[extropy-chat] Calling all EvoPsych Jedi...

Jeff Medina analyticphilosophy at gmail.com
Thu May 5 19:10:02 UTC 2005

I keep coming across professors badmouthing evolutionary psychology as
a junk field. I've read some basics, mostly Cosmides and/or Tooby, but
fail to see why it has become such a popular whipping boy.

A review of a new book arguing against EP is here:

Anti-EPers are saying this is more solid evidence that EP is junk.

I've read the review, and all I can see it arguing against are
*specific* claims made in the context of EP and some data... based on
new data or a more sound approach to data gathering. Claims like an EP
explanation of stepfathers beating their stepchildren more frequently
than biological fathers beating their children.

If I do some crap data-gathering while trying to deduce physical laws,
that only allows a rebuttal of a particular data-based claim (say, if
I alleged c = 3.14m/s based on crappy data analysis); it doesn't
warrant calling Physics junk science.

Am I missing something here based on an insufficiently deep knowledge
of EP? Can anyone shed some light on why so many professors seem to
think EP is crap?

Thanks, folks!

Jeff Medina

Research Fellow
Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

Volunteer Coordinator
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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