Category Archives: Evolution

There’s No Such Thing as Qualitative Sustainability

Thinking green is just not enough It was one of those classic moments where the irony just seemed too severe to be unplanned. I was riding my bike to work when I passed a parked vehicle and noticed a remarkable … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Architecture, Art & Design, Cultural Evolution, Ecological Footprinting, Green Design, Greenwashing, Life Cycle Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Sustainability | 1 Comment

Donald Trump saves CitiBike, proving that selfishness and cooperation are no longer opposed

WNYC The Brian Lehrer Show “A New Citi Bike Savior: Donald Trump?” Although this story is disheartening, it truly is inspiring that so many enlightened and savvy New Yorkers called in to decry Donald Trump’s role in commercializing the previous-unsullied … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Altruism, Cooperation, Economics, Political Science, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Sustainable Transportation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cognitive Ethology and Cat Companionship

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Animal Magnetism” I still think that we would be appalled and offended if we could literally read the inner emotional dialogue of a cat, but I have to agree with the main contention of Barash … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Belief, Consciousness, Data Limitation, Divergence, Emotion, Fluidity of Knowledge, Hypothesis Testing, Neuroscience | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I receive funding to initiate the Wallace Darwin Project

It seemed like a proposal with a dim chance of being funded, but on a bizarre whim of inspiration I decided to apply for a small bit of money so I could initiate a new creative venture that I am … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Ecology, Ecology Education, Evolution, Evolution Education, Pratt Institute, Science in Art & Design, Wallace Darwin Project | 2 Comments

If sloths endure costs to maintain closed-loop agricultural systems, why can’t we?

The New York Times “The Sloth’s Busy Inner Life” This is a great story about how paradoxical behaviors can be understood through appreciating mutualisms. If you don’t understand the benefits of algae to sloths and sloths to algae,  you can’t understand … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Closed Loop Systems, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Composting, Mutualism, Predation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Tropical Forest | Leave a comment

String Theory: should we care?

On Being “Reimagining the Cosmos” I always find myself stuck on the fence when it comes to the confrontation between physics and philosophy (and by extension religion). This episode effectively captures my ambivalence. On the one hand, I like that … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Belief, Consciousness, Emotion, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Religion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Okay, I admit it: I am a bit of a Neanderthal

The Economist “The genetic contribution Neanderthal man made to modern humanity is clearer” Although this article makes a bigger deal than it should about the “human construct” of the species concept (evolutionists are already well aware of the gradations of isolation … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Articles, Evolution, Extinction, Genetics, Homo species, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Phylogenetics, Speciation | 1 Comment

Model evidence that third party punishment only makes sense in tight-knit groups

Proceedings of the Royal Society B “High strength-of-ties and low mobility enable the evolution of third-party punishment“

Posted in A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Evolutionary Modeling, Punishment, Reputation, Social Networks | Leave a comment

How understanding social evolution might help treat cancer

The information sharing issue is really interesting here: in some sense, the medical field has the most detailed organismal knowledge available for any species, and evolutionary biologists are generally not that aware of the depth of what is known about … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Health & Medicine, Individual-based Models, Talks & Seminars | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweet Fern Productions puts Alfred Russel Wallace to paper

Sweet Fern Productions “The Animated Life of A.R. Wallace” I loved the Sweet Fern video on whale fall, but this is even more valuable as a historical account of Wallace’s life. I really like the way that this video depicts natural selection! … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Biography, Evolution, Evolution Education, Film & Television, Geography, History, Natural Selection, Science as a career, Science in Art & Design, Speciation, Teaching Tools, Tropical Forest, Wallace Darwin Project | Leave a comment

Was Teilhard de Chardin the real inventor of an evolutionary approach to culture?

On Being “Teilhard de Chardin on The “Planetary Mind” and Our Spiritual Evolution” We often give credit to Richard Dawkins — who is undeniably the inventor of the term “memetics” — for introducing an evolutionary approach to cultural change. But as … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Biography, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ecosystem Ecology, Evolution, Geology, Homo species, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, Radio & Podcasts, Religion, Wallace Darwin Project | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cod gone on Cape Cod

NPR Morning Edition “Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland” It is fascinating how “cultural” the alteration of this fishery turns out to be. Somehow “Cape Dogfish” just does not have the same ring.

Posted in A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Conservation Biology, Cultural Evolution, Marine Ecosystems, Radio & Podcasts, Sustainable Harvesting, Wild Foods | Leave a comment

New edited volume joins the growing collection of literature dedicated to how cooperation evolves

Cooperation and Its Evolution Edited by Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott and Ben Fraser MIT Press

Posted in A Minor Post, Cooperation | Leave a comment

Once considered clear, the line between ecological and evolutionary time scales is becoming more blurry

The Chronicle of Higher Education “What Darwin Got Wrong” Great article on the importance of better understanding rapid and/or fluctuating evolution! The number of applications to applied human issues is fascinating.

Posted in A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Climate Change, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Fluidity of Knowledge, Freshwater Ecosystems, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Interactions, Invasive Species, Natural Selection, Pollution, Population Genetics, Predation, Resistance Evolution in Parasites, Rivers & Streams | Leave a comment

In bird reproduction, parasitism and cooperation coevolve

Science “How Cooperation Defeats Cheats” Science “Brood Parasitism and the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds” Live Science “How Birds Cooperate to Defeat Cuckoos” It is fascinating that being a cooperative breeder is both attractive to parasites (because they can achieve better … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Coevolution, Cooperation, Cooperative Breeding, Phylogenetics | Leave a comment

Curiosity and culturomics

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Erez Aiden Contains Multitudes“

Posted in A Minor Post, Articles, Cultural Evolution | Leave a comment

CNN tackles climate change by explaining public goods games!

I almost fell out of my seat when I found this video while searching for a concise source explaining why we don’t have an international climate change agreement. This short television piece is basically trying to explain the dynamics of … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Film & Television, Game Theory, Sustainability, Web | Leave a comment

Money Talking about Janet Yellen and multilevel selection

WNYC Money Talking “Helping Ordinary Americans Focus Of Fed Under Janet Yellen” Should the economy serve the society as a whole, or only some individuals in that society? Wow is it refreshing to hear a radio segment ask that question!

Posted in A Minor Post, Cultural Evolution, Memetic Fitness, Multilevel Selection, Radio & Podcasts | Leave a comment

Scientific American “Tiny Plants” article provides a primer on the inter-relationship between ecological and evolutionary change

I am always on the lookout for great popular science articles to assign to my students. What makes a popular science article great? Well, to start with it should address concepts that are core to my classes (admittedly, this definition … Continue reading

Posted in A Major Post, Adaptation, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Coevolution, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Ecology for Architects, Experiments (General), Extinction, Habitat Destruction, Interactions, Macroevolution, Marine Ecosystems, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Pollution, Resilience, Sustainability, Terrestrial | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can you replicate the collective adaptive value of religion without god?

NPR Morning Edition “Sunday Assembly: A Church For The Godless Picks Up Steam” It is interesting to see people explicitly seeking out the benefits of religious community whilst trying to maintain their objective understanding of the material world. Conventional wisdom … Continue reading

Posted in A Minor Post, Belief, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Radio & Podcasts, Religion | Leave a comment