The Conversation site has featured a lot of stinkers lately, but occasionally a good piece manages to sneak in. One of these is by my old friend, philosopher and writer Russell Blackford: “Don’t shoot the messenger when confronted with inconvenient ideas“.
As we know, there are certain ideas that, in many political circles—and Blackford is talking about both Left and Right here—are not to be expressed because, although they might be true, they contravene the political narrative of the group.
For the Left, evolutionary psychology is one of these. The field, though it sometimes uses unacceptably low standards of evidence, also has an undeniably intriguing and worthwhile purpose: to figure out what part of our behaviors and thoughts reflect natural selection in our ancestors. After all, if our bodies show traces of our evolutionary ancestry—and they do in spades—then why not our minds?
Yes, culture can alter behaviors…
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