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

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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

Great Ape Language

Great Ape Language There has been continuous great ape language research for the past few decades.  What has this research told us about language in our closest relatives?  What can future research reveal about the origins of language and communication throughout the animal kingdom?  Cadell Last and Travis Steffens discuss. Full Podcast: Great Ape Language … Continue reading Great Ape Language

The Human Neocortex

The Human Neocortex In How To Create A Mind by Ray Kurzweil, the importance of the human neocortex is explored.  What is important about the human neocortex?  How did it evolve in our species?  The answer to these questions can shed light on one of the most important evolutionary developments in the history of life on Earth. … Continue reading The Human Neocortex

Economic Evolution

Economic Evolution Big history can help us understand many aspects of humanity. When we analyze trends from a big historical perspective, we can better extrapolate the changes that we should expect in the future. Nowhere is this more evident than with the research of economist Robin Hanson. Hanson (1994; 1998; 2008a; 2008b) has conducted groundbreaking … Continue reading Economic Evolution

Singularity Failure

Singularity Failure I recently read an article by computer scientist Vernor Vinge titled “What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen.”  I have become so accustomed to thinking about our future in the context of a technological singularity that a future without one seems strange.  What would it mean for our species in the long-term? Full … Continue reading Singularity Failure

Thinking About “The Long Now”

Thinking About "The Long Now" Does our society have a short attention span?  The Long Now Foundation thinks so, but they are trying to change it.  They have plans to construct The Clock of the Long Now, a clock designed to operate on a scale of 10,000 years.  The Long Now Foundation hopes that this … Continue reading Thinking About “The Long Now”