Saturday, January 03, 2009

Recently, a friend sent me this Google alert for "evolutionary psychology"

As follows:

Ooga Ooga! Men Overspend to Attract - New York,NY,USAThe finding, detailed in the current issue of the journal Evolutionary Psychology, did not hold with women. Vying for women is simply what men do and have ...See all stories on this topic

Study: Men's overspending hard-wired from caveman - Austin,TX,USA... "Male Financial Consumption is Associated with Higher Mating Intentions and Mating Success," printed in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. ...See all stories on this topic

A Resilient Suburbia 4: Accounting for the Value of DecentralizationThe Oil Drum - USABoth evolutionary psychology and modern commerce suggest that cities may actually be counter-productive in these functions. Dunbar's number, for example, ...See all stories on this topic

Status, sex prime for aggressionMinnesota Daily - Minneapolis,MN,USA... deny the senselessness of such violence, but recent University of Minnesota research indicates that such behavior could indeed make evolutionary sense. ...See all stories on this topic

Feeling lonely? Genes might be at fault CNN - USA... University who runs the psychology department's Self, Emotion and Behavior Lab. Part of the explanation for loneliness is evolutionary, experts say. ...See all stories on this topic

Gifts often wrapped in self-interest - Don Mills,Ontario,CanadaHarvard psychology professor Ellen J. Langer reports that giving gifts "typically makes us feel competent, empowered and engaged," allowing us to feel like ...See all stories on this topic

Daily Digest: Legal doping; aggresive behavior and status Minnesota Daily - Minneapolis,MN,USA... and Social Psychology. It says that fighting for status is similar to fighting ofr survival of their genes and not doing so can be evolutionary suicide. ...See all stories on this topic

Nietzsche and MoralityPhilosophy Now (subscription) - London,UKNietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals is an exercise in 'animal psychology', studying (in Nietzsche's own words) "the physiology and evolutionary history of ...See all stories on this topic

Ooga ooga ...

I keep having to remind myself that some people think this is science.

I remember science in Grades Eleven and Twelve. It was about measuring things accurately, estimating according to fixed rules, and - above all - understanding how the laws of physics and the periodic table worked. If I were a Darwinist trying to make some order in my life and career, I would begin by banishing "evolutionary psychology" from any pretense whatever to be a science. I do not know what they can lose, but I can sure see what they would gain.

Hmmmm. Maybe it's just as well for me that they will never actually do it!