Is Violence What Made Humans Smarter than Other Animals?

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?

The World is NOT Going to Hell in a Handbasket!

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!

Are Humans Predisposed to Fear Snakes?

(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?

Did a Drop in Testosterone Civilize Modern Humans?

 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?