Talk To Me Like I'm Stupid: Evolutionary Psychology

Sex At Dawn author Christopher Ryan writes:


Anyone who takes evolutionary psychology seriously has to overcome the fact that many of the most prominent voices in the field don't. One gets the sense, reading their sweeping, provocative proclamations that they are more salesmen than scientists. The more shock and schlock they can pack in to whatever they're selling, the better. 

As soon-to-be authors of a book on sexuality (with plenty to shock attentive readers), we're certainly not claiming to be blind to the sales appeal of taking a new approach to inherently interesting material. But there's a point beyond which the science crumbles under the weight of the salesmanship.

That's from back in 2008. Ryan was responding to yet another example of rigorous Kanazawa scholarship entitled, "The Power Of Female Choice: Why Fat Chicks Get Laid More." Leaving that aside, Ryan's point about Evo-Psych is one I've seen for a few years now, and it seems that a lot of people barely consider it a science.

Put stupidly--Why is that? What is it about the field that repels people and why is it particularly open to hucksterism? Or is that even true? 

As always, please don't speak simply because your bored. Some of us came for the symphony.
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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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