted, “When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    Mull over Gould’s statement for a few seconds “Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.”

    Simply incredible!

    Darwinian evolution has basically, with its heavy reliance on imaginary just so stories, short circuited the entire scientific method.

    This heavily reliance on unrestrained imagination, and forsaking of a rigid check from empirical evidence, is what makes Darwinian evolution, (along with other reasons), an unfalsifiable pseudoscience instead of a real science.

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    Here are a few more notes on the propensity of Darwinists to spin unrestrained imaginary tales:

    “… another common misuse of evolutionary ideas: namely, the idea that some trait must have evolved merely because we can imagine a scenario under which possession of that trait would have been advantageous to fitness… Such forays into evolutionary explanation amount ultimately to storytelling… it is not enough to construct a story about how the trait might have evolved in response to a given selection pressure; rather, one must provide some sort of evidence that it really did so evolve. This is a very tall order.…”
    — Austin L. Hughes, The Folly of Scientism – The New Atlantis, Fall 2012
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-scientism

    Evolutionary Just-So Stories – March 22, 2011
    https://www.wayoflife.org/database/evolutionary_just_so_stories.html

    This Darwinian trait of imagination, unconstained by empirical evidence, is not only limited to their “just-so” story telling but also bleeds through to infect their entire worldview.

    Although a Darwinist may firmly believe he is on the terra firma of science, the fact of the matter is that he is adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft).
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Paper with references for each claim page; Page 37:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pAYmZpUWFEi3hu45FbQZEvGKsZ9GULzh8KM0CpqdePk/edit

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Of supplemental note to men being eager to pay (or not) on the first date for the meal:

    Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – Aug 29, 2005 – PHILIP SKELL
    Excerpt: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.
    https://www.the-scientist.com/opinion-old/why-do-we-invoke-darwin-48438

  4. 4
    News says:

    daveS, Fisher’s just-so story is plausible but so is the other one. Animal behaviour is a POOR model because the animal isn’t choosing among strategies. A human being does.

    To avoid sexism, we could recast the whole story from the woman’s point of view and at some point, I will.

  5. 5
    News says:

    Barry Arrington at 1, It may not even be related only to sex. If a woman wants face time with a coworker to discuss whether the new traffic manager is, on the whole, working out, she might invite her coworker to coffee or lunch. She is “buying” offsite face time.

    Most women are – with good reason – more cautious about sexually charged situations than most men. So it comes down to the guy to break the ice by suggesting, oh, that they see the movie a coworker was raving about over coffee at work… And, as according to custom, he pays… If they get really close, money becomes more of a negotiation.

  6. 6
    daveS says:

    News,

    Animal behaviour is a POOR model because the animal isn’t choosing among strategies. A human being does.

    I’m not convinced there is a clear distinction. It’s been a long time since I have been on a first date, but mostly I recall being concerned with living up to the woman’s expectations and not messing up horribly. At that time, men were clearly expected to pay for the first date. I wasn’t really consciously choosing from a set of strategies, but simply trying to conform to my culture (which possibly has roots in our evolutionary past).

    There are other complexities, such as power, and I do agree that we shouldn’t expect animal behavior to model human behavior closely in all respects. For that reason, I’m not very confident in Fisher’s story.

    We could set aside humans, and simply ask why male bowerbirds build bowers. Could that have an “evolutionary” explanation? [Obviously this would be drifting away from human psychology.]

  7. 7
    R J Sawyer says:

    Social behaviors “evolve” over time. There may be an evolutionary grounding for some basic behaviors but I don’t see how we could test this.

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