Evolution Theory as the “Consilience” Ingredient of the Humanities

The Humanities are awash with conflicting, baseless explanations of Human Nature.  Sociology, Psychology, Rational Choice theory, Religion, Marxism, Feminisim–all fail in their EXPLANATORY power when tested for consistency when they butt up against the observable actions of real human beings on the Planet. 

That humans are able to build entire intellectual edifices out of words with NO referent to underlying reality is a difficult concept to get across to most people.  They see an imposing body of work like “Freudian Analysis” or “Keynesianism”, replete with “Experts” and PHDs and grant proposals and they simply ASSUME the field of study has real world merit, how could all those books written in Universities NOT be true? 

You really have to ask yourself–given that they fail time and again in their  predictive power regarding how humans behave and that they are composed of a plenitude of competing fundamental first premises, how could ANY of them make any truth claims at all?  Feminism told us Men and Women were NO different irrespective of our visible and extreme sexual dimorphism, Marxism told us we belonged to immutable classes, Sociology claims our nature is shaped by environmental forces that can be easily manipulated and yet their grand schemes like Head Start fail to produce enduring results time and again, and in Economics, Rational Choice Theory is forced to generate a silly list of anomalies and paradoxes to handle the fact that human behavior REPEATEDLY deviates from what they have determined “should” be rational”.

In his article Take The Evolution Challenge, David Sloan Wilson eloquently proposes that Evolution Theory be used as a Universal Solvent for all of these competing theories, burning away the accretions of years of constructivist and ideological fat and uncovering the truth.

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8 Responses to Evolution Theory as the “Consilience” Ingredient of the Humanities

  1. Gorbachev says:

    Ah, but Evolution is anathema to religious right and liberal left. It implies that we’re just a bunch of animals.

    Which we are.

    Smart animals, to be sure.

    Economists make the mistake of assuming we’re fundamentally rational, when we’re not.

  2. Doug1 says:

    Evolution has long grounded my sense of social theory and philosophy.

  3. Doug1 says:

    Dana, it’s a little confusing to have the most recent comments at the top in your thread since everyone else does it the other way. And also because when there’s a reply to a comment, which obviously comes later, that it’s below.

  4. dana says:

    you are right doug–ill fix that

  5. dana says:

    im trying to fix it but it wont work 😦

  6. Diego Sigma says:

    I bookmarked your site because of this one entry. You’ll see more of me soon.

  7. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Still Playing Catch-Up Edition (NSFW)

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