ERIC Number: EJ859796
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
More on Evolution and Psychology
Dewsbury, Donald A.
American Psychologist, v64 n7 p624-625 Oct 2009
Comments on the critiques of Tryon (2009a, this issue) and Cunningham (2009, this issue). These critiques provide an interesting contrast: one favoring greater reductionism and one favoring less. I consider each in turn. Tryon (2009a) again has addressed the issue of mechanisms in these pages (cf. Tryon, 2009b). The concepts of function and mechanism are two of the most slippery in the biological sciences. One approach to this problem is to suggest that one person's mechanism is another person's function. The real issue may be the level of reductionism that is appropriate for the issue at hand. Cunningham (2009) presented many misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the current state and history of evolutionary theory. First, psychologists and biologists have not been taking Darwinian theories for granted. There is a long history of questioning and refinement of Darwin's proposals. As I noted in my article (Dewsbury, February-March 2009, p. 68), evolutionary theory is indeed "just" a theory, but it is a dynamic one that is supported by a massive body of evidence. Theories cannot be proven in principle. The unifying theory of all of the biological sciences, has played and can continue to play an important, though surely not the only, part in developing a balanced and comprehensive understanding of humans.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
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