Re: Phenotypic quality and human social behavior

Robert Snower (
Sat, 17 Aug 1996 02:27:09 GMT (Bryant) wrote:

>In article <4v00dc$>,
>Robert Snower <> wrote:
>>"Evolutionary psychology" always seems so completely obvious, and
>>anit-climactical. What on earth is controversial about this?

>That is what I was hoping to learn from the rest of you. :)

>Obvious, though? Who besides an evolutionary psychologist would've
>predicted that male developmental stability (measured as bilateral
>symmetry) would correlate positively with the incidence of their female
>mates' orgasms?

Come now. What could be more obvious than good looks are conducive to
sexual satisfaction on the part of the partner?

> Or that orgasm itself retains sperm from preferred
>males, constituting a cryptic post-copulatory mate choice mechanism?
I don;t think I have had an opportunity to empirically test this one

>Or that postpartum depression may be an evolved psychological adaptation
>designed to enhance maternal fitness through differential maternal
>solicitude? (My current, personal favorite, because it's mine.)
>I mean, really: how many non-Darwinians would even have realized that
>infanticide can be adaptive? Before Hrdy and other behavioral
>ecologists, animal infanticide was considered aberrant behavior. Before
>Daly & Wilson, evolutionary psychologists, human infanticide was seen as
>evidence against the applicability of darwinism to human behavior!

The first I don't follow. As for infanticide, it has many mentions
in Wilson's original 1975 work, and was written about in the years
immediately after that ad nauseum, long before the Readers Digest
crowd ever got around to inventing "Evolutionary Psychology."
Always as adaptive, by the way.

Best wishes. R. Snower