[FRIAM] the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology?

uǝlƃ ☣ gepropella at gmail.com
Wed Feb 21 15:27:00 EST 2018

No, I don't agree.  I had intended to reply to Dave's (twice repeated) question about the speed of evolution with this response.  But I'll do it, here, anyway.  Remember that I'm not a biologist.  So, corrections of what I say are more than welcome.  It seems to me that natural selection is multi-grained.  Even if we reject the general concept of group selection, I think it's safe to say that something like our "dopaminergic system" can be selected for or against just as well as some behavior like fight or flight.  At the very least, we can talk about the speed of evolution in bacteria and the idea that we are covered in, and filled with bacteria (which affects our survivability in the face of what we eat and breathe).  But you're right that I would NOT argue that the map from mechanism to phenomenon is simple.  Selection is phenomenal.  However, the structure of the systems being operated on are not merely 2-layer gen-phen systems.  They're a complex convolution of 2-layer systems, some fast, some slow, some tiny, some large, etc., all inter-embedded with each other.  The phenomenal "function" of one 2-layer part might well be considered the generative mechanism of another 2-layer part.

So, no, natural selection doesn't simply select function.  Even if *technically* true, that's an over-simplification.

On 02/21/2018 11:59 AM, Steven A Smith wrote:
> But don't you agree that *physiology* is NOT what is being directly
> selected for, but rather what is more directly *expressed* from what is
> *encoded* (genome) (therefore easier to identify/detect/measure).  Is it
> not *function* rather than *form* which is being selected?   Isn't that
> the point of *exaptation*, that one phenotypic element originally
> selected for around *one* context/utility function trips into another
> context with an entirely different utility?

☣ uǝlƃ

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