Category Archives: Theory

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

Posted in Anthropology, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 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

Posted in Biological Anthropology, Primates, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Cueing Self-Deception thru Cosmetics & Speaking in Tongues

 In my friend Bria Dunham’s piece, “The Role for Signaling Theory and Receiver Psychology in Marketing,” I came across this line: In women, facial masculinity may serve as a cue of sexual attitudes and behavior due to the underlying association … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Patrick Clarkin’s Humans are (blank)-ogamous Series

The image Patrick Clarkin uses in his 6th installment of the “Humans are (Blank) -ogamous” is so excellent that I have to repost it & give props to Patrick, a biological anthropologist at UMass Boston.  In this series, he explores … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Evolution and Psychology, Mating and Sexuality, Theory | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Pivoting around Smartphones & Cigarettes: Evolved to Play in Extra-structural Interludes

Smartphones are like cigarettes are like junk food are like chewing your nails or doodling.  Right.  What do they have in common?  Easy.  Things we do when we’re bored.  Bored in my class?  Doodle.  There were some amazing Jurassic landscapes … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Exaptation, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Darwin’s Lessons for the Graduates

Hear that robin singing in the morning? Smell the white blossoms on the natural rose bushes near the woods? See the turkey vultures soaring high – in communicative harmony with one another? Note this: The same forces accounting for these examples account for everything you see when you look in a mirror. Your are part of this magnificent natural world. This insight is, for my money, what makes Darwinism a truly spiritual approach to the world.
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Posted in Evolution and Biology, Evolution and Psychology, Evolution and Scientific Method, Evolution in the Classroom, Fact, Glenn Geher, Hypotheses, Theory | 3 Comments

The Giraffe’s … tale.

“The great tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.“ Thomas H. Huxley (1825 – 1895) English biologist; supporter of Darwin; father of Aldous & Julian Huxley. Missed Opportunities In the lead up to … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution and Biology, Evolution and Psychology, Evolution and Scientific Method, Fact, Hypotheses, Theory | 5 Comments