A Runaway Passion for Justice

A Runaway Passion for Justice

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Justice, Sexual Selection

This is a new section, added for the next edition of the book. It contains some early thinking about sexual selection while I was working in a prison. *** During this period in prison, I discovered a book written in 1930 by a brilliant English polymath named Ronald Fisher, who updated Darwin’s idea of co-evolution …

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Brain Science Reveals that Trust is Our “Default State”

Filed under: Group Selection, Human Nature, Justice

Some of you might believe that the natural state of mankind is “warre of every man against every man—Bellum omnium contra omnes” (Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651). Here is some hard evidence to the contrary: The most comprehensive and up-to-date lay book on the science of behavior is Stanford neuro-endocrinologist Robert Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans …

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Vanity in Human Evolution

Vanity and Human Evolution

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

In Yuval Harari’s widely acclaimed book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind (2015) he makes this sweeping statement: “The most important thing to know about prehistoric humans is that they were insignificant animals with no more impact on their environment than gorillas, fireflies or jellyfish.” He then makes the case that the event that catapulted …

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Lee Berger Continues to Shake Up Old Notions of Human Evolution

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Justice, Sexual Selection | 1 Comment

I just finished Lee Berger’s Almost Human. It is a passionate first-person account of his monumental fossil find: Homo naledii, and also describes his other spectacular find, Australopithecus sediba, both in proximate locations in South Africa. Berger has a very straight-forward writing style that lends the weight of common sense to his side of the …

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The P.C.-ness of “Psycho”

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Mental illness

There is plenty to be outraged about in the crude bigotry of our president, but it is little noted that, when he throws around epithets like “psycho,” he is denigrating the mentally ill. Do you or someone you love suffer from “major” depression, panic disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder? I am a psychiatrist and have …

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The Evolution of Human Emotion

∾APE MIND • OLD MIND • NEW MIND: The Evolution of the Human Spirit∾ now on Amazon

Filed under: Human Nature, Justice, Mental illness, Myth, Self domestication, Sexual Selection, The Ascension of the Human Spirit, Two Mind Hypothesis

BACK COVER OF THE BOOK The Ascension of the Human Spirit (excerpt) The remarkable aspect of evolution by sexual selection, which Darwin so courageously proposed, is that it is driven merely by the desire for a trait, in this case the desire for justice. I had realized that sexual selection is not only driven by …

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Peacock's tail

Two Huge events in Human Evolution—and how they are related

Filed under: Sexual Selection

Darwin’s Theory of sexual selection finally liberated from the “adaptationists” There have been two very exciting events in the world of human evolution over the past month. First is Yale ornithologist, Richard Prum’s The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us. Here is my review …

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evolution of emotion

The Role of Emotion (and domesticated animals) in Human Evolution, excerpt from Introduction

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology

We belong to the primate order of the mammalian class of the animal kingdom. A distinguishing characteristic of primate evolution is the manner in which their large brains were acquired. There is wide agreement that these outsized brains were evolved not in response to the outer physical environment but to the inner environment of an …

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vanity.

Monogamy, Sexual Selection, Temperament and Human Evolution (excerpt from the book)

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Monogamy, Sexual Selection

Some monogamy facts: 85 percent of birds, 3 to 9 percent of mammals—but fully a quarter of mammals’ primate component—are classed as monogamous. Selected species of primates began evolving monogamous social systems about 16 million years ago, relatively late in their 52-million-year history of group living. In each case, monogamy grew out of a promiscuous mating …

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Richard Dawkins, EOWilson, Nepotism and Human Bonds

Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Nepotism and the Nature of Human Bonds

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Group Selection, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 7 Comments

I have been re-editing my book, and thought that this key juncture might hold together on its own. As mentioned, [Richard] Dawkins popularized the concept that natural selection can proceed at the level of genes. For example, some insects will sacrifice themselves for several of their genetic relatives. This is because it is actually the …

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The Meaning of Meaning

The Meaning of Meaning . . . (The Golden Rule)

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Language

From this week’s Science (Vol.355:1299-1301) is an article entitled “How ‘you’ makes Meaning.” The abstract: “You” is one of the most common words in the English language. Although it typically refers to the person addressed (“How are you?”), “you” is also used to make timeless statements about people in general (“You win some, you lose …

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Democracy in Pre-Columbian Mexico

Filed under: History, Human Nature

It is generally assumed that the natural social organization of humans is the hierarchy that is the hallmark of the primate order of which, of course we are a member. I have posted evidence that the principle feature that has distinguished our hominin tribe from the beginning is the evolution of a democratic, egalitarian social …

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Therapy for Liberals

Therapy for Liberal Elites: Radical Progressivism

Filed under: Belief, Human Nature, Justice, Language, Mental illness

Look at the back of a one-dollar bill. On the left, you will see a pyramid with the “eye of providence” at the apex. Above this image are the two words Annuit Coeptis, meaning “He approves [or has approved] [our] undertaking,” and below it are three more words, Novus Ordo Seclorum, meaning “New Order of …

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American Nationalism is an Oxymoron

A Loss of Nerve

Filed under: Faith, History, Justice, The Ascension of the Human Spirit

This morning I stumbled upon these paragraphs from my book that provide a shocking contrast to the hysteria into which we suddenly have been cast. The theme of the book is that, over the course of six million years, we have ascended from apes as a result of a naturally selected collective instinct for justice, …

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Trump: Justice vs. Dominance

Trump: Justice vs. Dominance

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Justice, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 1 Comment

The “radical” conservative philosophy being introduced by the Trump administration is old hat to Darwinian evolutionists. This is the philosophical strain flowing from Nietzsche to social Darwinists through Ayn Rand into Paul Ryan. It supports the businessman’s belief that he is the winner of life’s competitive contest is like the alpha male in a troop …

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The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

Republicans Democrats and Human Nature

Filed under: Author narrative, Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Mental illness, Sexual Selection | 3 Comments

A glaring weakness of the agenda of the political left is that social justice does not appear to be rooted in the flesh and blood of human nature. The two most influential thinkers on our attitudes about what makes us tick are Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud: we are ape-men who when psychoanalyzed are revealed …

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Parasitic Aliens

Parasitic Aliens

Filed under: eccology, Group Selection

I am reminded of the movies about aliens from other planets living among us by a remarkable article by Elizabeth Pennisi in the November 18 issue of Science entitled “An Evolutionary Classic.” Excerpts from the article: An army ant colony does not welcome outsiders. Not only are the ants notoriously fierce, but they specialize in …

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The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 1 Comment

The Blog has stated before that the philosophical difference between the political left and right have their roots in their different views of human nature. This very moment of transition offers the philosopher of human nature a rare opportunity to have the distinctions on display. Thomas Hobbes expressed attitudes human nature popular on the political …

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