In Defense of Evo Psych

The Kanazawa fall-out continues:


An international group of more than 60 academics has accused a controversial evolutionary psychologist of refusing to engage in scientific dialogue, highlighting long-standing criticism of his work in an attempt to protect their discipline from further attack. 

The group, which consists of 68 scholars of evolution and human behaviour, wrote to Times Higher Education following the furore over a recent blog by Satoshi Kanazawa, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, in which he claimed that an analysis of data showed that black women were "far less attractive" than those of other races. 

The academics and journal editors from countries including the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and New Zealand claim that Dr Kanazawa - who is currently on sabbatical from his post as reader in management - has attracted a flood of criticism to the field of evolutionary psychology. 

Defending the discipline, they say that "a large number of scientists who apply an evolutionary approach to human behaviour consider Dr Kanazawa's work to be poor quality and have demonstrated this via their own academic critiques".

I imagine that when you're practicing in the field which regularly has to endure attacks on its very foundations, a guy like Kanazawa must be something of a problem. It's not like Michael Behe is an existential threat to biochemistry, right?
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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