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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Access Research Network's top ten media-related intelligent design stories for 2009 #10

I have here appended comments to these stories, chosen by a vote among knowledgeable people. I am doing them in order from 10 to 1. The science stories are here, and comprise a different list.
10. Evolutionary Psychology Finally Comes Under Media Attack. In an effort to make the science press sound a bit less like the National Enquirer, Sharon Begley for Newsweek and David Brooks for the New York Times start to question some of the absurd theories fostered upon the public in the name of “evolutionary psychology.” Many thoughtful people are beginning to express concern about the attention given to speculation about human psychology based on what our remote ancestors supposedly did. For the most part, we don't know what they did, because they did not write anything down. The criticism is that evolutionary psychology dwells on unfalsifiable and often trivial concepts such as “Why men are big spenders” or “Why women love to shop”, which reflect only the popular beliefs of our own culture today.

[I'd voted for this one, and wished it had placed higher, but never mind. I don't think evolution is - in principle - a waste of time as a study, but it desperately needs to be brought under control as a science discipline, not just an excuse for people to act out. This could be done if evolutionary biologists severed their links with "evolutionary" psychologists. But it won't happen, and I predict they will go down together.

The difference? Oh, that's easy: Tyrannosaurus rex - even if he is dead - is a subject. The Cave Man is generally a figure onto which people project their opinions and prejudices.]

Here are the previous three years' top ten stories:

2008 Darwin and design

2007 Darwin and design

2006 Darwin and design

ARN also offers "top ten" resources that are worth checking out if you follow the controversy.


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