The text is as it arrived to me, with the addition of few html markers.
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 14:46:13 -0700 (PDT) From: Matthew C Mckinnie <umckim00_mcl.ucsb.edu> To: yeh Subject: evol psych webhi there, just browsed through your page. EP doesn't refute learning. Of course culture is learned.But HOW we learn it is universal. And like you say, learning is seeing regularities in the world. That's what EP is about. The INNATE ABILITY of the human organism to SEE regularity. That is one of the universal psychological mechanisms. You're refuting a perception of the theory, not the actual theory. Learning is synonymous with the "input" of the authors, as the meachanism that integrates input is the learning process. It is an implied process.
This is truly some of the most well-written but entirely misguided prose I have ever read. Clearly, you have no grasp whatsoever of what the hell you're talking about. Obviously, you are so theory-driven that you felt compelled to publish (post, I mean) this, despite the fact that you don't have a clear picture of just what it is that you disagree so much with. I mean this in the most constructive way.Note how I utilized "clearly" and "obviously", the same way you did, to incite a response. Arrogance incites victimized, insulted responses. Another one of those human universals. Of course, you can learn to respond sympathetically to such provocation. But it's easier not to, eh? Isn't that right, you stupid fool? There. See? That provoked a response. You most likely felt angry, maybe because you assume you are the dominant member of this transaction, and I the passive, hence I should be subservient, or because you sense this as an assault on your status, requiring you to defend yourself. Faster pulse, etc. Like we're confronting each other on the open veldt, when we're really thousands of miles away. Did we learn this response culturally? We learned it because we were made to learn it. But I digress. My impromptu writing style has much to ask for, and I usually pursue irrelevant tangents. You should really read through the literature again, you seemed to have gone into it expecting to be disappointed, and you have gotten what you wanted. We learn so well because our mental architecture is so inviting to a sense of the world that most of us have. Our sense of the world is determined by our culture and all our social interactions. These in turn are created by humans, from our innate, social primate psychology. Variations in culture are random noise, culture itself is universal and determined by the social milieu of omnivorous primates who've lived the same way for thousands of generations. These mechanisms are innate, they are innate templates for external stimuli that we as a species "expect" to emanate from our world, because they always have. Such a strong driving force as environmental constants evoke predictable responses from adaptive systems. Human babies have always had fathers, mothers, and the same outside planet, with negligible exceptions, and our bodies and minds have passively adapted to these real things, as much as we have to oxygen and food and sunlight...well, bye