Darwin’s iPhone: The Politics and Rhetoric of Neuroscience, Evolutionary Psychology, and Online Education

See on Scoop.itCultural evolution

In a recent speech, John Tooby, one of the founders of evolutionary psychology, compared the human brain to an iPhone full of different apps. (Huffingtonpost!

Tom Uytterhoeven’s insight:

I’m not sure what to think of this article. It starts of with some critical remarks on evolutionary psychology and cognitive science. I tend to agree with the concern the author raises about the dismissal of culture by these scientific approaches. 

But the article continues by linking evolutionary psychology, cognitive science and libertarian educational reforms together. Is there really an ideology at work here? I don’t know – from a European point of view, maybe the US context is different – but raising the question is important.

Science has an enormous impact on our understanding of the world, so it’s only natural that education looks at science for a better understanding of human learning. But maybe educators should not forget it’s up to them to think about what it means to educate a human person. Is that the same as stimulating the right cognitive modules at the right moment in the right way? I’m sure there’s more to it than that. And that’s where different philosophical perspectives surface. And that’s why I – although I’m not sure if the author can substantiate all his claims – post this article on my blog. There’s a difference between using science and technology in education on one hand and transforming education into a technological, algorithmic process on the other hand. I think that’s ultimately where the Huffington article warns us about.

See on www.huffingtonpost.com

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