Guest Blogging For SciLogs.com

My Article

I’m at it again! Here’s a new guest blog post for SciLogs.com titled ‘Insights of Evolutionary Psychology: Humans Are Not Special’.

“appreciating our position in the grand scale of evolutionary history is key to inspiring people to preserve our planet and the other species we share it with”

Hope you enjoy.

http://www.scilogs.com/guest_blog/insights-of-evolutionary-psychology-humans-are-not-special/

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6 thoughts on “Guest Blogging For SciLogs.com

  1. Of course we’re special — what other animal is capable of even conceiving of the need to “save the planet” let alone capable of actually addressing the matter? (In fact the planet will do just fine. It’s our own asses that need saving!)

    Regarding your list of traits showing how much we’re like animals… what about art? What animal has the vast body of art we’ve created? What animal looks up at the stars and dreams of visiting them? And then takes steps to do so?

    Your reductionist list elides a great deal of what it truly means to be human.

    1. Now I’m unable to reply on SciLogs! Oh well…

      I agree we are different and in some ways unique, but generally people are too arrogant about our place in this world. We are not separated from animals by some cosmic shift but by an unbroken line of parents and offspring, thus making us just another animal. This article was designed to highlight this fact, stressing the need for modesty rather than smugness when contemplating our position and entitlements amongst life on earth.

      The list is by no means exhaustive but it’s supposed to give an idea of our blatant evolved history. And I disagree that my list is reductionist; they are complex behaviours with important evolutionary implications and I have not simplified them by explaining the link! I suspect that people are disappointed to see human behaviours apparently being “reduced” by others revealing their evolutionary reasons for existing.

      Though some may not like it, we improve our understanding of us as human animals not to glorify any of our innate tendencies but to help protect each other from those we deem immoral. Habitat exploitation and the tragedy of the commons being my chosen example here; urging for greater environmental consciousness.

      1. I agree about the arrogance and smugness and the need for modesty and humility. Also totally with you on the tragedy of the commons and the need to care for our biosphere.

        What I meant by “reductionist” is exactly the reduction you intend. Indeed the behaviors are complex, but the list — as you intend — conflates us with animals without regard for the aspects that raise us above them. We’re clearly (on the points I first mentioned, for example) something more.

        As a scientist, surely you appreciate the unique invention of that extraordinarily powerful tool: the scientific method.

        I agree we can help understand ourselves by understanding our origins, but I think we also need to understand that unique thing which makes us human — our minds.

        You and I do disagree on whether our minds are merely the product of evolution — I’m not so sure it’s that simple — and I think we’ve explored that topic in the past sufficiently that we need not re-plow it here.

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