Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

A potentially interesting Evolution of Play documentary

Posted 27 May 2016 / 0

This looks like a potentially-interesting documentary that might address some issues related to the evolution of play behavior. It is interesting that balls — in particular those that bounce — play such a large role in our play behaviors. What’s too bad is that this trailer is entirely inscrutable as far as what the movie is Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, MSCI-261, The Evolution of Play, Play

Predicting Future Evolution (Spring 2016)

Posted 10 May 2016 / 0

One of the activities that I regularly have my students complete in my Evolution course is called “Future Evolution“. The activity sends students on what most evolutionary biologists consider a fool’s errand: to try to predict the future evolution of some particular trait in some particular species. Making such predictions is really difficult for these basic reasons: Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Animal Domestication, Anthropogenic Change, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Evolution, Evolution Education, Human Evolution, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-260, Evolution, Prediction, Resistance Evolution in Parasites

You can check out my first Breeders, Propagators, & Creators talk (at St. Francis College) on YouTube

Posted 18 Apr 2016 / 0

This has been up on St. Francis College’s YouTube page for awhile, but I was just made aware of its existence. The audio’s a bit weak, but it gives you can mostly tell what I am saying!

A Minor Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, My publications, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction

Soon-to-be released Evolution and Human Culture book to feature my testimonial

Posted 14 Apr 2016 / 0

I was greatly honored when my friend and colleague Gregory Tague asked me to write a testimonial for his book Evolution and Human Culture. Now that the book is on the verge of being released, I am very excited that my testimonial will appear on the back of the book. For decades I have relied on these Read More

A Major Post, Evolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness

It’s good to remember how fast things change, culturally & biologically

Posted 11 Apr 2016 / 0

The Pratt Institute Chemistry, Machinery, and Engineering buildings in 1950 (image courtesy of Pratt@125) A colleague of mine (Daniel Wright) sent around this image from Pratt Institute’s 125th Anniversary photo time line collection. It’s a pretty amazing testament to how quickly things can change in a culturally-evolving environment. These buildings still stand at Pratt: in Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Architecture, Climate Change, Cultural Evolution, Pratt Institute, Science in Art & Design, Sustainability, Sustainable Pratt, Sustainable Urban Design

What can be made by mimicking biological “assemblies”?

Posted 09 Apr 2016 / 0

A student in my Ecology for Architects course sent me the link to this TED Talk by Neri Oxman about some of her projects at the intersection of design and biology. I think that my student meant for me to watch it, and perhaps might have been interested in my thoughts, but the talk struck such a Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Architecture, Closed Loop Systems, Fashion, Film, Television, & Video, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Science in Art & Design, Sustainability

FDA investigators raid American Society of Human Genetics offices in Carl Zimmer cloning case

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 4

Investigators from the United States Food and Drug Administration raided the offices of the American Society of Human Genetics this week. The unusual raid was the culmination of what has been a three-year investigation of science journalist Carl Zimmer, who is now being accused of cloning himself in order to increase his writing output. “We Read More

A Major Post, Cognitive Ability, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Epigenetics, Ethics, Genetics, Intelligences, Memetic Fitness, Neuroscience, Scientific Fraud

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson liberated after month-long kidnapping ordeal

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 0

Early this morning in a remote rural area just outside of Powder Springs, Georgia, astrophysicist and international science celebrity Neil deGrasse Tyson was safely liberated from captivity by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI raid rescued Tyson following four grueling weeks as a hostage of the radical Creationist terrorist organization CRISIS (Christians Reveling In Superheroes Instead Read More

A Major Post, Creationism, Evolution, Physics, Public Outreach

America Society of Primatologists condemns H. A. and Margret Rey, calls for Curious George boycott

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 0

Curious George and his cooperative partner The Man in the Yellow Hat are widely loved by naive children In a scathing press release disseminated today, the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) condemned the work of the children’s author/artist duo Margret and H.A. Rey on their famous Curious George series. At issue are the frequent allusions to George Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Behavior, Cooperation, Empathy, Evolution, Fluidity of Knowledge, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Phylogenetics, Primates, Primatology, Professional Societies, Reciprocity

Like to forage for mushrooms? Beware the Amanita!

Posted 15 Mar 2016 / 1

This short video, which came to my attention via the Scientific American “Observations” blog, does a nice job of explaining how an invasive mushroom species (Amanita phalloides) is causing new hazards for wild foragers in Northern California. The video is pretty basic — and a bit dramatic — but it does a good job of Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Film, Television, & Video, Fungi, Invasive Species, Mutualism, Survival, Temperate Forest, Temperate Rainforest