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Fred Reed on “Domain Bloat”

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The greatest intellectual divide is not between those who believe one thing and those who believe another, but between those who have an emotional need to believe something fervently and those who can say, “I don´t know.”

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Next, consider evolutionary psychologists. They believe that our behavior is determined by adaptations selected for tens of thousands of years ago. Yes, no, and maybe. A lot of our behavior is clearly biological in nature, which is not quite the same as evolutionary (note the discovery by adolescent boys that girls are not as yucky as they had previously supposed). Yet a lot of behavior isn´t explainable in evolutionary terms.

Examples abound: what is the reprocuctive value of suicide, masochism, sadism, schizophrenia, and so on.? Should these not be filtered from the gene pool? A Neanderthal who thought that the CIA put transmitters in his teeth and tried to shake hands with Kodiak bears might limit his reproductive opportunities.

Again, the problem is Domain Bloat, insisting thet one´s theory explain what it can explain but also what it can´t.

The theory of “evolutionary psychology,” which assumes that human emotions are rooted in our supposed animal ancestry is becoming the shaky foundation of modern psychology and psychiatry. The truth is, any effort to find happiness that is based on a theory that ignores the role of our Creator cannot be valid and will ultimately lead to disappointment. An ancient prophet said: “The wise ones have become ashamed. . . . Look! They have rejected the very word of Jehovah, and what wisdom do they have?”—Jeremiah 8:9. “The premise of evolutionary psychology is simple,” says evolutionist Robert Wright. “The human mind, like any other organ, was designed for the purpose of transmitting genes to the next generation; the feelings and thoughts it creates are best understood in these terms.” In other words, our whole purpose in life, as dictated by our genes and reflected in the workings of our mind, is to breed. Indeed, “much of human nature,” according to evolutionary psychology, “boils down to ruthless genetic self-interest.” The book The Moral Animal says: “Natural selection ‘wants’ men to have sex with an endless series of women.” According to this evolutionary concept, under certain circumstances immorality for women is also seen as natural. Even parental love is seen as a gene-inspired ploy to ensure the survival of offspring. Thus, one view emphasizes the importance of genetic legacy in making sure that the human family is perpetuated. Some self-help books now ride on the new wave of evolutionary psychology. One of them describes human nature as “not very different from chimpanzee nature, gorilla nature, or baboon nature.” It also states: “When it comes to evolution, . . . it’s reproduction that counts.” Yet, the fact is, humans are brimming with unique traits that do not fit the animal mold. Among these are love, conscience, morality, spirituality, justice, mercy, humor, creativity, awareness of time, self-awareness, aesthetic appreciation, concern for the future, the ability to accumulate knowledge over generations, and the hope that death is not the ultimate end of our existence. Barb
Reed has a genius for clarity. Less skilled evaluators of evo psych would say that it is an ex post facto attempt to explain - explicitly via Darwinian selfish gene theory, not just "evolution" - whatever catchbasin of human circumstances presents itself. The notion that suicide occurs because it is somehow reproductively fit is nonsense - probably tax-funded and often tenured nonsense. News

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