Evolutionary psychology for the masses..
UPDATE: Over at Pharnygula, P.Z. has his own take (negative) on Bering’s paper and the lax standards of evolutionary psychology. P.Z. notes that the “adaptive” results of the handgrip study cited by Bering have not in fact been replicated by other investigators. That calls the results into question, something that Bering conveniently omits from his piece.
In the past week I’ve read two “pop” articles on evolutionary psychology. One, “Social Animal,” in the latest New Yorker, is by New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks. It’s apparently an extract from an eponymous upcoming book. The piece is cleverly framed: it’s the account of a first date by two fictional people, “Harold” and “Erica,” in which all of their conversation, their gestures, and their subsequent courtship and marriage are couched in terms of evolutionary psychology, with Brooks describing the research backing up the story. Here’s…
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