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What Can Evolution Teach Us About Ourselves?

Thanks to KimZ for the link

As evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa explains during his Big Think interview, many of humankind's most important psychological traits stopped evolving over 10,000 years ago. Today, many of our unconscious biases and behaviors can be understood as remnant artifacts of our natural hunter-gather mindset. Big Think's latest series, What Evolution Can Teach Us About Ourselves, is collection of video features that reveal the many ways that these age-old characteristics influence our everyday lives.

Yale University psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos studies Capuchin monkeys to understand the most basic elements of human cognition and survival. In her Big Think interview, Santos explains how her research has proven the age-old saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Like humans, social groups among monkeys provide a pecking-order which largely determines their success in securing food and finding a mate. Santos also explains how monkey “economics” suggest that the type of greedy, loss-averse human behavior — perhaps best exemplified by the mortgage meltdown of 2008 — may have deep evolutionary origins.

... From poetry and ballet to mathematics and being clever, life is laden with frivolous pursuits that hold no obvious bearing on our ability to survive, says evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Yet, if it weren’t for the possession of the type of brain that incidentally allows us to perform these types of these impractical activities, we may not be here today.  ...

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Planet of the apes

Stephen Cave - Financial Times Comments

What we really know about our evolutionary past – and what we don’t


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Astrophysicists simulate 14 billion...

Liat Clark - Comments

Astrophysicists simulate 14 billion years of cosmic evolution in high resolution

Study casts doubt on human-Neanderthal...

Alok Jha - The Guardian Comments

Cambridge scientists claim DNA overlap between Neanderthals and modern humans is a remnant of a common ancestor

Why do organisms build tissues they...

- - Science Blog Comments

Why, after millions of years of evolution, do organisms build structures that seemingly serve no purpose?

New flat-faced human species possibly...

Charles Choi - CBS News Comments

Four decades ago, in 1972, the Koobi Fora Research Project discovered the enigmatic fossilized skull known as KNM-ER 1470 which ignited a now long-standing debate about how many different species of early Homos existed.





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