The moral codes of other human species

The complex sets of drives and calculations that we call morality rise from our basic human instincts toward reciprocity, fairness, and empathy. These instincts are called prosocial because they promote cohesion and harmony in the social context of herds, packs, and families. However, humans are not alone in having prosocial instincts. Many, indeed MOST, mammals show prosocial … More The moral codes of other human species

The Meaning and Meaninglessness of Genealogy

The practice of genealogy, researching one’s ancestors and family tree, has exploded lately. Ancestry.com has become a huge success, boasting millions of subscribers and a net worth well over half a billion dollars. Many, if not most, families in the US have at least one person actively researching the long-forgotten twists and turns of their … More The Meaning and Meaninglessness of Genealogy

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!

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?

Modern Humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for thousands of years

Summary Using enhanced dating techniques, a new study found that Neanderthals and Modern Humans co-existed in Europe for thousands of years, much longer than previously thought This opens up new questions about how Neanderthals and Modern Humans interacted with each other. Neanderthals may have had more influence on modern humans than previously thought, including trade, … More Modern Humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for thousands of years