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The Politics and the Science of Disputing Evolutionary Psychology

There’s a brawl going down [1] on the internet over the validity of evolutionary psychology. On defense [2] for evolutionary psychology: biologist Jerry Coyne and Steven Pinker, possibly the most eminent evolutionary psychologist. On the warpath: PZ Myers, a developmental biologist, who argues [3] that “most of the claims of evolutionary psychology are fallacious.”

Though Myers’ main line of attack centers on data and methods, the long and contentious political debate over Darwinian social science gets dragged into the fray.

While that argument has raged for decades, this century’s round opened with Steven Pinker’s classic The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature [4], famously knocked down a naive “blank slate” theory of human nature: namely, that human behavior and preferences are entirely shaped by culture and thus endlessly malleable. Though it’s less widely held by actual scientists, Pinker demonstrated how influential Blank Slate thinking has been in the humanities departments, popular culture, and political philosophy.

Locke’s tabula rasa undermined the dogma and authority of aristocratic social systems, since it meant that no man inherently possessed any more wisdom or virtue than others–only what experience imparted. And indeed, the modern versions of the Blank Slate were bolstered by an appropriate wariness of ugly Darwin-justified racism and sexism.

But the Blank Slate is also a great foundation on which to build catastrophic social engineering schemes (Mao Zedong said “It is on a blank page that the most beautiful poems are written”), as well as a wall behind which to hide PC shibboleths. Some racial strands of political thought have latched onto evolutionary theory, but certain strands of conservatism have welcomed the insights of evolutionary psychology because they reinforce the conservative intuition that human beings are not as malleable as the many on the Left want them to be.

That’s presumably why “Secular Right [5]” plugs The Blank Slate in their reading list and Thomas Sowell praises [6] it as anathema to “attempts to mold and control others.”

More recently, Peter Lawler’s New Atlantis essay, “Moderately Socially Conservative Darwinians [7],” argues that evolutionary psychology “reinforces the conservative lesson that we are not merely autonomous individuals but also social and relational beings.”

And so, unsurprisingly, politics gets dragged into the latest spat as well. Coyne accuses [2] skeptics of evolutionary psychology of being motivated by ideology and politics:

Like the opponents of sociobiology thirty years ago, these skeptics object to the discipline because they see it as both motivated by and justifying conservative political views like the marginalization of women [!!]

Myers (who is an anti-theist [8] and certainly no conservative!) brushes this aside:

I detest evolutionary psychology, not because I dislike the answers it gives, but on purely methodological and empirical grounds: it is a grandiose exercise in leaping to conclusions on inadequate evidence, it is built on premises that simply don’t work, and it’s a field that seems to do a very poor job of training and policing its practitioners, so that it primarily serves as a dump for bad research that then supplies tabloids with a feast of garbage science that discredits the rest of us.

Even as Myers, Pinker and Coyne march into battle over methodology and assumptions about neuroplasticity and epigenetics, the specter of old political battles will hang over them. Scientific disputes inevitably bleed into political disputes, and vice versa, often with scant regard to logic. That doesn’t mean that we should shout down any scientists who attempt to overturn our political assumptions, assumptions to which nature is wholly indifferent.

So it’s perhaps useful here that Coyne, Pinker, and Myers are all secularists and atheists, showing that the disputes over evolutionary psychology are not a mere proxy war for other politics, but a genuine controversy over how the scientific community can account for our human nature.

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#1 Comment By Interested Commentator On July 31, 2013 @ 8:22 am

Interesting post. This reminds me of David Berlinski, who is an agnostic but questions almost every aspect of modern science and its supposed certainties from the perspective of a mathematician in his book Black Mischief. He became a sought after interviewee on the right after his criticisms of the celebrity atheists a few years ago. Anyone familiar with him? Any thoughts?

#2 Comment By TomB On July 31, 2013 @ 8:25 am

I suspect this nice piece by Mr. Long might nonetheless have the potential to mislead as to the professional state of thinking about evolutionary psychology. I’m not sure, but my impression is that its fundamental premise has slowly but surely come to be very widely accepted, if not becoming the dominant supposition by the academics working in the field.

I suspect this not only because the alternatives seem so … blank, but because the sensibility of that fundamental premise of evolutionary psychology seems so sensible that the mostly politically-based objections to it seem so flimsy. At least and again as to its fundamental premise that just as our physical features have been so tremendously determined by the pressures of evolution and natural selection, the same is true as regards our psychological/emotional/behavioral features.

And indeed nothing in the “brawl” that Mr. Long reports on here does any violence to my supposition, and so I think might mislead: After all, what does THE guy who Long somewhat sets up as the big anti-evo-psych guy? —Jerry Coyne—say in Mr. Long’s link? The following:

“You know what? I agree entirely with that. [The idea that ‘some behaviors of modern humans reflect their evolutionary history,’ and that same is ‘palpably uncontroversial.’]. The brain is a material product of evolution, and behavior is a product of the brain. There are natural causes for everything all the way down.”

What Coyne is taking issue with then is just simply what he sees as the near flippant *way* some folks will go about assigning this or that supposed evolutionary/natural selection pressure to this or that human behavior. I.e., without, in Coyne’s view, any evidence to support same much less scientific proof.

Thus I think that instead of viewing the real debate as being over the fundamental validity of evolutionary psychology, it is the criticism that Coyne makes that’s more the mainstream debate.

Because this would seem to be the case however doesn’t mean that Mr. Long was any less keen to have picked up on all this though as I think there is a huge problem with evo psych that Coyne’s criticisms get to, which is how can there *ever* really be any proof amounting to anything like “scientific” proof that X evolutionary/natural selection pressure led to Y human psychological/emotional/behavioral feature?

It is after all a problem even when it comes to the study of how evolution/natural selection has led to *physical* features. For instance, it’s *still* a hot issue as to what led to us humans becoming bipedal, and if even such a single, discrete hugely important thing can’t be figured out, well hell what’s the hope of ever really knowing what led to this or that more vague human psychological/emotional/behavioral feature?

It seems to me what this means is that scientists in this field are eventually (if not already) are going to have to content themselves with practicing what one science writer (“Horgan”?, I forget his name) has called “ironic” science. That is, “science” which is “ironic” in that its assertions or theories are unprovable really.

Very interesting in that this seems to be the state a number of different scientific fields are getting to: They seem to have discovered and “proven” the fundamentals to the degree of proof science has traditionally accepted as proof, but beyond that can’t fill in the blanks anymore to anywhere near that degree. E.g., how life itself started, or, with physics, the absolute nature of matter and energy (such as “proving” string theory), or cosmology.

Always struck me this is “ironic” in more ways than that science writer meant: “Ironic” in maybe not being the sort of “science” as same was defined before, but also in terms of the big picture: Here since the Age of Enlightenment maybe we in the West pinned such great hopes on science to deliver unto us some absolute truths, and now to find that … it leaves us dangling with nothing more than educated guesses to believe in. Educated guesses that can seem uncomfortably close to what used to be called “myths,” or “religious beliefs” even.

Like Walker Percy said, our fate may just be that of forever being lost in the cosmos.

[Thanks for your thoughtful response. You write that I have set up Coyne as the “big anti-evo-psych guy.” Actually, Coyne is on team PRO evo psych; it’s Myers who is anti evo psych (see above). But to your broader point, yes even Myers “agree[s] with the general principle that of course the brain is a product of our evolutionary history, and that there is almost certainly a foundation of genetically defined, general psychological properties of the mind.” -RL]

#3 Comment By AdamK On July 31, 2013 @ 9:11 am

It is a law of the Internet that any post mentioning PZ Myers must misspell his name, at least once.

[Ha, thanks Adam. Fixed. I was so close to getting all of my ‘Myers’ right -RL.]

#4 Comment By Henri James On July 31, 2013 @ 9:24 am

I took a course in evolutionary biology while I was in university which was for a degree in genetics.
It’s not that I disagree with the basic premise of the field (Our minds were certainly shaped by our evolutionary history), its that you can basically make up whatever you want and have no way to test it.
Take any apparent fact about contemporary psychology and you can basically make up a hypothesis about why its the case.

Men do X and women do Y because during our evolutionary history men were more likely to Z. You can pretty much fill in the blanks with any kind of outlandish scenario you want to fit the data. It’s not a predictive model. Take this for example.

‘Men commit more infidelity than women’ okay sure, Evo Psych would say ‘Ah yes, because men are able to make multiple women pregnant at once and breed with multiple mates, so he would actively seek more partners while a woman could only ever have one at once.’

But what if we did more research and discovered we were wrong, that women cheat more than men?
‘Ah yes,’ Evo psych would say ‘Because women want as many men as possible to think they are the parent of the woman’s child, thus maximizing the odds that she will have a mate to take care of her offspring.’

Evo psych has no real predictive power, it can just rationalize any apparent data point after the fact. That is why it is a crummy scientific technique, albeit not necessarily a false one.

#5 Comment By Kiwi On July 31, 2013 @ 9:44 am

So it’s perhaps useful here that Coyne, Pinker, and Meyers are all secularists and atheists, showing that the disputes over evolutionary psychology are not a mere proxy war for other politics, but a genuine controversy over how the scientific community can account for our human nature.

Well Myers does use the word “detest”, which has a strong moral valiance. He didn’t use “disagree”, but used a word with connotations he has more than pure intellectual objections to the field.

#6 Comment By Jack On July 31, 2013 @ 10:37 am

“certain strands of conservatism have welcomed the insights of evolutionary psychology because they reinforce the conservative intuition that human beings are not as malleable as the many on the Left want them to be.”

This is an excellent point. Much ev-psych work over the past ten years or so has undermined the fundamental premises of feminism. Of course, this work has not yet influenced mainstream thought in the academy and the media, both of which have thoroughly internalized feminist ideology. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

#7 Comment By vandelay On July 31, 2013 @ 10:42 am

Myers is an irredeemable ideologue. He sees everything through ideological lenses, to such an extent that I don’t he’s physically able to take a step back and soberly consider his own biases and motivations.

So, leaving aside the question of whether evo psych is legitimate, any time Myers is seen taking a stand on a highly ideological issue while claiming to not be motivated by ideology, extreme skepticism if not dismissal is warranted.

#8 Comment By Andy On July 31, 2013 @ 11:29 am

I think the commenters so far have pretty much nailed it, but I would add that there is a circular logic to how EP is used, at least in nonacademic or quasi-academic settings, that is pretty frustrating. It goes something like this:

1. Notice some behavior or trait in a specific population of people.
2. Speculate about a prehistoric context in which that trait or behavior would appear to make sense.
3. Declare that step 2. proves the behavior or trait is evolved, and that it is therefore universal and immutable.

Now clearly anyone engaged in this exercise is just interested in asserting the conclusion in step 3. But evolution doesn’t need to come into play at all for that. If some trait or behavior is universal and immutable, we should be able to demonstrate that by studying present day people. In fact we should need to prove it’s universal before we even proceed to step 2 and begin speculating on where it came from. But of course if we could prove 3 without resorting to evolution, almost nobody would care at all where the trait came from.

So, at least in the blogosphere and popular press, evolution and EP in particular are usually just dishonest arguments meant to lend scientific credibility to an theory and relieve it’s proponents of actually demonstrating the truth of their propositions.

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#10 Comment By David R On July 31, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

As has been mentioned, the arguement with Evo psych isn’t the brain and therefore human habits/interactions/etc haven’t changed over the course of our evolution. The problem is that the methodology of most if not all of this “research” is poor and assumptive. What I have seen/ heard from the field is mostly based on models of either other primates or what we think earlier humans were like (which is also many times based largely on non-human primate models). My biggest issue with Evo psych is that you can’t test any of the hypotheses, let alone the ever shifting model the hypothesis is based on. I don’t even really consider it a science.

#11 Comment By Learry On July 31, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

Andy is absolutely right, and not just in non-academic circles. I’ve read a lot of papers in Rational-Choice Theory, and the three steps he mentions is a quite popular technique in attributing motives and behaviors to abstract agents.

#12 Comment By Maggie Norris On July 31, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

How can any article on this topic not reference Edward O Wilson. Anyone interested in this topic mus read his most recent book, The Social Conquest of Earth.

#13 Comment By Carter Adams On July 31, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

How about the opinion that the way we evolved has surely shaped our psychology, but that we have almost no evidence on which to draw from when it comes to the social lives and organization of prehistoric humans. In fact, that’s basically what the word “prehistoric” means.

We have bones, arrowheads, burial mounds, and campfires. Scientists have a tendency to make the best claims they can based on the evidence at hand, but mistake “as certain as we can be” for “certain.”

We don’t know if “cavemen” were monogamous, we don’t know their gender roles, we don’t know about their sex lives, we don’t know anything really. We aren’t blank slates, but that doesn’t mean we can just back up our assumptions and biases with self-confirming speculation about a period of time we know almost nothing about.

#14 Comment By GBH On July 31, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

There are a host of issues in this field that are overlooked both in popularizations and in many of the more expert discussions, particularly when the experts in question are not looking outside their own rather narrow disciplinary box. For example, Pinker, in his attack on the blank slate neglects the fact that Locke was discussing mind, not brain. It would, obviously, be silly to look for either an evolutionary or a neuroscientific discussion in Locke, or, for that matter in Kant, who basically opposed Locke’s empiricist approach to mind. I suspect that Locke’s response to Pinker would be along the lines of “OK, the brain is the medium in which mind is implemented, so I am not talking about a blank brain, but I think the contents of human ideation originate in experience.” It is more questionable whether Kant would go along with say a Cosmides and Tooby modularity model, however, due to some other features of his theory, but he might. Indeed, in terms of Locke’s political interests I suspect he would have been perfectly happy with the evolution of the brain part of the discussion insofar as his interest was in a fundamental leveling of the basic starting point of a political theory, which is the outcome of any evolutionary theory–on balance, and across large populations, everyone is pretty much the same at the inherent level.

A more interesting issue, however, is not the question of whether evolution plays a role in psychology, but how much of a role. There is now a lot of evidence, from fields as diverse as the complex dynamics of development and autonomous agent research (robotics) that relatively small evolved characteristics present at birth, when imbedded in a species typical environment of adult caregivers, yield very complex behaviors at adulthood. You can look at the work of Ester Thelen on the first or the robotics research carried out by Rodney Brooks and others at MIT. What contrasts this material from what many EVO/PSY people do is allow for a lot of cultural input that has itself “evolved,” in a sense, to “bootstrap” an infant into the largely symbolic world of human adults. In Pinker’s own real field of linguistics, the person to read is Terrence Deacon at Berkeley. But to give and example, back in the 1980s the psychologist, Kenneth Kaye made a pretty good case to the effect that a very simple, but uniquely human, infant nursing behavior–what he called burst-pause-burst–was a precursor to adult conversational turn taking–also a uniquely human behavior. The important variable was really how the mother interpreted and reacted to the infant’s pauses during nursing and how mother an infant negotiated the process to their mutual satisfaction.

This latter point goes to another issue with EVO/PSY, which is its substantial neglect of developmental issues. There has been a long running debate in the field about whether we should talk about development or maturation. Maturation implies that the whole thing is there from the beginning, and just has to fully emerge, while development takes the position that a lot of things can be added to the original core element. It seems to me that within the field of evolutionary theory this is what is causing as much of the trouble between Coyne and Myers. The EVO/DEVO people have really upset the more traditional evolutionary theorists because they have basically undermined the time line that traditional evolutionary theory has run on. This does cause problems for EVO/PSY as well, insofar as it undermines the notion that we need to go back to the paleolithic to determine the environment in which behaviors emerged. In its most radical form, EVO/DEVO will tell you that significantly different gene expressions can emerge in one or two generations, and certainly that the shift from the paleolithic to the neolithic, which meant the development of large scale sedentary communities and agriculture as opposed to hunting and gathering, is a far more likely foundation for current trends in human evolution. This, I think, poses problems not only for the scientific pretensions of EVO/PSY but also for the more ideological elements that do in fact underlie the field which are, ironically a sort of conservative Rousseauianism. But that notion will probably get me into trouble with some readers of this site, so I will leave off.

I do much appreciate the intelligent discussion of the issues.

#15 Comment By REMant On July 31, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

Locke’s tabula rasa, however, is derived from the Stoics, for whom it was anything but a blank slate, since they believed in a structured, unitary world, or as James put it, a “block universe.” Locke’s “empiricism” and thus the entire import of his philosophy is often similarly misunderstood. As with all republicans, his argument rests not on any sort of behaviorism, but on rationality. We all have an equal chance of understanding the universe, thus no one can assert a greater ability based on anything not available to all. Darwin believed this, too. The opposite is Social Darwinism, the historical, voluntarist idea that we are engaged in a war of all against all, (which, altho he began with it, Hobbes also proceeded to dismember). The tendency among neocons, such as David Brooks’, is to argue instead for an innate sociability, like Locke’s pupil, Shaftesbury, in line with the sentimentality of evangelical religion, but the basis is still the same, and opposed to reason. The controversy undoubtedly goes back to the Greeks, certainly to the first encounter of philosophy with religion. The religionists are the blank slate folks. The really important thing here tho is not how we evolve, but how we understand and thus ought to treat others. And, since we clearly think retrospectively, the answer should be clear.

#16 Comment By AdamK On July 31, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

I thought I was joking (below) about PZ Myers’ name being misspelled in blog posts.

Today on a post by Jerry Coyne (who knows PZ Myers and his work perfectly well):

“Note that Gora also says, contra P. Z. Meyers…”

It’s a Law. None may defy it.

#17 Comment By jamie On July 31, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

Interested Commentator: I’m aware of Berlinksi and I read his The Devil’s Delusion, after which I was quite thoroughly convinced his “atheism” as a pretense in order to to make his dust jackets more desirable to a certain sort of reader. He belongs to a creationist think tank and his criticisms of the scientific method are based on mischaracterizations and solipsism. He’s a denialist, just not a religious fundamentalist kind, and thus, his material is perfect reading for the discerning crystal worshiper, indigo child, or vaccine-avoiding narcissist.

It’s pretty remarkable that the most cunning practitioners postmodernism are either devoutly religious or motivated pseudoskeptics, who use critical theory, deconstruction and philosophical relativism to try to prove objective science is “just another religion.”

#18 Comment By TomB On July 31, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

I have a question for all the smart commentators here:

While it’s obvious from what I wrote above that I too am very skeptical about the ability to pin-point what evolutionary/natural selection pressures resulted in what psychological/emotional/behavioral traits, isn’t it still quite reasonable to say that the fundamental … “meta” sensibility of the validity of evo-psych does give us at least *some* big “meta” social-science lessons, that *do* translate into some big political lessons as well?

Thus for instance it strikes me that once you accept evo-psych’s basic premise you probably have to agree that our fundamental nature has indeed been “set,” thus leading to the further idea that attempts to change same will not only likely have to veer into coercion, but will likely fail as well, true?

E.g., that any “homo Sovieticus” attempt, including lesser ones, will of necessity fail, because you just simply *are* dealing with a fundamental human nature and not a blank, infinitely mutable slate.

And then, in response to the idea that we can’t know exactly *what* that nature is or where it came from, there’s *still* the idea that it would seem reasonable to assume from the amazingly granular level that evolution has worked at vis a vis our physical traits, that it has worked at such a similar granular level as regards our psychological/emotional/behavioral traits, no?

Thus once again arguing against most any attempts to force change upon us.

Plus then there’s the idea that just as our DNA seems to prefer if not limit the malleability of our physical traits to within some certain bounds or pathways, it would seem sensible to believe it does that too as regards our non-physical traits.

(And I’d invite any other such possible “meta” lessons that might be reasonably inferred from accepting the validity of evo psych too.)

It’s not that I’m against those who note the possible impossibility of ever being able to prove the inner workings of evo-psych—perhaps even as to *any* of its inner workings. But with some there is the sense that, having been driven from their initial hysterical reaction against it by its innate sensibility, they have now taken the fallback position of noting this and saying that therefore there’s *nothing* of value to be taken from the idea.

Seems to me this is like observing that because we can never know what precise evolutionary/natural selection pressure led to our bipedalism, we are somehow outlawed from recognizing and taking into account our bipedality and that’s clearly nuts, no?

#19 Comment By Rachmiel ben Ariel On July 31, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

Read Mortimer Adler and call me in the morning.

#20 Comment By Q V On July 31, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

I am a big fan of Mr. Pinker’s work and a semi-regular reader of PZ’s pharyngula. However (as a non-expert, based on my own mostly non academic studies) on this issue I feel Mr. Pinker’s point of view will be accepted in the long run similarly to how evolutionary biology is nigh universally (amongst those with science backgrounds) accepted.

However I believe the writer’s point, illuminated his title and closing paragraphs, is that not all scientific battles can be cleanly divided along political lines with one argument aligning with a certain party’s ideals with the other taking the counterpoint (c.f. creationism vs. evolution; stem cell research; abortion).
I would add that in rational discourse about these topics we should try to leave the party alignment at the door and discuss the scientific merits of the argument before its political ramifications.

#21 Comment By Darth Thulhu On August 1, 2013 @ 12:38 am


On that very meta meta-level, there is indeed a lot of conservative wisdom there. Babies aren’t empty hard-drives, clearly.

But just as clearly, “all men are potential rapists” and “all Asians are more disciplined” are ridiculous falsehoods in the specific and vast overgeneralizations overall.

EvoPsych frequently takes stabs at writing “Just So” stories to “explain” supposed “truths” that largely fall in the second paragraph above. The inital “observations” are frequently deluded, the applied “hypothesis” is frequently ad hoc mummery, and the “conclusion” is frequently as inaccurate and willfully ignorant as fads for scientific racism like Phrenology.

As a hyper-meta metanarrative, sure, EvoPsych can paint some broad parameters constraining all populations of humanity. But that’s not at all what EvoPsych researchers restrict themselves to pontifficating about.

#22 Comment By Mandeville On August 1, 2013 @ 8:18 am

What is “blank” is not the apparatus of the brain, but our beliefs. It is the conditioning of beliefs that connects them to our emotions that should be examined. The feelings of pride, shame, and honor can be educated to nearly anything and influence thought and behavior accordingly. The fact that the ’emotional capability’ exists a priori is one thing, but over what it responds to is where it is blank.

However, what we are educated to believe in childhood can be modified over time, through experience and thought applied to it. It is more difficult to re-condition one’s emotions after childhood.

Self love, or egoism, is our nature. People need recognition from others. They get it when they share values. Anti-social behavior is merely the product of someone whose values/beliefs haven’t been educated to his ’emotions’.

This distinction is that one can know something in their brain without an emotional connection to it. In that case we have not been conditioned to ‘value’ it. Once we have been trained to value something, our behavior becomes predictable.

We are conditioned animals to the relative and competing values of our societies.

#23 Comment By john werneken On August 1, 2013 @ 11:56 am

The idea of the “five moral instincts” with there being a tendency (a) for most all of us to have them and (b) two groups accounting for most of us, each with its own different pattern of weighting the relative importance of the five, just seems to match experience. Maybe it is universal, maybe it’s just a useful construct, but it is at least that.

What sorts of real things trigger which instincts in which ways varies a lot from place to place, apparently mostly according to culture and not according to any sort of genetic affect.

What people actually decide to do has not necessarily any relation to reason, but does usually involve their feelings, their sense of identity, and the culture they adhere to.

What seems close to provable though is the same as one would guess just sitting in one’s armchair: there appear to be some points on which we are all the same (obvious, as we can breed) and some on which we will never agree (also obvious, just consider the existence of war).

Politically I think it all supports the vision of America’s Founders: a limited, republican, and divided both functionally and as to sovereignty government, powerful enough to establish defense, justice, and a currency, and able to support the development of the country, but not having any other significant functions. So as to match the areas of general agreement to the government’s activities, and so as to prohibit activity where there was not nearly universal agreement, at least as to the objective, such as defending the country.

#24 Comment By TTT On August 1, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

Evolution was at work for very nearly 2 billion years longer than there has been anything with the capacity to “psychologize”. One might as well look at the dirt at your doorstep and wonder if any of the grains had been blasted out of their initial lodging by the K-T asteroid. It is untraceably ancient and of little relevance to the observed modern phenomena.

I have NEVER seen an evo-psych argument that was any more sophisticated than “I feel like acting this way, so, monkeys. Now don’t criticize me.” There is no traceable evidence, it is untestable, unfalsifiable, and unmistakably ideological. It’s creationist argumentation used by atheists.

Dead giveaway: when someone says “my kind of science is being held down by FEMINISTS,” they aren’t talking about science.

#25 Comment By TomB On August 2, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

TTT wrote:

“Dead giveaway: when someone says ‘my kind of science is being held down by FEMINISTS,’ they aren’t talking about science.”

Oh, for a long time biologists, natural historians and others were essentially saying “my kind of science (Darwinism, that is) is being held down by CREATIONISTS,” and that didn’t make evolution/natural selection non-scientific.

Unless, that is, you saying that the State of Tennessee was in the right in prosecuting Mr. Scopes.

#26 Comment By AC On August 14, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

If you don’t understand the new theory linking r/K Selection Theory with political ideology, you have no idea how this whole field is about to explode.

And it isn’t going to be nice for Liberals.