Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Al Gore Regurgitates Absurdities of Evolutionary Psychology

People are having fun at Al Gore's expense, but his ideas (at least some of them) come right out of evolutionary theory. As Geoff Brumfiel reports, in his talk this week at the close of the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford, Gore explained that "evolution had trained us to respond quickly and viscerally to threats. But when humans are confronted with 'a threat to the existence of civilization that can only be perceived in the abstract,' we don't do so well." Sound familiar? This is standard evolutionary psychology, as popularized lately by Nicholas Kristof, for instance. It may sound more silly coming from Al Gore, but he's not the one making this stuff up.