Multiverse shifts the goalposts though, and is mathematical fiction, helpful in calculations but useless as anything but pure fantasy for us to entertain. Unless you want to make a new religion out of it, then it’s useful.
In short, multiverse is not a stable place to plant your feet in an argument.
it’s an alternative. But here’s how I view it: it’s a new religion that’s been forming over the past 15 years or so. As a replacement for deities with properties, is unprovable concepts with properties. Yet these concepts serve as a direct replacement for a majority of the functions normally occupied by a god concept. I’ve noticed an increasing amount of people who put “logic” in the place of prime mover, even over physical cause-and-effect. I’ve seen mathematics also take its place – but the logic people do have a like up there. Randomness was once more commonly used as a substitute deity. This may be more pragmatic gods, but gods just the same.
exactly. These days, people like a good story just like we always did. Another example can be found in evolutionary psychology – which is a crock. People take the behaviors of today, and wildly speculate on what “might be the causes” for some supposed evolutionary purpose. That made up story becomes the foundation to explain today’s behsvor patterns, even though the “evolutionary purpose” is based on nothing more than fantasy fiction. I think of it is mostly harmless but still fiction.
Of course it explains perfectly – the story was designed to fit the need. It started from a popular book in the early 1970s – nonexistent before that. It’s no worse than some stuff that comes out of any other field – multi-verse has a mathematical story – and we love mathematical stories but it’s equally unverifiable nonsense. It tells people what they want to hear about why things are the way they are – much like any other religion does. But at least the other religions admit they are religions.
has nothing to do with its newness. I’m not saying it’s even invalid as a possibility. I believe things that come out of other social sciences that might have less than stable footing as well. But it’s important to separate the verifiable from the plausible fictions from the fantasies.
Evolutionary psychology is, for now, just an alternative Adam and eve story to me. Substitute for something better that has yet to come along.
I don’t have a time machine to disprove it. One possible method however would be to look at the “today’s behavior ” that were being asked to believe has an evolutionary basis – and see if that behavior was common 100 years ago or 500 years ago. That’s a start.
That’s not evolutionary psychology is it? To me that’s observation of patterns. How does that tie to evolution at all?
If you can’t see where the science ends and the speculative fiction begins – I don’t know how I can explain it to you.
It’s the part of the paper where things start to get weird and fable-like. That’s the point where the science ends and speculation begins.
It might not be wrong. It might be wrong. [it’s a related to a ‘and this is why women wear makeup’ type argument] – it’s not even wrong. It’s just weird.
Take a) modern behavior. b) tie it into similar biology in other animals
Everything is great so far…
…and then comes:
c) description of hypothetical needs of hypothetical people for whom we have *very* sparse information on and mostly speculation as to their individual and group behaviors as it is…
d) “and this is the evolutionary purpose behind this modern behavior that we observe in [current year]”.
Order’s wrong. It wouldn’t even be so bad (as anthropology does similar things to evolutionary psychology, and it too needs a gran of salt) except it hinges on unviewed, untestable, speculated human behaviors from pre-history.
“why do kids love video games?”
[1980s: it prepares them for adulthood, developing hand-eye cooperation so that they’ll be able to throw spears as older adolescents and adults when they will be invited to the hunt]
[2000s: new theory required. Adults in their 30s and beyond are playing video games]
Now I have to go back to Strassman’s 1981 hypothesis… but see, the problem I have isn’t whether or not it’s taken seriously within its field: I’m sure it is.
Rather, my issue is with much of the field itself and how speculation builds on speculation building a tower of speculation.
True, but some fields fields have more ‘woo’ than others. It’s often claimed that sociology is the ‘least science-y” of the sciences for this reason. I happen to like sociology when they use large enough studies with properly worded questions and reasonable stereotyping, although it’s an easy field to go off into la-la land in if not careful.
But evolutionary psychology has an even harder task of proving itself: It simply can’t.
Now Darwin’s evolution can be and has been shown to have credibility through years of probing and testing and mounting evidence although at one time, it too suffered from some excess speculation.
And, like you say, with any new field, this can be expected.
But even from that viewpoint, evopsych is off to a rocky start. No bones to work with. No fossils. Just modern social psychology linked with some measurements of some biological function tied together with a fable about “how cavemen behave” loosely proven using some animal kingdom evidence and a lot of “maybe”.
I don’t see its usefulness. “Why men and women are different?” “Why we have sex?” I dunno – I guess it’s because I’ve heard i used my whole life (well, since the 80s when “Alpha male” was all the pop culture rage) to ‘justify’ stupid behaviors that people were PERFECTLY capable of not doing.
“Can’t help going to the strip club honey. Science says it’s hard-wired in me. Science bae, and you love science.”
I don’t have a problem with the pursuit. I just don’t care for how it’s reported and especially how it’s used by everyday people as-if it’s tested, verified, corroborated, fact, chemistry-level science.
But if they want to pursue it and see if it goes anywhere? Sure.
It’s the social impact of evopsych I have issue with. You and me are clever enough to go to the source. See a headline, check out the source material and not get too wrapped up in the article.
But most people don’t. And evopsych has an impact on how people treat each other. This can lead/has led to problems in very real relationships between people, fostered a negative outlook of people towards themselves and towards the gender that they’re not (because evopsych is so often about gender studies). In short, the whole field ‘seems’ backwards: Rather than looking forward to what humans are capable of, it chains us to a story about an unverifiable past and talking as if it is not just a relevant “maybe this is why we do things” but people take it as, “And this is why it’s ok to be this way”.
In short, a substitute for reason. That’s my main beef with it.
It’s gained a level of credibility above standard psychology. That might be another issue I have with it. Competition.
Evopsych gives the illusion of greater firmness behind, a greater “This is real science!” vs psychology, which people have known for a long time has its good and bad points and needs to be treated with a skeptically cautious eye, but used when useful.
But evopsych seems to have adapted a very strong following among regular people and perhaps it’s that competition that is bothersome to me.
I’m sure it’s tied into my evolutionary need to maintain my territory against perceived foes and my written criticisms of the similar-but-different tribe is my way of reducing their numbers virtually by substituting words for spears.
There. I did some evopsych. Seems plausible.
Give me any behavior and I’ll weave a plausible fiction about its evolutionary roots. I consider this stuff rhetoric more than science though, even if I stuck some numbers behind it.
Seen it in a lot of places. I just finished (I think) discussing with someone about why evolutionary psychology is speculative fiction.
Doesn’t mean it might not be wrong just that it can be downright ridiculous at times.