The gist of Liesen’s article is the conflict between evolutionarypsychologists and feminist evolutionists. The area of conflict is theassertion by evolutionary psychologists that human psychologicalmechanisms have remained unchanged since the Pleistocene Era (Liesen,2007). From the article, I learnt that evolutionary psychologistsconsider human behavior as relatively inflexible and would expectboth women and men to make similar life choices as their ancestors. Ihave also learnt that to challenge the stereotypes supported byevolutionary psychologists, feminist evolutionists argue that certainenvironmental factors have the potential of reducing the autonomy offemale reproductive choices. Reading the article authored by Liesenenabled me to understand the positions held by the two opposing campson matters to do with the evolution of human psychologicalmechanisms.
Buller (2009) attempted to challenge the many arguments presented byevolutionary psychologists concerning the evolution of humanpsychological mechanisms. From Buller’s article, I learnt that someevolutionary psychologists do not think that the human brain haschanged much since the Stone Age era. Upon reading the argumentspresented by Buller, I have learnt that some information is absent,particularly, concerning the human ancestors’ psychological traitsthat render evolutionary psychologists’ assertions questionable.For instance, what adaptive function did language serve among earlyhumans? I have also learnt of the shortcomings in evolutionarypsychologists’ explanation of human psychological mechanisms beinginflexible. For instance, if evolutionary psychologist agrees thatthe human species changed physically when adapting to the new way oflife, such as with the onset of agriculture, how comes no similarchanges were witnessed in human psychological trait? Reading thearticle by Buller, I have come to understand why feministevolutionists have waged war against evolutionary psychologist.
Shubin (2009) argues that human beings may have fish and amphibiansancestors from the routes taken by the nerves and certain fluids inthe body. One evidence used by Shubin to explain his arguments that human beings may have fish ancestors is the tendency of the tube thatcarries sperms not to follow the shortest distance between thescrotum and penis. Shubin argues that the requirement thathigh-quality sperms can only be made in cooler environments made themale gonads to be located in the scrotal sac, among other adaptivetraits. From Shubin`s article, I have learnt about the manysimilarities that human beings share with fish and amphibians thatmay point to the former having descended from the latter.
Putting the issue of evolution aside, from the Survival of theSickest Chapter 1, I encountered something I never thought waspossible. Since my encounter with biology, I have held the beliefthat the body has a way of eliminating waste or anything notbeneficial to it. However, upon reading the Survival of the SickestChapter, I learnt that there is a rare hereditary condition known asHemochromatosis. When a person suffers from Hemochromatosis, the bodyfails to detect the ideal levels of iron and this result in thebuilding up of excess iron in the system. While I could never haveentertained the idea that excess iron could be harmful, I learnt thatit could be lethal if unchecked. As scaring as it is, the chapterprovided the explanation as to why excess iron may be harmful.According to the chapter, iron provides opportune conditions forbacteria to multiply unimpeded and that is how lethal Hemochromatosisis. The chapter also explains how some conditions may use the excessiron in the macrophages of a nonmonochromatic person to subvert thebody`s immune system.
In conclusion, the assigned articles were very insightful, and I willseek to use the knowledge I have gained in my future academicendeavors.
Buller, D. (2009).Four Fallacies of Pop ary Psychology. Scientific American,Inc.
Liesen, L. T.(2007). Women, behavior, and evolution: Understanding the debatebetween feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.Politics and the Life Sciences, 26(1),51-70.
Shubin, N. (2009). This Old Body: ary Hand-me-downsinherited from fish and tadpoles have left us with hernias, hiccups,and other maladies. Scientific American, Inc.
Survival of the Sickest. Chapter 1: Ironing It Out.