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The emperor

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Title: The emperor


1
The emperors new paradigm
  • The rise and fall and rise and fall of
    evolutionary perspectives in psychology

2
On evolution
  • A chicken is just an egg's way of making more
    eggs.

3
Charles Darwin
  • Premise 1 Struggle for survival
  • Premise 2 Variability
  • Premise 3 Heritability
  • Premise 4 Fitness
  • CONCLUSION NATURAL SELECTION
  • He observed breeders and different naturally
    evolving species
  • Charles Babbage God programmer of laws

4
Charles Darwin
  • Premise 1 Struggle for survival
  • Premise 2 Variability
  • Premise 3 Heritability
  • Premise 4 Fitness
  • CONCLUSION NATURAL SELECTION
  • (Artificial selection eugenics later!)

5
On the origin of species, 1859
  • Premise 1 Struggle for survival
  • Species have great fertility. They have more
    offspring than ever grow to adulthood.
  • Populations remain roughly the same size, with
    small changes. (Food resources )
  • An implicit struggle for survival ensues.

6
On the origin of species, 1859
  • Premise 2 Variability
  • In sexually reproducing species, generally no two
    individuals are identical.
  • Some of these variations directly affect the
    ability of an individual to survive in a given
    environment.

7
On the origin of species, 1859
  • Premise 3 Inheritability
  • Much of this variation is inheritable.
  • Mind you Mendels work though existant at the
    time was not known by Darwin from the outset!
  • Inheritance mechanism was imagined entirely
    differently

8
On the origin of species, 1859
  • Premise 4 Fitness
  • Individuals less suited to the environment are
    less likely to survive and less likely to
    reproduce,
  • while individuals more suited to the environment
    are more likely to survive and more likely to
    reproduce.

9
On the origin of species, 1859
  • CONCLUSION NATURAL SELECTION
  • The individuals that survive are most likely to
    leave their inheritable traits to future
    generations.
  • A continuous natural embetterment of the world?

10
Underlying assumptions
  • Premise 1 Struggle for survival
  • Malthusian idea technological improvement
  • Premise 2 Variability
  • Much uniformity
  • Premise 3 Heritability
  • Debates even today syphilis, doctoritis running
    in families
  • Premise 4 Fitness well-adapted to the
    environment
  • Not at all a clear concept
  • Sickle cell anaemia
  • what it means for a non-natural selection
    philosophy

11
The puzzling survivor
  • The Naked Ape homo sapiens
  • No claws
  • No sharp teeth
  • Not too fast slower than most predators at any
    rate
  • Why is this parody of evolutionary perfection
    still around and moreover everywhere?

12
Solution by Evolutionary Psychology
  • The adapted mind
  • The complexity seen in nature by Darwin is
    compared to the complexity in human behaviour and
    it is explained as such
  • Evolutionary psychology as an approach

13
Evolutionary psychology
  • The Human Animal (Sociobiology)
  • Adaptationism
  • Originally applied to biological organs the
    most well-known is the eye
  • Extensions the brain is a biological organ
  • Supposition the brain produces behaviour and
    consciousness
  • Therefore behaviour and consciousness is formed
    by evolution just as the biological body is
  • Eyes complexity in the centre of debates

14
Richard Dawkins
  • An ardent proponent of adaptations - earning him
    the title of Darwins Rottweiler (and equally
    ardent opponent to creationism )
  • The Blind Watchmaker focuses on how evolution
    could create marvellous structures like the eye
  • William Paley a watch presupposes intelligent
    design because of its complexity

15
The Weasel problem
  • Shakespeares Hamlet
  • Hamlet Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in
    shape of a camel? Polonius By the mass, and 'tis
    like a camel, indeed. Hamlet Methinks it is like
    a weasel.
  • Based on the infinite monkey theorem
  • A monkey bashing away at random on a typewriter
    given enough time he would type the entire works
    of Shakespeare
  • how long would it take him to produce the
    sentence Methinks it is like a weasel.?

16
The Weasel problem
  • Methinks it is like a weasel
  • This is 28 characters
  • Using 26 letters only capitals and a space bar
  • Probability?
  • 2728 1040 infinity, or at least much longer
    than milliseconds from the existence of the
    universe (13,73 billion 13,73 109 years
    7,22 1018 milliseconds)

17
Sir Frederick Hoyle
  • approximately the same order of magnitude as the
    probability that a hurricane could sweep through
    a junkyard and randomly assemble a Boeing 747.
  • solar system full of blind men solving Rubik's
    Cube simultaneously.
  • The simplest bacterium needs 1040,000
    permutations, while the number of the atoms in
    the universe is only 1080,
  • the chance is the same as throwing 50000 sixes in
    a row with a die

18
Sir Frederick Hoyle
  • Astronomer and sci-fi writer
  • He opposed the Big Bang theory because it needs
    a cause Steady State theory
  • He also opposed natural abiogenesis!
  • Intelligent design - Evolution from Space

19
Hoyles fallacy
  • You dont need 28 letters. You start with say 3.
  • They calculate the probability of the formation
    of a "modern" protein, or even a complete
    bacterium with all "modern" proteins, by random
    events.
  • This is not the abiogenesis theory at all it
    starts with VERY SIMPLE organisms
  • They assume that there is a fixed number of
    proteins, with fixed sequences for each protein,
    that are required for life.
  • They calculate the probability of sequential
    trials, rather than simultaneous trials.
  • Changing one at a time mutations are rare but
    do not exclude each other
  • They seriously underestimate the number of
    functional enzymes/ribozymes present in a group
    of random sequences only one good solution
    fallacy

20
The Weasel problem
  • Cumulative selections instead of a single step
    selection
  • Two differences in his model
  • Copying mechanism it retains previous states
  • There is an inherent goal any change that
    occurs towards methinks it is a weasel is kept,
    others are discarded
  • Generation 1 WDLMNLT DTJBKWIRZREZLMQCO P
  • Generation 2 WDLTMNLT DTJBSWIRZREZLMQCO P
  • Generation 10 MDLDMNLS ITJISWHRZREZ MECS P
  • Generation 20 MELDINLS IT ISWPRKE Z WECSEL
  • Generation 30 METHINGS IT ISWLIKE B WECSEL
  • Generation 40 METHINKS IT IS LIKE I WEASEL
  • Generation 43 METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL

21
Adaptive landscapes
  • Fitness or adaptive landscapes genetic
    variation is pushed to the direction of the
    arrows
  • Waddington epigenetic landscape curiously
    posits a rolling, not a climbing ball
  • Saddle points in mathematics as non-optimal
    solutions

22
Cosmides Tooby
  • Flexibility a basis never questioned
  • Instinct vs reason distinction
  • Please make a mental note as this is to be
    relevant to the discussion on implicit/explicit!
  • What is instinct blindness according to Williams
    James?
  • Make the natural seem strange program
  • of course is no longer a good answer does
    evolutionary psychology manage to get round the
    problem?
  • cognitive psychologists spend more time studying
    how we solve problems we are bad at the
    concept of difficult is being redefined

23
The Blank Slate
  • The Standard Social Science Model (SSSM)
  • learning
  • Induction
  • Intelligence
  • Imitation
  • Rationality
  • the capacity for culture
  • Culture
  • A proposed problem with domain generality if
    there is no inborn mechanism at all (only
    perception), what learns how to learn?

24
SSSM
What is this roughly supposed to mean
exactly? The problem of innateness is it
presence at birth?
  • Hypotheses and problems
  • Babies are born with the same capacities
    (roughly) all over the world
  • YET they come to be very different adults
    finally, with different customs and habits
  • The difference must therefore lie in their
    experience of the world
  • This experience is mediated through
    general-purpose-learning mechanisms
  • Culture must be the explanation it has an
    overarching and all-pervasive effect

Are domain-general learning mechanisms good
enough to deal with the information load?
Consider the visual system
Are cultures all that different? How much
universality lies under the cultural differeces
of human societies?
25
Arguments against
  • Many things are not present at birth that are
    rarely doubted to be innate
  • Do we learn to grow beards and menstruate?
  • The nature/nurture dichotomy is not only
    arbitrary it is false
  • again connected to innateness
  • In some cases domain-general learning mechanisms
    are just not enough
  • Most prominent example is language poverty of
    stimulus argument
  • Moreover striking differences - species-specific
    learning mechanisms (also consider phobias)

26
Asking the wrong questions
  • genes vs environment
  • engine or gasoline?
  • the ingredients of bread
  • Presence at birth is not required points at the
    problematics of innate

27
Innateness
  • What do we mean by innate? Cognitive science
  • Non-acquisition
  • UG vacuous, as in a sense everything is
    acquired at some point a blastula has no UG
  • Presence at birth inborn
  • Neither necessary (pubic hair), nor sufficient
    (prenatal learning is possible)
  • Internally caused as opposed to environmentally
    induced
  • Jeffrey Ellman rethinking Innateness the
    product of interactions internal to the
    organism
  • Impossible without maternal blood, no organ
    could possibly develop at all
  • Triggering is often evoked yet unsure in meaning

28
Innateness
  • What do we mean by innate? Biology
  • Genetically determined?
  • Genetically caused
  • Genetically represented mapped in DNA
  • Both accounts fail because of
  • interactionist explanations
  • difficulty of observation
  • Invariance accounts stable across normal
    environments
  • Attractive as it explains stability and
    universality in a species
  • YET the concept that water is wet would be
    innate

29
Innateness
  • What do we mean by innate?
  • Innateness as high heritability
  • Heritabilityoverall phenotypic variation that is
    due to genetic variation (Vg/Vp)
  • However only works if there is phenotypic
    variation if there is none, it is useless
  • Opposable thumb in humans drug taaken by mother
    disrupting its development -gt low heritability
  • Not learned
  • Learning is nearly as slippery as innateness
    isYet..
  • Psychologically primitive
  • Can not be explained by general psychological
    mechanisms have to retreat to biological
    explanations
  • Bootstrapping-type learning learning that is
    faster that would be expected based on a
    domain-general view

30
Adaptive minds
  • Problem-specificity
  • The brain is a naturally constructed
    computational system whose function is to solve
    adaptive information-processing problems
  • Modularity of mind the Swiss army knife model
  • face recognition, threat interpretation, language
    acquisition, or navigation
  • Domain specificity (environment specifity)
    domain generality (modus ponens works in all
    environmental conditions)
  • adaptive problems
  • Permanent to be solved in the life of a species
  • Enhance reproductive success
  • What about survival?
  • The side-effect trick (exaptation)
  • Walking and skateboarding

31
MMA hypothesis
  • Massive modularity
  • Modern-day phrenology?

32
Jerry Fodor Modularity
  • Differentiation of modules and central processing
    systems
  • Modules are
  • Domain-specific
  • Rapid
  • Informationally encapsulated
  • Automatic obligatory firing
  • Shallow output
  • Inaccessible to consciousness
  • Characteristic pattern of breakdown - lesions
  • The moon looks bigger when its on the horizon
    but I know perfectly well its not. My visual
    perception module gets fooled, but I dont. The
    question is who is this I?  If, in short,
    there is a community of computers living in my
    head, there had also better be somebody who is in
    charge and, by God, it had better be me. Jerry
    Fodor on Pinker and Plotkin
  • Jerry Fodor The trouble with psychologicalDarwini
    sm. London Review of Books

33
Reasoning circuits rational instincts
  • Structured around an adaptive problem
  • Universally present in homo sapiens
  • Develop without conscious effort (speech vs
    writing)
  • Applied without conscious effort
  • Distinct from more general abilities

34
Stone age minds
  • EEA - environment of evolutionary adaptedness
  • For this reason, evolutionary psychology is
    relentlessly past-oriented
  • What is problematic about this argument?
  • Proximal and distal explanations in psychology
  • Universalism
  • the universal, species-typical architecture
  • reliably develops across the (ancestrally) normal
    range
  • psychic unity of humankind as opposed to
    marvellous cultural diversity
  • (Donald Brown the universal human)
  • Margaret Mead coming of age in the Samoa
    Derek Freeman

35
The Universal People The total list comprises
about 150 items
Donald Brown
  • Abstraction (in speech and in thought)
  • Language!
  • baby talk
  • Antonyms
  • Nouns
  • numerals
  • Belief in supernatural/religion magic (wicca)
  • Beliefs about death, disease, fortune
    misfortune
  • Binary cognitive distinctions antonyms
  • Childhood fear of strangers/loud noises
  • Coalitions
  • Collective identities
  • Cooperation competition
  • Morals
  • Murder prohibited
  • Rape prohibited
  • Myths narratives
  • Meals meal times
  • Marriage
  • Daily routines
  • Melody
  • Metaphors
  • Music
  • Repetitionvariation
  • Dance
  • Crying (emotions?)
  • Personal names
  • Planning
  • Prode
  • Promise
  • Recognition of individuals by face
  • Rhythm
  • Rites of passage rituals
  • Oedipus complex defense mechanisms
  • self-image

36
The importance of universalism
  • In theory, evolution could explain diversity
    supposing a varying environment would entail
    varying organisms
  • Why is universalism so highly emphasized then?
  • Sociobiology and social Darwinism

37
Edward O. Wilson
  • 1971. Insect societies
  • 1975 Sociobiology The New Synthesis
  • 1978 On human nature
  • In a Darwinian sense the organism does not live
    for itself. Its primary function is not even to
    reproduce other organisms it reproduces genes,
    and it serves as their temporary carrier...
    Samuel Butler's famous aphorism, that the chicken
    is only an egg's way of making another egg, has
    been modernized The organism is only DNA's way
    of making more DNA

38
Edward O. Wilson
  • People are animals, their behavior has evolved
    just like that of the animals, and our culture
    has a biological component
  • altruism self-destructive behavior performed
    for the benefit of others what other
    explanation than culture?

39
Edward O. Wilson
  • Culture is the slave of biology it can only
    survive as long as it supports biological needs
  • Gathering of resources (territorial fights)
  • cooperation helping relatives
  • Securing the continuity of the population
  • Resonates to Nazi Sozialbiologie, genetic
    determinism, eugenics

40
Richard Lewontin
Not in Our Genes
  • Population geneticist locus studies
  • The concept of niche and interaction the
    environment does not form passive creatures
    according to its own accord
  • Deterministic perspective is false biological
    creatures are actively forming their environment
  • Sould it be different the homo sapiens would not
    be alive by now
  • Legitimation and ideology first God and now
    science is the weapon universities the
    factories that produce them

41
The danger in evolutionary belief
  • Sociobiology
  • The mere idea of struggle and survival is
    inherent in nature and it is inevitable gives
    moral justification towards the unfit
  • Mary Midgley Evolution as a Religion
  • Facts will never appear to us as brute and
    meaningless they will always organize themselves
    into some sort of story, some drama
  • Buss the moral/naturalistic fallacy (Dawkins
    examines it as well)
  • Does studying heart attack cause heart attacks?

42
Eugenics
  • Eu good, well (euphoria)
  • Genics (genes) born (genetics)
  • any human action whose goal is to improve the
    gene pool
  • Renaissance idea improvement of the world
    through science why not better humankind?

43
Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921
44
Popularity of eugenics
  • Originally a field of science!

45
Multifaceted Eugenics
  • Trait
  • Intelligence
  • Mental diseases
  • Detrimental mental traits - criminality
  • Physical diseases (tubercolosis)
  • Race
  • Means
  • Dissemination of information and free choice
  • Vocational counselling
  • Genetic counselling
  • Marriage restriction
  • Segregation
  • Compulsory sterilization
  • Compulsory abortion
  • Forced pregnancy
  • Genocide

46
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911)
  • Charles Darwins half-cousin
  • and a child prodigy
  • Statistician
  • Correlation
  • Medical studies
  • 1960 Oxford Evolution Debate

47
Hereditary Genius
  • Count the number of the relatives of various
    degrees of eminent men
  • Proposed
  • adoption studies
  • trans-racial adoption studies
  • Twin studies
  • adopted and non-adopted
  • Later dyzigotic and monozygotic
  • Aware of the nature-nurture debate
  • 1883 invented the word eugenics (Inquiries into
    human faculty and its development)
  • Dysgenic behaviour of eminent people
  • Introducing monetary incentives

48
The Galton Institute (Former Eugenics Society)
49
The Bell Curve, 1994
  • Intelligence predicts
  • Financial income
  • Job performance
  • Crime
  • Intelligence is inherited 40-80
  • Perils of a custodial State

50
The Bell Curve, 1994
  • Intelligence is normally distributed - g
  • sum of many small random variations in genetic
    and environmental factors
  • Racial claims differences between blacks and
    whites
  • Controversial APA Intelligence Knowns and
    Unknowns
  • At present, no one knows what causes this
    differential.

Validity problem
National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market
Experience of Youth
51
California, 1900-1940s
  • Eugenics flourishing
  • Influential group of intellects endorsed and
    financed eugenic projects
  • Haynes physician in Los Angeles (bronchitis!)
  • Goethe businessmen of Sacramento
  • Cold Spring Harbor Station research facility
  • Aggravated by the Great Depression
  • act of civilizing Manifest Destiny
  • Sinophobia and discrimination, scientific racism

52
California, 1900-1940s
  • Eugenics flourishing
  • Active involvement of governmental organizations
  • Large-scale administration of IQ tests
  • Authorization of scientific research and
    sterilization
  • Expulsion of foreigners and undesirables en masse
  • Fomented racial segregation
  • IQ testing two-tracked school system

53
California, 1900-1940s - Eugenics
  • Victims
  • Racial groups
  • Immigrants
  • Mexicans
  • Asian Americans
  • African Americans
  • Young girls classified as
  • Immoral
  • Delinquent
  • 3 stages liberal state liberal

54
Liberal starting point
  • 1910 Termans Binet-Simon test
  • Whites
  • Mexicans
  • Negroes
  • Intelligence tied to Nordic blood
  • Segregation
  • Vocational counselling

55
Sterilizations per annum 1909-1936
  • Haynes in Los Angeles
  • Society organized for well-being
  • Regulate and streaamline
  • Gosney and Popenoe
  • Sterilization for Human Betterment
  • 1935 HOGUEs bill to extend sterilization did
    not pass
  • Competent decision boards
  • Directors, wardens and superintendents
  • Drop in 1952
  • Administrative measures
  • 1953 many categories dropped idiots, fools,
    sexual perversion - decline
  • Major themes
  • Delinquency
  • Mental retardedness

56
PROTECTION - NOT PENALTY
  • emphasis shifts from heredity to capacity and
    responsability of parenthood and social skills
  • Change in methods towards liberal measures in
    1940
  • Popenoe
  • Counselling career planning, marriage, family
    planning
  • Information dissemination on eugenical measures
  • Holmes (1920) monetary incentives

57
The motives shifted
  • Early years genes deflate the germ plasm (1880)
  • Initially against criminality, imbecility,
    poverty
  • White supremacy, racial segregation, stereotypes
  • Mexican boys mentally incompetent forced
    manual workers
  • Mexican women hyperbreeders dependent on
    welfare
  • Defectives depleting resources fiscal
    justifications

58
Herbert Spencer
  • Social darwinism
  • Taking survival of the fittest a step too far
  • Darwin himself thought it impractical he would
    rather have spread the knowledge and let people
    decide for themselves
  • 2 basic mistakes
  • Naturalistic fallacy
  • He conflates development with change
  • Probably a side effect of the ancient idea of the
    scala naturae

59
Internal struggles
  • Evolution by selection is the only known causal
    process capable of creating such complex organic
    mechanisms. (David Buss)
  • Jerry Fodor
  • The motiv is inaccessible even to the agent
  • A way of restoring our innocence
  • Psychological Darwinism is a kind of conspiracy
    theory that is, it explains behaviour by
    imputing an interest (viz in the proliferation of
    the genome) that the agent of the behaviour does
    not acknowledge. 
  • Popular for the same reason Freud was popular a
    slip of tongue is just a libidinous impulse

60
Objections Jerry Fodor
  • Is it ONLY adaptationism that is able to explain
    such complexity?
  • The complexity of behaviour itself is irrelevant
  • evolution does not and can not act on it
  • only on brains
  • What matters is how much you would have to change
    an apes brain in order to produce that much
    complexity in behaviour
  • And about this, exactly nothing is known.
  • It is not like the giraffes neck longer is
    evident
  • In fact the difference between brains is not that
    big (J.F.)
  • in terms of genes it is even smaller
  • what matters with regard to the question whether
    the mind is an adaptation is not how complex our
    behaviour is, but how much change you would have
    to make in an apes brain to produce the
    cognitive structure of a human mind. And about
    this, exactly nothing is known. Thats because
    nothing is known about how the structure of our
    minds depends on the structure of our brains.

61
Objections Jerry Fodor
  • Methodological flaw reverse engineering
  • inferring how a device must work from a prior
    appreciation of its function
  • Ever tried using telnet?
  • you dont have to know how hands (or hearts, or
    eyes, or livers) evolved to make a pretty shrewd
    guess about what they are for. Maybe you also
    dont have to know how the mind evolved to make a
    pretty shrewd guess at what its for for
    example, that its to think with. (Fodor, J.)

62
Concerns with evolutionary psychology
  • Level of selection
  • Individual
  • Gene
  • Group
  • Question of fitness adaptation
  • Small designs that lead to a higher reproduction
    of a trait
  • CIRCULARITY
  • Fitness (reasoning circuits) has a definition
  • Yet how do you recognize it in retrospect?
  • Which one is the result of an adaptation?
  • Xenophobia
  • colour of bones
  • form of earlobes

63
The circular argumentation problem
  • Inherent goal often evokes attacks of circular
    argumentation the reverse engineering problem
  • The effects strive towards the goal
  • The goal preexists (who invented the goal?)
  • Answer evolutionary forces
  • How do you know this was the goal?
  • Because it is reached!

64
Just-so stories (Rudyard Kipling)
65
Problems with blind adaptationism
  • The Panglossian Paradox
  • Graduality does not always work saltational
    models (one day you wake up speaking a language?)
  • George Jackson Mivart - what do you do with 5 of
    a wing?
  • Gould exaptations
  • Physical constraints Gould spandrels in the
    cathedral

66
The Panglossian Paradox
  • Candide, ou l'Optimisme by Voltaire
  • Critique of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss,
    "all is for the best in the best of all possible
    worlds"
  • "Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des
    mondes"
  • theodicy of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
  • God is a benevolent deity gt the world is perfect
  • Dr. Pangloss, professor of "métaphysico-théologo-c
    osmolonigologie" and self-proclaimed optimist

67
The Panglossian Paradox
  • Lisbon's harbor episode, where honest James dies
  • Candide, who beheld all that passed and saw his
    benefactor one moment rising above water, and the
    next swallowed up by the merciless waves, was
    preparing to jump after him, but was prevented by
    the philosopher Pangloss, who demonstrated to him
    that the roadstead of Lisbon had been made on
    purpose for the Anabaptist to be drowned there.
  • Pangloss on his own syphilis
  • it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary
    ingredient in the best of worlds for if Columbus
    had not caught in an island in America this
    disease, which contaminates the source of
    generation, and frequently impedes propagation
    itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end
    of nature, we should have had neither chocolate
    nor cochineal.

68
  • The best of all possible worlds
  • It is demonstrable that things cannot be
    otherwise than as they are for as all things
    have been created for some end, they must
    necessarily be created for the best end. Observe,
    for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles,
    therefore we wear spectacles.
  • Have we replaced God by evolution? - Is the world
    the best of all possible worlds?
  • On the function of our noses
  • Is its inherent purpose
  • to hold spectacles?
  • to warm and moisturize air?
  • How are you to tell in retrospect?

69
Exaptation, cooption, preadaptation
  • NOT everything is an adaptation
  • Human vestigiality has long been observed
  • Tailbone
  • Vermiform appendix
  • Muscles in the ear
  • Shifts in the function of a trait during
    evolution
  • Cooption had a slight confusion with non-adaptive
    traits less used
  • Darwin already outlined the basis in the Origin
    of Species
  • bird feathers originally thermo-regulatory
    function adapted to flight
  • Mivart the paradox of 5 of a wing!
  • Jury-rigged design apparent non-functional
    traits might be telling about the original
    function

70
Exaptation, cooption, preadaptation
  • Recently Stephen J. Gould The thumb of the
    Panda
  • (uses the word exaptation)
  • The tinkertoy approach
  • Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the
    proof of evolution--paths that a sensible God
    would never tread but that a natural process,
    constrained by history, follows perforce.
  • Other examples
  • Mammals lactatory glands
  • Flat feet squat eating bipedalism
  • Bones calcium deposits primarily

71
Physical constraints
  • Venice St Marks Cathedral

Stephen J. Gould and Richard Lewontin "The
Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradig
m A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme"
(1979)
72
Are the spandrels there, so that nice paintings
could be painted on them, specially designed for
that purpose?
More likely to be inherent in the Bauplan
constraint on adaptive evolution
Causes of historical origin must always be
separated from current utilities their
conflation has seriously hampered the
evolutionary analysis of form in the history of
life.
73
Physical constraints
  • Does the tyrannosaurs hands are especially
    useful in titillating females is this a good
    explanation for its adaptive value?
  • Blind adaptationism does not differentiate
    between original function and current
    potentialities
  • Just-so-stories
  • Physical constraints like spandrels do not
    need an evolutionary explanation

74
In the age of Reason
  • What is the argument that Tooby and Cosmides make
    about reasoning?
  • Think of the WASON task!
  • General problem solving
  • Specialized problem-solving modules
  • Mathematics a basic concept or a high art?
  • An argument can be made for both
  • How to make life difficult

75
Deduction and Induction
  • If it rains Ill take an umbrella with me
  • It is raining.
  • I take an umbrella with me.
  • I take an umbrella with me
  • It is either raining or not
  • It is not raining
  • I either take an umbrella with me or not
  • I do not take an umbrella with me
  • It is not raining
  • John studied accountancy at university.
  • John works at an accountants office.
  • Therefore John is an accountant.

Modus ponens
Modus tollens
76
The Wason task deduction task
  • There are 4 cards on the table
  • Each card has a letter on one side and a number
    on the other
  • RULE If the card has a wovel on it, the other
    side must have an even number on it
  • Which one(s) do you have to turn to know if they
    conform to the rule or not?

E
K
2
7
77
The Wason task
  • There are 4 cards on the table
  • All cards have a drink on one side and the age on
    the other
  • RULE If one drinks alcohol, they need to be over
    age
  • Which one(s) do you have to turn to know if they
    conform to the rule or not?

beer
Coke
22
17
78
  • Why the difference?
  • Social rules
  • Evolutionary psychology cheater detectors?
  • What is the counter-argument to that?

79
Some provocative questions
  • Does natural selection still work in our highly
    artificial society?
  • What will the homo sapiens be like in another
    200.000 years?
  • Why are there mental illnesses, if adaptationism
    is so powerful in evolutionary psychology?
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