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Bullet Points from 10-17-07 Meeting

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago



NOTES FROM 10.17.07


Brian Rotman


RAND Corporation


Merlin Donald on Darwin

    Too conservative?

    Bird song vs Language: erode the distinction

    Mimicking as the genesis of language


What is the face saying? 

What is it signalling?  How much information does it contain, and what types?


Genetics of facial structure, features, expressions (Kerri's research)

    Bioinformatic device via sexual selection

    Face is honest signalling: difficult to make look nice (peacock's tail), must reflect strong genes

    "Buy a guitar" - find other modes of courtship

    Miller's brain is a courtship device


Is biological signalling always honest?  No

    Brain is perfect for cheating mechanisms

    Genetics signalling is forced into honesty

    Signals for fidelity or support can be dishonest (cerebral)


Parental Investment

    - an energetic drain?  or interactive learning?

    - why do the genes care if the father and child learn from one another?

         - improves child's chances of survival and reproduction (the "sexy son")

    - a good father is always attractive: what's hotter than investment?



Dawkins needs to read James

    "No atheists in foxholes"

       - "'There are no atheists in foxholes' isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes." - James Morrow

       - Hitler's dream:


Hitler was sleeping in a fox hole during the first war, when her was awakened by a nightmare of his mouth full of dirt. Choking, he got up and walked away from the fox hole to "get some air." Then a shell made a direct hit on his foxhole. All hands were killed except Hitler. He concluded that he had been spared by divine intervention.


Is a sacred vision useful?



Feminist reactions to sexual selection

    - the Dahlem volume? mid 80s


Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and the Instinct to Alter Consciousness

by Giorgio Samorini (Author), Rob Montgomery (Foreword), Robert Montgomery (Author)


"Miller on drugs"

    - psychedelics increasing articulation?


Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend

    by Frank Sulloway


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