Why Do Humans Insist on Being Validated?

Five brief meditations on modern validation, from the perspective of evolutionary psychology.

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Self-portrait.

Cooperation — Monday, September 9, 2019

I am amazed (albeit not surprised) by the degree to which students consider the world and their experience in it to be socially constructed — especially in an evolutionary psychology course. Take these two examples from our first week of classes:

  1. “Intelligence is a social construct.”

Entropy — Friday, September 13, 2019

It is fashionable now to declare life, or Being, as meaningless. But we must recognize that those who do so simply have yet to discover meaning in their lives, for why else would they make such a declaration? That things end is not an indication of their meaninglessness or irrelevance; endings are precisely that which give value to beginnings. How else would we know the joy of hello if we did not also know the misery of goodbye? The two act as bookends to all that lies between — indeed, to all that is meaningful.

Fitness — Wednesday, September 18, 2019

On the topic of child-rearing today, our professor mentioned how, although humans throughout history have participated in infanticide, our society today is disapproving of such behavior. In response, a student raised his hand and said, “No we’re not: abortion.” And of course the class went nuts. And our professor said, “Let’s have this discussion without being political.” And I said, “I don’t think that’s political; I think that’s perfectly valid.” And many students scoffed or rolled their eyes. And then our professor began a speech about how “we’re going to address difficult subjects in this class, and if ever you need to talk about them, please come see me; I’m happy to help, or there are many resources available to you through the university.”

Sex — Monday, September 30, 2019

Our topic of discussion in class today was sex in humans. We spent the majority of the discussion, however (and of course), talking about intersex conditions in humans. What follows is thinking on this topic.

Selfishness — Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The ability to predict and plan for the future is necessary for human survival. To genes, however, there exists only the present — which is to say that our genes need us as much as we need them, for how could they survive to replicate without inhabiting something capable of surviving? And how could we survive without being predisposed to do so?

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Editor, Designer | mitchellferrin.com

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