Friday, 22 June 2012

Blog: Gene Expression
Topic: Reason: the God that fails, but we keep socially promoting….
Comment: I boggle over a paper on who likes Evolutionary Psychology and Evolution.  Razib subsequently posts on the subject here.

"So far I’ve been talking about opinions and beliefs that are held by contemporaries. The basic model is that you offload the task of reasoning about issues which you are not familiar with, or do not understand in detail, to the collective with which you identify, and give weight to specialists if they exist within that collective".

This appears to be a reasonable perspective and may also help to explain apparent contradictions where they do appear.

For example, I recently found a copy of a paper in my email inbox, after a disagreement about evolutionary psychology in which I was the proponent for, and the other party dismissed the subject matter, by pointing out that those who did not believe in evolution, were much more likely to accept the tenets of evolutionary psychology, than those who did accept the theory of evolution.

My supposition is that the intent behind this, was that having been shown evidence that people of faith accept a certain theory, that this should be sufficient cause for me to discard it, and join in "reading off a collective script".

Quite frankly, I was completely flummoxed. The paper for your consideration is this one:

Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology
2011, 5(2), 1-9. 2011 Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology

"Our results revealed a double dissociation, whereby endorsers of human evolution displayed relatively weak support for claims derived from evolutionary psychology, whereas non-endorsers of human evolution displayed relatively strong support for such claims".

My current working hypothesis after reading the paper, was informed by statements such as this one from the paper which notes that:

"When they learned that the relevant survey items had been drawn from evolutionary theory, opponents of the theory were much less likely to endorse them".

The issue may be attributed to an ideological constraint within a clearly defined boundary, revealing that the individuals have not examined or understood in any great detail what they accept. They have in effect outsourced thinking about these precepts to others.

Under this hypothesis, a grouping such as liberals who accept evolution, reject evolutionary psychology, because their religious beliefs include articles of faith such as the Blank State. Whereas those who believe in God, will accept empirical observation that match their experiences, even if they tie into evolutionary psychology, but their religious beliefs will incline them to reject propositions clearly identified with the theory of evolution.


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