Brain Science Reveals that Trust is Our “Default State”

Filed under: Human Nature, Group Selection, Justice

Some of you might believe that the natural state of mankind is “warre of every man against every man—Bellum omnium contra omnes” (Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651). Here is some hard evidence to the contrary: The most comprehensive and up-to-date lay book on the science of behavior is Stanford neuro-endocrinologist Robert Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans …

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Richard Dawkins, EOWilson, Nepotism and Human Bonds

Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Nepotism and the Nature of Human Bonds

Filed under: Group Selection, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 7 Comments

I have been re-editing my book, and thought that this key juncture might hold together on its own. As mentioned, [Richard] Dawkins popularized the concept that natural selection can proceed at the level of genes. For example, some insects will sacrifice themselves for several of their genetic relatives. This is because it is actually the …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Republicans Democrats and Human Nature

Filed under: Human Nature, Author narrative, Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, 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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Parasitic Aliens

Parasitic Aliens

Filed under: eccology, Group Selection

I am reminded of the movies about aliens from other planets living among us by a remarkable article by Elizabeth Pennisi in the November 18 issue of Science entitled “An Evolutionary Classic.” Excerpts from the article: An army ant colony does not welcome outsiders. Not only are the ants notoriously fierce, but they specialize in …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

Filed under: Human Nature, Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, 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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World Series and Human Evolution

World Series and Human Evolution

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

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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Templeton Foundation Logo

Does Human Evolution Fit The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis?

Filed under: Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, Evolutionary psychology, 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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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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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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