Evolutionary Psychology & Reason.

We are propelled to do things by evolution so reason has no place except where I say.

Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash.

.

Evolution has hardwired in us various traits. To those traits we must succumb, except for where I have determined another course; only after that determination can I allow you to use reason to alter your world.” — Gad Saad.

.

That nearly accurate quote, I made up, by the Gad fodder of scientific obfuscation, showcases his ability to get his own way using a messed up form of evolutionary social justice. The main theme he purports is how we are trapped in our evolutionary paradigm, except when he says using reason can help us escape. He chastises the concept of multiple genders, discourages women to improve their lot in life, and derides the Muslim religion as the devil, and how we must fear Islam, like Gad fears the monsters under his bed.

.

In his book, The Parasitic Mind, Saad has no time for liberals, and too much time to spend on his badly argued books. As an evolutionary psychologist, I suspect he has greater knowledge than mine in that area, which is cursory, and self indulgently inconsequential and sparse. Yet, I never promised him a rose garden of (intelligent design) Eden either. That said, he has trapped himself in a circuitous logic maze by commingling into one book his reasoning ideology, and theories as to evolutionary psychology (EP).

.

Every scenario he places himself into, when arguing his side of things, clashes with either reason, or EP. If evolution pushes us in one direction or another, how is it possible to use reason to push back? If he posits that there are ways reason can push back, why does he suggest our evolutionary psyche is so impervious to change? Well, because Gad, and only Gad gets to pick and choose, which evolutionary force we can transcend with reason.

.

A Strict Constructionist Of Repressed Reason.

The Canadian professor has a very strident binary male-female concept. Like many concepts developed over the eons, we have genderized them. The concept of male and female brains is a great example of this mixing confusion. Renowned British psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has disputed parts of neurosexism as has Professor Saad, but both are using terms that suggest something not necessarily beneficial. What is female, and what is male? No, not who should we consider (or religiously brand) female, male, or another gender.

.

Is playing with trucks male? Is playing with dolls female?

.

Sample outcomes: Let’s say 16.9% of “females” play with trucks, and 64.8% of “males” play with trucks. And 64.8% of “females”, and 16.9% of males play with dolls*. While those percentages may be accurate, what if promoting such a gendered result ends up destroying some learning potential for one sex, or others, via societal pressure? For what benefit? Because playing with gendered toys can turn a child gay? But doesn’t Gad’s EP prevent such an outcome? Huh.

.

*Percentages above are missing the balanced-brain group below, which should be added to the 18.3% of both results above.

.

And what about the “balanced brainsin these neuroscience outcomes? Who are they, or what is their designated role in society?

.

Stigmatizing actions and items with gender designations is very unhelpful in a societal format. While treatment of illnesses, and mental disorders does require a knowledge of a person’s general or individual make up, designating such areas by gender are suspect. Like calling autism, male-tism, or female-tism. If it is not one-hundred percent one way or the other (i.e. balanced-brain-tism), how is genderizing helpful? Aren’t “balanced-brains” other-gendered then, Gad?

.

Terming some “thing or action” a certain gender is sexism. What Gad fodder is doing is reverting to the mean, and nasty, of old-world stereotyping. This infects all of his arguments. A certain gender has certain “normal roles” to perform, and that becomes how a majority of us treat them in this world, at least in their early years. The heavy lifting required to give our children the benefits another gender receives because of our child’s limiting foundational designation is that much tougher.

.

Think of the gender science this way. Do you want to place on upfront bet that nature is more powerful than nurture, and condemn your child’s future to a narrower form of success, merely because Gad fodder is so sure the “feminazis” are wrong?

.

Society has such a powerful influence on how we generally move through our lives. Before we know it, society has pushed us beyond where are future knowledge and experience would have held us back, or redirected us. Gad fodder does his best to scare us about changing our ancient minds. I disdain fear mongers who merely support the status quo. And his fearing reeks.

.

Does every activist wanting change have it right? Obviously, no. The problem is we are more likely to swim with the stifling status quo than to think for ourselves. It is much easier. Our great, great, great grandparents were right about everything, full stop. However, I do not want our two daughters to be squeezed into a suffocating silo merely because change challenges the fearful, yesteryear status quo.

.

Imagine that your daughter has been influenced by people who severely or slightly pigeonhole her — for this reason, or that — due to a status quo preconceived, and coercive ideology. Your daughter is very smart, but seems to like doing “girl” things more than “boy” things. However, her real desire is to be a quantum physicist. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have the skills, aptitude, or etc. Yet these flaws or troubles arose because of the status quo preconceived ideology that oppressed her, and the biases that influenced you. She had been holding back from presenting or improving that area of her intelligence, or her skills.

.

Gauging the nature and nurture of any individual too closely and limiting perspectives at such a point caused harms that you, and she may never realize, or understand. If your daughter was encouraged to be the smartest person possible (i.e. not the smartest girl), she would now be the internationally recognized quantum physicist she dreamed of being, rather than the science writer she became. Then the daughter writes her story, about how her parents, teachers, and other thought leaders let her down, The Only Woman in the Room by Eileen Pollack. (My interpretation for emphasis, not necessarily emphasized in that specific or singular way by the author.)

.

There are no male, female, or other genderized brains, except in medical and other studies where such designation may be required. For everything else, there is only the brain you, or your child have. The Gad fodder uses his stagnant status quo reason to walk you back into the stereotype zone. He scapegoats other people to muddle his horribly ancient ideas, then uses the fear he has conjured up to sheeple you back into status quo line. I would watch out for such fear mongers who say we cannot use reason to overcome nature unless his political science method approves it.

.

There are so many areas of life we do not allow the drives of EP to rule us: From wearing clothing in public to monogamous marriages. No eugenics, no murder, no stealing, no raping, etc. (i.e. survival of the fittest versus the rule of law). All those areas require some amount of reason, and habit forming to stop since EP does not generate those specific restrictions. If we can curtail our behaviors in the above areas, why do people who are challenging his perceptions in other areas elicit so much anger from Gad? Could some ideas end up changing things for the worse? Sure. But a few people allowing their children to determine their sex at age four isn’t any worse than a family immersing their child in a fundamentalist christian sect. Such ideas and situations should be calmly worked through, not angrily harangued by a holier than thou, socially unhinged conservative professor.

.

Fearing The Muslim Influx.

The Gad fodder also attacks Islam as if it is a monolith. His explanations for why Muslims should move to his Conservative Political Scientology religion is inexplicable. What is very ironic about his talk of EP in this area, is he made the case for Islam being the best religion. If Islam is ascendent and been so powerful in its recent history, doesn’t it fit the EP model of success he disgorges?

.

Think about this as well. He is very worried about Sharia law taking over western democracies. Yet according to his EP theory, whatever idea is superior should, and will win out. If Western Civilization, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and democracy is the best, why is he so worried about Sharia law, or Islam?

.

You are this, or that, worst kind of person because you wear a burka, head scarf, veil, tallit, shtreimel, Hasidic garb, yarmulke, mantilla, nun’s habit, or Catholic head doily. While I would never wear any of these items, my impressions of the specific person wearing them would likely go horribly afoul if I was generalizing about such a religion with multiple traditions.

Are Muslims more violent, is Islam not a religion of peace, etc? According to the Gad fodder, violence is too integral to the religion, so guilty until proven otherwise is his religions-he-doesn’t-like theory. He notes how many people terrorists have killed under the name of islam. How many people have Americans killed under the name of Exceptionalism, from the 1950s in Central America, and Vietnam to the Afghanistan and Two Iraq wars, and also due to a buffoon running from his COVID-19 responsibilities? Doesn’t our death toll total over five million, or over ten million if I include Korea? Then add in U.S. gun deaths. Huh. And much less than one million deaths due to Islamic terrorism since 1950, and that’s worldwide. Hmm.

.

So who is more violent, Exceptionalists or Islamic terrorists? We, here in the U.S. and Canada may be safer due to the 10 million deaths America instigated in other nations, but can we be sure anyone else has been made safer? How many fewer terrorist attacks would have occurred if we would have treated the Middle East differently in the last 70 years including not supporting the Shah of Iran, and getting the Palestinians their own state? Looks like hubris on steroids, and cavorting with dictators, does more killing than any type of radical fundamentalism.

.

Horrible terrorists doing bad things is worse than good people (with hungry as hippos hubris) doing Godly, and Gadly, good things with five to ten times higher death tolls. “But that is not a fair comparison.” Sure. Always a good comeback.

.

The Conclusion.

Can reason dictate our future? Sure. Does evolution have a strong pull on who we are, and will be? Sure. However, no matter what nature and nurture do, or do not, accomplish for us are still very dependent on our thoughts, actions, habits, ideas, ideologies, and in other ways. It would be wrong to allot much of our concerns to studies that make how we treat others, or what we expect from others, evolution dependent. Limiting people because of our limited knowledge so far, and the generalities we have anchored deep, some times for no useful purpose, is an antiquated, and reasonless perspective.

.

Whether it is gender, or religion, we must treat each other as individuals as much as possible. Dismissing a group of people, or their ideas because we have a scary perspective about that group, or a small percentage of that group is violent, is not enough to validate a harsh sentence for everyone in that religion. Should we not be beyond such generality condemnations? Gad Saad’s bar for the crossing of lines is too low, too wide, and too conservative.

.

Evolutionary Justice Warrior (EJW) Gad, wants us to be fearful of people in ways that are not conducive to discovering more truths. Go ahead criticize, but it makes little sense to attack people for trying to figure things out. Scientific discovery doesn’t often come from status quo thinkers. Yes, we all can go off the deep end at times in how we think about things, but pushing us down about the time we try to resurface for another look, or consideration, is also not very helpful, democratic, Judeo-Christian, or scientific.

.

By Richard The Chwalek.

Writer/Consultant. Wife/Two-20 something daughters. Flyover Midwesterner. RN/Engineer son, been there/done some, antiracist, feminist, ecotarotcardist, politics

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store