UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTION CAUSING SUICIDE

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness | No Comments

With two high-profile suicides in the news, it is timely to discuss the inner experience of the most lethal form of depression. Seeking escape from an intense feeling of entrapment is intrinsic to melancholic depression, among the most dreaded of all mental illnesses. Aptly named by Hippocrates, melancholia means “black bile,” a potent metaphor for …

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PREGAME—PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE INSTEAD OF ANTHEM

Filed under: Belief, Faith, God, Justice | No Comments

From Wikipedia: The Pledge of Allegiance was originally composed by Captain George Thatcher Balch, a Union Army Officer during the Civil War and later a teacher of patriotism in New York City schools.[6][7] The form of the pledge used today was largely devised by Francis Bellamy in 1892, and formally adopted by Congress as the …

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Elastic relationships

Inside the Most Common Type of Depression

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Mental illness | 1 Comment

I practiced psychiatry during the period in which the paradigm of the mind shifted from the perspective of how it is experienced from the inside (i.e.: phenomenology, mainly psychoanalytic theory) to the examination of how it works from the outside, i.e.: neurochemistry, genetics, and cognitions. The impact of Prozac on this shift cannot be exaggerated. …

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The Human Spirit

The Human Spirit: Love

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, eccology, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit

During the decade in which I was actively engaged in marital therapy, I became convinced that hidden beneath more superficial reasons that people marry each other is an evolved instinct to re-balance their respective temperaments. Temperament is the component of personality that is derived exclusively from genes and is comprised of blends of paired social …

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Seafaring Homo erectus

Human Evolution: Earlier and Earlier

Filed under: Ancient human migration, History, Migration

A rule of human evolution research is that the milestones in the progression of becoming human are always getting earlier. The most prominent of those backward-creeping milestones is the date of the appearance of our own Homo sapiens species. Driven by new dating techniques, the fossils in Jebel Irhoud Morocco were revealed to be 300,000 …

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Beautiful Hand axes at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Beautiful Hand Axes at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolution of Emotion, History, Sexual Selection

Knowing my interest in human evolution, my son’s Texan mother-in-law gave me the brochure of an exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas that she visited, entitled “First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figurestone.” The brochure contained many pictures of beautifully rendered paleolithic hand axes as well as naturally formed sculptures that had been “framed” by …

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The Montreal Review

The Montreal Review

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Mental illness, Sexual Selection, Summary of Philosophy

After drafting sections of an essay in the blog, it was finally published in the Montreal Review and can be seen by clicking here. This is the cover letter I sent: For many years the political right has implicitly drawn on the authority of Darwin’s paradigm of life as a struggle for fitness to support …

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Out of Africa

Big Data Revolutionizes Out of Africa Story

Filed under: Ancient human migration, eccology, History, Migration

Every once in a while, an article captures my imagination. Such is the case with one written by Axel Timmermann & Tobias Friedrich entitled “Late Pleistocene climate drivers of early human Migration” (Nature, Vol. 538: 6 Oct. 2016). This is big data applied to a most fascinating topic. Here is the abstract: On the basis …

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THE EVOLUTION OF SYMBOLS

THE EVOLUTION OF SYMBOLS

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Sexual Selection

When Science places a finding on their cover, it usually means that it is significant, which is indeed the case with the article by D.L. Hoffmann, et al. Entitled “U-Th dating of carbonate crusts reveals Neandertal origin of Iberian cave art.” A relatively new method of dating utilizing the carbonate drip-precipitated coating overlying the art …

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We didn't get smarter, but just got together

We Didn’t Get Smarter, We Just Got Together

Filed under: Ancient human migration, Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature

The main function of these posts is to interpret new scientific findings in the paradigm of human evolution portrayed in this blog. In the last few months, I have lapsed in keeping up with breaking developments in the field because I have been busy writing an essay on the subject, having posted some of the …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Human Nature – Part VI: Homo vanitas

Filed under: Human Nature, Justice, Sexual Selection

Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote, “Nothing can be more gentle than [the human] in his primitive state, when placed by nature at an equal distance from the stupidity of brutes, and . . . civilized man.” If Rousseau were around, he would probably identify apes as the stupid brutes, but I would extend his “civilized” qualifier to …

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http://whywebecamehuman.com/a-liberal-awakening-part-v-upright-posture-great-big-brains-and-only-one-hand-ax/

Human Nature – Part V: Upright Posture, Great Big Brains and Only One Hand Ax

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Language

For a fossil to be designated a hominin there must be evidence of upright posture.  However, any orthopedic surgeon can tell you that upright posture produces extreme vulnerability for injuries to the lower back (perennially among the top ER visits), hips and knees, so it is reasonable that the evolutionary advantages of such a costly …

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Human Nature – Part IV: The New Narrative of Human Evolution

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Justice, Language

Forth in series: click for first, second, or third There is evidence that, in a period of sharply declining temperatures, a collapse in the ape population occurred at the time hominins split off from apes. My view is that in the context of birthrates falling toward extinction, hierarchical dominance competition became a dangerous waste of …

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A Liberal Awakening - Part III

Human Nature – Part III: The Evolution of the Invisible Hand

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Justice, Mental illness

Third in series: click for first or second (two more coming) I entered the field of psychiatry forty-seven years ago imbued by Jung’s theory of a collective unconscious. Jung felt that Freud’s concept of his superego was an attempt to make the collective unconscious personal instead of “universal and deeply historical.” As I began to think …

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A Liberal Awakening - Part II

Human Nature – Part II: The Vast Silent Cradle of Our Human Passions

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Justice, Language

Second in a series: Click for first or third It is not generally understood that there is virtually no scientific knowledge about how the mind of apes evolved into our own mind. Huge amounts of scientific knowledge about the minds of apes and humans (particularly children) are neatly being stacked upon the cliffs on either …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Human Nature – Part I: The Conservative Narrative

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature

First of a series: click second Political beliefs both start and end with attitudes toward human nature. The right has long been associated with the Hobbesian view that the natural state of mankind is “warre of every man against every man—Bellum omnium contra omnes” (Leviathan, 1651). Material progress is made possible by business competition permitted …

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The winning cartoon

EGO (Excerpt from book)

Filed under: Human Nature, Two Mind Hypothesis

The motivation for self-display, which is part of virtually all aspects of modern human striving by individuals, throws a different light on the role of ego. Freud cast the ego in modern humans as a mediator between the superego, representing the inhibitions demanded by society, and the antisocial impulses of the (primate) id. To me, …

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Migration part of us from get-go

Migration Part of Us from Get-Go

Filed under: Ancient human migration, Evolution of Emotion, Sexual Selection

In the January 26th issue of Science, Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum and colleague, Julia Galway-Witham have an article that accompanies a research paper of a major fossil find in Israel: The skeletal features of our species, Homo sapiens, include a globular braincase, brow ridges that are divided into central and side portions, …

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