Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Another great Skeptoid episode, this one on race

Posted 09 Jan 2017 / 0

With a lot of mindless computer work to do, I just had time to check out another Skeptoid episode, this one on race (“There’s No Such Thing as Race… Or Is There?“). You can listen to it here: http://skeptoid.com/audio/skeptoid-4546.mp3 Wow, I am really impressed! So frequently when I hear people try to tackle the subject Read More

A Minor Post, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Genetics, Human Evolution, Population Genetics, Radio & Podcasts

Predicting Future Evolution (Fall 2016)

Posted 10 Dec 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

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

Maybe human impacts aren’t so dramatic (when experienced from the geologic time scale)

Posted 01 Nov 2016 / 0

A student in one of my Evolution sections this semester sent me this fun little animated video: I thought that it was very clever how animation — a medium that already is inherently dedicated to playing with time scales — was used to give us a view of human development from (mostly) the point of view of rocks.

A Minor Post, Cultural Evolution, Film, Television, & Video, Geology, Human Evolution

An inspiring summit, but big challenges at home and afar…

Posted 22 Oct 2016 / 0

A still of Josh Fox in Beijing from his newest documentary, How to Let Go of the World. All in all it was an ambitious evening. I am not sure of how it came that Pratt was able to host a visit from Josh Fox, documentary filmmaker, after a screening of his newest movie How to Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Cultural Evolution, Envirolutions, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Population Pressure, Pratt Institute, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Talks & Seminars

My article on adolescence featured in the This View of Life culture series

Posted 29 Aug 2016 / 0

I am very excited to have an article that I wrote on the adaptive nature of adolescent behavior featured in a new culture series in the This View of Life (TVoL) online magazine. My piece, entitled “Adolescent behavior doesn’t make sense (except in the light of cultural evolution)” summarizes an argument that has been rolling around in Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Development, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Memetic Fitness, Mismatch theory, My publications, Neuroscience, Psychological Adaptation, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction, Sexual Competition, Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Web

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

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

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