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Author Topic:   The third rampage of evolutionism: evolutionary pscyhology
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3762 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 1 of 236 (177388)
01-15-2005 10:57 PM


This is a prophecy of doom kind of posting about evolutionary pscyhology. The first two rampages of evolutionism through beliefs of people refer to the involvement of evolutionism in WW I and WW II.

Evolutionary psychology is currently spreading very rapidly in academic circles, at a speed which is much unprecedented. Previously sociobiology had been effectively surpressed in academia, sometimes with "violence" even, like when a famous sociobiologist was doused with water by activists when speaking publicly. The namechange made for an effective escape from that surpression, and now it is booming.

Evolutionary psycholigists are exceptionally enthusiasts about their discipline. That may explain something about the speed at which it is spreading. But it also makes it more likely that evolutionists run too fast, not letting criticism of the discipline develop and discover the weak points of it.

So let's pass over a few years, and see what might happen next.

At some point a wide range of evopsych guru's will surface, from the academically inclined who present it as an alternative to religion, to the more spiritually inclined who seek to synthesise evopsych with traditional religions. They will take the place largely, that new-age religion has now.

Apart from this more loose application, eventually evolutionary psychologists becomes applied to clinical psychology. And it's application in clinical psychology might lead to phenomenal success because:

1. scientific certitude for your convictions is much more stronger or forceful then conviction by faith, so the placebo effect much larger. To say "I know the meaning of life" as a scientific certitude, is much more forceful then to say it as a matter of faith.

2. the evangelic enthusiasm of evolutionary psychologists brings a warm social context to the treatment.

3. the "liberating" effect of the apparent evilness of evolutionary psychology. People who might otherwise be generally too scared to think of things like murder, rape, cheat, lie, steal, will now "find" and identify these things within their psychology, as where their "selfish" genes are operating. Their perspective on life very much broadened by this, it allows to consider a greater range of options on what to do with their life.

So after some time a signficant proportion of the population, say 5 percent, basicly has evopsych as their religion. They may actually not identify themselves as such, maybe even go to traditional church still, but on a practical basis their religion would be evolutionism. Such as their main goal in life would be formulated as to conquer their selfish genes and become altruist, and on a day to day basis they would be continuously much aware of such things, and practice religious rites to sustain that awareness.

Criticism of evopsych may have catched up a bit after it has become widespread, and possibly it may even become discredited in academia, but persist as a very separate discipline from the rest of academics. But it becomes impossible to let go of it, because of the success it has in clinical psychology. It is very difficult to take away something from a depressed or otherwise mentally disturbed person, that actually seems to work.

So what are these 5 percent going to be up to in society? Havoc and mayhem of course. They will end up doing what they think their selfish genes are telling them to do. Since they mistake their hatereds as an effect of their genes, in stead of as a sinful will of their own selves, their hatereds will grow unchecked. All what an evopsych ends up doing is putting a thin veil of altruism over a rising tide of hatered. As evolutionary psychology is more focused on the individual, I think that for most it would lead to victimization of their own selves, rather then that would be inclined to go killing everyone else. So we might see phenomenally high suicide rates, but also an increase in serial killers. How evolutionary psychology would influence politics is more difficult to say. I think we may well see the return of a widespread more sophisticated kind of racism in politics.

Special concern is for China, because that society more then any other is more radical in it's application of science. They already have extensive eugenic laws, and they would likely be more vulnerable to evopsych.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by NosyNed, posted 01-16-2005 1:21 AM Syamsu has not yet responded
 Message 5 by edge, posted 01-16-2005 11:19 AM Syamsu has not yet responded
 Message 10 by Parsimonious_Razor, posted 01-18-2005 1:55 PM Syamsu has responded

    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 236 (177413)
01-15-2005 11:22 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 3 of 236 (177449)
01-16-2005 1:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
01-15-2005 10:57 PM


Interesting
It's not an uninteresting OP. It's too bad most people have learned it isn't worth the time taken to discuss anything with you. Good luck.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Syamsu, posted 01-15-2005 10:57 PM Syamsu has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Lammy, posted 01-16-2005 3:11 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Lammy
Member
Posts: 3608
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 4 of 236 (177466)
01-16-2005 3:11 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by NosyNed
01-16-2005 1:21 AM


Re: Interesting
It does seem interesting to me. However, I must admit that I have little to add to that.


Here is something to relieve stress.

a + b = t
(a + b)(a - b) = t(a - b)
a - b = at - bt
a - at = b - bt
a - at + t/4 = b - bt + t/4
(a - t/2) = (b - t/2)
a - t/2 = b - t/2
a = b
Since all numbers are the same, math is useless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by NosyNed, posted 01-16-2005 1:21 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

    
edge
Member
Posts: 4607
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 5 of 236 (177533)
01-16-2005 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
01-15-2005 10:57 PM


????
This is a prophecy of doom kind of posting about evolutionary pscyhology. The first two rampages of evolutionism through beliefs of people refer to the involvement of evolutionism in WW I and WW II.

No explanation, eh? Talk about a rampage...

However, I do appreciate that you are a prophet.

Evolutionary psychology is currently spreading very rapidly in academic circles, at a speed which is much unprecedented.

Utter nonsense. What is that speed?

Previously sociobiology had been effectively surpressed in academia, sometimes with "violence" even, like when a famous sociobiologist was doused with water by activists when speaking publicly. The namechange made for an effective escape from that surpression, and now it is booming.

More vagueness. What are you talking about? Your anger is evident and I feel sorry for you, but you really need to formulate your ideas a little better if you wish to communicate to this group. I have never responded to you before (well, maybe once) and this is the reason why. You seem to complain about an evolutionary rampage and yet what do you do? Commit a rampage!

Please explain what you mean by evolutionary psychology. It seems that this is one of the favorite tools of YECs since they cannot successfully attack evolution itself, particularly on scientific terms. Hence the 'metaphysical' or 'psychological' mumbo jumbo. How many evolutionary scientists do you know?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Syamsu, posted 01-15-2005 10:57 PM Syamsu has not yet responded

  
contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 236 (177795)
01-17-2005 10:12 AM


Evolutionary Psychology is more likely to replace the Ayn Rand fans than new age religion. I think it has some fundamental (ideological) flaws; as Oliver James remarked in the observer "This is pure speculation and a politically correct fig leaf for a theory that nearly always ends up supporting right-wing politics (that the poor are poorer, stupider and madder than the rich because of their genes is a corollary of evolutionary reasoning that is rarely mentioned)."
Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 01-18-2005 10:54 AM contracycle has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Parsimonious_Razor, posted 01-18-2005 2:05 PM contracycle has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4044 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 236 (178123)
01-18-2005 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by contracycle
01-17-2005 10:12 AM


Well, evo-psych has a lot of problems, primarily because some of its proponents make outrageous claims for what it can do. However, as an approach to psychology where some of the ideas and concepts of evolutionary theory can be applied to the study of psychology, it's not an inherently bad method. It's a way of trying to answer questions about behavior: How does behavior develop or change over time? What are the environmental determinants of behavior and how does the environment test behavior (thinking of a particular behavior pattern as analogous to a phenotypical trait how does that specific trait/suite effect an organisms or populations survival?)? How is a particular behavior transmitted (inherited or passed laterally) through time and how do environmental factors change the behavior over time? What are the physiological bases for a given behavior (i.e., what combination of internal and external stimuli cause a particular behavior)? What elements within an organism or its environment elicit a particular behavioral pattern? Etc.

It's not some new kind of social darwinism as Syamasu keeps babbling about. Don't fall into the same trap he continually leaps headlong into. Contrary to popular belief, not everything on the planet concerning humans has a political dimension. Sometimes sience is just science. Evo-psych may or may not be a valid science, but it has nothing to do with New Age pseudo-mysticism or 19th Century racism.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by contracycle, posted 01-17-2005 10:12 AM contracycle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Lammy, posted 01-18-2005 11:01 AM Quetzal has responded

  
Lammy
Member
Posts: 3608
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 8 of 236 (178128)
01-18-2005 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Quetzal
01-18-2005 10:54 AM


Quetzal writes:

Sometimes sience is just science.


Sometimes it is not.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/17/arms.homosexual.reut/index.html

quote:
Monday, January 17, 2005 Posted: 10:50 AM EST (1550 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. military rejected a 1994 proposal to develop an "aphrodisiac" to spur homosexual activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said Sunday.

The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research.

The proposal, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request, called for developing chemicals affecting human behavior "so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely affected."



Here is something to relieve stress.
Assume that a does not equal b.

a + b = t
(a + b)(a - b) = t(a - b)
a - b = at - bt
a - at = b - bt
a - at + t/4 = b - bt + t/4
(a - t/2) = (b - t/2)
a - t/2 = b - t/2
a = b
Since all numbers are the same, math is useless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 01-18-2005 10:54 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Quetzal, posted 01-18-2005 1:01 PM Lammy has responded

    
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4044 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 9 of 236 (178187)
01-18-2005 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Lammy
01-18-2005 11:01 AM


And sometimes, as evidenced by the article you quoted, it's just plain silly. :D Making enemy troops too horny to fight has got to rank right up there on the silliness scale.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Lammy, posted 01-18-2005 11:01 AM Lammy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Lammy, posted 01-18-2005 3:12 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
Parsimonious_Razor
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 236 (178204)
01-18-2005 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
01-15-2005 10:57 PM


The ground troops for the NWO
Ah yes, as a practitioner of the worlds next global religion I can state that yes our primary goal is to incite racism, worship, and mass chaos in the world at large!

My recent seminar course was entilted "Cults for the 21st century:Controling both the In and Out Group with out them evening knowing it."

Anyway, back to reality, I would like to know what information you are using to develop your prophacies? I work right in some of the most controversial labs and studies of Evo Psych and am exposed to all kinds of vehement attacks from various angles, but leaders of the NWO is new for me. Is this just all made up in your head or are there more than one of you with such ideas?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Syamsu, posted 01-15-2005 10:57 PM Syamsu has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Quetzal, posted 01-18-2005 2:08 PM Parsimonious_Razor has not yet responded
 Message 25 by Syamsu, posted 01-22-2005 4:11 AM Parsimonious_Razor has responded

  
Parsimonious_Razor
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 236 (178207)
01-18-2005 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by contracycle
01-17-2005 10:12 AM


contracycle writes:

Evolutionary Psychology is more likely to replace the Ayn Rand fans than new age religion. I think it has some fundamental (ideological) flaws; as Oliver James remarked in the observer "This is pure speculation and a politically correct fig leaf for a theory that nearly always ends up supporting right-wing politics (that the poor are poorer, stupider and madder than the rich because of their genes is a corollary of evolutionary reasoning that is rarely mentioned)."

Except that this is completely false and not at all what the science claims. I am actually a very left-wing democratic socialist in my political and economic leanings and most of the people that I know in the evo psych department needed some serious down time after Bush was re-elected.

The poor are poorer because of situational and environmental factors. Evolutionary Psychology recognizes this more than about any other discipline. Because we seek out what is universally common in man. We look at traits that you find everywhere in the world at every social stratosphere. Evo psych is not interested in trying to identify current variance in traits with in a population. We are after traits that have LONG since fixated into our population as a whole.

Very little research is being done about economics in evo psych anyway. In fact my current project, which is unfortunately sitting at the IRB desk for a month, is I think one of the first attempts at gathering direct empirical data about how evo psych can influence economic modeling. The research is focused on time preference patterns and behavior and how evolved psychologies would affect such things. This is a fixated pattern (those with now time preferences usually maximize current reproductive success, those with future preferences invest in future reproductive success). There is no attempt to look at current "selection pressures" or "variance" in the population. There are two groups because of different psychological morphs not because of different genes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by contracycle, posted 01-17-2005 10:12 AM contracycle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by contracycle, posted 01-19-2005 5:38 AM Parsimonious_Razor has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4044 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 12 of 236 (178209)
01-18-2005 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Parsimonious_Razor
01-18-2005 1:55 PM


Re: The ground troops for the NWO
My recent seminar course was entilted "Cults for the 21st century:Controling both the In and Out Group with out them evening knowing it."

Damn, you mean the evo-psych folks have the same Ultimate Goal as the Vast Worldwide Evilutionist Conspiracy? I thought only biologists from around the world were dedicated to performing hundreds of person-years of research and writing thousands of papers for the sole purpose of convincing US high school students that there is no god. It's a surprise that the psychologists and anthropolgists are in on it, too. :D

Good luck with Syamasu.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Parsimonious_Razor, posted 01-18-2005 1:55 PM Parsimonious_Razor has not yet responded

  
Lammy
Member
Posts: 3608
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 13 of 236 (178232)
01-18-2005 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Quetzal
01-18-2005 1:01 PM


When I first read the article, the first question I had in mind was does it actually work? If it does work, I would very much like to order a few cans or so.


Here is something to relieve stress.
Assume that a does not equal b.

a + b = t
(a + b)(a - b) = t(a - b)
a - b = at - bt
a - at = b - bt
a - at + t/4 = b - bt + t/4
(a - t/2) = (b - t/2)
a - t/2 = b - t/2
a = b
Since all numbers are the same, math is useless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Quetzal, posted 01-18-2005 1:01 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

    
contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 236 (178462)
01-19-2005 5:38 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Parsimonious_Razor
01-18-2005 2:05 PM


quote:
Except that this is completely false and not at all what the science claims. I am actually a very left-wing democratic socialist in my political and economic leanings and most of the people that I know in the evo psych department needed some serious down time after Bush was re-elected.

Sure. But so what - that is not how this line of research is being actually deployed in contemporary debate. As Psychology Today remarks:

quote:

The latest round of hostilities in this gendered war started in the mid-1990s, when a group of evolutionary psychologists began publishing research that looked at the origins of gender differences through Darwin's eyes. These EPs claimed (and continue to claim) that differences between the sexes do exist and that, try as we might, we can't change them. (That's the spark in the political tinder-box.) Whether in pre-modern Africa or current-day America, they say, gender-specific skills come from distinct psychological mechanisms that can be traced back directly and very nearly wholly to the Darwinian principle of sexual selection. In other words, it's in our genes.
...
Sounds a lot like gender stereotypes today: a species of aggressive philandering men and nurturing, monogamous women. (Much cited research to bolster this view by David Buss, Ph.D., a leader in this field at the University of Michigan, found that male college students who were offered the chance to sleep with a beautiful stranger that night, were more likely than their female counterparts to say yes.)

The situation may vary among cultures but, says Geary, culture will never change the fact that men can potentially reproduce more frequently than women. "It will always lead to some level of conflict of interest between men and women. Women want men to invest in their kids and them, and by doing so, men lose the opportunity to have multiple mates." And, he adds, there is no culture in which there is equality between men and women in childcare. "Women," he adds, "hate to hear that."

He's right. Women do hate to hear that. Not only women of the general public, but women researchers as well. Riled psychologists, many of them women, sat up in alarm when the evolutionary psychology theories started snowballing in academic journals and in the popular press as well. Articles appeared, television shows hosted EP spokespersons. Social conservatives started using the "biological" evidence of gender differences to claim validity for the women-as-natural-homemaker model of society.


It may be ther case that EvoPsych reserachers, at least in your department, do not share this view, but just recently the president of Harvard triggered much criticism by arguing for innate biological differences explaining the absence of women in positions of power. Whether a valid use of the reserach or otherwise, it is being used to advance conservative arguments.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Parsimonious_Razor, posted 01-18-2005 2:05 PM Parsimonious_Razor has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Parsimonious_Razor, posted 01-19-2005 12:52 PM contracycle has not yet responded
 Message 16 by pink sasquatch, posted 01-19-2005 2:53 PM contracycle has responded

  
Parsimonious_Razor
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 236 (178571)
01-19-2005 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by contracycle
01-19-2005 5:38 AM


quote:
It may be ther case that EvoPsych reserachers, at least in your department, do not share this view, but just recently the president of Harvard triggered much criticism by arguing for innate biological differences explaining the absence of women in positions of power. Whether a valid use of the reserach or otherwise, it is being used to advance conservative arguments.

And some people used the theory of evolution to justify the eugenics movement. Some people use quantum theory to prove immortality of the soul. Do these affect the validity of the actual field? If theories were based on how the "masses" understood them all of science would be in trouble.

But as far as the article goes. So what if research shows that there are fundamental differences between men and women in the way they approach certain things. Reproduction is the foundation of selection of sexually reproducing organisms. I would go as far as to say that evolution creates organisms whose top priority is reproduction by its very nature. There has been a gap between the sexes for a VERY long time, much older than humans, much older than mammals. Is it really unreasonable to ask the question: Have the different genders developed different reproductive strategies?

The most basic difference between female and male species in most animals are that females invest WAY more in a successful round of reproduction than the males do. Therefore, we predict that females will be the choosier of the sexes. And this carries through in almost every single species. The interesting thing is that the exceptions to this rule are in species where it is actually the male who invest more. Such as seahorses. So the theory can be said as "the sex that invests the most in each offspring will be the choosiest."

So researchers went out and looked at humans, and found the same pattern. Women are choosier than males. This is almost pedestrian in nature. It is obvious. But it was the first step. It is a basic fact of nature. The only way to deny such a reality is to say that the human mind and psychology is immune from influence in our evolutionary history. Such writers as Gould and Lewontin often take this stand. But it had more to do with their neo-Marxism than science.

The article is putting up a false face for what the research is actually saying:

"Sounds a lot like gender stereotypes today: a species of aggressive philandering men and nurturing, monogamous women. (Much cited research to bolster this view by David Buss, Ph.D., a leader in this field at the University of Michigan, found that male college students who were offered the chance to sleep with a beautiful stranger that night, were more likely than their female counterparts to say yes.)"

First of all the quoted study does not lead to the conclusion that men are aggressive and philandering or that women are nurturing and monogamous. The study was a simple example of the idea that the major investor in the species is choosier.

Actually, most of the research that I am involved in right now, is looking at why and when women are NOT monogamous. Monogamy is not viewed as "natural." And women actually use multiple partners in a very specific reproductive strategy.

Ultimately though, all of these articles and all of these people that dont like evolutionary psychology because it says there is a difference between men and women need two things. The first is a dose of reality. There are differences and a lot of it is in our genes. The second is to study up on the naturalistic fallacy. Just because something is doesn't mean it ought to be. Evo psych is not pushing a political agenda.

This message has been edited by Parsimonious_Razor, 01-19-2005 12:54 AM


Science Blog: http://www.scienceblog.com/blogs/blog/213
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by contracycle, posted 01-19-2005 5:38 AM contracycle has not yet responded

  
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