The Decline of Violence in Homo sapiens

Science is finally making real progress on the question of how our species achieved a mostly nonviolent social harmony. … More The Decline of Violence in Homo sapiens

From Woodpeckers to Apes: Competition Drives the Correlation between Brain Size and Group Size

A new study of woodpeckers adds nuance to the relationship between brain power and social interactions. … More From Woodpeckers to Apes: Competition Drives the Correlation between Brain Size and Group Size

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

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!