Brain scient reveals that trust is our "default state"

Robert Sapolsky on Trust, Morality, and Justice

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Justice

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE and up-to-date lay book on the science of behavior is Stanford neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017). The book is an encyclopedic compendium of behavioral science, written with folksy, down-home idiom. Here he lays out evidence that the fundamental “default” of human social behavior …

Read More
The Meaning of Meaning

The Meaning of Meaning . . . (The Golden Rule)

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Language

From this week’s Science (Vol.355:1299-1301) is an article entitled “How ‘you’ makes Meaning.” The abstract: “You” is one of the most common words in the English language. Although it typically refers to the person addressed (“How are you?”), “you” is also used to make timeless statements about people in general (“You win some, you lose …

Read More

Briefly noted: “The Righteous Mind” (2012): ARE REPUBLICANS MORE MORAL THAN DEMOCRATS?

Filed under: Belief, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection

Anyone who has been aware of the extraordinary media blitz by Jonathan Haidt about this book should read John T. Jost’s review in the Aug 3rd Science. Briefly stated, Haidt claims that all our moral views are rationalizations of emotional responses to six innate moral issues that he compares to tastes: care/harm, liberty/oppression, and fairness/cheating …

Read More


Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolutionary psychology, God, Language | 2 Comments

Most people are not aware that our own Homo sapiens species within our original hunter gatherer bands were decidedly not hierarchical.  In Hierarchy in the Forest, the evolution of egalitarian behavior (1999,) Christopher Boehm brought to my attention one of the most important enigmas to be solved in the subject of human evolution: how and …

Read More
%d bloggers like this: