Tag Archives: evolution

The evolution of animal ‘cultures’ and social intelligence

Decades-long field research has flowered into integrative studies that, together with experimental evidence for the requisite social learning capacities, have indicated a reliance on multiple traditions (‘cultures’) in a small number of species. It is increasingly evident that there is great variation … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Culture, Evolution, Social intelligence | Tagged , , ,

Origins of Human Communication

Human communication is grounded in fundamentally cooperative, even shared, intentions. In this original and provocative account of the evolutionary origins of human communication, Michael Tomasello connects the fundamentally cooperative structure of human communication (initially discovered by Paul Grice) to the … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Evolution, Human communication, Humans | Tagged , , ,

Why We Cooperate

Drop something in front of a two-year-old, and she’s likely to pick it up for you. This is not a learned behavior, psychologist Michael Tomasello argues. Through observations of young children in experiments he himself has designed, Tomasello shows that … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Evolution, Linguistic | Tagged , ,

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 , , , , , , ,