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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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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