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

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

Great conversation at my Columbia University Population Biology Seminar talk

Posted 14 Mar 2016 / 0

It was a great honor to speak on this past Monday, March 7th, 2016 as part of Columbia University’s Population Biology seminar series. I gave a talk entitled “Breeders, Propagators, & Creators: Culture, Biology, and the Future of Human Evolution” to a small group of biology faculty and students from a nice diversity of different Read More

A Major Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Uniqueness, Kin Selection, Parenting, Population Pressure, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction

My next Breeders, Propagators, & Creators talk: Columbia University on March 7th, 2016

Posted 25 Feb 2016 / 0

I am excited to be speaking on March 7th, 2016 at Columbia University about the topic of my book-in-progress: Breeders, Propagators, & Creators. The talk, a part of the Columbia Population Biology seminar series, starts at 6 pm at the Faculty House. Here’s an abstract for the talk: For most species, evolutionary immortality can be Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, Public Outreach, Uncategorized

I visit Pratt’s Poetics Lab focused on play

Posted 18 Feb 2016 / 0

Last week I had the privilege of being a guest of Pratt’s Poetics Lab course, whose focus this semester is on play behavior. The course involves a number of different faculty and hosts a bevy of guests but is the brainchild of course coordinator Ira Livingston. My job was to introduce the biological and evolutionary approach to understanding Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Evolution, Evolution Education, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Play, Pratt Institute, Uncategorized

Dan Ariely’s “Arming the Donkeys” podcast

Posted 15 Feb 2016 / 0

Today I have had to work on a really tedious, mindless task for hours on end, so I have tried to take advantage of this time by catching up on some podcasts. I am a big fan of Dan Ariely, both of his science and his efforts to make that science accessible to the public, Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Behavior, Cognitive Bias, Communication, Ethics, Human Uniqueness, Partner Choice, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Social Norms

What do we know about Cultural Transmission?

Posted 29 Jan 2016 / 0

As I have been working on my book-in-progress (Breeders, Propagators, & Creators), I have encountered a difficult-to-answer question of road-block proportions: how do we quantify cultural transmission? The focus of my book is the tradeoff humans face between making babies, spreading existing culture, and inventing new ideas. If such a tradeoff exists, we need to be able Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Belief, Books, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Communication, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Emotion, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Memetic Fitness, Parenting, Psychology, Religion, Sexual Conflict, Sociology