Is Barack Obama an evolutionary psychologist?
Since I criticized President Obama’s speech last year in Cairo (and even “rewrote” it) and later pointed out the names and deeds of those who did not get the Nobel Peace Prize because he did, I think it’s only fair that I resume this blog after a long hiatus by writing about his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in December.
I have to say that it stunned me. Read more
A couple of weeks ago I posted some musings about “the self” in anticipation of being on a panel with Steven Pinker (author of The Blank Slate and The Stuff of Thought) and Noga Arikha (author of Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours) at Tufts University. The panel, convened by Jonathan Wilson, was titled “The New Biology and the Self,” and what follows was my contribution. The graduate student referred to is Monica Chau of Emory University.
I told a very smart neurobiology graduate student named Monica yesterday that I’d been asked to speak on “The New Biology and the Self.” She said, “What’s the new biology?” I said, “I don’t know, but that’s the least of my problems. What’s the self?” Read more
Our innate fear and contempt of strangers often turns ugly. Now it’s China’s turn.
A charismatic president who blends two major races has had a healing effect on the wounds of a secular racial conflict in the United States. At the moment he is in Ghana visiting and speaking—eloquently as always— Read more
Sex is something that women have and men want. Or is it?
I caused a bit of comment in a blog on another website when I wrote, “Your mother told you men only want one thing, and you may have rolled your eyes, but she had a piece of the truth. Biology and common sense both tell us sex is something women have and men want. We can try as hard as we want to talk our way around this, but we can’t make it any less true…”
Why we need a science of war and terror
Today I will try to address some of the comments about biology and violence that were provoked by my recent postings, and perhaps clarify how I think about these things. It is right to ask whether we gain anything from saying that humans are innately violent,
A wise man with a provocative theory of violence may help us understand and save ourselves.
I just returned from a meeting in Paris (alright, a meeting followed by a marvelous three-day vacation) at which, along with some very pleasant wining and dining, I spent several days talking about imitation and violence. What do these two seemingly separate things have in common? According to René Girard, everything.
New evidence forces us to consider the role of genes in all behavior
Just over a quarter century ago, I wrote my first book, The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit. In it I addressed the objections that many liberal scientists and others of that day had against behavioral genetics, some of which I shared.
Why did Main Street hate the bailout plan so much? Evolutionary psychobiology has an answer.
Last Monday, in the worst financial crisis in a century, the House voted "no." The representatives of the people, after prolonged deliberation and sometimes rancorous debate, said no, we will not appropriate $750 billion to bail out Wall Street and pick up the tab for years of reckless greed.
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.
War is always a shock to the heart, but it should not be a shock to the mind.
In the past few days, war has broken out between Russia and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, a shocking yet somehow predictable outcome. Right after the collapse of the USSR,