That sounds like a stupid question, but it’s actually not because most other species are not as grossed out by vomit as we are. Humans have a particular aversion toward the sight or smell of puke. We find it utterly revolting. And if we actually witness someone tossing their cookies, our reaction can be so strong that we … More Why Do We Find Puke So Gross?
It is readily apparent that humans are, by far, the most intelligent species on the planet. How this came to be, however, is anything but clear. Our substantial cognitive abilities are made possible by our enormous brains. When it comes to brain size (relative to body size), humans have the largest brains of any vertebrate. … More Is Violence What Made Humans Smarter than Other Animals?
A close friend recently made a post on Facebook that read in part that “the world is going to hell in a handbasket” because she had just seen a television commercial on late night cable that advertised a social networking site designed to facilitate discreet sexual affairs among married people. It’s not an uncommon phrase. This reaction … More The World is NOT Going to Hell in a Handbasket!
Summary Considering the current and past cultural functions of art can reveal how it may have evolved in humans. Art uses a visual stimulus to evoke an emotional state, and/or to promote recall of past events or past emotional states. The use of art would have had clear benefits in early humans for communication, education, cooperation, … More How did art evolve in humans?
(A discussion of how fear and anxiety evolved in animals is found in my book.) Some animals are genetically programmed to fear their predators. Mice naturally fear cats; fish naturally fear birds. But what about humans? Are we naturally disposed to fear certain dangerous animals? It is certainly true that some things are feared more commonly than … More Are Humans Predisposed to Fear Snakes?
Gluttony is the overindulgence and over-consumption of food and drink and its something pretty much all of us are guilty of from time to time. We all love to eat. We especially crave rich, calorie-packed foods. Knowing that we “shouldn’t” often makes no difference at all. How often has your willpower collapsed at the sight … More The Evolution of Human Gluttony
Summary Anatomically modern humans first appeared around 200,000 years ago, but small changes in skull shape continued until around 50,000 years ago. A new study has revealed that several of the changes in the shape of the human face can be explained by a gradual drop in the levels of circulating testosterone. High testosterone is … More Did a Drop in Testosterone Civilize Modern Humans?