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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OLD MIND NEW MIND EMOTIONAL FOSSILS THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAND SPIRIT

Old Mind New Mind

Filed under: Author narrative, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness

An Evolved Will for Justice Separates Us from Apes Perhaps the world’s foremost scientist on the subject of mind evolution, Michael Tomasello, states in his recent book, A Natural History of Human Thinking (2014): The main problem is that collaboration, communication, and thinking do not fossilize, so we will always be in a position of …

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A Liberal Awakening - Part III

ADAM SMITH AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Justice | 2 Comments

The Blog’s “natural philosophy” of human evolution has many intellectual patrons. First is Carl Jung, whose studies of dreams and symbols revealed our collective unconscious. The Blog considers Jung’s collective unconscious in modern humans to be the submerged continent of the consciousness that for six-million years constituted the entire consciousness of our noble hominin ancestors. …

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Obedient dog

DOGS AND HUMAN SELF-DOMESTICATION

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection | 1 Comment

In the June 3rd Issue of Science, a research report appeared on the status of a large collaborative effort to nail down the origin of dogs. The Abstract: The geographic and temporal origins of dogs remain controversial. We generated genetic sequences from 59 ancient dogs and a complete (28x) genome of a late Neolithic dog …

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Hiding in a hole

SNIT DISORDER AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness

We pick up the narrative as I am describing a prison inmate: He spoke slowly and deliberately with no emotion whatsoever. He had shot his wife dead after drinking one night. He said that he would always love her and was just waiting to die. He then went on to describe in spare, clear language …

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Authority's Evolution

The Epic Shift In Human Evolution

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Monogamy, Sexual Selection, Summary of Philosophy, The Ascension of the Human Spirit

The social structure of humans was due to a decisive-and-then-stable shift in the level of selection: from the selection of individuals (for fitness) in apes to the selection associations between individuals (for fecundity & productivity) in humans.

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10,000 yr old war

Our Intense Sexuality Is Why We Are We So Violent

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, History, Sexual Selection

The strengthening of across-group marital-family bonds has exerted a relentless “ground-level” cohesive force that has resulted in the capacity to cohabitate in ever larger groups-of-groups—which is our species root adaptive advantage, upon which all our cognitive and cultural achievements rest.

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Why So Snide About Psychoanalysis?

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, The Deep Evolution of Emotion | 5 Comments

When one grasps the Darwinian dimension of psychoanalytic thinking, all the exquisite riches of a century of this creative thought about the inner dynamics of child development can viewed as the effect of natural selection.

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Sexual selection

Trump and Carson: Archetypes in Human Evolution

Filed under: Belief, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, God, Popular, Sexual Selection | 15 Comments

Ben Carson can be understood as an archetype of our “old-mind” in which dominance and submission in apes evolved into obedience to the sacred authority of justice that has sustained our bounty and fertility. When our own species arose 200,000 years ago, superimposed upon our six million year evolution since apes, we evolved the passionate desire to attain social admiration, traditionally known as vanity. No one—no one—is going to make the claim that Trump is not vain.

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The Cause of Mental Illness: “The Answer Is Just Around the Corner”

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness, Two Mind Hypothesis

Our vulnerability to mental illness is similar to our vulnerability to lower back, hip, and knee pathology, which is the price we pay for the adaptive advantages of upright posture. Mental illness is similarly the price we pay for our mental capacities for large-group bonding, reflective self-awareness, and the complexity of linguistic syntax.

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Ian Tattersall

Career Splitter Ian Tattersall Slams Lumpers with a Cheap Shot

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Language, My Favorites, The Ascension of the Human Spirit

My uncle used to work at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He was an artist in his soul and, among many other activities, designed the dioramas for the various exhibits. His favorite by far was the work he did at the Hall of Human Origins. He would often talk with great …

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