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PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

I admit I LOL'd at the part about lighting up "like a Christmas tree." WATCH AND LEARN all IDWs!

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Thursday, September 7, 2023

E. O. Wilson is to blame for the pseudo-science of evolutionary psychology

Although Pinker is often identified as an
"evolutionary psychologist"
his view on race 
is the opposite of the Tooby/Cosmides-branded
evolutionary psychology which says
"there is no such thing as race"

In my opinion, PZ Myers' video "The Problems with Evolutionary Psychology" is the gold standard of evo-psycho critiques. First Myers explains evolutionary theory basics, briefly but effectively, and then explains how evolutionary psychology deviates from evolutionary biology.

But Myers has another good video Heather & Bret: Warmed over evolutionary psychology which includes a thorough look at the crackpottery of everybody's favorite free speech grifters this side of Jordan Peterson. (And they love Game Theory!)

Myers recommends a 2013 book that examines the follies of evolutionary psychology, "Paleofantasy : what evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live" by Marlene Zuk, which you can read for free here.

I knew there was a connection between E. O. Wilson's sociobiology and Tooby/Cosmides' evolutionary psychology, but I didn't realize how much until I researched Wilson for the Rational Wiki page I created about him

Wilson took credit for evolutionary psychology in the afterward to the 2006 edition of his autobiography:
…the twelve years since the original publication of Naturalist have seen many changes in sociobiology, from which I have received, as its nominal founder, both anguish and satisfaction. Applied to ants and other animals, it has flourished. Applied to human social behavior it has also proliferated, but under the name “evolutionary psychology,” now an academic subject with a life of its own. Evolutionary psychology has generated some excellent research and much else that is less than distinguished. Overall it has created an industry of popular books, with substantial combined impact, and become part of the popular culture.
But as Steve Sailer tells it, evolutionary psychology succeeded as an academic subject because Tooby and Cosmides removed race from the equation. But then, Steven Pinker put race back in:
(Pinker) started out completely under the spell of Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, the founders of evolutionary psychology, which has succeeded on politically-correct campuses by stripping from Edward O. Wilson's discipline of sociobiology its emphasis on explaining human differences.
And of course we know how devoted Wilson was to the racial component of sociobiology thanks to his correspondence with Sailer's hero, arch-racist J. Philippe Rushton.

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