Category Archives: Evolution

Humans: unique or not?

Here’s a brief lecture by Robert Sapolsky, a neurobiologist at Stanford who also studies baboons and other primates. In this lecture he talks about aggression, theory of mind, the golden rule, empathy, anticipation, and culture as examples of human behaviors … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Primates | 80 Comments

‘The Hobbit’ — Homo floresiensis

Homo floresiensis presents many challenges to our understanding of the story of human origins. Here are the YouTube versions of the original NOVA documentary, “Alien from Earth”. If the PBS site is not playing the video you can watch it … Continue reading

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Descent with Modification

Evolution is the change in the frequency of genes within a population from one generation to the next. Natural selection explains how that change happens. A brief explanation of natural selection: Within any population there is some inherent variation. One … Continue reading

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Public Perception of Evolution

We spent about half this semester talking about evolution in theory and in how it pertains to human origins. I feel the case for evolution is compelling, but among the general public evolution is not as popular as it could … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Representations of evolution | 12 Comments

The circle of life

Thanks to Cornelia Mavromatis from the early class for sharing this. Always be skeptical towards claims of “progress.” Ask yourself: progress according to whom?

Posted in Representations of evolution | 1 Comment

Altruism in Action

All primates live in groups. Just like fish swim in a school and buffalo roam in a herd, primates live in communities. An interesting fact about primate life is that, to a greater or lesser degree, they tend to cooperate … Continue reading

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Evolution and Food

Here’s a book review I wrote about “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” by Richard Wrangham (the same fellow we saw chasing chimpanzees in Africa in the video, Why Sex?). The review first appeared on the blog Savage Minds. … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Food