If you are looking for our current/this month’s agenda, please check the main page for posts. Otherwise, keep reading….
It has been said that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution (Dobzhansky, 1973; quoted and paraphrased innumerable times since).” The biology and physiology of human beings, brains included, would seem to fall within the scope of this observation. In truth, we have barely begun to understand and appreciate how our bodies and brains, with their tendencies, preferences and behavioral repertoires, were shaped by evolutionary processes. Still, most fields, both academic and applied, concerned with the health, wellbeing and behavior of human beings, pay little to no reference to evolution. How can this be?
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” My prediction (shared by others far smarter than I am): Someday, soon, the same will be said about medicine (1, 2, 3), psychology (1, 2, 3), and all the fields concerned with human health, wellness, and behavior. Thinkers in the not-so-distant future, say 25 to 50 years from now, will wonder why we failed to be more curious, why we seemed so reluctant to adopt an evolutionary lens to better understand ourselves, why we failed to more actively synthesize evolutionary ideas into our prevailing models and approaches, and why we were so slow to realize that innovative approaches to modern problems were buried right there, at our feet, in our collective past.
Evolution Science & Behavior Study Group
This group will study behavior within the context of humans as the product of biological evolution and as agents of cultural evolution. The scope of this group will be broader than the fields known as evolutionary psychology or sociobiology and will consider evolutionary perspectives for a broad range of applied behavioral sciences, including prevention science, education, and the functioning of individuals, groups and organizations. In other words, if a topic pertains to evolutionary processes and their potential to help us thrive and ameliorate suffering, it’s fair game!
This group’s primary role will be to organize and support participants’ active learning and to do so in community with others with similar interests.
Format: We are currently imagining an after-hours meeting (>5 pm) in an informal setting. This group will be for healthcare and behavioral health care professionals and perhaps others with a professional interest in evolution science.
Details: Our first meeting was held in February. We agreed to meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month @ 6 pm going forward. Please look for updates and more details in posts on the main page. If you missed the early meetings, no worries, just join in when you can.
Cost: Your time and a light commitment to do some reading and show up.
Teresa Valliere and I (Joel Guarna) will share the duties of coordinating this group. Please contact me if you are interested in joining us.
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Examples of the kind of topics we will study:
David Sloan Wilson on Evolutionary Mismatch:
- David Sloan Wilson, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Departments of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13903.
- Steven C. Hayes, Foundation Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557-0062.
- Anthony Biglan, Senior Scientist, Oregon Research Institute, 1715 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97403.
- Dennis D. Embry, CEO, PAXIS, Inc. Tucson, Arizona.
Steven Hayes on Symbolic Behavior, Behavioral Psychology, and the Clinical Importance of Evolution Science
- Other videos on the Evolutionary Mismatch series from This View of Life
- The following requires you to be a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) and to log-in: Evolving the Future by David Sloan Wilson
Dobzhansky, Theodosius (1973). “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” The American Biology Teacher, March.