Category Archives: Biological Anthropology

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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Of Epigenetic Aggression & Silver Foxes

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

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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

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

The Wrong Holy Ghost

Out this week in Ethos is a paper I wrote called “‘The Wrong Holy Ghost’” Discerning the Apostolic Gift of Discernment using a Signaling and Systems Theoretical Approach.”  It’s about an incident I call “the wrong Holy Ghost” because that … Continue reading

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Milking Gorillas

I will do a more thorough summary from the Human Biology Association & American Association of Physical Anthropology annual joint conferences in the near future based on my rabid tweeting from sessions, but a few posters & talks are just … Continue reading

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Fireside Trance drives Selection for Enhanced Attention & Working Memory via Baldwin Effect

Fireside hypnotizability Following up on a previous post tracking down the original sources for the December Smithsonian piece about hearth fires & cognitive evolution, evolutionary psychologist Matt Rossano’s “Did Meditating Make Us Human?” spins out a model similar to & … Continue reading

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2012’s Cheap Thrills thru Evolution in Review

I sit in Highland, NY at my in-laws’ watching crappy bowl games (Rutgers v. Va Tech, can either of you find an offense?), reading a cool manuscript draft about psychoneuroimmunological disparity in monastic cemetery remains for my friend Sharon DeWitte, & … Continue reading

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Posted in Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Evolution and Psychology, Evolution in Higher Education, Evolutionary Medicine, Mating and Sexuality, Paleontology, Primates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are Hearth Fires Analogous to Television?

I haven’t found any studies on the psychophysiological effects of fire, but I think they are analogous to those of some forms of media, especially television.  At base, they both involve flickering light & sudden sound phenomena.  I speculate that natural selection … Continue reading

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Hominid Use of Fire is at Least 1MYO

The antiquity of the purposive hominid use of fire continues to be pushed back according to a study released earlier this year by Berna et al. in PNAS. Analyses of material at the Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa … Continue reading

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