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If Bill and Hillary had gone on – What Is Evolutionary Psychology and Why Should You Care? A Closer Look at the Standard Narrative of Human Sexual Evolution– How Darwin Insults Your Mother (The Dismal Science of Sexual Economics)– The Famously Flaccid Female Libido– Male Parental Investment (MPI)– “Mixed Strategies” in the War Between the Sexes– Extended Sexual Receptivity and Concealed Ovulation4. Those of us raised in the West have been assured that we humans are special, unique among living things, above and beyond the world around us, exempt from the humilities and humiliations that pervade and define animal life. Here’s a paper that supports our contention that egalitarian social organization is more functional for small scale social groups like those of the EEA (see references to Dunbar’s number) and that more hierarchical power structures emerge when the group gets too big for consensus rule. Conflict models suggest that the formation of social hierarchies is synonymous with the establishment of relationships of coercive social dominance and exploitation. Strangely,even though he agrees with this central point made by Power, de Waal barely mentions her work—and only to dismiss her, at that. For more of Ferguson’s views on the origins of war, the following two papers can be downloaded from his departmental web page ( Tribal, “Ethnic,” and Global Wars, and Ten Points on War, which includes a broad discussion of biology, archaeology, and the Yanomami controversy. Washington Post review of Darkness in El Dorado: Jungle Fever, by Marshall Sahlins, Sunday, December 10, 2000, p. The Ape in the Mirror– Primates and Human Nature– Doubting the Chimpanzee Model– In Search of Primate Continuity5. The natural world lies below and beneath us, a cause for shame, disgust, or alarm; something smelly and messy to be hidden behind closed doors, drawn curtains, and minty freshness. A theory of leadership in human cooperative groups Journal of Theoretical Biology Available online 2 June 2010. Voluntary or 'integrative' models, on the other hand, suggest that rank differentiation—the differentiation of leader from follower, ruler from ruled, or state from subject—may sometimes be preferred over more egalitarian social arrangements as a solution to the challenges of life in social groups, such as conflict over resources, coordination failures, and free-riding in cooperative relationships. In an endnote in his 1996 book, , he writes, “On the basis of her reading of the literature, Power (1991) has argued that provisioning at some field sites (such as Gombe’s banana camp) turned the chimpanzees more violent and less egalitarian, and thus changed the ‘tone’ of relationships both within and between communities. Borofsky (2005) offers a balanced account of the controversy and the context in which it occurred. Like bonobos and chimps, we are the randy descendents of hypersexual ancestors. This paper provides an evolutionary game theoretical model for the acceptance of leadership in cooperative groups. Only about 40,000 years ago did these two lines reunite, becoming a single pan-African population, according to this research. Readers interested in further exploration of the critique of Hobbesian assumptions regarding war in prehistory could begin with Fry (2009) and Ferguson (2000).5. You can find many other interesting presentations at this site. Regardless of whether or not she felt “nostalgia for the 1960s” (an emotion we didn’t detect in her book), de Waal admits her analysis “raises questions” that merit investigation. At first blush, this may seem an overstatement, but it’s a truth that should have become common knowledge long ago. We propose that the effort of a leader can reduce the likelihood that cooperation fails due to free-riding or coordination errors, and that under some circumstances, individuals would prefer to cooperate in a group under the supervision of a leader who receives a share of the group's productivity than to work in an unsupervised group. Pinker’s talk was based upon an argument he presents in The Blank Slate (2002), particularly in the last few pages of the third chapter. You might want to search Sue Savage-Rumbaugh’s talks on bonobos, for example. These questions threaten to recast a great deal of data concerning chimpanzee social interactions—of great interest to de Waal, one of the world’s leading authorities on chimpanzee behavior and a man whose scholarship demonstrates deep respect for critical analysis.19. – Kellogg’s Guide to Child Abuse– The Curse of Calvin Coolidge– Ten More Reasons Why I Need Somebody New (Just Like You)22. Give us the faith to trust the goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness. The bulk of the controversy concerns Tierney’s charges that Chagnon and his colleague, James Neel, may have caused a fatal epidemic among the Yanomami. Or we overcompensate and imagine nature floating angelically in soft focus up above, innocent, noble, balanced, and wise. Little formal theoretical work, however, has established whether and under what conditions individuals would indeed prefer the establishment of more hierarchical relationships over more egalitarian alternatives. Recent studies of mitochondrial DNA suggest that even before the human migrations out of Africa that began about 60,000 years ago, human populations were largely isolated from each other for as much as 100,000 years, localized in eastern and southern Africa. Full paper available online at fulltext/S0002-9297(08)00255-3#.4. Power’s analysis—which blends a serious reexamination of available data with nostalgia for the 1960s image of apes as noble savages—raises questions that will no doubt be settled by ongoing research on unprovisioned wild chimpanzees.”This dismissal of Power’s analysis strikes us as unjustified and uncharacteristically ungenerous. For a review of these reports and a rebuttal to Power’s argument, see Wilson and Wrangham (2003). Of course, Chagnon’s work is readily available as well.30.
We need a new understanding of ourselves, based not on pulpit proclamations or feel-good Hollywood fantasies, but on a bold and unashamed assessment of the plentiful scientific data that illuminate the true origins and nature of human sexuality. We battle our hungers, expectations, and disappointments. We shared a common ancestor with two of these apes—bonobos and chimps—just five million years ago. Readers with mental images of Sioux (Lakota) chiefs with eagle-feather war bonnets rippling in the wind should keep in mind that in the generations before first contact with whites, disease spread through many tribes and the arrival of horses brought severe cultural disruptions, leading to conflict between groups that had been at peace previously (see Brown, 1970/2001).25. By comparison, Chagnon’s total time among the Yanomami adds up to about five years. Confronting the Sky Together– Everybody Out of the Closet– The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon Acknowledgments References and Suggested Further Reading Notes Index is one of the five surviving species of great apes, along with chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans (gibbons are considered a “lesser ape”). Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts, and show us what each one of us can do to set forth the coming of the day of universal peace. Not having examined these charges in detail, we have nothing to add to that discussion, limiting our critique to Changnon’s methodology and scholarship as it applies to Yanomami warfare.29. Conventional notions of monogamous, till-death-do-us-part marriage strain under the dead weight of a false narrative that insists we’re something else. We suggest, in particular, that this becomes an optimal solution for individual decision makers when the number of group members required for collective action exceeds the maximum group size at which leaderless cooperation is viable. Here’s an article about a paper demonstrating hormonal differences in how male chimps and male bonobos respond to stress, with chimps gearing up for battle and bonobos chilling out. If you prefer to read Pinker’s remarks, an essay based upon the talk can be found at org/3rd_culture/pinker07/pinker07_7. For a review, see Sussman and Garber’s chapter in Chapman and Sussman (2004). What is the essence of human sexuality and how did it get to be that way? Quite interesting, in light of the never-ending debate about the relevance of these two primates to human nature: Note that Pinker’s chart represents part of a chart in Keeley’s book (1996), and that Keeley refers to these societies as “primitive,” “prestate,” and “prehistoric” in his charts (pp. Indeed, Keeley distinguishes what he calls “sedentary hunter-gatherers” from true “nomadic hunter-gatherers,” writing, “Low-density, nomadic hunter-gatherers, with their few (and portable) possessions, large territories, and few fixed resources or constructed facilities, had the option of fleeing conflict and raiding parties. After we contacted him to ask how he could possibly justify the omission, Smith at first cited Wrangham and Peterson’s dismissal of bonobos as being less representative than chimps of our last common ancestor.