Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

What “rolling coal” has to say about the cultural state of sustainability efforts

Posted 05 Dec 2016 / 0

Image of a Ford F-150 “rolling coal” courtesy of Salvatore Arnone via Wikimedia Commons. In a recent meeting of my Ecology course dedicated to sustainable policies, we were discussing why people don’t choose to adopt sustainable technologies. I think that the question was asked under the assumption that people want to be more sustainable, but face financial Read More

A Minor Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Climate Change, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Economic sustainability, Economics, Environmental Justice, Memetic Fitness, Pollution, Public Policy, Punishment, Social Dilemmas, Social Diversity, Social Norms, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Transportation, System Stability

It was an honor to talk to St. Francis College!

Posted 14 Dec 2015 / 1

Last Friday (December 11th, 2015) I had the pleasure of speaking to students and faculty at Saint Francis College. I delivered a talk entitled “Highly-creative baby-breeding idea propagators: what human (re)productive choices mean for the future of our species” to an engaged and insightful audience; as this was the final week of classes, I really Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Natural Selection, Population Growth, Public Outreach, Sex and Reproduction, Social Diversity

My first “Breeders, Propagators, & Creators” talk: next Friday at St. Francis College

Posted 04 Dec 2015 / 0

Next Friday, December 11th, at 3 pm I will be delivering a talk at St. Francis College entitled “Highly-creative baby-breeding idea propagators: what human (re)productive choices mean for the future of our species“. The talk is a synopsis of a large section of my book-in-progress Breeders, Propagators, & Creators: Culture, Biology, and the Future of Human Evolution. Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Carrying Capacity, Cultural Evolution, Evolution Education, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Intrinsic Growth Rate, Memetic Fitness, Natural Selection, Parenting, Population Growth, Public Outreach, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction, Social Diversity

Is family-linked terrorism a cultural and genetic phenomenon?

Posted 03 Dec 2015 / 0

National Public Radio “In Worst Attacks, Terrorists Often Have Fraternal Bonds” This is an interesting — albeit brief — piece on a recent “pattern” that has emerged in terror attacks: teams of attackers are often composed of blood relatives. As a good scientist I have to point out that there’s a danger here of over-generalizing Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Belief, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Data Limitation, Gene by Environment Interactions, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Genetics, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Human Evolution, Memetic Fitness, Mismatch theory, Phenotypic Plasticity, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Resistance Evolution in Parasites, Social Diversity

Group phenotypic composition: implications for individuals and their groups

Posted 22 Oct 2015 / 0

Trends in Ecology & Evolution “From Individuals to Groups and Back: The Evolutionary Implications of Group Phenotypic Composition” Man, I wish that this article was written in a more accessible manner, because what it presents is important. There is a critical feedback between how the composition of groups affects individuals and how individuals affect the Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Evolutionary Modeling, Group Selection, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Phenotypic Plasticity, Population Genetics, Social Diversity

David Sloan Wilson on how Jeff Bezos don’t know squat about chickens (or evolution!)

Posted 16 Oct 2015 / 0

Evonomics “Jeff Bezos got Darwinism all Wrong!” This is an interesting analysis of the Bezos way of doing business, which represents an oft-lauded bastardization of Darwinian theory. What I like about Wilson’s brief analysis is that he focuses back on the unit of selection that matters for a business: the corporation. Unless you naively believe Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Human Nature, Social Diversity, System Stability, Web

The often-large difference between “breeding” and “parenting”

Posted 02 Oct 2015 / 0

WNYC The Leonard Lopate Show “Options Grow For Starting a Non-Traditional Family” As I continue to work on my popular science book with the working title Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a parent. Biological parenting (what I call “breeding”… why to be explained) is a Read More

A Major Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Kin Selection, Parenting, Radio & Podcasts, Reproductive Fitness, Social Diversity, Sociology

Do creative people have “messy minds”?

Posted 29 Sep 2015 / 0

Scientific American Beautiful Minds blog “Creative People Are…” This is an interesting little summary for someone like myself who teaches future creative professionals. Anecdotally, the “messy mind” idea makes a lot of sense: my students probably do worst when asked to regurgitate orthodox hierarchies of information. They do far better when asked to make connections Read More

A Minor Post, Art & Design, Intelligences, Neuroscience, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Social Diversity, Web

Review of What We Made by Tom Finkelpearl

Posted 13 Aug 2014 / 0

I study cooperation. I can say this honestly only with some caveats. I am very interested in what allows cooperation to evolve in biological systems, as cooperation seems to defy the Darwinian imperative to serve the needs of self-replication and yet is unexpectedly prevalent in nature. In particular I am interested in human cooperation, which Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Art & Design, Books, Collaborative Art, Communication, Cooperation, Emotion, Empathy, Environmental Justice, Play, Public Art, Social Diversity, Social Networks

Dumb radio ads provide smart insight into the diverse nature of human societies

Posted 15 Feb 2013 / 0

Do everyday people have any sense of their place in the world? Human beings live in incredibly complex societies undergirded by convoluted economies and overwhelmingly diverse cultures. Do we have a sense of how these societies came to be, or how they function and persist? For evolutionists, these are pretty vexing scientific questions: most researchers Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Cooperation, Economic sustainability, Ethics, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Political Science, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Social Diversity