From Richard Weikart at ENST:
Even in cases of behaviors that seem to hinder reproduction, evolutionary psychologists can invent some good-old “just-so story.” E.O. Wilson, a Harvard biologist and the founder of sociobiology, claimed that homosexuality might be selected for, because a homosexual would be able to help siblings have more offspring. Is there any empirical evidence for this? No, but apparently it is the best just-so story he could devise.
In a similar fashion Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker asserts that infanticide has biological roots. He claims that ancient humans were picky about which babies they would raise to maturity. According to Pinker, “A new mother will first coolly assess the infant and her current situation and only in the next few days begin to see it as a unique and wonderful individual. Her love will gradually deepen in ensuing years, in a trajectory that tracks the increasing biological value of a child (the chance that it will live to produce grandchildren) as the child proceeds through the mine field of early development.” Pinker does not provide a stitch of evidence for this assertion, which runs contrary to everything I have ever heard from mothers.
It’s true that mothers in desperate circumstances must sometimes make harsh choices but they do not “coolly assess” so much as they protect themselves from total loss and unsustainable grief.
Recently the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science published an article by Edward Dutton, a religious studies scholar, entitled “Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Is the Most Plausible Hypothesis.” Dutton’s article supports the hypothesis of the anti-Semitic evolutionary psychologist Kevin MacDonald, who claims that Jews have biologically ingrained behaviors (think of all the negative anti-Semitic stereotypes here) that help them out-compete other races. More.
In short, because evolutionary psychology is a discipline without a subject (not-quite-humans don’t exist and maybe never have), it is prone to merely mirroring whatever popular culture endorses and providing an “evolutionary” explanation. Anti-Semites, newly popular on the left, may as well give it a try, right?
See also: Evolutionary psychology: A promising new strategy for anti-Semites?
“Intersectionality” and anti-Semitism: But one thing Dershowitz and everyone else can take home: Big Science today is cowardly and is simply letting the war on evidence and reality run the show, as long as boffins keep their jobs.
Richard Weikart: Why social science does not need evolutionary theory
“The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”
3 Replies to “Richard Weikart on the anti-Semitic burst in evolutionary psychology”
Jews have biologically ingrained behaviors … that help them out-compete other races.
Doesn’t that just show that Jews are the evolutionary superior race? Hitler must be rolling in his grave.
“A new mother will first coolly assess the infant and her current situation and only in the next few days begin to see it as a unique and wonderful individual.”
Yes. Many “primitive” societies “coolly assess” each new infant. And many infants are allowed to die because the baby was born at the wrong time or was a girl who didn’t already have an older brother, etc.
On the other hand, Western “humanitarian” relief efforts for the 40 million people starving in Somalia back in the ’70s have succeeded so well that we now have 80 million starving Somalis. So which part exactly was “humanitarian”?
The recent and growing antisemitism displayed in academia, and by the left in general, is bewildering,,,
,,,, Presumably, the left is all for helping persecuted minorities, yet when it comes to Israel, (a nation born out of the ashes of the holocaust), the left has become a cheerleader for those who refuse to live in peaceful coexistence with Israel. Indeed, terrorists who seek to kill Israeli citizens are labeled victims whilst Israel defending itself from annihilation from those supposed ‘victims’ is labeled as an oppressor.
Might I suggest that the left’s misguided animus against Israel, even against the existence of Israel itself, is, to put it mildly, unwise?
The present day existence of Israel is rightly considered to be a miracle.,,, A stunning confirmation of numerous biblical prophecies that predicted exactly that.
Perhaps the left can find better things to do than trying to thwart the will of God concerning Israel?