monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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AAPA 2012 Run-Down

April 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I am done with this year’s American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting in Portland. Alas, I am not yet home as I had a scheduling snafu with Alaska Airlines yesterday and there was literally not a single seat on a flight to any airport in the Bay Area. So, I hung out in PDX […]

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Tags: Anthropology · science

Risk Management: The Fundamental Human Adaptation

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments

It was a conceptually dense week in class.  The first part of the week I spent talking about topics such as ecological complexity, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience. One of the key take-home messages of this material is that uncertainty is ubiquitous in complex ecological systems.  Now, while systemic uncertainty does not mean that the world […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

Response to Selection

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

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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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Teaching

Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health

March 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Yesterday, I spent most of the day collecting content for my upcoming classes this spring and getting the course web sites together.  For the first time in a while, I will (officially) be teaching two classes in one quarter (which effectively means teaching three or four when I add the other things like lab meetings […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

Anthropology: A Bittersweet Love Story

February 16th, 2011 · 7 Comments

Rex from Savage Minds laid out a St. Valentine’s Day challenge. He asked for love letters to anthropology, in part, as a follow-up to the #aaafail fracas of December last. He notes “there is a strong chance that I’m opening the flood gates for endless cynical, bodice-ripping parodies.” But I’ll play it straight. It just […]

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Tags: Anthropology

On Husserl, Hexis, and Hissy-Fits

December 9th, 2010 · 16 Comments

There has been quite a brouhaha percolating through some Anthropology circles following the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Associate in New Orleans last month.  It seems that the AAA executive board, in all its wisdom, has seen fit to excise the term “science” from the Association’s long-range planning document. You can sample some of […]

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Tags: Anthropology · science · Teaching

Best Simile Ever?

April 20th, 2010 · No Comments

Matt Ridley pens a hilarious simile in his great book, Nature Via Nurture (published as The Agile Gene in the United States) that I think you might actually need to be an evolutionary anthropologist to fully appreciate.  And I quote: Just as sex enabled mammals to combine two great inventions — lactation and the placenta […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution

Most Cited Papers in Current Anthropology

February 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

A friend sent me a link the other day to the top 20 most cited articles in the journal, Current Anthropology. Much to my delight, I found that a paper that I co-authored is the #7 all-time citation leader and a paper co-authored by my Stanford colleague Rebecca Bird is the #19. As I walked […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Diet & Nutrition · Evolution

More on Buller and Evolutionary Psychology

December 25th, 2008 · 12 Comments

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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Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology

Buller on Evolutionary Psychology

December 23rd, 2008 · 14 Comments

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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Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology