Category Archives: Biological Anthropology

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

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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Posted in Adaptation, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Hypotheses | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

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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Notes on Improving a Graduate-Level Course in the Principles of Physical Anthropology

This semester I redesigned the graduate-level physical anthropology course I teach.  Last time around (which was the first time teaching a full-on grad course for me), I taught it as a seminar, based largely around my predecessor Professor Emeritus Jim Bindon‘s … Continue reading

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Posted in Activities, Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Evolution in Higher Education, Evolution in the Classroom, Primates | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Notes on Improving a Graduate-Level Course in the Principles of Physical Anthropology

Dr. Evil!?! Or the Entire Denisova Genome from One Girl’s Finger Bone

University of Wisconsin-Madison paleoanthropologist John Hawks was UA’s second ALLELE lecturer of the season.  Hawks was trained at the University of Michigan in anthropology by the famous Milford Wolpoff (he of multiregionalism infamy) & completed a postdoc in evolutionary genetics … Continue reading

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Posted in Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Genetics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Remembering Brent Colyer: Serotonin, Alcoholism, & Evolution

I am beginning the writing of this on Saturday, December 8, around 11:30PM.  A week ago & a few hours earlier, I was agitating over six lead changes as I watched Bama ultimately beat Georgia in the SEC college football … Continue reading

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Posted in Biological Anthropology, Evolution and Biology, Genetics, Primates, Variation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Campfire as a Social Nexus

Wrangham (2009) & McClenon (2006) describe the campfire in evolutionary history as something like a social nexus. Wrangham says it’s where hominids came to & learned to tolerate each other. McClenon says it’s where hominids developed their relaxation skills, by … Continue reading

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The Psychophysiology of Fireside Relaxation

Following is a draft of the abstract I am working on for a poster I will propose to present at the 2013 Human Biology Association meeting in Knoxville, TN (yay, I can drive there!).  Feedback is welcome. The psychophysiology of … Continue reading

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Posted in Adaptation, Biological Anthropology, Evolution by Natural Selection | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments