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Dear Evopsych, Get Out

4 June 2012

So I was on the internet when I fell into “This ev-psych bullshit must stop” on Reclusive Leftist and it crystallized a contradiction that was hanging out in my brain.

Where it overlaps, there seems to be a fundamental clash between dudely love of evopsych and dudely belief in meritocracy.  How is it that they can feel good about their accomplishments when nature has basically handed them all the characteristics necessary for success and denied some amount of these characteristics to others?  What must it say about them if an inferior being surpasses them and there’s no way to blame it on some sort of affirmative action?  Maybe this dissonance is one reason why they can get so crabby.

Anyway, my main problem with evopsych, other than all the wrongity-wrong rampant supremacist and bigot bullshit, of course, is that so many evopsych proponents waste other people’s time by steamrolling in where they aren’t wanted and insisting that humans can’t change.  Most don’t acknowledge that it may never be possible to distinguish nature from nurture.  The few who do acknowledge this have little interest in entertaining a social experiment starting from the assumption that most things come down to nurture, even though we’ve gone with the assumption of nature for a few millennia now and the results have been pretty shit overall.  Such evopsych proponents may be scientists, but they are mired in reactionary ideology and aren’t interested in the spirit of science.  They don’t want to consider the work done in fields that are ‘softer’ than theirs (and you could stuff a million pillows with their unfalsifiable fluff).  They don’t want society to change in ways that would upset the order they believe in and benefit from.  They want to stand in the way of actual progress because it seems to confuse and infuriate them.  They want us to give up.

This is all an unnecessarily longwinded way of saying that evopsych proponents who use their silly theories to oppose social justice and radical ideas are, at best, a hideous waste of time that won’t be finding any welcome mats here.  Cheers and good luck to those of y’all who have more patience with them than I do.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 15 June 2012 00:53

    Bloody evolutionary psychology… Last week, during the summer semester, I had a student who brought of evopsych to prove some point he was trying to make. When I asked him to contemplate the fact that evopsych was considered by some to be pseudo-scientific, perhaps a modern equivalent of phrenology, he became angry and claimed, with all of his undergraduate knowledge he gleaned from his psych studies (because he was a psych student in a summer philosophy course), that it was “scientific”. Then he proceeded to keep his arms folded and pout, glaring at me, for the rest of the class. Point being, which I admit is tangental to this post: I really have no patience for evopsych or the students who think it’s a godsdamned revelation.

    • 15 June 2012 20:24

      Ahh, I know that student all too well from being in class with them throughout college. They were usually business or psychology majors so mad about having to take one or two courses in lowly sociology or history. Glad to hear you’re pissing them off! Hopefully being called out like that will get some people thinking critically about evopsych.

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