X-Message-Number: 23169
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2003 15:59:08 +0100
Subject: Re: Politics
From: David Stodolsky <>

On Friday, December 26, 2003, at 11:27  PM, Keith Henson wrote:

> Psychology used to be a study that "floated" in knowledge space.  In  
> recent
> decades people have begun to understand psychology as naturally  
> building on
> evolution, thus the evolutionary psychology approach.  Eventually
> everything in psychology will be understood in terms of selection in  
> the
> ancestral environment.  From:
> http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/research/cep/primer.html
> Principle 5. Our modern skulls house a stone age mind.

> Our species lived as hunter-gatherers 1000 times longer than as  
> anything
> else. The world that seems so familiar to you and me, a world with  
> roads,
> schools, grocery stores, factories, farms, and nation-states, has  
> lasted
> for only an eyeblink of time when compared to our entire evolutionary
> history. The computer age is only a little older than the typical  
> college
> student, and the industrial revolution is a mere 200 years old.  
> Agriculture
> first appeared on earth only 10,000 years ago,

Last I heard the human species was little more than 100,000 years old,  
so to say that our "species lived as hunter-gatherers 1000 times longer  
than as anything
else" is off by a factor of a hundred.

Evolutionary psychology has a role, but it needs to be complimented by  
a theory of cultural evolution, if it is to be useful in understanding  
human behavior. One book (with an explicit foundation in evolutionary  
psychology) that tries to do this in a rigorous way in connection with  
a current topic:



In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror
  by Thomas A. Pyszczynski, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg


David S. Stodolsky    SpamTo: 

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