Criticism of Evolutionary Psychology - Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness

Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness

One method employed by evolutionary psychologists is using knowledge of the environment of evolutionary adaptedness to generate hypotheses regarding possible psychological adaptations.

Part of the critique of the scientific base of evolutionary psychology includes a critique of the concept of the environment of evolutionary adaptation (EEA). EP often assumes that human evolution occurred in a uniform environment, and critics suggest that we know so little about the environment (or probably multiple environments) in which homo sapiens evolved, that explaining specific traits as an adaption to that environment becomes highly speculative.

Evolutionary psychologists John Toby and Leda Cosmides state that research is confined to certainties about the past, such as pregnancies only occurring in women, and that humans lived in groups. They argue that there are many environmental features that are known regarding our species' evolutionary history. They argue that our hunter-gatherer ancestors dealt with predators and prey, food acquisition and sharing, mate choice, child rearing, interpersonal aggression, interpersonal assistance, diseases and a host of other fairly predictable challenges that constituted significant selection pressures. Knowledge also include things such as nomadic, kin-based lifestyle in small groups, long life for mammals, low fertility for mammals, long female pregnancy and lactation, cooperative hunting and aggression, tool use, and sexual division of labor.

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