Mental illness stigma

Hidden Evolutionary Benefits to Mental Illness?

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Mental illness

I recently got a note from someone about Old Mind, New Mind who has suffered from mental illness. As soon as he found out that the book was about the relationship between mental illness and human evolution, he assumed that I thought that mental illnesses are adaptive in some way and expressed his reservations about …

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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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Freudian ego.

on the subject of consciousness

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolutionary psychology, Two Mind Hypothesis

From Old Mind, New Mind: Emotional Fossils and the Evolution of the Human Spirit Being conscious is one thing, but being conscious of being conscious is quite another . . . . I had been thinking about thinking from the very beginning of my journey as a philosopher. My original notion, drawn from my observations …

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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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The Hobbits lived on the island of Flores for 700,000 yrs.

Hobbits Lived On Flores Island For 700,000 Years!

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, History | 2 Comments

  From June 10 Science by Elizabeth Culatta: From the moment the announcement of a 1-meter-tall ancient human nicknamed “the hobbit” shocked the world in 2004, supporters and sceptics alike have longed for more fossils. After the first burst of discoveries, the team kept digging, at the original find site and at other sites in …

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Blaming the victim

WHY CONSERVATIVES BLAME THE VICTIM & PROGRESSIVES ARE RIGHT

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, History, Human Nature | 2 Comments

Social psychologists, Laura Niemi and Liane Young wrote a piece in the NYTimes Review section on a study they conducted on what determines the degree to which people tend to blame the victims of crimes: In a recent series of studies, we found that the critical factor lies in a particular set of moral values. …

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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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The Charisma of Ali

ALI’S CHARISMA AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature | 1 Comment

Boxing on TV was huge when I was growing up in New York in the 50s. My friend’s father had his TV in a little alcove in the living room, and every Friday night he would watch them all alone while violently punching the air and grunting in his chair. We followed my friend’s mother’s …

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Templeton Foundation Logo

Does Human Evolution Fit The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis?

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, Group Selection, Human Nature | 4 Comments

The John Templeton Foundation was established by the late investment tycoon to “encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians.” Reported in the April 22nd issue of Science: the Foundation is now offering “an $8.7 million grant to researchers for experimental and theoretical work intended to put a revisionist view of evolution, the so-called …

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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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It's a Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life!

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Monogamy, Popular, Two Mind Hypothesis | 2 Comments

George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life has never felt that his altruistic, group-oriented behavior is really part of “him” (he’s the one who feels trapped and wants the bigger life); and the revelation that he has been existing in this other spiritual, old-mind realm all along is a wondrous surprise to him—so much so that he now doesn’t care whether he goes to jail or not!

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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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What’s Missing in Matt Ridley’s “The Evolution of Everything?”

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Enlightenment Narrative, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, History, Mental illness | 2 Comments

You can quibble around the edges about his analysis (and painfully trite take on religion), but I think he is generally right just as I have been claiming in this blog: over the long haul, human history has been in the direction of greater justice accompanied by prosperity—resulting from the progressive coordination of our increasingly divided labor.

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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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