Please note this post was edited (below) on 23 May 2011
David Lawson, Kesson Magid and I have just published On Sex and Suicide Bombing: An evaluation of Kanazawa’s ‘Evolutionary Psychological Imagination’. This is a critique of Satoshi Kanazawa’s 2007 paper: “The Evolutionary Psychological Imagination: Why You Can’t Get a Date on a Saturday Night and Why Most Suicide Bombers are Muslim.”
Many objections to evolutionary psychology are ideological or political. This is not the case in our paper: nothing makes me (and my co-authors) froth at the mouth more than bad science. We say:
The beauty of the scientific method is that it allows us to ask, and sometimes answer, tough questions.
Addressing the tough questions without the transparency afforded by the scientific method is not brave: it is simply cavalier.
Kanazawa’s paper is full of bad science. We are not the first to criticise him on such grounds, but it bears repeating that when there are controversial and sensitive issues at stake, we beholden to demand a high standard of scholarship and science.
EDIT 23 May 2011
In the light of another piece of “science” by Kanazawa, reported on his blog, I have decided to add to this post a list of the published academic responses to Kanazawa’s work. It really saddens me that someone who pushes an agenda to carry out controversial investigations cannot pair that agenda with quality science. As said above, with academic freedom comes responsibility.
This list was compiled with the help of colleagues. Please let me know of any additions or corrections. At last count, the 20 listed papers involved 56 separate authors.