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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Therapy for Liberals

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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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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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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The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

YOUR VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE DETERMINES YOUR POLITICS

Filed under: Belief, Human Nature, Monogamy | 1 Comment

In 2005, Newt Gingrich gave a several minute summary on the NPR series, “This I believe.” He started out by saying, “I believe that the world is inherently a very dangerous place, and that things that are now very good can go bad very quickly.” In the following talk, he gave many examples from all …

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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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FRANS DE WAAL: FROM “WE’RE NOT THAT GOOD” TO “WE’RE NOT THAT SMART”

Filed under: Group Selection, Human Nature

My brother-in-law was a shepherd for a decade and wrote this wonderfully artful memoir about the experience. His pet peeve was that people would not infrequently ask him, “Aren’t sheep very stupid?” His ready answer was, “They’re smart enough to be successful sheep.” I am reminded of this by the fact that the incredibly prolific …

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Pose Francis and Conscience

Is Conscience a Result of Natural Selection?

Filed under: Faith, God, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 1 Comment

At the beginning of April, Pope Francis issued an “Apostolic Exhortation” on the subject of “Love in the Family,” which addresses the issue of divorce. Of great interest to the Blog is that the Pope has reintroduced conscience into Catholic dialogue. The Blog holds that the introduction of a collective conscience right at the beginning …

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The potimism of FDR

What Does Progressivism mean in the 21st Century?

Filed under: History, Human Nature

All of a sudden the term “liberal” is off the table, and everyone is using the term “progressive.”               Your only assignment in this first post is to listen carefully—more than just once— to Franklin Deleno Roosevelt’s fourth inaugural address in 1945. Keep in mind that Roosevelt was dying …

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