Review of Adapting Minds Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature by Buller (2006)

Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017) (2017)
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I bought this thinking anything from Bradford books and MIT must be good. Instead it's a boring, stupid, incompetent, antiscientific and antirational piece of closet creationist trash. Heads should roll at Bradford for this atrocity! If you must then start by reading the last chapter first as he conceals a frank statement of his anti-rationality til the end. I made detailed notes on it as I thought it was a serious work of science and was going to do a long page by page refutation but why bother! The praise from some Science and Nature reviewers shows they did not read it and/or have as little understanding of behavior as Buller. The positive comments from the jacket by Sterelny, Wilson, Sober and Caporael are due to the fact that they all share Buller's retro antirational blank slate views that human nature is due to our culture and the delusion of group selection (see my review of Wilson's The Social Conquest of Earth). The first part of the book is dull repeats of basic biology cribbed from intro texts and unrelieved by photos or drawings. Along the way there are some incredibly bizarre takes on the use of language and scientific method. Then you find an attempt to refute some well known studies of stepchild abuse. As you get to the end he lets his anti-science and anti-rationality out in the open, telling us that regardless of whether our behavior is innate we should not investigate it! The fact that our brain is no different from our other organs and it's functions a product of genes and evolution continues to be resisted or just ignored not only by academics but by the general public. Nevertheless the basics of our behavior are as innate as our heartbeat and detailed evidence (for those who have trouble with the obvious) is all around us everywhere we look once our eyes are opened-just watch people doing anything or turn on the tv (or see the huge and rapidly growing scientific literature). Novices can start with Pinker's "The Blank Slate" but there are now dozens of good popular and scientific books on evolutionary psychology and hundreds of articles in the literature of philosophy, psychology, economics etc. The articles in Buss's The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and some at the end of Gazzinaga's The Cognitive Neurosciences 3 are good starting points for the serious reader., and science are all manifestations of our innate psychology (with the minor extensions we call culture and civilization), you can look almost anywhere in literature or life to study our adapted mind except here. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019), The Logical Structure of Human Behavior (2019), and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019)
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First archival date: 2016-10-21
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