Inside Bolingbrook’s evolutionary psychology house
(Note: Many names were changed in exchange for access to the house. This article also mentions a special type of electronic drug.)
Pete tumbles out of his unkempt bed and onto a carpet that he can’t recall vacuuming. He weakly crawls towards his charging station, fixated on an iPad with a picture of Steven Pinker on the cover. When he reaches the iPad, he roughly opens the cover, then fumbles to call up a bookmarked page. When the page is loaded, he struggles to focus. Seconds later, he is immersed in the page. He relaxes as the words seem to be injected into his brain. Suddenly he tenses up. His eyes roll into his skull and his body convulses. Seconds, lets out a large moan of pleasure, then collapses. After a few heavy breaths, Pete slowly starts to stand up.
Pete owns what he calls Bolingbrook’s first evolutionary psychology House. Visitors come to his home at all hours to read “evo psych” web sites and e-books in a ‘supportive environment.”
Evolutionary psychology is new branch of psychology that studies the origins of human behavior. Supporters believe that since the brain evolved, therefore human behaviors evolved and were naturally selected. Many focus on human behavior from 10,000 years ago to explain modern day behaviors. Critic charge evolutionary psychology is beset with poor research and fraud. Some contend that the human brain is “plastic” or adaptable within a life time, and this can account for modern human behavior. Some supporters counter that critics of evolutionary psychology have a hidden feminist agenda, and are anti-science.
Pete asked Tim and Blake to demonstrate the scientific value of evolutionary psychology.
Tim said, “The data clearly shows that women aren’t promiscuous because of the high cost of pregnancy. Men have almost no cost in pregnancy, so men will be promiscuous.
Pete smiles, then, after reading a short blog post, exhaled, and said, “That’s very good.” He then pointed to Blake.
Blake replied, “It is hard to tell when a woman is ovulating. Men like to care for their offspring. Therefore, it is in a woman’s best interest to be promiscuous so that her partners cannot be certain the child is theirs, and will want to help raise the child, just in case.”
Besides the scientific value of “evo psych,” many visitors to the house have their own, more personal reasons for “hitting” the blogs.
“I used to feel like an outcast.” Said Donald. “When I had my first hit, it was like opening the doors of skeptical perception. I realized that the feminists were covering up my evolutionary based masculanity! I wasn’t a geek any more. I was Neo, transcending the bounds of our evolutionary past, and embracing the transhumanist future!”
In contrast, Jake offered a simpler reason. “I hate Rebecca Watson. So when I found out she hates evo psych, I had to try it out. My first hit was like...mind...blown! I didn’t know how wrong she was until I started taking these hits.”
The Bolingbrook police department says that what occurs in the house is technically legal. They are consulting with biologists, however.
Said an anonymous source, “We can’t do anything about it. We can warn residents that most biologists recommend keeping evolution and psychology separate because combining the two can be unpredictable.”
Still, some neighbors have complaints about the many visitors to the house. While many of them complain about the noise, some find the personal meetings with the visitors disturbing.
Janice, a long time neighbor, described the time a man with bloodshot eyes stumbled towards her.
“He smelled so bad, that I just wanted him to walk away. Instead, he held up his filthy tablet and said, “Did you know that ovulating lap dancers get the most tips? You should try it the next time you’re ovulating!’ I didn’t know what to say. Fortunately, he staggered way. It’s people like him, that make me glad I can carry a concealed weapon!”
Trevor, another neighbor, describes how he stopped one visitor from talking to his seven year old daughter.
“I didn’t like the way he was looking at her. I was afraid he was going to offer her a ride. You know what those people are like. Anyway, I yelled at him to get way. He said my daughter was pretty. I said that he’d better not touch her. I’ll never forget it. He said, “Don’t worry. Though it would be easy, I won’t aggressively mate with your daughter. I’ll wait until she’s 12 and then woo her with Darwinian approved pickup lines!’ I grabbed my daughter and told him to get out of my sight. He said, ‘I know you want to protect your genetic offspring, but let me assure you that my genius genes will only improve your bloodline. I know I have smarter genes than you because I’m thinner!’ I won’t tell you what I did next.”
Pete concedes that there have been problems. He blames them on the fact that evolutionary psychology is a “New Science.”
“After some people take a few hits, the urge is to take it as far as they can go. My job is to make sure they don’t go too far. In a sense, to be a guide.”
In the crowded living room, he noticed a man excessively laughing at his iPad. Pete walked over to him, then looked at this screen. Pete gently touched the man’s screen.
“You need to switch to Richard Dawkins for a bit. A few hits will get your focus back on the science.”
The man offered little resistance, as Pete took his iPad. Pete carefully typed in a new URL, then handed the iPad back to the man. The man let out a pleasured sigh as he became absorbed in Dawkins's words.
Pete started to talk when several crashing sounds echoed through the house. The groggy guests looked up from their devices, as screamed “No! No! No! No!”
Seconds later, a large man with blond hair and wearing a pirate outfit, charged out from the hallway. The other guest slowly rolled out of the way. The pirate shoved a man out of a wooden chair then picked it up. He raised the chair over his head.
“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” The pirate screamed.
Wide eyed, the pirate then started smashing the chair on the floor. The guests tried to move faster to get away from the enraged pirate.
“I said shut up you racist, reverse racist, Abbie Smith loving, Rebecca Watson (Expletive Delete), sexist, misandrist, privileged, liberty hating, injustice loving, free-speech hating, freeze peaching, freethought blogging, Slymepitting bully!”
The chair shattered and the pirate collapsed to the floor in tears. Pete ran into the hallway as the pirate sobbed uncontrollably. The other guests stared at the pirate with fear in their eyes.
Several seconds later, Pet returned, holding two computer notepads. He ran up to the pirate, and then kneeled in front of him, holding up the two devices.