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« When Wingnuts Attack ... Each Other! | Main | Michelle Malkin Lies »

July 17, 2007

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actually, I prefer perky nipples over big tits.

so, the fact that several people have used arguments based in part of theories arising from evolutionary psychology does not mean the idea of evolutionary psychology is bunk. it's very nearly self-evident to anyone who takes a moment to think about it that, of course, many aspects of our behavior, along with the behavior of any other animal, have been shaped by evolutionary forces. You're free, of course, to not like the idea that behaviors are shaped by evolution. that won't change the fact of the matter. Saying that DOES NOT, however, mean that it's all in the genes. it means only exactly what it says, and anything there is to know about how behaviors are shaped and to what degree must be concluded based on study and experimentation and not just so stories.

so, the fact that several people have used arguments based in part of theories arising from evolutionary psychology does not mean the idea of evolutionary psychology is bunk. it's very nearly self-evident to anyone who takes a moment to think about it that, of course, many aspects of our behavior, along with the behavior of any other animal, have been shaped by evolutionary forces. You're free, of course, to not like the idea that behaviors are shaped by evolution. that won't change the fact of the matter. Saying that DOES NOT, however, mean that it's all in the genes. it means only exactly what it says, and anything there is to know about how behaviors are shaped and to what degree must be concluded based on study and experimentation and not just so stories.

Anyone who is going to rely on ev psych can't discount socialization and remain internally consistent. They have to recognize that, from an evolutionary standpoint, humans are social creatures. Survival depended on it. Those who fit in better with the social scheme produced more offspring, etc.

The available evidence also suggests that it is the socialization aspect that prevails, e.g. a study found that women did worse at spatial tests when first asked questions that directed their attention to their gender. Also, spatial ability does not translate into overall mathematical ability. One can be good at math and suck at spatial relationships.

Finally, ev psych is so untestable and theoretic as to be pretty much useless. Not baseless, necessarily, but useless. E.g., acc to the guys you quoted, men like blonds because younger people are blond but like large breasts because sagging is a "tell" of aging. But blond hair hides aging because gray hair is less noticeable in blonds, so by that theory, brunettes should be preferred because they are more obvious with the signs of aging. Almost any fact can be interpreted in contradicting ways (see above about importance of socialization in evolution).

Also, by that theory, all the Olympic discus and javelin throwers should be math whizzes.

Aquagirl-
Interesting point about blonds. The two psychologists said this:

Blond hair is unique in that it changes dramatically with age. Typically, young girls with light blond hair become women with brown hair. Thus, men who prefer to mate with blond women are unconsciously attempting to mate with younger (and hence, on average, healthier and more fecund) women. It is no coincidence that blond hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe, probably as an alternative means for women to advertise their youth, as their bodies were concealed under heavy clothing.

Which proves, I guess, that ev-psych proves whatever theory you want.

mevolution-
it's very nearly self-evident to anyone who takes a moment to think about it that, of course, many aspects of our behavior, along with the behavior of any other animal, have been shaped by evolutionary forces. You're free, of course, to not like the idea that behaviors are shaped by evolution. that won't change the fact of the matter.

What bothers me is when science is done with no rigor whatsoever. This "retell social prejudices in a scientific-sounding manner" thing pisses me off. Where's the hard base of data that we can eventually look to and confirm or disprove the theory?

quote: Sex discrimination, Summers said, couldn't be the answer - despite copious research showing such discrimination in the sciences exists - because if there was discrimination, then a non-discriminatory university could hire all the brilliant female math professors cheap and so drive places like Harvard out of business.

But...but....

A truly non-discriminatory university by definition wouldn't hire all the women "cheap," because that would be paying them less based on gender, which is...(drumroll please)...discriminatory.

Sounds like he should have taken a couple more English elective courses along the way.

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