Talk:Criticism of evolutionary psychology

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Moving sections to the Nature vs nurture article[edit]

Philosophy pursues evolutionary psychology as induced through involution and is the actuality of nature and nurture research activity[1] (talk) 21:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)arnold

The sections "Free will", "Reification", and "Reductionism" are not objections to EP specifically but would apply to any argument of "nature" being involved in the brain and behaviour. As such I propose moving them to the "Nature versus nuture" article.Miradre (talk) 20:28, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Let me 2nd that. I made the same proposal above (see "Move proposal" heading). Memills (talk) 19:18, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
If the criticisms are specific to EP then it is not up to us to decide if they are mis-targeted - we include them here. If we have sources that make the counter-argument that these are misplaced criticisms then we include those. Let the sources do the talking - our opinions don't come into this. (This is assuming the criticism sources are reliable.) Jojalozzo 02:13, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
It does not seem that the source for the 'Free will' criticism targets EP specifically. Jojalozzo 02:25, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Moved "Free Will" section to Nature versus nuture article as per above discussion.Miradre (talk) 13:51, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
None of the sources for the "Reification fallacy" mention evolutionary psychology. So I propose moving that section also.Miradre (talk) 09:34, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The word "reification", introduced by Lewontin, was initially applied by Gould to sociobiology and in particular Spearman's concept of intelligence g. These attempted edits and this particular subject violate your topic ban. Even editing Nature and nurture violated your topic ban, as it has a section entitled "IQ debate". Mathsci (talk) 10:08, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I am making no comments regarding intelligence. Only regarding evolutionary psychology. Gould has of course written on many different things but there is not a single mention in this source of evolutionary psychology.Miradre (talk) 10:17, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
You are proposing editing or moving something containing the word "reification". There are several sources mentioned in the text. One of them The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. Gould applied that to intelligence in that book. You used the word yourself just a few lines above. How can you even have this discussion? Mathsci (talk) 10:26, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Obviously I can defend myself against accusations. I am not discussing intelligence or race. I am discussing whether the book mentions evolutionary psychology. It does not.Miradre (talk) 10:30, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The section itself contains a lengthy discussion of intelligence as an example of reification. Move it, delete it or alter it in any way and you will have clearly viola ted your topic ban. Even proposing to move it is a clear violation. Mathsci (talk) 10:33, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The topic ban is regarding the intersection of intelligence and race. Not their union. Furthermor, I am not discussing intelligence here. I am pointing out that the book does not mention evolutionary psychology at all.Miradre (talk) 10:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Then you have misunderstood your topic ban completely. You are proposing to edit text on wikipedia containing a discussion of the "reification of intelligence" as put forward by Gould. That particular issue is very deeply related to the article Race and intelligence and is discussed in this precise context in History of the race and intelligence controversy. The evasiveness of your replies is not helpful. (I would normally discuss this on your talk page, but since you blank any advice I give, that approach is a non-starter.) Mathsci (talk) 10:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
A discussion regarding intelligence is not the issue. Which is that the book does not mention evolutionary psychology at all. According to your twisted reasoning I could not edit an article on higher education because intelligence may be involved.Miradre (talk) 10:49, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Are you proposing to edit the first paragraph of that section? Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 10:51, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I am taking up this section for discussion. See above.Miradre (talk) 10:59, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
You can explain yourself on WP:AE. Mathsci (talk) 11:00, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

The burden is on Mathsci to provide a reference that specifically associates evolutionary psychology with the "reification fallacy." Unless that is forthcoming, as was done with the "free will" section, the "reification fallacy" section should be moved from this page to a more appropriate page. Memills (talk) 21:53, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't see consensus for removing the reification fallacy section. Please discuss it here before taking unilateral action. Jojalozzo 22:24, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

According to the article Gould criticizes EP for reifying intelligence. If that's true, even if EP is not the main target of his criticism, then this is a part of the controversy. However, if interpreting Gould's intent is OR/SYN on someone's part then we'd need other reasons for keeping the section. I don't have access to the source so cannot help with that. Jojalozzo 22:40, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Note the discussion above. IQ as a construct is accepted by psychology in general (see any intro psych textbook). If someone can provide a reference linking EP specifically to the "reification fallacy" (which is not a fallacy at all if constructs are properly understood), please do so. Otherwise, this "criticism" is simply a straw man, and, it is irrelevant to EP. Memills (talk) 22:56, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm with you here regarding the need for sources that involve EP explicitly but not about the utility of dissing the criticism and reinforcing bias. It doesn't matter how valid the criticism is. If it's there in reliable sources, it's our job to present it. Coming to this with a strong bias pro or con is good reason for less editing and more discussion here on the talk page. Jojalozzo 23:29, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
There are no sources that are specifically targeting EP with the reification fallacy. Without such sources, as I have noted previously, it is inappropriate to include it here. Just makes this page look kinda silly by including a criticism that no one is making. Memills (talk) 00:40, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
I propose we give it a few more days. If no one asks for more time or produces any criticism directly involving EP and reifying IQ by 9/14 (a week total) then remove it. We can always put it back if/when evidence shows up to support it. Jojalozzo 00:57, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Per above, removing the section. Memills (talk) 04:03, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move. EdJohnston (talk) 21:23, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Criticism of evolutionary psychologyEvolutionary psychology controversies – I think the proposed name more accurately and neutrally reflects the article's content than the current name, which seems to be much more of a POV fork. Jinkinson talk to me 20:25, 13 January 2014 (UTC)


As noted at POV fork:
There is currently no consensus whether a "Criticism of..." article is always a POV fork, but many criticism articles nevertheless suffer from POV problems. If possible, refrain from using "criticism" and instead use neutral terms such as "perception" or "reception"; if the word "criticism" must be used, make sure that such criticism considers both the merits and faults, and is not entirely negative (consider what would happen if a "Praise of..." article was created instead)."
Also, the proposed new title "Evolutionary psychology controversies" is a tad confusing. There are controversies within the field of evolutionary psychology itself (but they are based on an acceptance of the foundational assumptions/principles of the field). And, there is criticism from opposing / competing paradigms (e.g., social constructionism) that reject the basic assumptions / principles of the field. This article is more the latter.
The new title potentially conflates these two types of criticism -- they are quite different. It would be rather like combining two articles titled "Controversies among evolutionary biologists" and "Creationist criticisms of evolution" into one article called "Evolutionary biology controversies." I am afraid it wouldn't work too well... Memills (talk) 23:57, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. The current is too POV. And the various types of criticisms should be conflated. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:11, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment It turns out Evolutionary psychology controversies already exists, but it is just a redirect. If most people vote for this to be moved, I guess that an admin will have to delete the redirect so this page can be moved there. Jinkinson talk to me 20:55, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Either title is probably suitable, but the current one more accurately describes the article content. I would expect an article called "Evolutionary psychology controversies" to contain accounts of specific events where someone objected to EP in some way. It does contain such content, but it also contains more general criticism. And as Memills points out, the proposed title could also refer to academic debates within the field. Nevertheless, I think the redirect should point here rather than Evolutionary psychology directly. --BDD (talk) 18:07, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

'Secrets of the Tribe' link[edit]

is dead. TheNuszAbides (talk) 05:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Subsequent petition to blank the page and make it a redirect[edit]

Drawing from the heated debates and edit wars in the talk section, and due to the organization of the material of this article, it seems some contributors are using the word “Criticism” as an excuse for showcasing opinions biased towards a particular viewpoint. Read through the article and the bias will become apparent. This entire article is overloaded with rebuttals tantamount to emotional bickering. The resources (e.g. interviews) and quotations (see Testability) present in the article incite an emotional response to these critiques against Evolutionary Psychology. This raises the question of whether or not this article represents a neutral point of view and should stand scrutiny. Specific problems:

  1. The formatting of each individual section suggests contributions were made primarily by a single author.
  2. The formatting of individual sections makes discerning individual viewpoints difficult and tiresome.
  3. The History of the debate section contributes nothing to the article, much less does it explain the history of the debate (rather, it points to some other work). The inclusion of books in this section is unnecessary as their arguments are not elucidated. Furthermore, only the books purported to be rebuttals have links in the references.
  4. Ambiguity in sections such as Fear and phobias as innate or learned does not lend an accessible conclusion to an average reader about what that particular data say about evolutionary psychology.
  5. The constant use of “critics” as a subject confuses the reader. This is because the sheer amount of information given as rebuttals confounds the subject of the article, which informs the next point.
  6. Is this article really talking about criticisms of evolutionary psychology or just defending it by offering a rebuttal for every critique?
  7. There is a dearth of criticism from feminist scholars and women scientists in general.
  8. There is a disproportionate amount of quotations from proponents of evolutionary psychology vs. their critics.
  9. On a more meta-level, the main contributors of this article have not rectified the issues that have been present since 2008, which are presented here for convenience:
    1. This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2008)
    2. This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2011)
    3. This article possibly contains original research. (July 2011)
    4. This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (June 2008)
  10. Unnecessary elaborations are present (e.g. explaining “just-so” stories in Testability when a link is provided, defining evolutionary psychology in Reductionism and determinism, etc.). This article too often tries to explain Evolutionary Psychology’s basis (in addition to defining other terms) when article(s) for that already exist.

The Empirical evidence section is the least emotionally charged. It is concise, factual, and not corrupted by quotes (and therefore opinions) from experts of the field of study this article is purportedly critiquing. I do not condemn the usage of quotes or interviews as resources, but they seem to be placed to elicit an emotionally-charged rebuttal and result in a disparate representation of the proponents of Evolutionary Psychology. I argue that these problems are important and should be taken as a call to action to heavily reformat this page or get rid of it. Wolfpad4 (talk) 05:35, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

A reading of WP:CRIT is probably first on the agenda here. Per WP:CRIT:
"Separate articles devoted to controversies.
Articles dedicated to controversies about a topic are generally discouraged, for many of the same reasons discussed above for criticism-related material. Articles dedicated to a controversy may be appropriate if the reliable sources on the topic discuss the controversies as an independent topic. Examples of articles devoted to a controversy include Whaling controversy, Global warming controversy... "
...This article qualifies as an "independent topic," as noted by the many cited books and articles devoted to the controversy itself.
"Articles should include both positive and negative viewpoints from reliable sources..."
This includes Criticism articles -- which are not to present only criticisms without rebuttals.
Controversies do tend to be "emotionally charged." But that is only a problem if a statement is included that is not properly referenced, is just an ad-hominem attack, or is clearly inappropriate. I don't see any such statements here. No doubt some statements, pro or con, may generate emotional reactions in readers with strong opinions either way, but that is irrelevant at WP.
If you would like to improve the article, I suggest taking a gradual, step-by-step approach. Propose a particular change here at the Talk page, get some feedback from others, and work collaboratively. Memills (talk) 04:03, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
This page is just a laundry list of grievances against evolutionary psych. It looks like a pov fork to sidestep notability and due weight issues on the main page. It does relatively little to establish the relative prevalence of majority and minority views. Someone needs to figure out what of all this belongs on the main page, then blank the rest. Rhoark (talk) 20:54, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree this article is a POV fork. I believe the name should be changed to Reception of evolutionary psychology. Waters.Justin (talk) 15:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

References from above[edit]

  1. ^ "Psychology is a Hub Science". Association for Psychological Science Observer (September 2007)