Category Archive: Evolutionary Psychology

Sep 18 2013

Why is it always the berries?

I presume this essay about how women make better programmers was intended as satire…but it fell flat for me. I am so tired of this cartoon version of human evolutionary history that emphasizes the dichotomized roles of men and women, built entirely on grossly oversimplified views about our ancestor’s lives and contrived to reinforce stereotypes. …

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Sep 01 2013

Jerry Coyne gets everything wrong, again

I wish I knew what it was about the appeal of evolutionary psychology that makes otherwise intelligent people promote outright silliness in its defense, but here comes Jerry Coyne again in a poorly thought-out piece. He disagrees with the anti-EP piece I linked to yesterday, which is fine, but I expect better arguments than this. …

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Aug 31 2013

Finally! An evolutionary explanation for evolutionary psychology

It’s simple, really. Evolutionary psychology evolved to provide a niche for the evolutionary psychology douchebag. And that article further provides a niche for all the evolutionary psychology douchebags who are nesting in the comments, oblivious to how tired their songs are.

Aug 17 2013

Never trust a science article with lists

They’re everywhere. I hate them. There are entire networks dedicated to creating goddamned lists, trusting in the human compulsion to go through each entry in the list…which are usually on separate pages, with separate ads, all calculated to increase advertising clicks. And at the end, they’ll present you with a list of more lists, with …

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Jul 31 2013

The anthropological perspective

Evolutionary psychologists are quite able to point to a few papers that are credible, interesting, and do the kind of comparative work that puts them in realm of doing real evolutionary science…but they always seem to be not evolutionary psychology, but more firmly grounded in ecological genetics or anthropology. I know! We should listen to …

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Jul 29 2013

A classic example of an evolutionary psychologist unable to read

My experience has been that the only way evolutionary psychologists know how to deal with criticism is by flagrant denial. Recently, I discussed some remarks by PZ Myers, who might be called – though I’m sure he would object – a creationist of the mind. (This term isn’t original with me. Anyone know who coined …

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Jul 28 2013

Tackling Pinker’s defense of evolutionary psychology

I previously addressed the criticisms of my criticisms of evolutionary psychology by Jerry Coyne; Now I turn to the criticisms of my criticisms he solicited from Steven Pinker. This is getting a bit convoluted, so let me first state the basics. I dislike evolutionary psychology. Pinker is an advocate for evolutionary psychology. What brought on …

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Jul 15 2013

When in doubt, just question the motives of evolutionary psychology critics

I have disturbed and distressed Jerry Coyne, because I have dissed the entire field of evolutionary psychology. I find this very peculiar, because in my field, Jerry Coyne has a reputation for dissing all of evo devo, so it can’t possibly be that we’re supposed to automatically respect every broad scientific endeavor. There has to …

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Mar 01 2013

We are the WEIRD


Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic, that is. One of the common complaints about evolutionary psychology is that it claims to be addressing evolved human universals, but when you look at the data sets, they are almost always drawn from the same tiny pool of outliers, Western undergraduate students enrolled in psychology programs, and excessively …

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Feb 11 2013

Kate Clancy tackles Evolutionary Psychology

It is a very good and measured response that highlights the flaws in bad evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology, the study of human psychological adaptations, does not have a popular or scientific reputation for being rigorous, even though there are rigorous, thoughtful scientists in the field. The field is trying to take on an incredibly challenging …

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