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David P. Barash

At Mind Matters News: Evolutionary psychologist argues that worms feel pain. But how?

Wait. Barash’s hypothesis overlooks the fact that suffering is more than an alarm system. An alarm could be going off in an empty building. If some invertebrates show much more self-awareness than expected, it hardly follows that all do. We risk impeding humane reforms if we cast the net too widely. Read More ›

Evolutionary psychologist slams the fine-tuning of the universe

“Claims that the Universe is designed for humans raise far more troubling questions than they can possibly answer,” says evolutionary psychologist David P. Barash: Welcome to the ‘anthropic principle’, a kind of Goldilocks phenomenon or ‘intelligent design’ for the whole Universe. It’s easy to describe, but difficult to categorise: it might be a scientific question, a philosophical concept, a religious argument – or some combination. The anthropic principle holds that if such phenomena as the gravitational constant, the exact electric charge on the proton, the mass of electrons and neutrons, and a number of other deep characteristics of the Universe differed at all, human life would be impossible. According to its proponents, the Universe is fine-tuned for human life. This Read More ›