My Theory of Human Evolution (directory)


4 Replies to “My Theory of Human Evolution (directory)”

  1. I read the “Diversity in Learning” article and loved the practical parts of it, though phrasing it in ev-psych terms is too vague for my tastes, esp. when all of these accounts – language development, to take just one – have been treated extensively, thoroughly, and critically. (One example you may enjoy is Arbib’s 2005 article in BBS on language evolution via the mirror-neuron system. Even though MNS has attracted a huge range of loonies, Arbib is about as mainstream neuroscience as it gets; so him sticking his neck out in this way was an event of some note.)

    Anyway, I’m putting together a curriculum for teaching various aspects of the linear model, from linear algebra to multiple regression to the derivation of the multivariate Gaussian distribution (yes, this makes sense in context.) I would love to use your idea “Do 60 hours of work on something having to do with psychology, but it has to be off-campus” but I don’t think that particular phrasing would work in a mathematical class of this sort, or at least, the kinds of applications I can imagine would severely constrain the material, and the material _does_ need to be learned — the student doesn’t have the luxury of learning the stuff that she likes when she’ll need these tools for the rest of her graduate career. In other words, if she doesn’t leave being able to derive and hand-code a multivariate regression, connect this to geometry, and from there to fitting complex surfaces using OLS, then I lose.

    Any thoughts? How does one use the powerful ideas in your paper for more … constricted domains?

  2. Sorry to not reply sooner. I didn’t see this. I suppose my first attempt would be to say to the students: do something you want to do with these ideas. And see what happens. It could involve about 60 hours of work.

  3. As what the saying goes, “The Only Permanent Thing in this World is Change.” Human evolution is happening every now and then and it’s up to us humans how we will adopt and adjust into it. But the only thing I could say is that everything that is happening in our time today, it has a purpose. Only God knows that purpose.

  4. Greetings Seth,

    I read your paper on How Economics Shaped Human Nature and I am impressed by the fresh approach you took as opposed to traditional explanations of human origins and uniqueness.

    I’d like to offer a different approach that also involves some economics and game theory to explaining human origins. The book “Death from a Distance and the Birth of a Humane Universe” (Paul M. Bingham and Joanne Souza, 2009; in my opinion provides a fresh angle at explaining human origins much like yours and also predicts the human future.

    Let me call your attention to the fact that Bingham and Souza’s theory accounts explicitly for why humans first evolved the capacity for “trade” and, thus, provides new insights into the relationship between human evolution and contemporary economic behavior.

    Let me know what you think! [I can probably arrange for the authors to send you a free copy of their book if you are interested in reviewing it. See their website at .]

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