Ever since Darwin shined a bright light — by far the brightest — into the deep and dark cavern of the mystery of life, there has been some progress in understanding how human minds have evolved into their present form. While it is no doubt that the development of the human mind is a Darwinian matter and will ultimately be explained under Darwinian terms, the exact mechanisms by which the human mind has evolved still remain a mystery.

It is my contention that the best explanation that has been advanced for understanding the evolution of the human mind is the…


(NOTE: Whenever I mention “inequality” in this piece, which is a lot, I am referring to inequality of outcome not inequality of opportunity or inequality under the law, even if I don’t explicitly state that at each occurrence of the word).

Environmental Inequality

In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, the great economist Thomas Sowell reminds us that there are many factors that contribute to inequality, one of them simply being geography. Among the many reasons why there were unequal outcomes between different countries in the past include that some countries had lush, fertile land and a habitable climate, while others were harsh deserts…


Emotion, Cognition, and Automaticity

A myth continues to dominate discussions about emotions, which is that emotions are irrational. Fundamentally, this myth follows from the mistaken belief that emotion and cognition are distinct mechanisms in the mind, where the former refers to feeling states and the latter refers to information processing, including thinking and calculation. This view largely comes from psychology research that was done in the 1980s, which led to the widespread notion that emotion was independent of and primary to cognition. …


A picture of Charles Darwin.

A human being is like a prism that separates time into its component parts in his mind. Existing in the present, his memories extend fingers into the past, and his planning and thinking reach hands into the future. More than this, he is not just a flesh-and-blood organism existing in the present, but is a library of ancient knowledge descending through the thin crust of present existence through the sedimentary strata of evolutionary time. By looking at humanity across millions of years of time we see that humans are not designed to live in the modern context. Even an organ…

Alexander Mackiel

Wannabe scientist. Interested in evolutionary theory, human nature: conflict and cooperation, violence, morality, emotion, etc. Follow me on Twitter: @ajmackiel

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