*** This Post Bumped Up From Previous Comments ***
Olivia Judson, Evolutionary Biologist and resident hottie contributor on the NY Times website recently wrote a piece calling for the retirement of the word "Darwinism". Judson feels evolutionary biology as a discipline has advanced and changed so much since Darwin's time that although he's a giant in the field and casts a shadow over everything, perhaps it's time to think about evolution without mentioning his name.
I commented on the article and said I thought it could be worse: I believed the progenitor of her field (Darwin) has largely had his theories proved correct while the progenitor of psychology (Freud) has had many of his theories proved wrong. Sigmund Freud created pyschology and psychoanalysis and for that, he should be celebrated (and indeed he is). Until Freud, nobody thought about the underlying motivations behind a person's actions. But Freud took a mis-step by believing all human behavior was the robotic byproduct of sexual urges. He then shoehorned many of the results of his psychoanalysis into that theory. Freud believed virtue was an illusion (everything we do, we do to impress others for the hope of sex), curing psychological problems an impossibility and happiness nearly unattainable. But Freud's name hangs over psychology as much as Darwin's hangs over evolutionary biology.
So what did my comment earn me? Mostly a bunch of angry replies and threatening emails that people were going to find me and shove a stapler up my nose. Well not really, I'm kidding... they mostly just called me a moron and left the stapler part out, but that doesn't mean I wasn't offended. The term 'moron' may be an accurate assessment of my intellectual capacity, but it doesn't mean I like hearing it, dammit!
I've read some Freud, but by no means consider myself an expert on the man or his work; hence the "Renaissance Man" name of my blog. I know enough about everything to sustain an argument, but not enough to offer new insight or an expert opinion and rarely do I feel the need to be correct. A quick perusal of my blog should prove that: I'm willing to fire off under-educated opinions about everything from Romantic Poetry to Investment Banking's correlation to Book Publishing, to the reasons why white people hate Michael Vick (yes I just linked to my own blog).
All this being said, however, I am willing to listen to other people's arguments (even when they call me a moron) because if I'm wrong (and there IS a 0.001% chance of that in this case), then I'd like to be corrected. Why? Because once I'm right I can spew opinionated commentary from a 'correct' position, and as everybody knows, intellectual bullying is waaaay more fun when you actually know what you're talking about.
So enlighten me, if you want, Freudian truthers. Why wasn't the man a total idiot?