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Evolutionary Psychology?:Could It Be the Overlooked Evolution


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Oct 15, 2005
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Another theory for all to consider, it has no "noodley appendages" or the like, maybe not very entertaining, however it is based in science.


Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated ev-psych or EP) proposes that animal psychology can be better understood in light of evolution. Although EP is applicable to any organism with a nervous system, most EP research focuses on humans.

Specifically, EP proposes the brain comprises many functional mechanisms, called psychological adaptations or evolved psychological mechanisms (EPMs), that evolved by natural selection. Uncontroversial examples of EPMs include vision, hearing, memory, and motor control. More controversial examples include incest avoidance mechanisms, cheater detection mechanisms, and sex-specific mating preferences, mating strategies, and spatial cognition. Most evolutionary psychologists argue that EPMs are universal in a species, excepting those specific to sex or age.

Evolutionary psychology is best understood as a synthesis of cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology. It also draws heavily on behavioral ecology, artificial intelligence, genetics, ethology, anthropology, archeology, biology, and zoology. Evolutionary psychology is closely linked to sociobiology, but there are key differences between them including the emphasis on domain-specific rather than domain-general faculties, the relevance of measures of current fitness, the importance of mismatch theory, and psychology rather than behaviour. Most sociobiological research is now conducted in the field of behavioral ecology.

The term evolutionary psychology was probably coined by Ghiselin in his 1973 article in Science. Leda Cosmides and John Tooby popularized the term in their highly influential 1992 book The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and The Generation of Culture (ISBN 0195101073). Evolutionary psychology has been applied to the study of many fields, including economics, aggression, law, psychiatry, politics, literature, and sex.

I have only recently found this term, so I am looking at this information myself as I post this, but I will toss in a few more links.

HERE is a "primer" on this subject.

HERE Research at the CEP (Center for Evolutionary Psychology.

HERE a list of FAQ's.

I would like to hear some opinions of this argument in relation to the current evolution/designer/creationist debate. Is it valid? Does it make sense? Well more sense than what is currently seen in the circular debate we are experiencing today over this issue.

A few years ago....I discussed much the same with my Mother (a Psycologist) and it became clear to me this was indeed a valid explanation for much of what we have become. Evolution to me is not a singular term for the explanation of Physical change in biology....more a term for general change in a system....much the way technology "Evolves" due to increased knowledge, and implimentation of improvement....so do all things, in time, evolve into something else.
Society/Culture certainly evolves over time...usually faster than we tend to notice, and the use of Legislation to control a population can also be viewed as part of this change. It is a Small step to understand that...indeed...all things must evolve, or become stagnant and die.
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