Posted: Apr 20, 2018 10:30 am
by SpeedOfSound
Rumraket wrote:PZ Myers made a ridiculous and hyperbolic statement (“the fundamental premises of evo psych are false”) , then was forced to run away from it. In that respect, Jerry Coyne is absolutely correct.

PZ Myers says one thing first ("My main point: Developmental plasticity is all. The fundamental premises of evo psych are false."), which is ridiculous and absurd, Jerry Coyne then criticizes those statements by PZ by pointing out OBVIOUSLY evolved psychological tendencies and behaviors (we desire food, sex, etc. and consistently act on it), then PZ Myers completely reverses his position on the point criticized by Jerry Coyne.

But as evo-psych is actually practiced, PZ Myers has a point.
PZ Myers: I detest evolutionary psychology, not because I dislike the answers it gives, but on purely methodological and empirical grounds: it is a grandiose exercise in leaping to conclusions on inadequate evidence, it is built on premises that simply don’t work, and it’s a field that seems to do a very poor job of training and policing its practitioners, so that it primarily serves as a dump for bad research that then supplies tabloids with a feast of garbage science that discredits the rest of us.


The parts in blue I can agree with, but I disagree with the rest.


It's one of those academic pissing matches where the baby crawls out the back and gets eaten by wolves while the adults duke it out. Tooby and Cosmides made some real errors in publicity due to excitement. Worse, their methods borrowed more from psychology than biology.

But for me Pinker, Robert Wright, and Matt Ridley really set the hook deep with their imaginative writings. Now that we have the hook set we need to start crafting a science. From systems to observables.