Is Postmodernism Wiping Out Human Adaptability?

On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, evolutionary biologists and podcast hosts Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying join Federalist Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss their book “A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life.”

“There is something that obviously compels many people about postmodernism and post-structuralism,” Weinstein said. “The problem is, it’s an absolutely terrible recipe for how to live. In fact, it’s incredibly destructive and it really cannot substitute for a program that has been refined by selection and refined by people who understand what they are trying to bring about and can monitor whether or not the things that they believe will result in the enhancement of those values.”

“I would say, not necessarily a technological tipping point or at least not one that will be universal, but that there is a sort of a conflagration of technological and developmental and societal factors that are creating something that may be a tipping point,” Heying said. “This combination of features and modern, weird, Western-educated, industrialized, rich, democratic society children is going to create a whole lot of people who arrive at the cusp of adulthood without actually knowing how to be in their own bodies, what risk looks like, where comfort is desirable and where it’s not.”

These evolutionary trends Weinstein said, also apply in politics.

“We need to recognize that the dynamism of our system comes from the tension between the instinct of progressives to improve things, and the instinct of the right to protect us from the unintended consequences that arise from naive solution-making,” he said. “It is that dynamic that reigns us in when we get too ambitious and we try to accomplish things that are not within range, but doesn’t miss the opportunity to improve that which can be fixed.”

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