monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'evolutionary psychology'

On Genetics and Human Behavioral Biology

August 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology

Nicholas Wade, former science reporter for the New York Times has written a book, A Troublesome Inheritance, in which he argues that large-scale societal differences (e.g., the existence of capitalist democracies in the West or of paternalistic, authoritarian political systems in Asia) may be attributable to small genetic differences that were fixed at a population […]

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Response to Selection

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Teaching

I’m done now with the first week of the Spring quarter. It was a bit challenging because I had to attend the PAA meetings in Washington, DC for the latter part of the week, but Brian Wood ably covered for me on Thursday. I thought that I would use the blog as a tool for […]

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Hitting the Blue

February 9th, 2009 · No Comments · Evolution

I received a message the other day informing me that my series of posts of evolutionary psychology had “hit the blue.”  That is, I made the front page of Metafilter.   Cool.  I have to admit, I didn’t know what that meant.  Now I do. I just saw evidence of my hitting the blue in my Google Reader. […]

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Jones & Bird (2008) == Evolutionary Psychology???

December 30th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology

So, I’ve been spending a bunch of time recently thinking about evolutionary psychology (EP). This is a field about which I have some serious reservations for a variety of reasons both technical and philosophical. That said, I do find the constant in-fighting among human evolutionary biologists tedious and think that it’s absurdly unproductive. I am […]

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On Modules

December 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology

As the next installment in my series on evolution psychology (see previous posts here and here), I thought that I would write about some thoughts on evolutionary modules.  As should be obvious from previous posts, I have serious concerns about evolutionary psychology.  Nonetheless, I don’t want to repeat the knee-jerk criticisms that attended the rise […]

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More on Buller and Evolutionary Psychology

December 25th, 2008 · 12 Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology

This is an ongoing series of meditations on evolutionary psychology inspired by my recent reading of David Buller’s piece in Scientific American.  I have been thinking quite a bit in the last year about the relationship between evolutionary psychology, human behavioral ecology, and evolutionary genetics, and maybe these ruminations will help me get my thoughts […]

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Buller on Evolutionary Psychology

December 23rd, 2008 · 14 Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology

Relentless critic of evolutionary psychology, David Buller recently wrote a piece in Scientific American outlining the critique he has developed over the last several years against this particular flavor of human evolutionary studies.  The author of Adapting Minds lists four ideas from contemporary evolutionary psychology (EP) that he suggests are fallacious: Analysis of Pleistocene Adaptive […]

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On Abolishing "Darwinism"

July 16th, 2008 · No Comments · Evolution

Olivia Judson has written another installment in her series celebrating Charles Darwin.  In this one, she suggests that we should lose the term “Darwinism” and all its variants.  I think that she argues convincingly that labeling the scientific enterprise of modern evolutionary biology as “Darwinism” implies that the field is static, indeed, “that the subject hasn’t changed […]

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Ugh, Here It Is Again

March 22nd, 2008 · No Comments · Statistics, Uncategorized

One of my favorite shows, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, today cited the ridiculous evolutionary psychology result that I discussed which was based on bogus curve-fitting.  I guess it’s reified now…

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Do These Points Form a Curve?

March 6th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Evolution, Statistics

I was interested to browse through a paper by Buunk et al. in the most recent issue of Evolution and Human Behavior in which the authors report the results of psychological experiments exploring the differential relationship between height and sexual jealousy in women and men. The authors predicted that (self-reported) sexual jealousy would decline with […]

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