Evo Psych Oversimplification / The Spin Doctors

Harvard Business Review / Organizational Culture (Consider the PURITAN ORIGINS of Harvard University.)


How Hardwired Is Human Behavior?

by Nigel Nicholson


For comparison: See Previous Post / William James on Instinct

This article on “evolutionary psychology” may be truthfully labeled a “marketing tool” for promoting the myriad “services” that Evo Psychs offer to business, corporations and institutions for improving the control over their “stone age” employees.

Message? You can take the employee out of the Stone Age, not the Stone Age out of the employee.

Note the “sales pitch” Format of this Article: From info for writers on why to use “weasel Words”: Use ‘weasel words’ to modify statements, weakening any real meaning or force. This allows you to say anything without offending anyone or putting yourself into danger of being contradicted. Use weasel words assertively and their weakness will often all but disappear; Weasel words give you a way out, should anyone criticize you or make any counter-claim.

Article: Weasel words and deceptive claims

New fields of science don’t emerge in a flash, and evolutionary psychology—sometimes called modern Darwinism—is no exception. But over the past several years, evolutionary psychology as a discipline has gathered both momentum and respect. A convergence of research and discoveries in genetics, neuropsychology, and paleobiology, among other sciences, evolutionary psychology holds that although human beings today inhabit a thoroughly modern world of space exploration and virtual realities, they do so with the ingrained mentality of Stone Age hunter-gatherers. Homo sapiens emerged on the Savannah Plain some 200,000 years ago, yet according to evolutionary psychology, people today still seek those traits that made survival possible then: an instinct to fight furiously when threatened, for instance, and a drive to trade information and share secrets.

Human beings are, in other words, hardwired. (‘pop-sci” claim that compares the human brain to a computer is not legitimate)

That said, evolutionary psychologists do not argue that all people are alike underneath (but, they proceed with this assumption, as do “other” psychologists!) The discipline recognizes the individual differences caused by a person’s unique genetic inheritance, as well as by personal experiences and culture. Further, like other scientific theoriesthe Big Bang and global warming, to name two—evolutionary psychology is the subject of fierce debate. (See the insert “Evolutionary Psychology: A Convergence of Research and Controversy.”) NICE TRICK! Elevate your piss-poor opinions to the “level” of PHYSICAL SCIENCE – and bingo – Evo Psych is not only legitimate, but places itself in the scientific “big leagues” with physics, chemistry and all that “big important stuff”. Indeed, proponents and opponents of the field are becoming increasingly numerous and vocal.

Evolutionary Psychology : A Convergence of Research and Controversy

The central proposition of evolutionary psychology—that human beings retain the mentality of their Stone Age forebearsgathers its strength from six convergent sources of scientific research. (The tactic? Elevate your field, not only as “legitimate science” but position it as SUPERIOR TO the disciplines listed, because Evo Psych “subsumes” these disciplines, AND THEIR CONTENT under it’s Big New Magic Umbrella!)

Anthropology. By studying societies past and present, Darwinian anthropologists are identifying cultural universals with regard to gender relations, art and ritual, language and thought, and trading and competition. Patterns that recur across all societies, regardless of time and place, are thought to have a strong biogenetic origin. (Selectively construct a universal pattern and then say, “Oh look; a universal pattern!”)

Behavioral Genetics. Scientists in this field, drawing on research in genetics and on a growing number of studies on twins and adopted children, focus their research on the hereditary components of the mind. They have identified, for instance, several genes thought to control human dispositions, including aspects of temperament and cognitive skills. (WOW! How many weasel words can be crammed into two short sentences?  This outlandish “appropriation” and extreme generalization of genetic research is intended to “prop up” Evo Psych nonsense. I’m sure the Bio-Gen people are happy to have the Evo Psych people save them the “trouble” of explaining their own research.

Comparative Ethology. Comparing the mating, status-seeking, and social behaviors of monkeys, chimpanzees and other primates, scientists in this field have observed systematic patterns of behavior and analyzed where they reveal parallels in human behavior. In particular, they shed light on our basic programming for sexual politics and cooperative behavior and analyzed where they reveal parallels in human behavior.  (Monkey see, monkey do: if you claim that prior research has already proven your agenda, well –you can just proceed as if you have actually proven whatever it is that you are claiming to be ‘true” about human behavior”)

Neuropsychology. Using a variety of methods, including electrical stimulation, brain surgery, imaging techniques that film the brain in action, scientists in this field try to understand which parts of the brain control emotions and how chemicals in the brain affect thoughts and sensations. (And??)

Paleontology. Based on their analysis of fossils and ancient human remains, paleontologists believe they have discovered evidence of how human beings lived and how their characteristics adapted to the environment they inhabited. (Mumbo? Jumbo! This is pathetic – not how evolution works.)

Social Psychology. Studying social behavior in experiments and field studies, scientists have tested theories in evolutionary psychology (Total B.S.) about the conditions under which human beings cooperate, compete, and behave aggressively. Their findings about universal patterns suggest which impulses and reactions (that is; instinct and emotions) are hardwired into the human psyche. (WOW! Just how does one “wire” an abstract notion like the psyche? A positively supernatural activity! LOL Also, there is no “proof” that a computer is remotely close to modeling the brain; in fact, the brain is incredibly more complex than any artificial machine – this is “popular jargon” of the tech analogy brain = computer)

Even with the convergence of findings in these disciplines, (even with the pile of BS we just presented) the field of evolutionary psychology is controversial. Some scientists for instance, believe that evolutionary psychology overstates the biogenetic origin of cultural mores and norms and understates the capacity of learning and language to shape human nature. (which it does) (Tactic? Appear to be “evenhanded or objective about your gross flaws) Further, evolutionary psychology clearly challenges what some religions, including Christianity, believe about the creation and free will. (Setting Evo Psych against “religion” does not lend credence to Evo Psych: this is an illegitimate argument) 

And finally, the tenets of evolutionary psychology also directly dispute a great deal of popular management theory, which contends that people can change their personalities if correctly trained or motivated. Thus, evolutionary psychology may not be the only lens through which managers choose to view their work and their world, but it is a challenging perspective that calls for a closer look. (Here we finally have the intent of this article, and it’s the classic claim of all Puritanical despots: We are the elite experts: We know your “business” better than you do, and evolution (formerly; “god”) is on OUR SIDE: our “magic secrets” will save you tons of money. Instead of trying to educate and train your idiot employees, which is useless, because “evolution” (God) has decreed that they will forever be Stone Age idiots, we will share with you how to manipulate them; for a price, of course.)

But evolutionary psychology is by now well established enough to merit examination. Understanding evolutionary psychology is useful to managers because it provides a new and provocative way to think about human nature; (not “new” – this is standard archaic social hierarchy crap) it also offers a framework for understanding why people tend to act as they do in organizational settings. Put another way, evolutionary psychology, in identifying the aspects of human behavior that are inborn and universal, (original sin) can explain some familiar patterns. It sheds light on why people behave in ways that don’t appear to be beneficial to themselves or to their businesses.

Evolutionary psychology goes so far as to raise the questions: How might organizations be designed to work in harmony with our biogenetic identity? and Are modern-day executives managing against the grain of human nature?

This article is an extremely cynical use of language, which poses as “modern science” but is the same old Puritan dogma: a human-hating belief system that insists on control over the behavior of the “sinful” bone-headed peasants by THE ELITES!  


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