Evolution Institute

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Evolution, the theory that has already proven itself for understanding the rest of life, is equally relevant for understanding the human condition. With understanding comes the capacity for improvement. Thus, evolutionary theory can be used to improve the quality of human life in a practical sense. I have dedicated the last five years of my…

EVOLUTION:THIS VIEW OF LIFE is a new online general interest magazine in which all of the content is from an evolutionary perspective. It includes content aggregated from the internet and new content generated by a team of editors, all professional evolutionists, representing eleven subject areas. The editors work for free, in the same spirit as…

In 1975–before most current graduate students were born–Edward O. Wilson published his landmark book titled Sociobiology. Its central thesis was that there could be a single science of social behavior, based upon evolutionary theory, that covered all species, from microbes to humans. With one major exception, Sociobiology was regarded as a triumph. The main bone…

In my previous post, I took an esteemed colleague to task for his statements about group selection. In this post I will do the same for his statements on a different subject–cultural evolution. Before continuing, I want to explain why I am zeroing in on Jerry Coyne. It is not because I have been driven…

The Neighborhood Project is written for the full spectrum of readers, from inquisitive high school students to my professorial colleagues. I look forward to reading the reviews by the experts, which I expect to reveal the diversity of opinion that I already know exists among the cognoscenti. So far, there have been three reviews by…

Only one reason for ignoring the E-word remains to be considered: All branches of knowledge should ideally be consistent with each other, but every branch need not be consulted for the study of any particular branch. I rarely feel the need to consult quantum physics when I study evolution, and perhaps evolution rarely needs to…

Working backwards through our four reasons to ignore evolution, we have shown that smart people don’t necessary converge on the facts of the matter from different starting positions (4) and that reasoning on the basis of design benefits from knowledge about the designing process (3). Here is our next reason for ignoring the E-word (2):…

With Tinbergen’s four questions in mind (II), we can continue examining the reasons why evolution might be irrelevant for the study of a particular trait, even though the trait is a product of evolution. Reason #4 has already been considered (I) and this post will consider reason # 3: The concept of design long predates…

If you’re an economist, you know about Jan Tinbergen, who shared the first Nobel Prize in Economics with Ragnar Frisch in 1969 for his work on dynamic models of economic processes. If you’re an evolutionist, you know about the other Tinbergen, Jan’s younger brother Niko, who shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine with Konrad Lorenz…

I spend much of my time talking with people about subjects, such as education or economics, that have not been traditionally approached from an evolutionary perspective. For me, evolution provides a framework for thinking about all living processes, a fact that is already established for the biological sciences and is in the process of becoming…