Evolutionary psychology Intelligent Design

Latest fun from evo psych: Does COVID-19 lead women to cheat?

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The “subpersonal” approach to human psychology is ridiculous:

While Dr. Graff claims that some studies back his assertion, it sounds so off-base that one can only suspect that a poorly supported psychology underlies such thinking.

Women’s experience of motherhood is, obviously, different from men’s experience of fatherhood. For one thing, it is not remote. If you are a mother, you know you are one. The mother may be planning to kill, abandon, sell, or raise the child. But she more or less knows what she is expecting, even if she does not understand how it came about.

Because she is a human being, she is also aware of something else: Children known to be the outcome of infidelity may have poorer survival prospects.

At the same time, there are many things she could know but maybe doesn’t, depending on her time and place. Maybe she does not know the germ theory of disease or immunity. Her culture may have some traditions of placating the forces of nature, some of which work better than others in checking disease — though, apart from science, a biology-based account of the events remains elusive.

In short, the things she knows and doesn’t know, have nothing to do with the evolutionary psychologist’s speculations about her innate drive to spread her selfish genes (a drive only speculated to exist). If she did engage in indiscriminate sexual behavior during a pandemic (itself a risky proposition for her), the cause might be more conventionally ascribed to underlying stress and anxiety in the face of an unfamiliar threat.

Denyse O’Leary, “Does COVID-19 lead women to cheat?” at Mind Matters News

As noted at the article, it’s an open question whether the mind evolved at all and therefore whether evolutionary psychology is any help in understanding it.


Further reading:

Philosopher flattens evolutionary psychology. There is no such thing as a fossil mind.

and

Philosopher: Consciousness is not a problem. Dualism is! Physicalist David Papineau says consciousness is just “brain processes that feel like something”

One Reply to “Latest fun from evo psych: Does COVID-19 lead women to cheat?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Of course the virus doesn’t do any of these things. It’s just a virus. But the lockdowns do.

    My former neighbor ran a photography studio, which was considered “non-essential” by Genocidist Inslee. After two months he was broke and depressed, so his girlfriend kicked out Mr NonEssential and immediately brought in Mr Essential. Money counts. Nothing else.

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