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People horrifically fucking up facts about evolution and genetics too support their stupid beliefs or to seem smart and “rational” is probably one of my big pet peeves 

Yeah. An enormous number of racists, misogynists, homophobes and transphobes I’ve met eventually whip out something about evolutionary biology and they never, ever, ever, ever have the slightest shadow of even a half-right idea what any of it means or ever cite a claim ever actually made by a scientific study.

Here’s a quick handy reference list or anyone who isn’t sure:

  • Homosexuality does exist in almost all social species.
  • “Alpha males” are not a real phenomenon and in fact the most aggressive males tend to be the least reproductively successful.
  • “Survival of the fittest” simply means that the success of a species hinges on how well it “fits” its environment. It does not mean that stronger or smarter individuals are supposed to succeed. Those things can even be a detriment in nature by wasting too many resources.
  • “Race” is not a biological concept. Someone who looks different from you has the same human genes, just a different grab-bag of dominant traits.
  • Evolution is not a march towards higher complexity, more intelligence or even more adaptability. It’s just a fluctuation of characteristics dictated by environmental pressures and mutation. A slime mold isn’t “less evolved” than a hawk, just adapted for success under different parameters.
  • People didn’t evolve “from apes.” It’s more complicated than that. We are a category of ape, sharing a common ancestor with the other apes.
  • No human on Earth is “closer” to an evolutionary ancestor than any other. We all descended from the same one.
  • Neanderthals were also a “sibling” species of ours. We didn’t evolve from them.
  • Some of us did, however, cross-breed with Neandethal man. It is exclusively non-African races, such as white people, who still carry hybrid human/Neanderthal genes. Whoops, sorry “white purity” skinheads, you’re actually mixed with a whole other species.

Just had to reblog this because I am honestly so tired of people claiming that Africans are “less evolved” than everyone else 

My addition to the above list:

Epigenetics does not have anything at all to do with genetic memories. It is a thing that affects characteristics like health risks, and this speculation floating around about how phobias could be related to some ancestral trauma is complete and utter nonsense.

It’s only a matter of time before such a claim is used as another pseudoscientific tool in the arsenal of people claiming that bloodlines have anything to do with the validity of one’s worship of European pantheons. “My ancestors were Swedish, and because of epigenetics I have genetic memories passed down from those ancestors, so therefore my connection with the gods is better than yours!”

Just, no. Stop. STOP.

gonna also chime in here:

saying the “male brain” works one way and the “female brain” works another way is ludicrous. for so many reasons, even beyond the obvious of imposing that tired old either/or mentality with regards to maleness and femaleness

occasionally you will read about how a study suggests that “men are naturally better at spacial reasoning” or “women are naturally better at cooperation”, but for one thing, given how early the brain wires itself and how easy it is to influence the wiring (like, disturbingly easy), and given the tremendous social expectations we face from pretty much the moment we leave the freaking womb, it’s impossible to study gender differences in a vacuum. 

like, do your findings prove that “women are better at reading faces”, or do they prove that, when you are part of a group that has been socialized since birth to be “nice”, to take care of other people, and to above all avoid making folks angry, you damn well have to learn how to read the room, and read it fast.

also, the “left brain, right brain” thing is bunk. there are not, like emotion-driven people and logic-driven people. everybody is primarily emotional. that circuitry is older and reacts much faster, and this is why nobody is immune from sometimes making wildly irrational decisions.

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