Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

“A Paradise Built in Hell” by Rebecca Solnit

Posted 23 Mar 2011 / 0

Rebecca Solnit’s 2009 book A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster is a book about recent human history. But for those interested in human evolution, this history is essential reading. The primary idea of the book is that our dramatic portrayals of how people react to disaster are wrong: rather Read More

Altruism, Books, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, History, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Mismatch theory, Reciprocity

Contemporary Human Cooperation With Non-Kin Probably No Mistake

Posted 13 Mar 2011 / 0

No one denies that contemporary human beings cooperate extensively with non-kin. This social behavior sets us apart from even our closest primate relatives, who tend to only display strong cooperative behaviors with kin. But explaining this difference is no easy task: modern culture exerts such a strong influence on our behavior that it is easy Read More

Articles, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Kin Selection, Mismatch theory

Cultural Evolution in a Hybrid Society

Posted 03 Mar 2011 / 0

The process of cultural evolution fascinates me. It is still a topic that I need to research further, but I think about it often. My Human Evolution course is steeped pretty heavily in the idea that culture as well as biology has evolved in Homo sapiens, and we talk briefly about how culture might evolve. Read More

Cultural Evolution, Speciation