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

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Fri May 6 01:19:49 UTC 2005

At 03:10 PM 05/05/05 -0400, you wrote:
>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?

You will find that most of them are social "science" people and EP pretty 
much junks their entire life work, and all the theories back to the 
beginning of time for their fields.  EP does integrate psychology and 
related subjects seamlessly into the rest of human knowledge where 
currently the social sciences are this floating blob with no underpinnings.

The rest of science is really one piece where the divisions between 
chemistry and physics are more historical than an actual 
discontinuity.  Tooby and Cosmides go into detail.  You can read it here:


I predict that EP and related evolutionary understandings will displace 
virtually all of social science, kind of like plate tectonics displaced 
theories in geology.

But it will take the present generation of social "science" professors 
dying off to do it.

Keith Henson

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