How important is community to humans, and where did the rules governing community come from?

Filed under: Evolution of human motivation, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology | 2 Comments

Psychologist Michael Tomasello, who studies comparatively the social behavior of developing children and apes, proposes that collective communication is uniquely human and that it was evolved for collaborative foraging, and so teamwork has been the crucial human advantage. The central facts about our ancestral human species, such as upright posture, large molar teeth, and later, …

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Beautiful Hand axes at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Beautiful Hand Axes at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Filed under: Sexual Selection, cognitive capacities, Evolution of Emotion, History

Knowing my interest in human evolution, my son’s Texan mother-in-law gave me the brochure of an exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas that she visited, entitled “First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figurestone.” The brochure contained many pictures of beautifully rendered paleolithic hand axes as well as naturally formed sculptures that had been “framed” by …

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Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind

Final Book Version on Amazon

Filed under: Author narrative, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Sexual Selection, The Deep Evolution of Emotion

Since my retirement 10 years ago, Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind has been a work in progress. The basic ideas arose from my knowledge of the internal experience of the major mental illnesses directly imparted to me by thousands of my patients in 35 years of practicing psychiatry. The “data” of these composite descriptions …

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social networks

Sexual selection, modern humans and the enigma of vanity.

Filed under: Sexual Selection, Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature

Excerpt from forthcoming edition of Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind: There is paleontological evidence for sexual selection. What makes early human fossils recognizably modern has less to do with brute survival than with the attractiveness of males and females for each other. Modern human adults are more gracile and childlike, which is the result …

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vanity.

Monogamy, Sexual Selection, Temperament and Human Evolution (excerpt from the book)

Filed under: Monogamy, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Sexual Selection

Some monogamy facts: 85 percent of birds, 3 to 9 percent of mammals—but fully a quarter of mammals’ primate component—are classed as monogamous. Selected species of primates began evolving monogamous social systems about 16 million years ago, relatively late in their 52-million-year history of group living. In each case, monogamy grew out of a promiscuous mating …

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