Re: Evolution and Rape (was Re: The Kansas Science EducationStandards)

Date: Thu Jan 27 2000 - 08:34:47 EST

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    In a message dated 1/27/00 12:16:57 AM Dateline Standard Time, writes:

    >>>Evolutionary psychology is often very speculative, but I think it's
    >>>surprisingly insightful in its comments wrt human sexuality in
    >>>general, even if not -necessarily- in this particular case.

    >> I think it only has the appearance of being insightful due to the
    >> plastic-wrap
    >> nature of darwinism.
    >Agreed, it's vague and speculative, but that's not the same as saying it's
    >meaningless. It's not even in the same ballpark of predictive specificity
    >as physics, say, but it's a whole lot better than just taking all of human
    >nature as a non-predictive given, I think. (Certainly from a scientific
    >perspective, no?)
    I don't see any way in which evolutionary psychology has been predictive.
    It's all "after the fact" type of rationalizations. Standard just so story

    >>But the question is why not in this case? What's
    >> the evidence with an insightful claim and what is missing in the
    >> rape claim?
    >An insightful claim: men will naturally tend to seek quantity of sexual
    >contacts, women quality. This seems backed up by common sense (men seeking
    >sex, women love, etc.), and strongly supported by evolutionary theory.

    Okay, now imagine men did not seek quantity of sexual contacts. It
    would be easy to come up with a darwinian explanation for this too.
    Like I said, it's plastic wrap.

    >This rape claim is more speculative simply because there's less evidence for
    >it, and because the evidence has been less well scrutinized. Again, even
    >its proponents see it only as one hypothesis amongst competitors right now,
    >even if it's the one they see as most plausible.

    The rape claim simply builds on the men want quantity of sex explanation.
    Drop the moral concerns and it *is* the quantity of sex explanation.
    >> BTW, it wouldn't take much to come up with an darwinian justification
    >> for racism, now would it?

    >If you mean racism as an empirical claim, I think those issues are
    >independent of evolutionary theory. I.e., if one thinks racism is true, one
    >can fit that into evolutionary theory easily enough, or one can just take it
    >as a given. And if one rejects racism, ditto.
    >If you mean racism as a moral claim, that's even less connected with
    >evolutionary theory. (Historically, slaveholders, in the US and the world,
    >haven't relied a bit on evolutionary theory.)

    What I mean is that one could just as easily support a hypothesis that
    racism is in our genes and was selected by darwinian evolution. Thus,
    it could be said that we were created as rapists and racists.


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