Tag Archives: evolution

Dreams of Destiny

The trouble with religion is that it’s backwards. If you’re religiously inclined, you start with a pre-ordained set of answers and then try earnestly to distort whatever you’re seeing so that it will lead you to the answers you’ve already … Continue reading

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Delusions Great & Small

Richard Dawkins is a magnet to whom polarized opinions are irresistibly drawn. For those who are spiritually inclined (whatever that means), Dawkins’s unstinting attacks on religion can be deeply disturbing. Such people seem, in many cases, to feel a need … Continue reading

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Bad Memes

There is an infectious agent (I forget whether it’s a virus or a bacterium) that causes ants to crawl out to the tips of grass leaves. This change in the ant’s behavior is of no value to the ant — … Continue reading

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Why Is There Sex?

Pardon me for boasting, but on the way home from the gym this morning I seem to have solved a long-standing problem in evolutionary theory. I don’t think I’ve read this idea anywhere — it just sort of popped up. … Continue reading

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Morality Unraveled

If you ever wonder why we are the way we are, I recommend reading Robert Wright’s fascinating book The Moral Animal. Wright lucidly explains the insights of the emerging science of evolutionary psychology. It’s more than a little disheartening to see one’s grand … Continue reading

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Social Cohesion

Evolution has equipped the human species with a fairly strong herd instinct. We all want to be part of a close-knit group. The craving may be stronger in some people and weaker in others, stronger at certain points in life and weaker … Continue reading

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Stupidity

In general, the human race is a grave disappointment. Most of our failings (though perhaps not all) can be lumped under the heading “stupidity.” People are, by and large, stupid. I’m not sure stupidity is an innate human characteristic. I … Continue reading

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Ancient History

Bacteria have been around, as nearly as we can tell, for a couple of billion years. These single-celled animals reproduce asexually, by fission. That is, when a bacterium gets fat enough, it splits in two. We can, if we like, … Continue reading

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Location, Location, Location

I like knowing where I am. In many different senses. That’s why I enjoy reading books on evolution and paleoanthropology — ir helps me understand where I stand in the universe. And on psychology and cosmology too. Current reading: The … Continue reading

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The Fast Track

I’ve always been fascinated by human evolution — by how, against all odds, our species became what it is today. Aside from simple curiosity, I cherish the faint hope that if we know who we are, we’ll be able to … Continue reading

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