Category Archives: Evolution

Sequence Memory Constraints Give Rise to Language-Like Structure through Iterated Learning

Human language is composed of sequences of reusable elements. The origins of the sequential structure of language is a hotly debated topic in evolutionary linguistics. In this paper, we show that sets of sequences with language-like statistical properties can emerge … Continue reading

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The great struggles of life: Darwin and the emergence of evolutionary psychology.

Darwin envisioned a scientific revolution for psychology. His theories of natural and sexual selection identified two classes of struggles–the struggle for existence and the struggle for mates. The emergence of evolutionary psychology and related disciplines signals the fulfillment of Darwin’s … Continue reading

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Updating Darwin: Information and entropy drive the evolution of life

The evolution of species, according to Darwin, is driven by struggle – by competition between variant autonomous individuals for survival of the fittest and reproductive advantage; the outcome of this struggle for survival is natural selection. The Neo-Darwinians reframed natural … Continue reading

Posted in Complexity, Entropy, Evolution | Tagged , ,

The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy

Hierarchical organization—the recursive composition of sub-modules—is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Evolutionary complexity, Hierarchy | Tagged , ,

Evolution – Taxonomies of Cognition

From world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal, a groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic. What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or … Continue reading

Posted in Animal cognition, Animals, Cognition, Evolution, Intelligence | Tagged , , , ,

Darwin Day Revelation: Evolution, Not Religion, is the Source of Morality

There you have it: the elemental fear that belief in evolution will cause morality to collapse. That fear is predicated on a powerful assumption: that morality comes to us from God via religion. This is false. It is demonstrably false. … Continue reading

Posted in Cooperation, Evolution, Moral, Moral consciousness, Moral intelligence, Morality | Tagged , , , , ,

Autopoiesis and Spirituality

The term “autopoiesis” was introduced by Maturana and Varela around 1972 by combining the Greek words auto (self-) and poiesis (creation, production) to refer to the mechanism by which living systems continually produce themselves as autonomous unities. “When we speak … Continue reading

Posted in Autopoiesis, Autopoietic organization, Autopoietic systems, Complexity & change, Complexity theory, Evolution, Evolutionary complexity, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Thinking Big: How the Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind

We are at a pivotal moment in understanding our remote ancestry and its implications for how we live today. The barriers to what we can know about our distant relatives have been falling as a result of scientific advance, such … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Human mind, Social life | Tagged , ,

The Long Evolutionary History of Play

Play has long been considered an enigmatic behavior that is hard to define, but having many putative functions difficult to confirm. This situation is changing quite rapidly in recent years. This introduction to a special issue on play provides some … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Evolution, Human sociality, Humans, Play | Tagged , , , ,

The Emergence of Complexity in Language: An Evolutionary Perspective

Like an increasing number of linguists and other scholars especially interested in the evolution and/or the ontogenetic development of language, the author claims that languages are complex adaptive systems (CAS). These have been characterized as reflecting complex dynamics of interactive … Continue reading

Posted in Complex adaptive systems, Complexity, Emergence, Evolution, Evolutionary complexity, Language | Tagged , , , , ,