NEW! Evolutionary Tidbit of the Moment
In seemingly unrelated languages from every corner of the globe, the word corresponding to "mother" contains a sound like /ma/, as in "amma," "mama," or "ima." Father words tend to have the /pa/ or /ba/ sound, like "appa," "abba," "baba," or "papa." A discarded hypothesis held that the words for "mother" and "father" had remained largely unchanged from a proto-language from which all modern languages evolved.
The currently favored explanation is that these are the first sounds infants are able to make, with /m/ being slightly easier (and thus developing sooner) than /p/ or /b/, explaining why the primary caretaker (usually the mother) tends to be referred to by words which sound like "mama" in languages all the world over.
Author Archives: Christopher Lynn
You Can Minor in Evolutionary Studies & Start as an Assistant Professor in a Business School at $150k per Year
After that little bombshell, I just sort of zoned out & walked thru the rest of the day in a dissociative fugue, wondering about how different it would have been had I known that 15 years ago. I would love … Continue reading
Catching up again on articles sent to me over the past few years, a 2010 Science summary by Ann Gibbons of a Current Biology piece by Philipp Gunz & colleagues (“Brain development after birth differs between Neanderthals and modern humans”) indicates … Continue reading
You’re everything a big bad wolf could want… This is cool as shit. Thanks to Lee Dugatkin for sharing on Facebook. Jamshid Tehrani in the Department of Anthropology & Centre for the Coevolution of Biology & Culture at Durham University … Continue reading
I recently pulled out an old paper I wrote as an undergraduate examining Joseph Conrad & D.H. Lawrence using Darwinian theory of consciousness & self-deception derived from Richard Alexander’s “Evolution of the Human Psyche.” This would have been 1995 or 1996 … Continue reading
Hip hop evolutionist & playwright Baba Brinkman performed for the Bama ALLELE series last night. He got one of the best turnouts we’ve had, & I think it was one of our better efforts at promoting evolution education. Unlike many … Continue reading
Originally posted on the “Biology, Culture, & Evolution” blog of the UA Anthropology Blog Network at http://anthropology.ua.edu/blogs/ant475/2013/09/24/of-epigenetic-aggression-silver-foxes/ . Epigenetic Mechanisms, Quick & Dirty Jablonka & Raz (2009) show us this elegant illustration of broad and narrow epigenetic transmission. Epigenetic inheritance in … Continue reading
University Greek Systems are Natural Experiments for Multi-Level Selection Theory (Waiting to be Investigated)
I was talking with a UA EvoS student & member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority the other day about the current controversy here in Tuscaloosa. Last week, a municipal school board election was essentially bought by greek-backed candidates. This student … Continue reading
Watch Out Grad Students, Junior Faculty, & New Parents: Why I Eat Sh*t When I am Operating on Just a Few Hours Sleep
From a Scientific American Mind (September/October 2009) that I finally got to after it hung out for 4 years in my bathroom “library,” re a study by Motivala et al published in May 2009 Psychoneuroendocrinology: Sleep mediates ghrelin and leptin … Continue reading