Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Wisdom from your local zoo: Introducing the “Evolutionary Agony Aunt”

When Britain’s Guardian newspaper first introduced its “evolutionary agony aunt”, this writer thought - a spoof for sure. But where evolutionary psychology is concerned, it can be genuinely hard to tell.

No spoof. The Guardian burbled proudly, “A mere 150 years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, we are proud to introduce our very own Evolutionary Agony Aunt” in the person of Carole Jahme, author of Beauty and the Beasts: Woman, Ape and Evolution and star of comedy Carole Jahme is Sexually Selected, described as a combination of Charles Darwin and Charlie Chaplin. We were told that her column will shine the “cold light” of evolutionary psychology on readers’ problems, in sharp contrast to the glossy magazines.

Carole counsels her troubled readers by citing the behaviour of chimpanzees, other apes, and monkeys. And with what result?

Go here for the rest.

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