Well, that’ll teach me to dash off my angry thoughts at 7am after pulling an all-nighter.
Because everything I said about some of the Pharyngula commenter’s obsession with using evolutionary psychology to prop up their own faltering egos and desperate need to be viewed as intelligent — Chris Clarke has said better, funnier, and pithier.
This just breaking from Creek Running North: Belief in Evolutionary Psychology May Be Hardwired, Study Says
The particularly brilliant beginning to the post:
Special to Creek Running North: Biologists have long assumed that evolutionary psychology, a controversial branch of psychology that ascribes many common social behaviors to genetics, is a muddled blend of half-understood evolutionary biology, selective data mining and resentment of women’s changing roles in society.
A new study, published in today’s issue of the German publication Unwirklichen Genetikjournal, does not challenge that assessment. But it does suggest that some men may be genetically predisposed to believe in evolutionary psychology, a finding that may well suggest future methods of treatment of the psychological malady.
Believers in evolutionary psychology maintain that feminism sets itself in opposition to millions of years of anthropoid evolution, and is thus futile and inhumane to men. Allegations made by believers include references to putative differences in math skills between men and women, a supposedly irresistible but entirely non-visually stimulated female attraction toward powerful and/or arrogant males, and the existence of a genetically preordained male right to multiple female sexual partners.
Many such men hold to these beliefs despite an absolute lack of supporting scientific evidence, says Dr. Ulrike Mann-Esser, chair of the sexual anthropology department at Universität Ulm and the study’s lead researcher. “But we had no way to determine why this was so until last year’s discovery of the locus taedius.”
I’d excerpt more, but the whole thing is too damn correct and funny to pull pieces out of.* While it’s written to mock evolutionary psychology’s claims about sex and gender, it pretty much demolishes all the ridiculous “White dudes is the smarterest and most civilizedest!” claims at the same time.
So go read over there. He even has witty illustrations, which proves that he carries the Superior Blogging Gene.
*As we all know, quoting funny, pithy blog articles in full is a sure way to make people stomp around whining about all that unfair, extra publicity.
UPDATE: While I bow to Chris Clarke for being more cogent than I am on this issue, I do have to point out just one last ludicrous comment from a new Pharyngula thread about Watson’s remarks. Writes a commenter called Christian Burnham: “It seems that [another commenter] is now suggesting a genetic basis for the apparent variation in IQ between different groups. That may make him/her completely wrong- but it still doesn’t make him/her a racist.”
Here we have yet another perfect example of how people squirm to make sure that even the most blatant, obvious racism is denied the label. For me, reading that thread, it also becomes an example of how [many of] the mostly white, mostly men are inured to anything except the abstract ramifications of what they’re saying. [Some c]ommenters [admonish] those who endorse the ev-psych viewpoint to [substantiate their viewpoints with evidence, not because they're making ridiculous statements, but] due to the controversial nature of the topic, while decrying anyone who reacts [to the black people are just dumb meme] with anger. The[se commenters] seem to have no real [understanding] that the asshats [who they suggest should not be lashed at angrily] are talking about real, flesh and blood people, and that what they’re saying has stakes. After all, it [probably] doesn’t have stakes — except po[tentially] beneficial ones — for them.