The Primate Diaries

Archives for September, 2009

Over the years anthropologists have had a good deal to say about notions of power and inequality. For example, the late CUNY anthropologist Eric R. Wolf took his early experiences working with peasants in Puerto Rico to explore these larger questions in the global system. In the opening to his book Envisioning Power he wrote:…

SUNY-Binghampton evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson currently has a response to my review “Survival of the Kindest” up at Seedmagazine.com. In his response he suggests that Dawkinsian critics such as Frans de Waal and Joan Roughgarden have adopted a group selection perspective in all but name: Rejecting group selection was wrong. The rejection of group…

Survival of the Kindest

Seed magazine has just posted my review of Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society. I wanted to use this opportunity to thank Nikki, Evan, Bora and everyone else that helped in developing this piece. For posts on related topics please see Misunderstanding Dawkins, The Sacrifice of Admetus, Bonobos…

Author’s Note: This piece is a continuation of my article “Survival of the Kindest” that appeared in Seed magazine. As an undergraduate in biology and anthropology I read every one of Dawkins’ books voraciously and would get into heated debates with my close friends about the Dawkins-Gould rivalry. He was one of the primary voices…

Scientia Pro Publica #12 at The Lab Rat

Scientia Pro Publica, the biweekly blog carnival of science, is now up at The Lab Rat. Rats and primates haven’t always gotten along, but I appreciate the interspecies support in the inclusion of my recent piece. Thanks for another great edition.

Fair and balanced ain’t what it used to. The Huffington Post has published video of FOXNews producer Heidi Noonan encouraging protesters at the 9/12 event to be loud and boisterous while Griff Jenkins “reported” on their outrage. Noonan is seen motioning to the crowd periodically while speaking to an unknown individual on her cell phone.…

Heracles battles Death for generosity’s sake / Frederic Lord Leighton (1869-71) Whereas great scientific theories stand the test of time when they accurately predict the natural world through repeated empirical trials, great literature transcends the ages when it speaks to universal qualities of human experience. Such inspirational works can also, without the authors realizing at…

What If Star Wars Was Made By Environmentalists?

In fitting in with the recent sightings of conspiracy minded Stormtroopers here at ScienceBlogs I thought I would add my own contribution to the remix. Here Derrick Jensen tells the story of the little known early version of the film before it was optioned to an unknown director named George Lucas (starts off slow, but…

Bonobos “Red in Tooth and Claw”

As part of the series of reposts leading up to my review of Frans de Waal’s newest book The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society I present the third of three pieces that appeared after Ian Parker’s 2007 article “Swingers” appeared in The New Yorker. In my earlier pieces “Bonobo (Re)Visions” as…

The Audacity of Nope

Buffalo News / Adam Zyglis “As hypocrisy is said to be the highest compliment to virtue, the art of lying is the strongest acknowledgment of the force of truth.” – William Hazlitt, “On Patronage and Puffing”, 1822