There is a rising star on the horizon shining through a century old social science model gradually fading to the most recent evidence acquired through brain research. Evolutionary Psychology is a revolutionary breakthrough that is based primarily upon the biological evolutionary processes of the human brain.
To understand the impact Evolutionary Psychology is beginning to have, let's take a look at today's popular model known as the "Standard Social Science Model" that still dominates psychology, anthropology, sociology and the wider western cultures today.
The basic theory behind the outdated Standard Social Science Model is that the human mind begins as a blank slate, having no internal, predesigned nature. Experiences are created only as the result of culture encoding itself onto the human mind. Reducing the human mind to nothing but that of a blank monitor screen or computer hard drive needing the software called "culture" is the foundation upon which present day psychology, anthropology, sociology and the wider western culture of the past century have existed upon.
The present model thus reduces we as human beings to nothing but that of what has been most recently created -- computers, designed for the purposes of processing information. In this view, human behavior is disconnected from any evolutionary or biological foundation. The "programmers", those who use culture to program the mind as an industry, are those who have most benefited from this unnatural hierarchical structure. The ones who deviate from the programming are most likely told to get therapy and stick with the program or suffer the consequences of social alienation.
In contrast, Evolutionary Psychologists operate within the framework of 5 principles that are rooted in the biological nature of the mind.
Perhaps the most powerful of these principles is the understanding that the modern brain case houses a stone age mind. In other words, our mind's circuitry is really designed to deal with the type of day-to-day problems posed to our ancestors, 99% of whom existed as part of the hunter/gatherer cultures; not to solve the types of problems that are posed to the modern American or westerner.
Leaders in the field of Evolutionary Psychology, Professors Leda Cosmides and John Tooby at the University of Santa Barbara state in their essay "The Modular Nature of Human Intelligence" that "understanding that human instincts or cognitive programs evolved to solve the adaptive problems faced by our ancestors makes understanding the ancestral world important. . . each of our ancestors was, in effect, on a camping trip that lasted an entire lifetime, and the world of our foraging ancestors endured for millions of years."
Further, Professors Leda Cosmids and John Tooby state, "the basic premise behind this new evolutionary theory is that all humans share certain views and assumptions about nature of the world and human action by virtue of evolved, universal, internal cognitive programs. Concepts such as friendship and beauty are not cultural inventions, but are universal themes expressed by the human mind upon culture."
A good example of how the internalized, creative nature of humans are naturally expressed without the external programming by culture, is how the prehistoric art known as "hand paintings" appeared around the world 20,000 years ago. These paintings were produced using the processes of blowing paint over a hand to form an imprint on a cave wall. The ancient people who produced these similar paintings, were thousands of miles apart and hadn't communicated with one another. There was obviously an internal process that created these universal icon hand paintings.
Evolution laughs in the face of those who deny its existence. Perhaps there is nothing more beautiful than the thought that human beings are not designed, nor destined to be restrained by cultural straight jackets, but are meant to be partaking in this internal, evolutionary process in which there has proven to be a grandiose plan of nature.
Those who wish to program the human mind to their own benefit, to limit the human mind to nothing but an industry for them to manipulate, while denying its natural internal processes, are intruders infringing upon the evolutionary process and the individual's inherited rights. One can only wonder how much longer these intruders can intervene in a 4 million year process before they are proven to be assaulting natural processes endowed by nature to the individual.
Evolutionary Psychologists are the true revolutionaries of our time who want to help human beings get back in touch with the natural evolutionary processes rooted in the biological process of our minds. In this, we can let our computers become what the old social science model wanted us to be -- unfeeling, programmable machines, and set out for new horizons in understanding our true nature is part of a long evolutionary process we have inherited from our ancestors.
Information Derived from:
"The Modular Nature of Human Intelligence"
Leda Cosmides, Ph.D. and John Tooby, Ph.D.
One of several Essays in "The Origin & Evolution of Intelligence"
Arnold B. Scheibel & J. William Schopf, Jones & Bartlett, 1997
"Life of the Mind - Restarting the Evolutionary Mind"
J.R. Challacombe, The Claire Studies, Berkeley 1995