The Primate Diaries

Archives for October, 2009

Science and the Worship of Truth

I am tremendously excited to have David Sloan Wilson as a member of ScienceBlogs, and having had a small role in his decision is extremely gratifying. However, I take serious issue with the thesis of his first entry that bears the subtitle “Science as a Religion that Worships Truth as its God.” This sat uncomfortably…

Female chimpanzee with her infant requests meat after a successful hunt. Image: David Bygott / Tree of Life Web Project Owen Lovejoy’s recent paper about Ardipithecus ramidus and human origins (see my detailed critique here) bases its argument on the male provisioning observed in chimpanzees. However, what went unacknowledged in his theory was the inherent…

David Sloan Wilson Joins ScienceBlogs

For those of you who don’t know his work, I encourage you to check it out immediately (if not sooner). Among my favorites are Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior and the book that became the title of his blog, Evolution For Everyone. It’s a testament to the power of social media…

In a shocking reversal after denying climate science for decades, a spokesperson for the US Chamber of Commerce (the world’s largest business advocacy group) announced yesterday that they have reversed their historical stance on the issue of global climate change. According to the press release carried by The New York Times, Reuters, CNBC, the Washington…

Scientia Pro Publica #14 is Here

Click on over to Genetic Influence for the latest edition of this biweekly science carnival. Some great editions have been selected and it’s a pleasure to be among their company.

“Keeping an open mind is a virtue, but, as the space engineer James Oberg once said, not so open that your brains fall out.” – Carl Sagan On Saturday Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic magazine and author of numerous books including Why Darwin Matters, posted an “Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations”: Bill, your…

David Horsey / Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Grand evolutionary dramas about human origins capture our imagination and the stories provide context as to how we view ourselves. They are the scientific version of creation myths. However, unlike Adam and Eve being fashioned in the garden or humanity being vomited up by the giant Mbombo (as the Bakuba people of Congo believed), scientific…

Classical literature has judged Helen of Troy harshly. Because she chose Paris after having children with Menelaus, her chroniclers condemn her for the destruction of a great society. In Homer’s Odyssey the bard writes: Helen would never have yielded herself to a man from a foreign country, if she had known that the sons of…

The Potent Fear of Male Menopause

Three products that profit on male insecurities (Enzyte, Viagra and Tiger Penis Wine) Note: the third image is from a campaign to encourage people to stop, not an actual ad. In my earlier posts I explored why women experience menopause and discussed the Grandmother Hypothesis as a leading explanation. There is accumulating evidence that suggests…