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← What Can Evolution Teach Us About Ourselves?

What Can Evolution Teach Us About Ourselves? - Comments

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 1 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Great article! I'm constantly wondering how even the most minute behaviors relate to evolution.

Julie

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 04:17:09 UTC | #573554

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

I am not sure at all about the stoppage of evolution for many psychological traits. Some, perhaps. These evolutionary psychologists have staked themselves to a position that is almost dogmatic here. That position may just bite them in the a** over experimental/observational time.

I think some psychological traits could have evolved with the onset of societies and some of the more nasty traits could have been selected out as societies grew. Some traits being both negatively and positively frequency dependent.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 04:30:02 UTC | #573557

gatotk4c4's Avatar Comment 3 by gatotk4c4

I think saying that evolution stopped at 10000 years ago is unwise, unscientific and baseless. He should say " what we need to know (the majority) of modern man traits are explainable by the human evolution up to 10 thousand years ago". Meaning that a lot of our modern predispositions are mostly already set by that time. This does not means that human (physically and moreover psychologically) "stopped evolving".

I noticed that most of misunderstandings are based on these small things people overlook to make a statement more dramatic. The needs for drama ... hmm .. that's definitely evolving, I would assume current bite-size information will affect this trait --> more hunger for dramatization? hmm ...

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 05:33:00 UTC | #573566

Gunga Lagunga's Avatar Comment 4 by Gunga Lagunga

"Size matters," says Richard Dawkins, his colossal cranium filling the video screen.

So the first evolutionary "ape-nerds" always got the girls. Hmmm.

Fast forward a scant three million years, and the tables have turned. Horribly. The 20th century was, by any definition, a virtual dating disaster for horny, modern ape-nerds.

Fickle creatures, women.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 05:46:26 UTC | #573567

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 5 by AfraidToDie

How did our brains evolve so large so (relatively) fast? My unscientific theory (guess) is that those with larger memories, especially in early development, would quite obviously have a better chance of survival, like remembering where they've come across predators or previous dangerous situatios. I would certainly think that size matters when it comes to memory, and since evolution didn't know much about micro chips, bigger became better.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:01:55 UTC | #573591

hfaber's Avatar Comment 6 by hfaber

Everybody, please read "The mating mind" by Geoffrey Miller. It explains the theory of sexual selection applied to the human mind which Richard is referring to in the video. For me it was a real eureka experience.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:35:03 UTC | #573596

kriton's Avatar Comment 7 by kriton

in fact fiction is form of "purposeful deception" that has an adaptive value in its ability to prepare us for life's worst case scenarios.

Ah, so THAT is why I enjoyed reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". It prepared me for all those worst case scenarios involving intergalactic superhighways. :)

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 11:55:54 UTC | #573610

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 8 by cheesedoff17

My question is, which psychological traits are claimed to have come to a halt?

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 12:00:05 UTC | #573611

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 9 by cheesedoff17

I have tried unsuccessfully twice to erase my stupid comment.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 12:25:47 UTC | #573614

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 10 by Michael Gray

A charming talk. Sexual selection holds more sway (in sentient apes) than I think most observers allow. It neatly explains the so-called human skin-colourings, for a start. As Jared Diamond so eloquently indicated, long-term climate has not only nothing to do with skin-colour, but is positively contra-indicated. Vis, the Tasmanian Aborigines verses the Saharan Tauregs, (and cetera).

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 12:47:07 UTC | #573618

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 11 by crookedshoes

Gunga, Turns out that there is current research pointing towards the female (monkeys in the study) purposely baiting two alpha males into fighting each other while she covertly has sex with the "nerd" of her choice. Detailed in R. Sapolsky's "Monkeyluv", the chapter entitled "Monkeyluv". Most of the book is available at google books for free: link text

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 13:04:21 UTC | #573624

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 12 by Hendrix is my gOD

Comment 7 by kriton

Ah, so THAT is why I enjoyed reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". It prepared me for all those worst case scenarios involving intergalactic superhighways. :)

They really need an intergalactic subway - with free wi-fi access, of course. I get to work in only 20 minutes, while posting on RichardDawkins.net!

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 14:16:38 UTC | #573640

MarkMyers's Avatar Comment 13 by MarkMyers

Nice collection, once I figured out how the links conveniently access the interesting supporting videos.

I find the idea of evolution stopping to be at the very least grossly misleading and actually in violation of fundamental rules for exitence of any life form imaginable. If there is one beat that just goes on and on in the branches of the tree of life, it is reproduction with variation and selective survival.

On the postive side of that huge fail, anyone who believes evolution of humans stopped 10,000 years ago will find themselve in a much more agreeable position with fundamental creationists who happen to believe the same thing!

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 16:57:05 UTC | #573725

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 14 by crookedshoes

Listen, nothing STOPS evolving. There are features that may not be pressured for a long time and may stay stable. However, it is a bold bold claim to know about ancient BEHAVIORS and then try to compare to modern behaviors. Awfully sketchy. And to attribute a Psychology to define the behaviors is, VERY sketchy.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:27:00 UTC | #573736

Gunga Lagunga's Avatar Comment 15 by Gunga Lagunga

Comment 11 by crookedshoes

Thank you kindly for that very interesting link!

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 05:03:24 UTC | #573938

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 16 by Hendrix is my gOD

Comment 11 by crookedshoes "...the female (monkeys in the study) purposely baiting two alpha males into fighting each other while she covertly has sex with the "nerd" of her choice..."

sounds like the bar where i watch hockey

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:31:58 UTC | #573988

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 17 by TheRationalizer

Videos like this should also be posted on youtube.com/richarddawkinsdotnet if possible.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 17:54:50 UTC | #574188

maria melo's Avatar Comment 18 by maria melo

It was useful to me (as general audience and not a profissional in the field) in order to understand and to become more familiar with what can be designated as "by-product" or "adaptative" as a reader of "the God Delusion". In 2003, someone wrote the preface for the book " The Darwin´s Cathedral", and remarked that "if religion doesn´t have an evolutionary value, why would so many people be religious and devote so many of their time to religion ?" (a silly question that he himself should answer but apllied a similar reasoning to this order of statement, perhaps schizophrenia has it´s adaptative value too? And this would become the more easy argument ever invented, but not always understood). I really loved Daniel Dennett´s criticism about "Darwin´s Cathedral" and it´s author, David Sloan Wilson in the video "Good Reasons to Believe in God".

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 22:36:18 UTC | #574265

maria melo's Avatar Comment 19 by maria melo

Everybody, please read "The mating mind" by Geoffrey Miller. It explains the theory of sexual selection applied to the human mind which Richard is referring to in the video. For me it was a real eureka experience.

Ok, it seems to be a good sugestion to become familiar with "sexual selection as "the peacock´s tail adapted to our minds".

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 23:02:14 UTC | #574281

maria melo's Avatar Comment 20 by maria melo

Besides, the author of the preface I have mentioned refers to "religion" as "universal" (I am afraid Dawkins himself believes in the same "universality", perhaps for different sort of reasoning? I remember the "universality" of the hotel "Hotel of the Universe and Portugal", his wife mentioned in "TGD. Remember that the"universal grammar of Chomsky" proven to be wrong according to some amazonian tribe language found that didn´t apply the "universal rules" of a "universal grammar", because humans learn culturaly rather than "genetically", and the statement "universal with an exception to X", seems so funny to me as the idea of the universality of that hotel, besides all the utility that people may find using the idea of " human universals".

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 23:42:16 UTC | #574308

Gunga Lagunga's Avatar Comment 21 by Gunga Lagunga





LOL!

Check out the only comment in the "Discuss" section immediately below this article on the Big Think webpage.

It looks like a "Big Thinking" editor was just introduced to a much bigger thinker.

Fri, 07 Jan 2011 04:41:09 UTC | #574400

maria melo's Avatar Comment 22 by maria melo

Here´s a link (a critical review of the book "Darwin´s Cathedral").

It´s written in Portuguese (really interested people shall translate, of course, I won´t do it myself, I am afraid my English is not so great).

http://criticanarede.com/html/lds_catedraldarwin.html

http://www.gulbenkian.pt/section54artId325langId1.html

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 19:07:09 UTC | #575786

maria melo's Avatar Comment 23 by maria melo

I found this approach so strange that I didn´t dare to go there, besides the invitation I first red defending NOMA (why ?), while, as it can be red, that´s what atheists don´t accept, because they are atheists: that religion has an adaptative function. So science is becoming a fight between religious and non-believers? This is really sick!

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 19:31:31 UTC | #575793