RE: memes and sexuality

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 00:55:06 BST

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: memes and sexuality
    Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 19:55:06 -0400
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    >From: Vincent Campbell <>
    >To: "''" <>
    >Subject: RE: memes and sexuality
    >Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 14:15:10 +0100
    > <Genetic determination of gun use seems *slightly* questionable to
    >me too.
    > > Nevertheless, genetic determination of many other gender-oriented
    > > behaviors
    > > appear obvious to all but the most idealistic and politically correct
    > > ideologues.>
    > >
    > >
    >Well, I think it's more than slightly questionable, but we'll let that one
    >lie. Certainly your other point is right, but indicative of just how many
    >idealistic and politically correct ideologues are out there, given the
    >responses to evolutionary psychology from some quarters.
    Are all critics of EP just grinding an axe of political correctness?

    It is a given that humans are a product of evolution. Selection and
    adaptation are as important to consider in behavior as they are in
    morphology. The problem is when one gets into the particulars, such as
    taking an aspect of human behavior and putting an adaptive explanation
    behind it. One must wonder just how meticulous a scrutinizer selection has
    been and how much of human behavior can be considered non-adaptive. Gould's
    concepts (however flawed they may be) of exaptation and spandrels warrant a
    closer look in this regard. If any discipline might take up the banner of
    non-adaptive components to human behavior it might jus be memetics. Too bad
    Gould doesn't seem too keen on memetics.

    If hardcore EP is taken to be a discipline with a strong hereditarian slant
    (versus weaker versions which respect for the "evil standard social science
    model" spectre) I'd probably veer more towards a memetic perspective.

    A problem with EP is whether its proponents have an appreciation for the
    full spectrum of evolutionary thought or whether they look at the world of
    human behavior with hyperadaptionist lenses. If they are psych majors
    without much of a background in biology and are only going on
    popularizations and some reading of Darwin I'd wonder.

    Non-adaptive means of evolution have been considered in molecular evolution,
    why not behavioral evolution?

    And when will a favorite evolutionary hypothesis for a particular part of
    human behavior yield to the phrase "we just don't know"?

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