Evolutionary Psychology as the Bridge Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Subject: Mythology - Religion
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #78587018

Excerpt from Term Paper :

" (Wikopedia, n.d.)

The social scientists moved from Freud to the idea of Pramatism. "Theodore Porter argued in "The Rise of Statistical Thinking" that the effort to provide a synthetic social science is a matter of both administration and discovery combined, and that the rise of social science was, therefore, marked by both pragmatic needs as much as by theoretical purity." (Wikopedia n.d.)

An example of how the social science movement continues to gather new methodologies can be demonstrated by the various theories during different periods of time. In the early twentieth century, the main idea of the movement was focused on the ability of society to utilize statistical analysis. The movement came up with the notion of the Intelligence Quotient of the typical IQ test. This type of test was a measure of some unknown statistic but still a pragmatic prediction of potential success at certain tests or tasks. These tests or tasks were created by the needs of society because of the industrialized age and the two world wars' need for more logical thinkers. At the same time, the concepts of mathematics were seen to be more systematic and thus a movement of modernism also prevailed.

The expansion of the social sciences throughout history seems to focus on the current needs of society and the scientific community creates the necessary tests and subjective plans to fulfill societal needs. "First, the Standard Social Science Model claims that only genetically determined human behavior is "natural" or biological. Certain infant reflexes and adult facial expressions fall in this category. Next, the Standard Social Science Model asserts that all human infants have the same design and potential. So "nurture" must account for the profound differences in behavior and mental organization among human societies. The content of "nurture" comes from "culture" and is "learned" by the individual." (Zimmer, 1998)


Like the social sciences, Christianity fulfills a societal need as well. "Christianity originated in the first century. According to Acts 11:19 and 11:26 in the New Testament, Jesus' followers were first called Christians by non-Christians in the city of Antioch, where they had fled and settled after early persecutions in Judea. After Jesus' death, early Christian doctrine was taught by Paul of Tarsus and the other apostles. (Wikopedia, n.d.) in a broad manner, religion has been man's attemtp to explain his part in the universal picture as well as it explaining man's relationship with the universe.

Wikopedia, n.d.)

Religions are considered to be interchangeable with the notion of faith and/or belief in some supernatural, sacred or divine being. The Catholic Church "defines religion as any set of beliefs and practices that have the function of addressing the fundamental questions of human identity, ethics, death and the existence of the Divine (if any)." (Wikopedia, n.d.)

Today, only a few big religions have captured the majority of the world's population and many smaller religions are technically interpretations of these bigger ones. "While Christians cannot propose evolutionary psychology hypotheses that humankind was created in the image of God or that humankind evolved to believe in Jesus, Christians can propose evolutionary psychology theories explaining why the religious impulse is a species-specific trait." (Zimmer, 1998)

Religions have undergone an infinite number of alterations and many churches, cultural ideals, and human objectives have come from these many alterations. "Occasionally, the word "religion" is used to designate what should be more properly described as a "religious organization" - that is, an organization of people that supports the exercise of some religion, often taking the form of a legal enttiy." (Wikopedia, n.d.) There were advantages for mankind when they were allowed to engage in religions or to bring one to the rest of society by teaching some underlying beliefs.

That is because religions have been consistently shown to have created either directly or indirectly a variety of codes for ethics, rules or societal measures. This seems to be consistent with the needs of the social scientists. For example, when Moses was said to have presented the Ten Commandments, he inadvertently created a set of rules that enhanced the living standards and the situation as a whole for all of his followers. As the Commandments spread, new followers also benefited from the rules and codes of ethics. There is very little difference with the outcomes of the Commandments and the social scientists creating rules of intelligence with their IQ examinations. Society needed as standard and both the social scientists and the religious factions were able to comply.


Evolutionary psychology assumes that our mind and brain mechanisms have been completely influenced by natural selection 'in the environment of evolutionary adaptation and must be described as solutions to specific cognitive problems in that environment.' Thus, evolutionary psychology ties in the best of psychology and evolutionary biology. This mix helps to distinguish the features of the natural sciences. "Consequently, evolutionary psychology is on the "natural science" side of the fence in human studies. The Standard Social Science Model consciously rejects integration with the natural sciences and is vulnerable to criticism on that basis." (Zimmer, 1998)

Man does things for a reason even when he is not aware of that reason. We have accepted the notions of animal behavior and those ties to evolution. It is time that we recognize these same rules of evolution must and do apply to man. "Because little is known about the evolutionary context in which humans developed (including population size, structure, lifestyle, eating habits, habitat, and more), there is little basis on which evolutionary psychology may operate. Most evolutionary psychological research is thus confined to certainties about the past, such as the fact that women got pregnant and men did not, and that humans lived in groups." (Wikopedia, n.d.)

These before mentioned groups may have been the creation of all forms of religion. These groups were living in settings that applied both nature and nurture and this in and of itself ties both the social sciences and religions together. "Evolutionary psychology understands nature and nurture to be inseparable. We learn religion from others and are transformed in the process. Among other things, religious acts "teach," both consciously and unconsciously, transcendent emotional and cognitive psychological mechanisms that serve to control "natural" responses motivated by pleasure-seeking and pain-avoidance. Every individual may be genetically predisposed to learn particular information from the social environment necessary for these transcendent psychological mechanisms to function." (Zimmer, 1998)


Browning, Don S., Couture, Pamela D., Franklin, Robert M., & Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J. (1997). From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press.

Maasen, Sabine, Mitchell, Sandra D., Richerson, Peter J., & Weingart, Peter (1997). Human by Nature: Between Biology and the Social Sciences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Rose, Michael R. (1998). Darwin's Specter: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Wikopedia. (n.d.). Social Sciences. Retrieved on May 3, 2005, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_sciences

Wikopedia. (n.d.). Christianity. Retrieved on May 3, 2005, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity

Zimmer, J. Raymond (1998). Evolutionary Psychology Challenges the Current Social Sciences. Evolution Dialogue: PSCF 50 (September…

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