New discoveries in evolutionary psychology

by John Quiggin on January 31, 2004

I just got the latest issue of Scientific American, and noted with interest the Table of Contents, in which the Skeptic column promised an evolutionary explanation of the mutiny on the Bounty. I vaguely expected the usual stuff about alpha and beta males or somesuch, but I found that the ev psych boffins have come up with a startling new discovery. Young men like having sex. At this point the mathematics and biochemistry get a bit complicated for me (oxytocin is in there somewhere), but apparently this has something to do with the survival of the species.

Even more startling, though, is the fact that

Although Bligh preceded Charles Darwin by nearly a century,

he managed to anticipate this discovery. Who would have thought that a former governor of New South Wales (and not a successful one) would share with EO Wilson and Stephen Pinker the honour of founding evolutionary psychology? In Bligh’s words

I can only conjecture that they have Idealy assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheitians than they could possibly have in England, which joined to some Female connections has most likely been the leading cause of the whole business.

Delivery times are somewhat strange here in the Antipodes, and I thought perhaps I had an advance copy of the April edition, but the cover says February.

{ 4 comments }

1

Barry 01.31.04 at 3:12 pm

John, don’t you have that ‘this must be the April edition’ feeling a lot, when reading sociobiology?

2

DJW 01.31.04 at 5:55 pm

Very nicely done.

3

tim 02.01.04 at 1:19 am

“Who would have thought that a former governor of New South Wales (and not a successful one) would share with EO Wilson and Stephen Pinker the honour of founding evolutionary psychology?”

Bravo! Best use of sarcasm I’ve seen all week… maybe all month. (seriously)

4

Dr. Paul Prueitt 02.06.04 at 4:53 pm

Our work has identified a primary manifestation of intelligence technology which is NOT aligned with the best science on human cognitive behaviors:

http://www.bcngroup.org/beadgames/MST/sixteen.htm

A group of Founders of the Behavioral Computational Neuroscience Group (www.bcngroup.org) have been for two decades discussing the need for a National Project to establish the knowledge sciences.

http://www.bcngroup.org/area2/KSF/nationalProject.htm (supported by a core of 40 – 50 PhDs in various disciplines)

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