Category Archives: Cultural Evolution

Cultural Evolution and Pacific Tatau

I am excited by the prospects of returning to the field next summer to do more research, as I’ve been digging into relevant theory in cultural evolution that is, I believe, spot-on in outlining what is going on with the … 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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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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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

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

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

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

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

Costa Rican Religious Ecology Study: Bringing in the Bribrí

There is nothing like sleeping on the floor of the ticketing area of the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport to celebrate a successful field season of collecting preliminary data to inaugurate the Religious Ecology Study (see here, here, & here for previous introductions). … Continue reading

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Parasites & Religion in Costa Rica

I really don’t have anything to report about parasites in Costa Rica yet, or religion for that matter, but we did arrive yesterday to begin preliminary data collection for the Costa Rican Religious Ecology Study, as I’ve been calling it. … Continue reading

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Posted in Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Evolution and Scientific Method, Hypotheses | Tagged , | 1 Comment

HBES 2012 Roundup 4: Father’s Day & the Parasite-Driven Wedge

So I blew Father’s Day. Totally didn’t realize I’d booked myself to go to HBES on Father’s Day. And much as I love my dad, it wasn’t because I wasn’t going to be with him. It was because my wife … Continue reading

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Posted in Adaptation, Cultural Evolution, Evolution and Psychology, Hypotheses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments