Category Archives: Anthropology

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

Posted in Adaptation, Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Hypotheses, Mating and Sexuality | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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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What about a Lentil is Less Creative?

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

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Hey there, Lil’ Red Riding Hood, You Sure are Lookin’ Good..

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

Posted in Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Evolution in Arts, Literary Darwinism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thinking Like an Anthropologist from Mars: Crucial for Good Human Science

Don’t worry, just as I promised you recently that the odds of an all-out zombie apocalypse are very low, I seriously doubt that there are any anthropologists from Mars among our ranks. This said, as a behavioral scientist, I think it may actually be very useful to think like an anthropologist from Mars. And this blog explains why! Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Evolution and Scientific Method, Glenn Geher | Comments Off

Cooperators Attract Cooperators, Non-Cooperators are Stuck with Each Other

In catching up on a back-log of articles people have emailed me, I’m absorbing what I think are probably obvious but nonetheless profound implications of a study by Coren Apicella, Frank Marlowe, James Fowler, & Nicholas Christakis that was published … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Evolution in Higher Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment