…Well, since you brought it up, I don’t see it as odious (as some have) that I changed my mind about the field. Part of it involved doing more reading about it, and teaching it, but most of it I attribute to the fact that the early excesses of evolutionary psychology have been tempered as the field has started policing itself.
I think he’s got exactly the right attitude there. It’s no big deal to re-examine areas of science when presented with new data. That’s a healthy way to be! He then offers a gentle explanation explaining the discrepancy one would find in his statements from even a year ago. It seems that field has undergone some relatively recent quality controls, and that’s the main reason why he’s on board now.
For me, I always ask myself, “What evidence would I need to change my mind about X?” Then I try to find that evidence, or how my ‘opponents’ tackle the same question. Are they using logic, reason, facts, and science? Is the science peer-reviewed? Etc.
I found it strange that many people had quoted him as an expert a few weeks ago on my blog. They railed against evolutionary psychology with a handy Coyne quote, unaware that he had such a recent and noticeable change of heart. Also weird, when I pointed out that he had in fact changed, at least one person suggested he
was always ‘pro-EP’ ‘only acknowledged that there are good EP studies out there‘. In the spirit of Coyne’s turnaround, this commenter quickly re-evaluated their stance. Whoohoo!
I bet he hears “to COYNE a phrase” a lot. He has to hate that shit. I heard “JUST IN TIME / CASE” frequently enough to detest it even as a kid. Apologies, Jerry, if you are reading this!