Cathi Carol

David Barash and the “Myth” Of Monogamy

In Evolution, Excerpts, Materialism, Misogyny, Science on January 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Bird Pair

__________

 

The Trouble with the Evolutionary Sciences

__________

 

Evolutionary psychology leaves the impression that
human nature was carved a hundred thousand years ago,
and then history sort of stopped.

But human nature adapts to the continual flow of information.

Individuals are created by social interaction.

That’s worth remembering next time somebody tells you
we are hardwired to do this or that.

David Brooks

__________

 

Your life is up to you. No one else. And certaily not up to your genes, which are blueprints for proteins, not for your decisions.

Do you want to find a mate, have a successful relationship, and live a happy life? Don’t want to become another statistic, be among the almost 50% of married couples who eventually divorce? Read this post.

Come on. Suck it up. Be willing to expend a little effort – it only takes eye movement – and face some truths for once in your sorry life.

Below is most of the available information on the science of the natural world in regard to sexual selection and mating.

I have extrapolated from and expanded on the popular science, as well, as theory is incomplete and data very often misinterpreted even by the scientists doing the work – that is to say, evolutionary biologists and psychologists, who get much of this wrong due to their wrong scientific foundationalism (materialism) and their wrong cultural biases (toward male “superiority” over women – if you want a lasting relationship, you each must treat the other as an exact equal).

Take a deep breath. Get a cold drink (that is not alcoholic, if that was your first instinct, or you won’t be able to think properly. A water, a hot chocolate, or a homemade lemonade would do). Stretch. Go to the bathroom. Then sit back down and engage your brain on this post. This won’t take long and it won’t hurt much.

OK. Here we go.

During the mating season males court females; the most successful males display their most pleasing appearances and engage in behaviors calculated to woo females into mating with them.

For males, there’s more to mating than hanging around looking handsome and hoping; males must also prove their desire and fitness to successfully bond, mate, and raise young with the female of their choice.

Females watch the displays and are titillated or bored, and decide which male or males to mate with if any. Females are receptive to the “best” displays, of course, but often end up mating with the male most interested in mating with her, the one who shows the most interest, who tries the hardest to win her selection (as this demonstrates, in the male, viability as a member of a pair bond, to the female).

(Males take note of what works for other males in attracting, bonding to, and mating with females and copy and spread these behaviors; in essence, that is how the “best” displays become the best. However, contrary to popular scientific belief, there is no DNA-driven determinism in regard to the displays; they become matters of habit, and can change over time.)

Unwanted males are warned off by female disinterest, or if a male is persistent and a female has to resort to it, by her turning away, leaving the vicinity, even, if eventually necessary, by growling, scratching, or biting to drive the male away.

It behooves males to pay attention to female warnings that they are undesired and to turn their attentions as soon as possible to other females who may be more receptive to them. Fighting disinterest just makes both of the individuals unhappy, wasting their time, ruffling feathers and messing up fur, and both may miss opportunities for better matings.

Regular and continued male harassment of females will actually cause females to change their DNA in order to escape male notice (my theory. Human male researchers may rationalize and misinterpret this behavior as “good”; few of them realize that changing one’s DNA is behavior and not random.)

During the non-mating seasons of the year, which is the majority of the year, males do not court females and females do not select males and breed with them. Males help to build nests and/or to raise the young. Or the sexes separate and the males woo and the females choose new mates the following year.

Males and females often lose interest in sex when they are gestating and preparing for their young (humans will be addressed below, but it’s worth noting here my theory that in the case of humans, when women are taking contraceptive hormones which mimic pregnancy, such as “the Pill”, the odd combination of hormones in their bodies often causes them to become both more interested in becoming pregnant and having a child and less interested having in sex than when not on the exogenous hormones; the influence of hormones on interest in sex and child bearing may become more evident over time – in the case of men, as well, if a male hormonal contraceptive ever becomes viable).

Each species is slightly different in these regards. Humans, for instance, do not have mating “seasons”, but mate year round.

Year-round mating in humans most likely evolved in order to initiate and maintain deep and lasting pair bonds that provide long-term stable nests for the raising of offspring to full grown adulthood physically and mentally, which requires an extremely long period of time in humans, usually two to three decades.

The success of human offspring depends almost entirely on, and is most efficient and successful when conducted by, a closely bonded, emotionally suited, perennially-mated pair; the longer the parental pair bond lasts (and this depends on their treating each other with love, kindness, and support as equals in the pair bond, and the offspring with the same careful tending and respect), the more successful the offspring.

Therefore, the best sexual strategy for humans is (and remember, this is science talking; no political or religious agenda is implied or endorsed by me):

If you are a man and wish a happy marriage with lots of sex, never stop courting the woman who chose you to mate with.

If you are unwilling to do more than your share of work to keep up the nest, if you start being a slob in appearance, if you stop wooing your female with assertions of love and romantic gestures, if you treat her with disrespect as an equal member of your pair bond, if you’re still too immature and more attached and loyal to your parents and home or the fellows in your peer group(s) than to your own mate and your own home, or if you lose interest in your mate, she will start looking around for someone else to love her and to mate with her.

If you are a woman, don’t withhold sex because you are tired, or distracted, or want to manipulate a man into doing something. That is not only unfair, it is unnatural. Pretty much, unless he’s wearing you out or you are biologically incapable (and sometimes sex for either member of the pair bond is impossible and should be understood and waited out; in some extreme cases it can even be even foregone, but that is risky), never say no.

Don’t fall for the common cultural fallacy that women are supposed to be “designated sexual gatekeepers… charged with controlling men’s sexuality.” That’s how wives get left for someone else (often a second wife smarter about men’s sexuality), and marriages end. (This is true for men who withhold sex from their partners, or are unable to perform, as well.)

If, however, he has not continued wooing you, has treated you with disrespect, has not made you and your pair bond the top priority in his life, or has abused you or his privileges and responsibilities as a member of your pair bond, you may say no with impunity, scientifically speaking; you may even consider leaving the relationship, or actually leave it. That would be his fault, not yours, scientifically speaking.

Love and kindness, sex and work, equality and support are the keys, the absolute minimums, to the happiness and success of any pair bond – in the case of humans, of any long-term relationship.

Women’s and men’s minds and bodies are 99.9% the same. Both women and men want sex, love, and marriage to the same degree and, in reality, in the same amounts. That’s science. If it were not so, it would be impossible for the human animal to maintain a happy and successful pair bond and to raise children to have the capacity to maintain happy and successful pair bonds, yet the majority do.

For those who don’t, how to be get these things, and how to be happy once you have found them, have been the problem – but the problems have been cultural and the result of wrong thinking, not a result of the scientific evolution of human beings.

Many men are conditioned by their cultures to believe that they can slack off on courtship during marriage and still expect plenty of sex from their wives.

Or expect the woman to do all the work to keep up the nest and still have a happy, contented mate in her.

Or think that they can have outside sexual and/or primary emotional relationships and still not lose their mate. (Or that if they start to lose her, that they are entitled to protest by attacking her verbally, emotionally, or even physically, none of which work and merely drive her away further and faster.)

Many women are culturally conditioned, as mentioned above, to be coy with sex, to withhold it sometimes, or to believe that they have the right to determine a sex schedule, for instance. (Again, this is unnatural; scientifically speaking, of course.)

Or that criticizing their mate to others, as a matter of course, is acceptable behavior.

Or that not continuing to be alluring sexually won’t drive him to look for that allure, so innate a need.

Sex is one of the most powerful motivators in the world – most animals, including humans, will give up food, water, shelter, and even their lives (or risk their livelihoods, in the case of humans) to obtain it.

Try hard to do the scientific thing in your pair bond. Do what is natural, scientifically. It will probably work, unless you or your mate has been too warped by false cultural beliefs to know how to behave appropriately, scientifically.

If you’ve come to this page looking for scientific rationalizations or support for cheating on a partner, the science is against that.

Cheating always leads to great disruption in and generally dissolution of a pair bond. Ask almost anyone what the first thing is that they look for in a mate and the top answer is faithfulness, loyalty, fastidiousness.

Do not cheat. Ever. It is one of the most callous, cruel, and painful things you can do to another human being. Don’t be that selfish. Refuse to be that dishonest. Decide not to be that disrespectful.

Grow up, instead. Get some balls and teach yourself honesty, empathy, maturity, and responsibility toward your partner, if your own parents failed you by not teaching these incredibly important things to you as you were growing up.

Cheating doesn’t just hurt your partner, and it doesn’t just hurt the person you cheat with – it hurts you.

Cheating cheats you. It takes away from you.

There is nothing hotter – or happier – than fidelity.

That’s the science.

“Married” is like no other state of being. Marriage, an almost uniquely human institution, is not just for making human babies, it is also for making human happiness.

(The majority of heterosexuals support homosexual marriage on these grounds. Every human being has the innate right to this form of human happiness.

Regarding the religious arguments against it, I can’t imagine a loving God having a problem with adding more love to the world. Adding more love and happiness to the world does not “threaten” anyone else’s, but makes one’s own more secure. I would say that God is in favor of marriage for any two people in love, if they wish it, regardless of sexual orientation or phenotypy – and there are not just two, but many.

Secularly, some people worry that granting the right to anyone in love to marry will lead to the abuse of marriage. Multiple partner marriage, for instance, is inherently abusive to all of the parties involved. However, same-sex marriage is not. Two-person marriage is the most stable and happy arrangement for people of any sexual orientation.)

One does not have to give in to cultural or peer pressure to believe that cheating is “natural”. It might be better to think in a more truly “evolutionary” manner – your own evolution and the evolution of our species, your own happiness and the happiness of our species as a whole, one based on actually scientific, instead of pseudoscientific, proof – which always shows, basically, that loving thought and behavior work, and that unloving thought and behavior don’t work.

That is what is evolutionary.

One finds through experience, of course, one’s own convincing rationales for fidelity. Love, happiness, even bliss are to be found at their peak in a mutually loving, kind, supportive, equal, monogamous relationship. David and Judith Barash did.

David P. Barash is an evolutionary biologist and psychologist at the University of Washington, my alma mater, who has written several fascinating books on the subject with clinical psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton, his wife.

The Barashes, as evolutionary psychologists, are all over what they perceive as the “unnaturalness” of monogamy in the natural world; they provide evidence of cheating in many species, overlooking the fact that most of it is considered undesirable and leads to disruption in the pair bond. They conclude, however, correctly, that human beings can, and should, be monogamous.

They don’t cite genetics, morality, or religion as reasons for human fidelity. They conclude scientifically that human happiness is increased by it. That is where they differ from many other evolutionary psychologists, who stop studying pair bonding at an inappropriate, incomplete, and shallow-thinking (culturally-biased) juncture.

In their book The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People the Barashes discuss their conclusion.

It is a surprising one because evolutionary biologists and psychologists today generally believe that that our genes, which are made out of DNA, drive us to be “selfish”, or even “mean”. That is not only incorrect but impossible for the success and advancement of a species’ evolution, of course, but that’s what they believe.

Belief in the “selfish” gene not only is anti-scientific, it is absurd on the face of it. DNA codes for the proteins of the cells; DNA doesn’t, and can’t, code for feelings, behaviors, or actions.

No matter what materialist scientists still believe (and tell the news media) feelings, behaviors, and actions are of the mind, and therefore are under individual control.

The truth is that today’s materialist scientists, including evolutionary scientists and neurologists, in their zeal to protect the old cult of materialism, ignore modern proven science.

We as a culture have bought some evolutionists’ “selfishness” theories about dating and mating, because self-involvement, selfishness, and self-serving behavior is often what we see happening around us, and what most evolutionists believe they see happening around us culturally is what they have build their theories on. Evolutionary science is built on circular reasoning.

It is hard to build a science based on what you imagine was happening to people – and how they reacted – hundreds of thousands of years ago. As it stands, most of evolutionary psychology is illogical, shallow, and self-fulfilling.

In particular, evolutionary science as applied to human behavior doesn’t look at how people really feel and think, or how they really felt and thought tens and hundreds of thousands of years ago, since they conjecture even about that.

Worse, most of it doesn’t address what people could or should do in order to increase their own happiness today, which, of course, would automatically increase the success and survival of the species in the future.

 
Related Posts:

In 2013 Gerald Rogers posted similar advice from a regretful divorced man’s point of view. (Read and learn, so you don’t become divorced and regretful, too.)

Marriage Advice I Wish I Would Have Had
Gerald Rogers, Facebook

Marriage Advice From This Divorced Man Is A Must-Read
Huffington Post, August 23, 2013

I Recommend: The Oeuvre of Lundy Bancroft
December 2, 2013

Soon? Time.
February 28, 2013

Science, Math, Men, Women
April 10, 2012

Gullible Scientists
January 8, 2012

Orders of Difficulty
July 8, 2011

The Non-Irony of Slutwalks
August 12, 2011

Evolutionary Biology/Psychology and the So-Called Genetic Adaptiveness of Rape
February 12, 2011

Also see my post categories Evolution, Misogyny, and Materialism.

 
Evolutionary Psychology/Biology:

Today’s evolutionary psychology is a materialist pseudoscience based on false scientific premises and on wrong assumptions about human nature which support today’s cultural, not evolutionary, bias toward male superiority (and entitlement) over women.

The fact is that sexual desire, sexual activity, and sexual jealousy are biologically inherent in both men and women (or perhaps it would be better to say all genders of human being) to the same degree equally. There is far more individual variation than variation across the sexes.

The few books available that get evolutionary psychology right (equating the genders) have been written by those rare psychologists who have spent most of their careers talking to men and women about their relationships, how they really feel, and what works and what doesn’t to maintain a happy and successful pair bond – and then have not applied cultural bias to their findings (such as “co-dependence”) or made-up theories (such as the “Mars/Venus” dichotomy).

Examples of Good Science:

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can – and Should – Be Saved

Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi. Berkley Trade, 2011 (book).
- Bancroft and Patrissi provide a far more realistic view of our evolutionary past than most academic evolutionary psychologists. Bancroft just can’t be beat.

Attached:
The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love

Amir Levine, Rachel Heller. Tarcher, 2010 (book). (Kindle)
- Levine and Heller flounder a bit, generalize far too much, and are sometimes very unprofessional in their personal remarks, but their scientific basics are generally sound.

Books that get evolutionary psychology wrong usually were written by materialist (a scientifically out-of-date philosophy) academics who have spent little of their careers actually talking to people; their studies and conclusions are based on and skewed in favor of both their scientific and their cultural biases and preconceptions.

For instance, they usually conclude that men both desire and engage in more sexual activity than women (wrong; this is reporting error, and if scientists thought about it they would realize that it wouldn’t even be possible), that sexual promiscuity is not only natural but desirable (wrong; even apes, chimpanzees, birds, and other animals get jealous and fight to keep their pairings monogamous), and that pair bonding and monogamy are unnatural, undesirable, and anti-evolutionary (wrong, wrong, and wrong, scientifically speaking).

Unfortunately, such thinking is exemplary of the state of the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology today; worse, evolutionary scientists who engage in such culturally-approved thinking are the ones who get reported upon (and fawned over) in the news media.

Examples of Bad Science:

The Myth of Monogamy
Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

David P. Barash Ph.D. and Judith Eve Lipton. W. H. Freeman, 2001 (book).

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. HarperCollins, 2010 (book).

Mean Genes
From Sex to Money to Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts
Chapter One at The New York Times (book chapter)
Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan, Perseus Publishing, 2001

Book Review: “Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food, Taming Our Primal Instincts” by Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan
Damian Moskovitz, Atlas Society, October 2001 (book review).

Our Big Brains Can Overcome Our Selfish Genes
Richard Dawkins
From a lecture by Richard Dawkins, the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Understanding of Science, given at the Royal Institution, in London, 12 February 2002.
Posted by Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science,
Oxford University, at The Conversation website.

Under “bad science” there are also the following articles, which are very confused on the science and contain the typical bad advice of reporters not up on the science:

Bad Advice for Cheated Wives
A former escort turned “infidelity counselor” tells women to give their husbands more sex. It’s not the answer.

Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon, April 16, 2013
- Salon’s “sex reporter” writes that “having lots of sex with your husband” is “pedestrian, misguided” advice. She’s wrong. Her parents were right (and so is the woman she writes about, who has listened to the complaints of 1,000 men) that “sex is the glue that holds a marriage together”. Clark-Flory cites only the cultural / evolutionary psychology fallacy that women are, or should be, the “sexual gate-keepers” in a relationship (I shudder for the women who believe this, and the futures of their marriages). Clark-Flory is woefully undereducated about what she writes about; a problem with many reporters, but she can do better (in fact, I list another article of hers in the Resources section below).

I’m Just a Jealous Guy
Carole Jahme shines the cold light of evolutionary psychology on readers’ problems.
This week: Sexual Jealousy.

Carole Jahme, The Guardian, July 6, 2010
- An awful example of how the utter wrongness of bad “evolutionary psychology/biology” has infiltrated the news media and general public opinion. Shame on anyone who promotes such misogynistic wrong thinking.

 
Evolutionary Psychology/Biology:

Today’s evolutionary psychology is a materialist pseudoscience based on false scientific premises and on wrong assumptions about human nature which support today’s cultural, not evolutionary, bias toward male superiority (and entitlement) over women.

The fact is that sexual desire, sexual activity, and sexual jealousy are biologically inherent in both men and women (or perhaps it would be better to say all genders of human being) to the same degree equally. There is far more individual variation than variation across the sexes.

The few books available that get evolutionary psychology right (equating the genders) have been written by those rare psychologists who have spent most of their careers talking to men and women about their relationships, how they really feel, and what works and what doesn’t to maintain a happy and successful pair bond – and then have not applied cultural bias to their findings (such as “co-dependence”) or made-up theories (such as the “Mars/Venus” dichotomy).

Examples of Good Science:

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can – and Should – Be Saved

Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi. Berkley Trade, 2011 (book).
- Bancroft and Patrissi provide a far more realistic view of our evolutionary past than most academic evolutionary psychologists. Bancroft just can’t be beat.

Attached:
The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love

Amir Levine, Rachel Heller. Tarcher, 2010 (book). (Kindle)
- Levine and Heller flounder a bit, generalize far too much, and are sometimes very unprofessional in their personal remarks, but their scientific basics are generally sound.

Books that get evolutionary psychology wrong usually were written by materialist (a scientifically out-of-date philosophy) academics who have spent little of their careers actually talking to people; their studies and conclusions are based on and skewed in favor of both their scientific and their cultural biases and preconceptions.

For instance, they usually conclude that men both desire and engage in more sexual activity than women (wrong; this is reporting error, and if scientists thought about it they would realize that it wouldn’t even be possible), that sexual promiscuity is not only natural but desirable (wrong; even apes, chimpanzees, birds, and other animals get jealous and fight to keep their pairings monogamous), and that pair bonding and monogamy are unnatural, undesirable, and anti-evolutionary (wrong, wrong, and wrong, scientifically speaking).

Unfortunately, such thinking is exemplary of the state of the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology today; worse, evolutionary scientists who engage in such culturally-approved thinking are the ones who get reported upon (and fawned over) in the news media.

Examples of Bad Science:

The Myth of Monogamy
Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

David P. Barash Ph.D. and Judith Eve Lipton. W. H. Freeman, 2001 (book).

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. HarperCollins, 2010 (book).

Mean Genes
From Sex to Money to Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts
Chapter One at The New York Times (book chapter)
Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan, Perseus Publishing, 2001

Book Review: “Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food, Taming Our Primal Instincts” by Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan
Damian Moskovitz, Atlas Society, October 2001 (book review).

Our Big Brains Can Overcome Our Selfish Genes
Richard Dawkins
From a lecture by Richard Dawkins, the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Understanding of Science, given at the Royal Institution, in London, 12 February 2002.
Posted by Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science,
Oxford University, at The Conversation website.

Under “bad science” there are also the following articles, which are very confused on the science and contain the typical bad advice of reporters not up on the science:

Bad Advice for Cheated Wives
A former escort turned “infidelity counselor” tells women to give their husbands more sex. It’s not the answer.

Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon, April 16, 2013
Yes, it is. Or, rather I should say, it can prevent many problems in marriage which wouldn’t otherwise have occurred. Salon’s “sex reporter” writes that “having lots of sex with your husband” is “pedestrian, misguided” advice: she’s wrong. Her parents were right (and so is the woman she writes about, who has listened to the complaints of 1,000 men) that “sex is the glue that holds a marriage together”. Clark-Flory cites only the cultural / evolutionary psychology fallacy: that women are, or should be, the “sexual gate-keepers” in a relationship (I shudder for the women who believe this, and the futures of their marriages). Clark-Flory is woefully undereducated about what she writes about; a problem with many reporters, but she can do better (in fact, I list another article of hers in the Resources section below).

I’m Just a Jealous Guy
Carole Jahme shines the cold light of evolutionary psychology on readers’ problems.
This week: Sexual Jealousy.

Carole Jahme, The Guardian, July 6, 2010
- An awful example of how the utter wrongness of bad “evolutionary psychology/biology” has infiltrated the news media and general public opinion. Shame on anyone who promotes such misogynistic wrong thinking.

 
Resources:

Selfish Gene Theory Of Evolution Called Fatally Flawed
Y. Bar-Yam, Formalizing the gene centered view of evolution, Advances in Complex Systems 2, pp.277-281 (1999).

Back to the Stone Age
Two strong believers in evolutionary psychology tell us how we can live better lives.

Erica Goode, The New York Times, December 31, 2000

Male sexual polymorphism, alternative reproductive tactics, and androgens in combtooth blennies (pisces: blenniidae).
Oliveira RF, Canario AV, Grober MS. Horm Behav. 2001 Sep;40(2):266-75.

Sexual Behavior in Pre Contact Hawai‘i: A Sexological Ethnography
Milton Diamond, Ph.D., Revista Española del Pacifico. 2004. 16: 37-58

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
John P. A. Ioannidis, PLoS, August 30, 2005

Female Sexual Polymorphism and Fecundity Consequences of Male Mating Harassment in the Wild
Thomas P. Gosden and Erik I. Svensson, PLoS, June 27, 2007
Citation: Gosden TP, Svensson EI (2007) Female Sexual Polymorphism and Fecundity Consequences of Male Mating Harassment in the Wild. PLoS ONE 2(6): e580. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000580

They Don’t Make Homo Sapiens Like They Used To
Our species — and individual races — have recently made big evolutionary changes to adjust to new pressures.

Kathleen McAuliffe, Discover Magazine, February 9, 2009

Are we witnessing the end of science?
Almost all the great revolutions in scientific thinking may be behind us,
but the way modern science is conducted stifles radical new ideas

Ehsan Masood, The Guardian, June 22, 2009

Human Nature Today
David Brooks, The New York Times, June 25, 2009
- “Evolutionary psychology leaves the impression that human nature was carved a hundred thousand years ago, and then history sort of stopped. But human nature adapts to the continual flow of information … Individuals aren’t formed before they enter society. Individuals are created by social interaction. … There’s no escaping context. That’s worth remembering next time somebody tells you we are hardwired to do this or that.”

Why Do We Rape, Kill and Sleep Around?
The fault, dear Darwin, lies not in our ancestors, but in ourselves.

Sharon Begley, Newsweek, June 29, 2009 (Republished at The Daily Beast)
- A highly intelligent smackdown, um, analysis of evolutionary psych/bio. There was much opposition to this article among evolutionary “scientists” (or perhaps mostly sensationalistic journalists), of course.

Questioning Evolutionary Psychology
Recently, the doubts and questions plaguing the theory of evolutionary psychology
have boiled up to the mainstream press.

Christie Nicholson, Scientific American, July 17, 2009 (notes and podcast)
- Scientific American is not the most up-to-date or reliable resource in general, however.

Skipping Spouse to Spouse Isn’t Just a Man’s Game
Natalie Angier, The New York Times, August 31, 2009
- “Evolutionary psychology” alternative hypotheses.

Why Do Women Have Sex? For the Same Reasons Men Do.
Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon, October 5, 2009

Beyond the Genome
Brandon Keim, Wired, October 7, 2009

Pink Brain, Blue Brain
Claims of Sex Differences Fall Apart

Sharon Begley, Newsweek, September 3, 2009 (Republished at The Daily Beast)

Another Darwinian Fairy Tale Gives Us Old Time Religion in our Jeans.
Or Was That Genes?

Marc Jampole, OpEdge (blog), November 17, 2009

What Do Pleistocene Hunters Have to Do with Poker Anyway?
Absolutely Nothing, Mr. McManus.

Marc Jampole, OpEdge (blog), December 22, 2009

Tiger Woods’ Adultery: The Scientific Defense
A new book argues that dudes just can’t help chasing tail. Give me a break!

Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon, March 25, 2010

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
David H. Freedman, The Atlantic, November 2010
- “Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors — to a striking extent — still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice? Dr. John Ioannidis has spent his career challenging his peers by exposing their bad science.”

Do Humans Prefer Free Love Over the Bonds of Nuclear Family?
Maia Szalavitz, Time – Healthland, November 2, 2010
- No. At least no one in his or her right mind, independently, uninfluenced by cultural pressures to “conform” to counterculturalism.

The top 10 most spectacularly wrong widely held scientific theories
Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle, November 24, 2010
- Note that none of the new theories which replaced the old are any “truer”, and will be replaced in their turn; that science is “better” today than in the past is debatable to completely untrue. Or perhaps some of the older theories (especially those not as ancient and thoroughly discredited as those presented in this article – the operative words here are “eventually discarded” – which can take centuries) will be revived in new forms. That happens a lot, too.

A Roomful of Yearning and Regret
Wendy Plump, The New York Times, December 9, 2010
- What it’s like to cheat and to be cheated on.

Nice Guys Finish First
David Brooks, The New York Times, May 16, 2011

Scientist Tim Flannery Ties Darwinian Myths to Politics of Selfishness
and Myth of Free Markets

Marc Jampole, OpEdge (blog), May 19, 2011

Double Inanity
Twin Studies are Pretty Much Useless

Brian Palmer, Slate, August 24, 2011
- Palmer still believes in the “promissory” science, though, unaccountably.

Men Aren’t Funnier Than Women, but We’ll Keep Pretending They Are
A new study says the female funny bone is equal to the male,
even if it’s not perceived to be.

Amanda Marcotte, Slate, October 20, 2011
- Women are as funny as men. And as smart. Period. End of story.

Steven Pinker’s Book is a Comfort Blanket for the Smug
Andrew Brown, The Guardian, November 8, 2011
- “The factual errors in The Better Angels of Our Nature destroy Pinker’s thesis, rendering it no more than a bedtime story.”

Women’s Progress Marches Backward
Whether you look at job stats or the pay gap, at the movie awards or Sunday morning TV,
it’s been a rough 2011

Irin Carmon, Salon, December 19, 2011
- Why?: 1) The outsized influence over news media, and therefore society, of reactionary fundamentalist religious protest due to their misunderstanding of God’s will regarding what are actually human cultural taboos, 2) evolutionary “science”, which, with little to no actual science to uphold them, remains biased toward those taboos, and 3) women’s reluctance to respond to, fight against, and protest those taboos in public and private – due to those very taboos.

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, Noted Psychiatrist, Apologizes for Study on Gay ‘Cure’
Benedict Carey, The New York Times, May 18, 2012
- It isn’t just women who suffer from misguided “science”, of course. See below, also.

Regretting the Gay Cure
Psychologist Robert Spitzer has more to be sorry for.

Katie Roiphe, Slate, May 22, 2012

Good Scientist! You Get a Badge.
Precious research money is wasted on unreal results,
but we can change the culture of science.

Carl Zimmer, Slate, August 14, 2012

The Brain Chemistry of Social and Sexual Monogamy
Brian Alexander and Larry Young, Slate, November 27, 2012
- This article makes a couple of good points on this topic that most get wrong – an important one being that the powerful cheat at the same rate as the not-powerful (rather than more), and for the same reasons as the not-powerful (rather than different ones). I’ve been pointing that out forever. However, like most articles it is a mixture of the true and the false. The authors still assume that brain chemicals that somehow spontaneously appear in the brain not just influence but can control behavior. That is false. Thinking – thought – mental activity, generated by consciousness using free will, directs all behavior, period. Brain chemicals are generated according to conscious (or subconscious) thought to set up a physiological response, but the thinker is still in control of his or her behavior at all times, regardless of his or her brain chemicals or physiological response. (Think about it and you’ll conclude that this is true, if you can get over the false materialist beliefs that have been sold to society by wrong-thinking scientists.) As well, comparing primate behavior to voles or other critters is dangerously unscientific. Humans in particular can easily maintain or increase the desire, the sex, and the attachment in a relationship, if the relationship is rewarding and the motivation strong. It’s all about choice. (Note: I replaced the non-sequitur titles for this article generated by some Slate title writer with the article authors’ title – still misleading, but better.)

Generation LGBTQIA
Michael Schulman, The New York Times, January 9, 2013

Darwin Was Wrong About Dating
Dan Slater, The New York Times, January 12, 2013
- Reporters turn to the widely-quoted evolutionary scientist Steven Pinker as a so-called “authority”, but he’s an infamous (to me) hard materialist, and an out-of-date scientific resource. He is often looked at askance, viewed with suspicion and concern, as misguided from within even some of the scientific community.

Science: A Relationship You May Not Understand
Tania Lombrozo, NPR, February 25, 2013
- Terrifically condescending, Lombrozo discounts current scientific method while she also retains unaccountable faith in it. Strange.

Sympatric Speciation – Wikipedia

 


 
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Last Updated: August 25, 2013
 
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  1. [...] assumptions (bullshit) when they are incorrect assumptions (bullshit). And I do. [...] David Barash’s “Deflating The Myth Of Monogamy” « Cathi Carol 10 January 2012 at [...]

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  7. [...] sex is a good thing, did you know that? Just stick with your mated fellow pair-bonder, not that enticing flashy neighbor or coworker; it won’t be as [...]

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