I will have to agree with Salt Creek in his aversion to psychology, and contend that scientists like Wilson and Dawkins (with backgrounds in genetics and evolution theory, and an interest in animal/human behaviour) are the sorts of researchers who will get us to the answers we seek.
Thanks, Bob, for your summary of the work of scientist in whom you have good reason to place confidence. As for Salt Creek, I am not convinced that he has been able to extricate himself enough from his own scientistic solipsism in order to adequately make any kind of assertion as to whether psychology should be averted or not. By his own admission, “What I do know about is science”.
However, I do want to respect your epistemic structure and encourage you to look beyond it (as well) by considering the criticism and update of Martin Seligman, past President (1998) of the American Psychological Association (APA). The video discusses the state of the union in Psychology and makes the point that it is,
(2) Not Good, and
(3) Not Good Enough
From Freud through to the recent past Psychology worked from a disease vantage point and with psychological pathologies. The work of Positive Psychology builds on the past accomplishments of the more negative model to make psychological science better. There is, also, a text article available of Seligman’s comments/criticisms. He develops ideas of the happy life which appeared first in the writings of Aristotle and later became incorporated into the work of present day psychology via the contribution of Franz Brentano. On Brentano’s contribution see Daniel Dennett’s article on Intentionality in the The Oxford Companion to the Mind (Oxford University Press, 1987).
I hope you will be able to take the time to consider what Dr. Seligman has to say so that we can incorporate some of the research done within this epistemic structure to enhance the structure you are using.
All the best,