The Advanced Apes Podcast with Dr. Jonathan Marks

The Advanced Apes Podcast with Dr. Jonathan MarksFor the past few years, biological anthropologist Dr. Jonathan Marks has been a tremendous influence to me academically.  I love his books What It Means To Be 98% Chimpanzee, and Why I Am Not A Scientist.  Last week I had a chance to interview him for a The … Continue reading The Advanced Apes Podcast with Dr. Jonathan Marks

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Are Chimpanzees Cultural?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhacaxJ240Q For the past two months I, along with my two friends Alicia Herbert and Drew Hewitt, have been working on launching a new YouTube channel. We want this channel to be educational and focus on evolutionary and environmental science. Our first video is on chimpanzee culture. If you have any thoughts or comments, I … Continue reading Are Chimpanzees Cultural?

“Chimpanzee Fire”

I recently watched a BBC documentary about the Congo. It was part of a larger documentary series on Africa narrated by David Attenborough that I highly recommend. Whenever I watch BBC nature documentaries I feel like I learn something new each time. But while I was watching Congo, one scene in particular caught my attention. … Continue reading “Chimpanzee Fire”

Evolution of Suicide

Evolution of Suicide Researchers have known for two centuries now that male suicide occurs at a much higher rate than female suicide.  Can a cultural explanation alone explain this disparity?  What do evolutionary theorist know about suicide?  And can it help us decrease the male suicide rate? Full Article: Evolution of Suicide on The Advanced … Continue reading Evolution of Suicide

The Real Culture Wars

The Real Culture Wars When we think of culture, we tend to think about material products of human civilization and/or variation of traditions, rituals, and beliefs between different human populations.  And of course, these are products of human culture.  But does culture distinguish humans from all other animals?  Are any other animals cultural?  If so, … Continue reading The Real Culture Wars

21st Century Neanderthals

21st Century Neanderthals A few months ago I pondered what it would have been like if other species within the genus Homo had survived into contemporary times.   I hypothesized that based on our poor track record of violent conflict modern humans would have treated them very poorly.  We may have a chance to see if I am right, … Continue reading 21st Century Neanderthals

Thoughts on the Future pt. 2

Thoughts on the Future pt. 2 I frequently encounter thoughts from people about the future that follow a classical dystopian futuristic narrative.  Although creating these narratives may serve an important function, they do not adequately explain our likely future trajectory.  Throughout the 21st century, we need to start to rethink how our species evolves, and … Continue reading Thoughts on the Future pt. 2

The Adaptation Program

The Adaptation Program Yesterday, I read a famous scientific article on adaptation by evolutionary biologists Stephen J. Gould and Richard Lewontin, titled “The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme” (Gould & Lewontin, 1979).  Gould & Lewontin criticize what they call the “adaptationist programme” school of thought within … Continue reading The Adaptation Program

The Substrate of Mind

The Substrate of Mind The likelihood of a transition to a planet dominated by non-biological intelligence is essentially dependent on one large philosophical assumption: that the substrate of intelligence and consciousness is unimportant.  Although I contend that this is currently an unanswerable question, the answer may define our future. Full Article: The Substrate of Mind … Continue reading The Substrate of Mind