Evolution, Genes, and Behavior
The pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology purports to explain human behaviors by reference to an ancestral environment (essentially, a hunting-gathering way of life) in which we evolved. Contemporary human behaviors are allegedly governed directly by genes that reflect adaptation to this environment by natural selection. However, the evolutionary process is much more complex than this reductionist approach implies, and adaptation cannot involve the fine-tuning of structures or behaviors within individuals or species: natural selection can only affect entire organisms, not their components. Similarly, genetic processes are too complex to admit this simplistic view. Instead, our flexible, complex human behaviors probably represent an emergent acquisition.