Patriarchy’s Evolutionary Plausibility

Over many decades, now, a popular idea across the humanities and social sciences has been that of patriarchy. Etymologically the word means the rule of the fathers – or at least the elder males (father-like). It has taken on, though, a more general reference to the idea of men ruling over women. If one looks […]

Religion and Evolution, Let’s Try Again

Evolutionary theory in general, and evolutionary psychology in particular, have tended to align with the modern movement often referred to as the new atheists and humanists. Indeed, the prominence of those such as Dawkins and Dennett encourages a lumping of the two together. This isn’t quite fair. The new atheists are after all activists for […]

Does Evolutionary Theory Entail Moral Relativism?

Today’s topic is one I’ve wrestled with a lot in the last couple years. I think I’ve finally resolved it in a coherent way, but, who knows? Think of this as a progress report, at least. For some people well versed in evolutionary biology and psychology, simply asking the question in the title to this […]

You never know, unless you try! (Though, you might soon.)

Conjuring up a well of limitless human potential, an old platitude – “you never know, unless you try” – is coming to now take on a slightly different inflection. In the process, the accuracy of the claim is likewise sliding slowly toward obsolescence. The original meaning of the phrase suggested that anything might be possible […]

Are We Humans Our Own Primary Hostile Force of Nature?

There are a lot of popular clichés about humans among people not as informed as they should be about evolutionary biology that get too much air play and word of mouth. For instance, there’s the claim that we’re the only species that fight each other in groups. Not true. Or that we’re the only species […]