Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Have we outgrown the scale of cooperation supported by the Big Gods of Big Religion?

Posted 08 Sep 2015 / 0

Cliodynamica “From Big Gods to the Big Brother” There are a bunch of really interesting ideas in this post, particularly related to the challenges associated with scaling up cooperation. As Turchin nicely points out, once you get past the tribal scale reputation alone — even fueled by the power of gossip — is not going Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Behavior, Belief, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, History, Human Uniqueness, Multilevel Selection, Punishment, Religion, Reputation, Social Norms, Web

Peter Turchin on Steven Pinker’s “Grand Deception” hypotheses

Posted 26 Jun 2012 / 0

Social Evolution Forum “The ‘Big Mistake’ and ‘Grand Deception’ Hypotheses: Alternatives to CMLS?” These are flaws in Pinker’s arguments that I failed to identify in my own critique, and Turchin prevents some valuable insights. This idea that the human mind can be so easily parasitized or ‘cuckolded’ by ideas is strange, casting ideas and culture as Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Belief, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Memetic Fitness, Phenotypic Plasticity, Psychological Adaptation, Web

Peter Turchin on the “Dark Side of Cultural Evolution”

Posted 18 May 2012 / 0

Social Evolution Forum Peter Turchin “The Dark Side of Cultural Evolution” I love the evolutionary nuance unravelled in this post: both the idea of “staged traits” and the strong assertion that traits are produced by networks of genes are critical subtleties often ignored by evolutionary hypotheses. I am a bit skeptical, however, about the assumption Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Cultural Evolution, Mismatch theory