If you have a long-lasting experience reading evolutionary psychology research, or discussing it online, you have probably met most of these people. In fact, most of us Darwinists share these traits to some extent. Here’s 5 types of people you have probably encountered in evolution forums.
5. The one that uses EP to channel his twisted inclinations
Evolutionary psychologists have a tendency to explore the most controversial subjects. From A Natural History of Rape to all theoretical articles concerning the adaptive nature of sexual coercion, it seems like evolutionary psychologists just love being controversial. In defense, evolutionary psychologists say that explaining a behavior doesn’t justify it, but if you think about it… it kinda does.
If you are in evolutionary psychology threads, you will no doubt come across someone who assures you not to be a creep, but just wants to know if some paraphilias might be somewhat normal after all, or if infanticide might be adaptive in reconstituted families. For example, might pedophilia just be an extreme form of men’s normal preference for youth? Don’t worry, I’m just asking… as an Internet scientist.
4. The one that doesn’t understand that not every behavior has an immediate purpose
Many adepts of evolutionary reasoning explain a specific behavior as having evolved to solve a specific evolutionary pressure, as if variables were so conveniently isolated in the evolutionary process. If you ever landed in a thread in which people ask the purpose of a certain behavior, the speculations people come up with are sometimes preposterous.
This is similar to the popular claim of having a gene for a certain behavior, like humor. Since not all men have a good sense of humor, and women enjoy it, there must be a humor gene being passed around. 1 behavior = 1 gene. The adaptive value of humor is rarely put into a broader context, like women’s general attraction for high status males, who can display social status by taking social risks.
3. The one that comes with all kinds of post-hoc speculations
Let’s be honest. If homosexuality wasn’t already existent, no one would have ever come up with the hypothesis that some men could be attracted to other men, having the evolutionary purpose of raising their siblings’ offspring. This is of course based on the outdated view that all gay men are overly feminine, maternal, and caring. Likewise, no one would have ever theorized that committing suicide was an adaptive response at the group level to avoid consuming too much food, if suicide wasn’t already occurring. I can’t wait for someone to claim that cuckoldry might be adaptive for males, from a certain perspective.
2. The one that gets into arguments with feminists
If you had the pleasure to join any evolution-oriented group on social media, you probably noticed that more than half of the posted material is about feminism and its popular myths. Indeed, evolutionary psychologists seem puzzled by the fact that feminists won’t accept that everything feminists label as offensive and prejudiced makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.
Although some eminent figures in evolutionary psychology don’t see it as irreconcilable with feminism, I think we can all agree on this: if evolutionary psychology says that men and women have biological differences, rape might be adaptive (but not justified), men compete while women are pretty, promiscuity in women is evolutionarily maladjusted, and a woman’s mate value is based on physical appearance, at least 99% of feminists will disagree with it.
1. The one bro that takes dating advice from evolutionary psychology research
Evolutionary psychology has been consistently associated with PUA (pick-up artists) movements. That’s because there are endless tips you can get from psychological research, that have led some to follow some questionable strategies, to try embodying the alpha male. You can, for instance, speak with a lower voice to mimic a high status, maintain eye contact to appear dominant, or cultivate your narcissism to reach a high status. In most cases, it must be a horrendous experience for their date, having to deal with someone endlessly boasting about their wealth and putting their hands over their shoulder to show them who’s the leader of the pack.
BONUS. The poor guy that takes EP too seriously
There’s always one guy that took survival of the fittest too literally, and is permanently scarred from his readings. His empathetic vision of humans is shattered by the hard, cold facts of evolution: we are in an eternal competition for the passing of our genes. This guy is absolutely convinced that all women are only after wealthy males. He has been sleepless after reading all the literature concerning paternity uncertainty. He has memorized all the anti-cuckoldry tactics. This guy will not babysit your kids to avoid increasing your inclusive fitness unnecessarily. He won’t let you borrow money from him because he thinks you’re trying to snatch his social status. He is one of many disillusioned by the harsh truth about our purpose in life.
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