Migration part of us from get-go

Migration Part of Us from Get-Go

Filed under: Ancient human migration, Evolution of Emotion, Sexual Selection | No Comments

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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Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind

Final Book Version on Amazon

Filed under: Author narrative, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Sexual Selection, The Deep Evolution of Emotion

Since my retirement 10 years ago, Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind has been a work in progress. The basic ideas arose from my knowledge of the internal experience of the major mental illnesses directly imparted to me by thousands of my patients in 35 years of practicing psychiatry. The “data” of these composite descriptions …

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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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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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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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A Liberal Awakening

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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A Liberal Awakening

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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Breasts and Evolution

Breasts and Evolution

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Two Mind Hypothesis

The New York Times ran a story last week about “going flat” after breast surgery. With no idea of how it relates to such a decision, I thought it might be useful to frame-out one aspect of the evolution of human breasts according to the Blog’s two-mind paradigm. This one aspect concerns the fact that …

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The Evolutionary Biology of Destiny

The Evolutionary Biology of Destiny

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Group Selection, Justice, Monogamy

First off, biological instincts for morality were evolved and refined over the millions of years of hominin evolution prior to the appearance of our own Homo sapiens species some 200,000 years ago. Over and above deep feelings for justice, our peculiar species has overlain a motivational layer animated by a mania to be admired by …

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Human motivations

Schizophrenia and the Meaning of . . . .

Filed under: Belief, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness | 2 Comments

In Old Mind, New Mind I chronicle how in my study of clinical depression I gradually came to the conclusion that the basic mechanism of all major mental illnesses is similar to cancer in that it represents the escape from regulation into unrestrained pathological hyperactivity. In cancer, the hyperactivity is the growth of cancer cells; …

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Neanderthal sculture

Neanderthals Might Have Evolved a Taste for Jewelry On Their Own

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Sexual Selection | 2 Comments

The Evolution of Emotion Precedes the Evolution of Cognition This blog proposes that the primary innovation of our own 200,000-year Homo sapiens species occurred in the emotional sphere and consisted of a marked increase in the motivation for “display” behavior, the function of which can be compared to the emotion-and-motivation of a peacock to display …

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Bill Clinton's infidelity

An Evolutionary Analysis of Infidelity

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Monogamy | 2 Comments

This week the blog tackles the biological relevance of infidelity, apparently the next big campaign issue. First, in order to stay focused on the blog’s contribution to this wide-ranging topic we must narrow it down to just a categorical analysis of extramarital sex (while married), disregarding judgements about how it was conducted (discretion, hurtfulness and …

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Emotions in charge in dogs

Emotions in Charge of both Dog and Human Language

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolution of Emotion, Language

  The most basic activity of this blog is to maintain vigilance of ongoing science, particularly in the fields of psychiatry and paleoanthropology but also in numerous other fields, and to apply all relevant new findings to the Blog’s broad paradigm of the human mind. In the September 2nd issue of Science an article entitled, …

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Solomon, Andrew

Andrew Solomon: “Breathtakingly original. . . . A great endeavor of the intellect”

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness | 1 Comment

Andrew Solomon, after reading Old Mind, New Mind sent me these two sentences: In this breathtakingly original book, John Wylie proposes a new theory of mind, one that reconciles evolutionary biology with psychodynamics. This is a great endeavor of the intellect and a deep review of consciousness itself. In this post, I return the compliment. …

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The urban planet and the history of life

The Urban Planet & the History of Life

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, History | 2 Comments

The May 20th Issue of Science is entitled The Urban Planet. The lead article starts out: In 2014, 54% of the world’s population, or 3.9 billion people, lived in urban areas. That’s up from one-third in 1950, and forecasters say the proportion will rise to 66% by 2050. More than half of urbanites live in …

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