Blog #3

1 Commentby   |  03.05.13  |  Student Posts

I find evolutionary psychology to be a bit strange. As was stated in class, I have a very hard time getting behind the thinking that we can understand how something like religion can be affected by evolution, when we don’t even fully understand how certain aspects of the human body work with evolution. While I absolutely believe there is knowledge to be gained from approaching how our minds work from an evolutionary standpoint, I would not go so far as to introduce it as a whole new realm of science. I think that evolutionary psychology has the potential to help nail down some big issues (ie. inherited religious preference) though I don’t find it to be as important to the field as something like biological psychology.

An interesting bit of information we covered in class was during the video regarding facial expressions. I found that video to be most entertaining and informative. I had read before about how humans have similar facial expressions for different responses species-wide, so seeing real examples was great. I found the idea that the monkeys have some of our original facial expressions to be pushing the limits of my belief a bit. After all, could the monkeys not have simply observed humans making expressions (especially those of fear when a monkey jumps out of a tree and lands in front of you) to begin copying them? If we take a look at dogs for instance, we can see they have a marked knowledge of what state of awareness we are in (fear, happiness, anticipation) and react to it, could not a far more intelligent monkey copy simple facial expressions? In any case, I found the video to be quite thought provoking, if a little one-sided.

1 Comment

  1. Josh Marshall
    10:35 pm, 03.05.13

    I like how you point out the fact that there is so little we actually understand the overall concept of evolution. There is so much more out there to be found than what we know or are aware of, and I agree that the research done through evolutionary psychology could help us to define some big issues in our lifetime. However, I also agree that the importance of this “branch” of psychology is minimal in comparison to others. Also, very good observation about the dogs and how they are able to learn human responses and how to react on them. I had not previously thought of that, and found this entire post to be interesting and informational. Thanks for sharing.

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