Misogyny Vs. The Human Chin

Nicholas Kristof speaks to evolutionary psychologists and decides that misogyny doesn’t exist because there is no evolutionary motive for hatred, only a “desire to control them and impregnate them, so as to pass on one’s genes.”

The idea that something can’t exist because there is no convenient evolutionary just-so story for it is absurd. Kristof should read some Stephen Jay Gould:

Gould’s favorite example is the human chin, whose presence is an incidental consequence of the differential growth rate of two bones in the lower jaw. The dentary bone which carries the teeth elongates more slowly than the jawbone itself, so the chin juts out. In our ape-like ancestors the jawbone grows more slowly so no chin develops. Of course one can always try to invent a story about why having a chin confers more reproductive potential, but that is a parlor game, not science.

If humans can have chins, they can also have misogyny. Maybe even misogynists with chins.

4 thoughts on “Misogyny Vs. The Human Chin

  1. You can’t be serious about Gould’s analysis as a model. This is like saying we have upright posture because the front of the pelvis happened to start growing more than the back.


  2. bq. You can’t be serious about Gould’s analysis as a model.

    It might be worthwhile to pause and ask yourself why Gould was one of the most respected evolutionary biologists of his generation and then a bit on the well-established difference between analogous (functionally similar) and homologous (genetically linked) features. The distinction is drawn because there is no one-to-one correspondence, and just-so stories are no substitute for detailed analysis of mechanisms.

  3. A propos of nothing, except to highlight connections, “Gould’s analysis” is actually lifted from former AAA President, Sherry Washburn.

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