Evolutionary psychology is a red herring

One of the reasons people like Jordan Peterson get raked over the coals is that they believe in evolutionary psychology. The claim that certain sexual or other behavioural traits are natural is actually a fairly large claim. Evolutionary psychology includes a framework by which to argue for things as natural, but for those that do not understand the framework, it just all sounds like hocus pocus.

Additionally, because evolutionary psychology is not falsifiable there should be healthy skepticism about many of the conclusions it makes.

What does this mean for us?

If you are going to claim that, for example women wear make-up for men, to claim they do it for evolutionary reasons is going to be hard to defend. Because first you have to get your audience on board with the basic principles of evolutionary psychology. And that is only the first step.

Something that makes more sense is to only make claims about what is true now and to back up assertions with sociological studies or commons sense rather than citing evolutionary psychology.

There is usually enough evidence in sociology to conclude that something is already happening. So for example, if you are in an argument with a feminist about why women wear make-up. Starting with evolutionary reasons is the worst possible method in 2019. All the effort should be going into arguing how people use cosmetics today. Would the person wear the cosmetic only around their gender? How long would they wear it not exposed to the other gender? etc… With regards to make-up you would probably conclude women indeed wear it primarily for men today.

Whether or not it’s natural or why people wore cosmetics in the past is just not the first thing one should establish anyway, it gives people more room to tear down your arguments. Effort should be focused on proving what is going on today.

The right-wing only focuses so much on evolutionary psychology because right-wingers are reactionary. They do not believe in progress and compulsively feel the need to insert historical antecedants into all their arguments. It’s counterproductive, even for right-wingers to spend so much time trying to argue about what happens today based on referencing the past. You can get all that info from sociology.

Evolutionary psychology may be true or not. I have written a lot about it as it it were true on the wiki. However, it is not necessary to 99% of the arguments people make.