Category Archives: Anthropology

How Exactly is Evolution a “Crosscutting Concept”? Enter Bill Nye the Science Guy

Finally, Some Evolution Controversy: No Such Thing As Bad Press If you’re like me, you are feeling pretty bummed today about not getting a ticket to see Bill Nye. The fact that only a limited number of students were able … Continue reading

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Reflections on the Costs of Evolved Self-Awareness: Comparing Trajectories of Davids—Foster Wallace & Insurgent

I’m going to be writing on the costly implications of self-awareness in a forthcoming book & was walking around listening to Reagan Youth on Spotify & David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest on Audible when some parallels occurred to me. I’ll … Continue reading

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Darwin’s Daily & Hourly Dharma

I’m just going to leave this right here… Yes, I know, I should explain, but my mind is reeling a bit right now. Ever have those experiences when you stumble across a literature that advances a model that runs parallel to … Continue reading

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Tattooing Primes the Immune System

…But First, a Test of the “Rap Guide to Evolution”… A few weeks ago I presented a poster at the Human Biology Association annual scientific meeting about the roles of emotions in learning about evolution via a performance of Baba … Continue reading

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The Endemicity & Pervasiveness of Sexual Harassment

I just came back from great presentation & networking conferences, as usual elated by the collaborative opportunities & feedback about my work & the performances of my students & rejuvenated to push envelopes. I also returned slightly less oblivious to … Continue reading

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Fire Up Your Hearth: Relax & Stay Warm (While Being Energetically Inefficient)

My lab & I have presented on & written about fireside relaxation so many times by this point that I’m running out of clever titles. However, now that our first paper has finally been published &, as it happens, at … Continue reading

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Is Cunnilingus an Adaptation to Increase Intercourse Length & Increase the Probability of Fertilization?

Several years ago a student of mine (Christy McGee) in my “Anthropology of Sex” class was studying highly promiscuous women with the hypothesis that they would be averse to cunnilingus. She suggested that cunnilingus was a male means of detecting infidelity. … Continue reading

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Tuscaloosa is BEST: Prosociality in Tuscaloosa

This past spring I started a study called the Belongingness Ecology Study Tuscaloosa (BEST). Like the Religious Ecology Study Tuscaloosa (REST) before it & over which I consider it an umbrella project, it grew out of the readings & activities … Continue reading

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Cognitive Evolution via Campfire Stories

A fantastic analysis of fireside conversations among Ju/’hoansi Bushmen collected over the course of four decades (1970s-2000s) was recently published by Polly Wiessner in PNAS Early Edition (“Embers of society: Firelight talk among the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen“—thanks to Daniel Lende & … Continue reading

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Menstrual Huts Signal Paternal Certainty

An article from 2012 by Beverly Strassmann & colleagues is the first piece I think I’ve read that connects religious signaling to actual reproductive fitness, instead of merely group commitment (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  They analyzed genetic … Continue reading

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