Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The joys of Evo-Psy

At the GECCO debate (audio and video available here, Steve Jones described a little game he plays with his undergrads, in which they have to come up with an evolutionary hypothesis for a facet of human behaviour or biology beginning with every letter of the alphabet. His "hypothesis" for blushing is cleverly designed to make women blush, and his description of the evolutionary benefits of zoophilia would get me thrown out of Aberystwyth University (formerly the University of Wales, Aberystwyth). The point he was making was that these evolutionary fables are diverting and very plausible-sounding, but are ultimately untestable.

It seems that, whilst I was away, the bad science of evo-psy reared its head again, this time on the evolutionary basis of the "preference" for pink vs blue for girls vs boys. Let us turn once again to the acerbic Ben Goldacre who critiques the study. Read the article, and consider the sartorial choices of Alice, Cinders and Bo-Peep.

The Truth is worth more than an iPod.

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