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Posts Tagged "Evolutionary Anthropology"

The Primate Diaries

On the Origin of White Power

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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. In his new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, the former science writer for the New York Times states this explicitly. “It is not automatically racist to consider racial categories [...]

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The Primate Diaries

Human Nature and the Moral Economy

"Giving" by Nathaniel Gold

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. Sure, you can cheat a potential buyer and not mention that [...]

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The Primate Diaries

The Mosaic of Human Origins

Memento mori by Nathaniel Gold

New research challenges the story of human evolution, revealing a more complex picture than anyone imagined. Studying the bones of our ancestors does more than connect past with present. When Hamlet held aloft the skull of poor Yorick or when the Boston Puritan Thomas Smith sat for America’s first self-portrait posed with two crania, they [...]

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The Primate Diaries

The Gospel of Wealth Fails the Inequity Test in Primates

"Andrew Carnegie" by Nathaniel Gold

Author’s Note: The following originally appeared at ScienceBlogs.com and was subsequently a finalist in the 3 Quarks Daily Science Prize judged by Richard Dawkins. Fairness is the basis of the social contract. As citizens we expect that when we contribute our fair share we should receive our just reward. When social benefits are handed out [...]

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The Primate Diaries

A Grimm Tale of Reproductive Conflict

"Evil Queen" by Nathaniel Gold

A new study argues that in-law competition drove the evolution of menopause. But is the story too good to be true? In the classic Scandinavian folktale “The Twelve Wild Ducks,” also known as “The Twelve Brothers” in Grimms’ Fairy Tales, a wicked old Queen is jealous of her daughter-in-law’s beauty. In a rage of envy [...]

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The Primate Diaries

The Joker’s Wild: On the Ecology of Gun Violence in America

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The United States is the deadliest wealthy country in the world. Can science help us explain, or even solve, our national crisis? His tortured and sadistic grin beamed like a full moon on that dark night. “Madness, as you know, is like gravity,” he cackled. “All it takes is a little push.” But once the [...]

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The Primate Diaries

The Better Bonobos of Our Nature

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In contrast to “killer-apes,” the latest evidence suggests our peaceful primate cousins may be a better model for human origins. Author’s note: A new study published in the journal Nature has sequenced the genome of bonobos and compared them to chimpanzees as well as humans finding some surprising results. The following is an article I [...]

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The Primate Diaries

The Allure of Gay Cavemen

"Cave Painting" by Nathaniel Gold

Third genders, two spirits, and a media without a clue. Author’s Note: Earlier this month the UK Daily Mail reported on continued excavation at an archaeological site near Prague where researchers described an individual with an alternative gender identity. The following post originally appeared at Neuron Culture hosted by Wired after the original report last [...]

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The Primate Diaries

Out of the Mouth of Babes

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Extended breastfeeding is the norm in most human and primate societies. So why are we the weird ones? My son will be three-years-old next month and is still breastfeeding. In other words, he is a typical primate. However, when I tell most people about this the reactions I receive run the gamut from mild confusion [...]

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The Primate Diaries

Raising Darwin’s Consciousness: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy on the Evolutionary Lessons of Motherhood

"Sarah Blaffer Hrdy" by Nathaniel Gold

Click here for Part One: An Interview with Sarah Blaffer Hrdy on Mother Nature As I explored in my article, “Women and Children First”, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy has faced innumerable challenges in the course of her scientific career. However, part of what makes her work so innovative and exciting to read is how she’s used [...]

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