Evolutionary psychology Intelligent Design

Well, this is good news for criminal defense lawyers: Psychopathy is an “evolutionary adaptation”

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It might seem obvious that psychopathy is harmful. But there is some reason to believe psychopathy, at least in moderation, might be a reasonable evolutionary adaptation. To evaluate whether something is a mental disorder, it helps to understand what causes disorders in the first place. A recent study explored whether psychopathy is associated with physical telltale signs such as handedness. The results were not conclusive, but they do add to a growing body of research supporting the possibility that psychopathy is not a mental disorder.

Elizabeth Gilbert, “How psychopathy might be an evolutionary adaptation” at BigThink (May 3, 2022)

With respect, Your Honour, Counsel for the Prosecution rests.

The paper is open access.

6 Replies to “Well, this is good news for criminal defense lawyers: Psychopathy is an “evolutionary adaptation”

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Nietzsche would agree, and most “Darwinists” are really Nietzscheans. For them, evolution means one Ubermensch kills everything else and stands alone as the sole occupant of the universe. (And the Ubermensch in question must be ME.)

    If evolution means survival of the species, then the existence of psychopaths is the ultimate failure of both design and evolution. A creature with a BURNING IMPLACABLE NEED to destroy the universe does not contribute to the fitness of any part of the universe.

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    It might seem obvious that psychopathy is harmful. But there is some reason to believe psychopathy, at least in moderation, might be a reasonable evolutionary adaptation.

    This is just one of those many things where evolution destroys the credibility of science.
    She says it’s “obvious” that being a psychopath is harmful. But what is obvious, common-sense is overturned by evolution. What it equates to is “being insane it a good thing” – if there could be anything good or bad in evolution. It would have to be that. Evolution created it and preserved it, so psychopaths are “reasonable evolutionary adaptations” – why should we try to correct, punish or heal them?

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    “if there could be anything good or bad in evolution”

    SA,

    Yes, I wonder what “reasonable” means in the context of Evolution. “Reason” doesn’t exist in the world of mindless mechanics.

    Andrew

  4. 4
    Fasteddious says:

    I have read in various places that many CEO’s are essentially domesticated psychopaths; i.e. their psychopathic tendencies have been moulded into leadership qualities that make companies thrive, while making the CEO rich and famous as he applies his psychopathic traits in the company’s interests. This would seem to make psychopathy a “good” trait in some appropriate contexts. All tribal groups needs a solid, powerful leader. The good ones know how to use their personal desires and lusts to get what they want by making their tribe better than others and thus staying in power.

  5. 5
    Belfast says:

    John Horgan wrote, “ At its best, physics is the most potent and precise of all scientific fields, and yet it surpasses even psychology in its capacity for bullshit.”
    The interesting feature is that Horgan took Psychology as the standard to be used when making comparisons.

  6. 6
    marker says:

    Fasteddious,

    Have you actually seen a good leader in action? A CEO in action? If not, don’t just guess or rely on second-hand comments.

    I know a CEO who had the willpower, the self-discipline and a willingness to sacrifice. He learned this not at some University but through his own efforts. He learned how to make good decisions and rarely made bad ones. He learned how to deal with problems quickly and effectively, and much faster than those around him. He learned humility for the betterment of himself and those around him.

    I was a business consultant and I saw how otherwise good businesses could be poorly managed and then disappear. I saw the same mistakes repeated over and over. A good business leader/CEO knows how to find out what he needs to know to run his business effectively and to recognize opportunities. Not all business owners are subdued psychopaths. Some are placid, I hope I get what I want types. They are not go-getters.

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