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Criticism of Ev Psych in the form of a dialogue 
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Post Criticism of Ev Psych in the form of a dialogue
http://www.denimandtweed.com/2012/05/ev ... logue.html



Mon May 28, 2012 9:24 pm
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Post Re: Criticism of Ev Psych in the form of a dialogue
Thanks for posting this, Dexter. I especially enjoyed the comments following the dialogue. Collectively, they seemed to be a good summary of the current positive and negative views of evolutionary psychology.



Tue May 29, 2012 8:09 am
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Post Re: Criticism of Ev Psych in the form of a dialogue
yes. I found chapter 11 quite disturbing. (The Science of Morality). This was a very good counter argument


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Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:39 am
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Post Re: Criticism of Ev Psych in the form of a dialogue
I am a cognitive psychologist who has taught evolutionary psychology for several years, and is the co-editor of an Oxford volume on the subject (Evolution of Mind). I've found that scientists in other disciplines and scholars in the humanities sometimes have a difficult time accepting the idea that human behavior is explicable in scientific terms and particularly through the lens of evolutionary theory. Why? Frequently, they find it demeaning because they hold fast to a belief that humans stand
outside of the physical universe and above earth's fauna. They have an easier time accepting that millions of years of evolution may have shaped the behavior of "lesser" animals, but assume that somehow nature cut the human mind anew from whole cloth. They also fear that evolutionary psychology means biological determinism--that we have no control over what we do or who we are.

Psychologists are used to studying human behavior in all of it's beauty and ugliness. We know that we are the pinnacle of intelligence on the planet, but we are also prone to faulty reasoning, cognitive illusions, prejudice, and cruelty. So we study these things to understand their source, the factors that bring out the best in us, and the factors that bring out the worst in us. Armed with this knowledge, we can make better choices.

The sneering dialog about mate choice is one example of an area of investigation that some people have trouble accepting. But all of the data clearly indicate that physical cues that signal fertility, health, and gene quality are exactly those features that make someone look attractive to us. So, as I tell my students, your attention may be lured to a particularly attractive person because your evolutionary history is "telling you" that he or she is a good reproductive bet and keeping your genes in the gene pool is what natural selection is all about. But your reflective capacity tells you that is not the best basis for choosing a spouse. We can't not see the person as attractive, but we can understand why we see them the way we do, and most importantly, we can control our choices.

Many of us who study human behavior with the humility to accept that we are part of the natural world and take an evolutionary approach to the study
of human nature believe this: "Man will become better when you show him what he is like."--Anton Chekov


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Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:46 pm
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