Glen -
> Re: artificial distinctions --
> Allergy?  No.  The word "allergy" implies something like an *unhealthy*, more 
> than normal, immune response.  My take would be that my (yes, abnormally 
> high) immune response to artificial discretization is *healthy* and 
> appropriate.  Those of you who don't have such a high response to it are the 
> unhealthy ones. 8^)
Probably just my own "inner Troll" that made that suggestion.   I think
that using arbitrary thresholds to describe heightened immune responses
as "allergies" is *also* an example of "artifical discretization", just
how much violent vomiting, sneezing, coughing, or other expellations is
appropriate in a given situation is ...erh... "situational".  
> Re: obfuscation --
> Yes, that's part of the problem with Peterson and his ilk.  They are 
> justifying folktale motifs with scientismist jargon, much like the quantum 
> and complexity woo rampant in new age, self-help communities.
I have come full-circle on this over many decades, most spent in the
mode (as I apprehend it) that you are in... but have come to be more
tolerant of some of this kind of conflation.   I'm still offended that
some (many) use the language of Science to dress up something which is
patently not, but in the same vein as "Just because you are paranoid,
doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!", I'm more interested in the
outliers which include ideas which might be (partially) right for the
(mostly) wrong reasons. 
> Re: intra- vs. organism behavior
> I'm not suggesting there's no reason to distinguish between playing blackjack 
> and fighting.  What I am suggesting is that biological evolution is an 
> appropriate explanatory tool for physiology, but NOT an appropriate 
> explanatory tool for behaviors like playing blackjack and fighting.  Please 
> note that I'm not *claiming* evolution is inappropriate for such questions 
> ... only positing it as a provocative counter-claim to evopsych claims being 
> made by others.
But don't you agree that *physiology* is NOT what is being directly
selected for, but rather what is more directly *expressed* from what is
*encoded* (genome) (therefore easier to identify/detect/measure).  Is it
not *function* rather than *form* which is being selected?   Isn't that
the point of *exaptation*, that one phenotypic element originally
selected for around *one* context/utility function trips into another
context with an entirely different utility?
> Re: evopsych-appropriate questions
> I'm not so much asking what we're *interested* in.  I'm asking what kinds of 
> questions should evopsych apply to?
I'm not sure which hair you are splitting here?   I understand that
"mere interest" does not a "universal should" make, but in an informal
discussion group such as this, I would claim that "interest" and
"unction" are nearly identical.
>   I'd enjoy seeing a response to Dave's last post, though I seriously 
> question the assumptions he's embedded in them. 8^)
Example of my point above... your invoking your "enjoyment" suggests
that it is equivalent to some kind of "should".
>  In particular, it's not clear to me if the evidence decisively shows that, 
> in all hunter-gatherer societies, women exclusively gathered and men 
> exclusively hunted.
I also find Dave's assertions a little suspect or at least
provocative.   While I suspect he is broadly correct, that the
literature will reflect the truism he referencs (on this specific
topic), that doesn't account for a possible (likely?) confirmation bias
in the community.  On the other hand, I'd be surprised to find that a
*very* significant (statistically) bias won't still be evident after
adjusting for that.   Softening the exclusivity of the argument *barely*
undermines the motivation to consider it as a real phenomenon IMO.
>  The recent discovery that neolithic (?) women's arms were much stronger than 
> we might have thought, shows our inferences from (whatever) evidence can be 
> fragile. But answers to his questions would be helpful, regardless.  Going 
> back to physiology or anatomy, perhaps gender role differences can be tied to 
> something like the evolution of the hippocampus, but not to something 
> psychological like "multi-tasking"?
Part of what I'm hearing here is the (obvious?) fact that what are often
impugned as "the soft sciences" are in fact much harder places to obtain
significant amounts of quantitative data, in particular because of the
difficulty of setting up controlled experiments and of directly
measuring the more *interesting* properties related in the models
proposed.  I might be persuaded that there is a tendency to
over-informalize these domains and tightening them up might be fruitful
(indicated), but I am not persuaded that the near folktale/mythological
style that seems to come with the territory does more harm than good, or
is categorically "wrong".

I'm wondering if Nick's early appeal to have this topic discussed
without "moving too fast" has been achieved and if we can engage him in
(more of) the aspects of EvoPsych that he is most interested in if we
haven't in fact run away with the topic (or run over him with our zeal)?

- Steve


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