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The Primate Diaries

The Primate Diaries

Notes on science, politics, and history from a primate in the human zoo.

Does Nature Need to be Nurtured?

Some say that the differences between boys and girls are just aping nature, but studies of primates tell a more complex story "Boys will be boys" is a popular refrain in schools.

June 12, 2014 — Eric Michael Johnson

On the Origin of White Power

A new book argues race and genetics explain "the rise of the West." Bad science explains the downfall of its ideas. Nicholas Wade is not a racist.

May 21, 2014 — Eric Michael Johnson
Human Nature and the Moral Economy

Human Nature and the Moral Economy

Economics is inextricably tied to moral behavior, though few economists will say that. It’s time someone did. In every financial transaction–whether you’re selling a car, paying employees, or repackaging commodity futures as financial derivatives–there are ethical calculations that influence economic activity beyond the price.

September 23, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson

We Contain Multitudes: Walt Whitman, Charles Darwin, and the Song of Empathy

In the struggle for existence how do we herald the better angels of our nature? "Speech" by Nathaniel Gold Author's Note: On Tuesday I will be traveling to Manchester, England for the International Conference for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine where I'll be giving my talk entitled "A Historical Epistemology of Empathy from Darwin to De Waal." In the lead up to my journey across the pond the iCHSTM organizers offered me the opportunity to publish a shortened version of my talk on the conference blog where I have cross-posted that which follows.

July 19, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson

Truth of the Matter

Science is not a path towards truth; therein lies its greatest strength. "Tibetan Monkey" by Nathaniel Gold In his latest book, The Bonobo and the Atheist , primatologist Frans de Waal describes a forum held at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where he spoke alongside the Dalai Lama.

July 12, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson

Equality and Individuality: A Collaboration Between Primates

"Timmy" by Nathaniel Gold and Cheetah Longtime readers of The Primate Diaries will certainly know the artwork of Nathaniel Gold. Ever since we encountered one another's work in the spring of 2011 we have been collaborating on a fusion of art and science.

May 9, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson

The Mosaic of Human Origins

New research challenges the story of human evolution, revealing a more complex picture than anyone imagined. "Memento mori" by Nathaniel Gold Studying the bones of our ancestors does more than connect past with present.

April 17, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson

Macaque and Dagger in the Simian Space Race

Why does the U.S. suspect Iran of faking their monkey space flight? Because we did it first. "Iranian Space Monkey (Espionage)" by Nathaniel Gold It was a blistering hot summer, as it usually is in that part of the world.

February 14, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson

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