McCain’s VP Pick Makes Darwinian and Boasian Sense
Shock and awe. That had to be one thought in McCain’s mind when he picked a little-known governor of Alaska–the state one pundit called an overgrown igloo–to stand a heartbeat away from his seat in the Oval Office, his age and cancer history be damned.
Evil is real, and so are evil genes.
Today I stumbled on a C-SPAN presentation by Barbara Oakley about her book Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend. I haven’t read the book, but it evidently overlaps with many things I’ve long thought and written myself, in The Tangled Wing and elsewhere.
Prejudices change slowly, but they change.
Anthropologists take the long view. Fads come and go–hula hoops, Heavy Metal–but where it counts, culture change–cultural evolution, really–is slow.
Take racial equality for instance. I am always amazed by people who say that affirmative action has gone on long enough.
Maternal yearning has its day in court
In early April Texas state authorities entered the compound of a polygamous sect and took as many as 468 children into custody for their own protection, following an anonymous phone call accusing the sect of promoting sex between grown men and girls as young as thirteen.
When men get together, dangerous things can happen
A recent talk about terrorism sent me back to 1969, when a classic in sociobiology was published. It was called Men in Groups, and it had a straightforward thesis: “The behavior of men in groups in part reflects an underlying biologically transmitted ‘propensity’ with roots in human evolutionary history.”
Polygamy Always Evil? The Answer Can Be Complex.
Y chromosomes are in the news again this week, but for a much less amusing reason than Eliot Spitzer’s adventures. A raid on a Texas polygamous compound rescued hundreds of children, especially girls, not just from a detested minority lifestyle, but from persistent abuse.
Male Biology is Most Dangerous at the Top
At the risk of oversimplifying, there may not be much wrong with this world that can’t be cured by a massive increase in the number of X chromosomes at the top–a doubling in fact, but without increasing the number of leaders. Fortunately this can easily be done, by replacing men with women.