Thursday, August 01, 2013

P.Z. Myers vs. the Evo-psychos

Bravo to P. Z. Myers, for assuming the late Stephen Jay Gould's role of scourge of the evolutionary psychologists. While there are plenty of scientists who disagree with evolutionary psychology premises, testing strategies, etc., few actually take the time to do battle with popularizers of evolutionary psychology like Steven Pinker.

At one time I thought that Jerry Coyne might be the successor to Gould but he's gradually become a social conservative, making common cause with the likes of Sam Harris in his efforts to target Muslims for ethnic profiling. I knew Coyne was going downhill at that point and no longer to be trusted about anything.

As Pinker has done on several occasions with his critics, Coyne suggests that Myers real motive in rejecting evolutionary psychology is political correctness.

Myers responds to Coyne here.

At one time Coyne and Myers appeared to be part of the happy "New Atheist" family but I think that two issues have caused a breakup, with Coyne siding with the New Atheists - who all happen to be proponents of evolutionary psychology - and Myers drawing away from the family - the right-wing views on gun control and Muslim profiling of Sam Harris and the sexism of Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer.

Although I am disappointed that Myers still appears to be a booster of Richard Dawkins in spite of Myers taking Rebecca Watson's side against Dawkins and his role in elevator-gate.

Now that Myers has come out so strenuously against evolutionary psychology, and specifically against Steven Pinker, who won the 2013 Dawkins award, I wonder how Dawkins will respond.