Evolutionary psychology is one of four sciences that are bringing human nature back into the picture.— Steven Pinker
Scandalous Evolutionary Psychology quotations
I'm an anarchist. I'm implacably opposed to heirarchical systems of power and control. I also mistrust crowds, as they often operate according to their lowest common denominator. In terms of evolutionary psychology, the crowd is very close to a herd of stampeding wildebeest.
If I want to know how we learn and remember and represent the world, I will go to psychology and neuroscience. If I want to know where values come from, I will go to evolutionary biology and neuroscience and psychology, just as Aristotle and Hume would have, were they alive.
It is good to realize that falling apart is not such a bad thing.
Indeed, it is as essential to evolutionary and psychological transformation as the cracking of outgrown shells.
Religion is nothing more than a useless and sometimes dangerous, evolutionary accident. Religious behavior may be a misfiring, an unfortunate byproduct of an underlying psychological propensity which in other circumstances is, or once was, useful.
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha have written the essential corrective to the evolutionary psychology literature.
There's a common criticism of evolutionary psychology that it's fatalistic and it dooms us to eternal strife, 'Why even try to work toward peace if we're just bloody killer apes and violence is in our genes?'
I discovered that while I'd been busy playing business games, there'd been this incredible revolution in so many areas of interest: cosmology to psychology to evolutionary psychology to anthropology ... all this stuff had changed.
I can't think of anyone who is up on evolutionary psychology and related areas who is deluded enough to be called a utopian.
Peter Kropotkin was surely on the left.
He was one of the founders of what is now called 'sociobiology' or 'evolutionary psychology' with his book Mutual Aid, arguing that human nature had evolved in ways conducive to the communitarian anarchism that he espoused.
There is a whole field of inquiry that has come up in the last 30 or 40 years - some call it sociobiology or evolutionary psychology - relating to where we get our moral sense and why we value the idea of altruism, and locating both answers in behavioral adaptations for the preservation of our genes.
We are now returning to the 18th century empirical approach with the new interest in the evolutionary basis of ethics, with 'experimental' moral philosophy and moral psychology. As a result, we understand better why moral formulas are experienced as ineluctable commands, even if there is no commander and even if the notion of an inescapable obligation is just superstition. So moral philosophy has made huge progress.
People are always invoking evolutionary psychology for everything.
"Why do men hang around asking women out? Oh, to improve their reproductive success," every damn thing - religion, art - it can all be explained by evolutionary psychology. But in our hearts we know that evolutionary psychology is only sort of accurate, because it really doesn't capture what's most interesting about our lives.
It's easy to tell the evolutionary level of a group of beings, or an individual being, simply by examining their behavior, their art, their psychology, their thought forms, their lingual structures, their history, their present moment, their future ideas, and the quality of their emotions.
The task of evolutionary psychology is not to weigh in on human nature, a task better left to others. It is to add the satisfying kind of insight that only science can provide: to connect what we know about human nature with the rest of our knowledge of how the world works, and to explain the largest number of facts with the smallest number of assumptions.
Our evolutionary psychology preconditions us not to respond to threats which can be postponed until later.
Considering that we live in an era of evolutionary everything---evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary economics, evolutionary computing---it was surprising how rarely people thought in evolutionary terms. It was a human blind spot. We look at the world around us as a snapshot when it was really a movie, constantly changing.
Evolutionary psychology tells us that men, especially powerful men, feel invincible and entitled to spread their seed, and that women can't resist the scent of masculine power. Women, by contrast, are said to be more altruistic and collaborative, seeking power so that they can share it with others.