Steven Jay Lynn is a Professor of Psychology at the StateUniversity of New York at Binghamton. He is past President of theAPA’s Division of Psychological Hypnosis, and the recipientof the Chancellor's Award of the SUNY for Scholarship and CreativeActivities. His major areas of research include hypnosis andmemory.
John Ruscio is an Associate Professor of Psychology atThe College of New Jersey. His scholarly interests includequantitative methods for psychological research and thecharacteristics of pseudoscience that distinguish subjects withinand beyond the fringes of psychological science.
Barry Beyerstein (the late) was Professor of Psychologyat Simon Fraser University and chair of the British ColumbiaSkeptics Society. He was Associate Editor of the ScientificReview of Alternative Medicine, and he co-authored manyarticles in the Skeptical Inquirer and professionaljournals.
Evolutionary psychology employs a kind of reverse engineering to explain the evolved design of the mind, figuring out the adaptive problems our ancestors faced and then inferring the psychological adaptations that evolved to solve them. In the carefully argued central chapters of Adapting Minds, Buller scrutinizes several of evolutionary psychology's most highly publicized "discoveries," including "discriminative parental solicitude" (the idea that stepparents abuse their stepchildren at a higher rate than genetic parents abuse their biological children). Drawing on a wide range of empirical research, including his own large-scale study of child abuse, he shows that none is actually supported by the evidence.
Buller argues that our minds are not adapted to the Pleistocene, but, like the immune system, are continually adapting, over both evolutionary time and individual lifetimes. We must move beyond the reigning orthodoxy of evolutionary psychology to reach an accurate understanding of how human psychology is influenced by evolution. When we do, Buller claims, we will abandon not only the quest for human nature but the very idea of human nature itself.
“One of the strongest features is that chapters [are] written by the people who have done the research. I am familiar with the work of all of them, and it’s a stellar group.” —James E. Maddux, George Mason University