What about David Buller’s book, Adapting Minds?

In Adapting Minds Buller criticizes the theoretical and empirical bases of evolutionary psychology. Click here for a series of rebuttals of Buller’s major points by leading evolutionary psychologists, as well as other relevant works.

Is the book ‘Darkness in El Dorado’ by Patrick Tierney a hoax? What does the evidence say?

For a synopsis and commentary on the controversy, see John Tooby’s “Witch-hunting among the Anthropologists.”

The UCSB team preliminary report on Darkness in El Dorado: The major allegations against Napoleon Chagnon and James Neel presented in Darkness in El Dorado by Patrick Tierney appear to be deliberately fraudulent. Click here to download the report (334K, PDF format). This report was prepared by members of a UCSB team investigating the allegations. The report reflects the findings of this team, however, and is not an official statement issued by the University of California.

Dr. Kim Hill on Darkness in El Dorado: Kim Hill, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Native South Americans, has released a statement on Patrick Tierney’s new book, Darkness in El Dorado. Although Dr. Hill has reservations about some of Napoleon Chagnon’s decisions over the years, his review of the book is scathing.

Dr. Magdalena Hurtado on the real causes of disease among Native South Americans: Professor Hurtado, an expert on the epidemiology of infectious diseases among South American Indians, has released the statement she read at the “Research Among the Yanomami” panel, American Anthropological Association meeting, San Francisco, November 16, 2000.

Dr. Samuel Katz, co-developer of the measles vaccine, also refutes these claims: See his open email here.

Dr. Susan Lindee on the actions of Neel during the epidemic: Dr. Lindee is a historian of science at the University of Pennsylvania, and she also publicly disputes virtually all of Tierney’s allegations. Her response can be found here.

Slate dialog on fringe academics

Judith Shulevitz of Slate, Alex Star, editor of Lingua Franca, and John Tooby, Co-Director of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, debate and discuss how to deal with fringe academics: denounce them, refute them, or ignore them? And who is more dangerous, little known scholars with noxious views supported by shaky science, or well known academics who self-servingly depict their own fringe ideas as central? Accessing the full debate online is now difficult, but it starts here on Feb 2 2000, and can be accessed, in order, here. For closing letters to Slate from Tooby and Pinker, plus a copy of Tooby’s responses to Judith and Alex, click here).

Journalism gone wild–reporting on anger

In 2010, The Sunday Times of London published a piece claiming that researchers at the CEP found a link between blonde hair in women and anger, entitlement and “warlike” behavior. No such research was done, and we believe the claims of the article are false. As can be seen by a search in our original publication (here) the words “blonde” or even “hair” never appear. Nevertheless, the story spread rapidly throughout the blogosphere and the mainstream news. We tried to correct the story. Click here to read our letter to the Times.

What we did do was research on the evolved function of anger, and its relationship to variables such as strength and attractiveness (much more interesting, and with facts behind it!).

Accurate accounts of the research–and the fabrication by the Sunday Times–appeared in Neuroskeptic, at Language Log, and originally by Ryan Sager at Neuroworld on January 18, 2010.

Other topics

The New Republic recently published Jerry Coyne’s review of Thornhill and Palmer’s book on rape. John Tooby and Leda Cosmides have responded with a letter to the editors of TNR. Click here to read it.

Stephen Jay Gould published two sequential articles in The New York Review of Books, which were devoted to critiquing (1) evolutionary psychology, using our book The Adapted Mind as one of two primary examples, and (2) the field of modern adaptationist evolutionary biology from which evolutionary psychology derives. These were: Stephen Jay Gould, “Darwinian Fundamentalism” (June 12, 1997) and “Evolution: The Pleasures of Pluralism” (June 26, 1997). Our full reply is included here.

Donald Symons responds to V. S. Ramachandran

Critique of Rushton