A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

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 Theory of Human Nature

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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Trump & Evolutioon

Trump & Evolution

Filed under: Human Nature, Justice, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 2 Comments

This Blog is about the three levels of motivation that have been laid down since primates started evolving groups about 52-million-years ago, and this post is about how Donald Trump fits into them. The deepest level is the ancient motivation for (sexual) domination in a hierarchy. Then, pushed by harsh climates and the threat of …

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Conservatives and Darwin

Conservatives & Darwin

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

If you are a progressive, perhaps you identify yourself as a Darwinist in relation to the religious right who deny evolution, but you are probably unaware that you are embracing a dark view of human nature—and one that is at the foundation of modern conservatism. In Darwin’s Autobiography (1887), he reports, In October 1838, that …

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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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World Series and Human Evolution

World Series and Human Evolution

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature

This Blog is based on the premise that there was an evolutionary “metamorphosis” in the mental and emotional sphere that gave rise to our hominin “tribe” six million years ago. Pushed by harsh climates and the threat of extinction, the target of natural selection shifted from the fitness of individuals to the productivity of relationships. …

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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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Trump's Hair-3

Advice (and hope) for Trump from the BMA (Bald Men of America)

Filed under: Author narrative, Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, My Favorites | 5 Comments

Science from a peculiar source indicates that our bodies have been hairless for at least 3.3 million years. The DNA of the lice that infest our head hair has a continuous ancestry for 12 million years, well prior to appearance of our hominin tribe six million years ago. However, the lice that reside on our …

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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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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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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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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

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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