Category Archives: 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

Manning a perpetual fire was linked to language & social network development

The December 2012 issues of Smithsonian Magazine had a fire theme, & archaeologist Thomas Wynn contributed a short piece on the influence of fire in the evolution of the human mind.  He briefs the work of three researchers doing work … Continue reading

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“Anthropologists finally crack the interspecies linguistic barrier…

 

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Signaling Religious Commitment in Brazilian Candomble

I was critiqued in a recent NSF grant proposal review that, while I elegantly integrated signaling & cultural consensus theories in my research design, my statements that (1) signaling theory derives from evolutionary biology & (2) that no one has … Continue reading

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Posted in Anthropology, Theory | 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