Browsing All Posts filed under »Blogs«

The New Guinea Puzzle

September 1, 2014 by


On several occasions, when I presented the results of our model and data analysis that support the idea that the primary engine of the evolution of large-scale states is warfare, people objected by saying that there are lots of places on earth where warfare is very intense, but no states formed. One of the most […]

Counterproductive Way of War

August 28, 2014 by


Over the last two years I’ve written a number of blogs exploring the role of warfare in cultural group selection (you can see these blogs collected under the heading Ways of War in Popular Blogs and Series). Today I’d like to return to the question, What makes war productive as an engine of cultural evolution? […]

Reflections on the Evolution Institute Board Meeting (Just Concluded)

August 24, 2014 by


I am at the Newark Airport returning home from a two-day board meeting of the Evolution Institute (EI), the think tank that I helped to create that formulates public policy from an evolutionary perspective. The members of the board are widely dispersed so we do most of our business by email, phone, and Skype. This […]

The War over War, Part II

August 18, 2014 by


In the first installment I argued against extreme positions about the prevalence of warfare in the Pleistocene. One problem underlying the controversy over warfare in the early human history is that different people use different definitions of war. So let me be clear and say what definition I use. It comes from the questions and […]

The War over War

August 12, 2014 by


I periodically get asked, what do I think about the controversy over Steven Pinker’s Better Angels? Truth is, I did not find anything particularly new in the book. For those of us interested in the role of war in social evolution most of the empirical material he goes over is quite familiar. There is a […]

Paleo Diet and Fire

August 7, 2014 by


It’s been a while since my last update on the Paleo diet (perhaps a better name for it is ‘Post-Neolithic diet’). Here are the links to previous blogs on this theme: As long-time readers of my blog remember, I switched to Paleo diet in May of 2012. Within two months I noticed […]

Ebola and Applied Cultural Evolution—You Can Help

August 2, 2014 by


A colleague of mine named Beate Ebert started a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) called Commit and Act in Sierra Leone. They run a psychosocial center in Bo, a city in the south of Sierra Leone, led by a local counselor, Hannah Bockarie. Bo is a high risk area of the Ebola epidemic, where some of the […]


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