EV Psychers have been falling all over themselves disowning their favorite son -- Satoshi Kanazawa -- after his racist declaration that African-American women have evolved to be less attractive than others. This reductio ad absurdum actually perfectly reflects the field and why, in its simplicity, it is both so popular -- and so dangerous.

 

The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, May 17, 2011. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at PsychologyToday.com.

Au Contraire: Satoshi Kanazawa IS Evolutionary Psychology

This post is a response to Satoshi Kanazawa Does Not Speak for All of Evolutionary Psychology by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

 

I attacked Satoshi Kanazawa -- who is probably the most popular PT blogger -- before his Ev Psych logic led him inevitably and frankly to racism . But the logic underlying his racism is exactly that which drives the field -- i.e., there are biological imperatives that determine social behavior, attitudes, and undeniable human reality. So, for Kanazawa, some races are obviously more inherently beautiful -- they have evolved that way, indubitably.*

My particular scuffle with Kanazawa was about his ever-popular (it regularly re-appears among the most popular posts) declaration that smart people drink -- and binge -- more.  They don't -- they binge less.

But it's important to trace the logic that drives Kanazawa to this conclusion. For Kanazawa, smart people experiment more -- ergo, they more often get drunk.

Did I miss something? Better-educated and smarter people achieve more and have more to lose, exercise more self-control as a general rule, and succeed better in society. It's not inevitable that smarter people have more control over their lives and more self-discipline. The only inevitabilities are (a) in Kanazwa's head and (b) ev psych's fantasy version of the human species as the end result of a deterministic evolutionary process that makes people think and act in the ways they say people must  -- that is, according to their own preferred prejudices (like Kanazawa's ideal woman -- who is NOT African-American!).

Kanazawa missed the social and psychological realities of intelligence -- instead reducing intelligence to a one-to-one behavioral mapping. This is exactly his blinkered view of beauty and its objective determination that he tried to sell us.

Kanazawa's and evolutionary psychology's blinders shut out everything important about humanity.

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* “For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races.”