Thanks to Thinking Meat for this article in the Economist. It challenges the idea that our Pliocene hunter gather past was some form of ideal society. Romanticism without evidence was a de facto theme of my recent concern about Dave Pollard and his polyamorous intentional communities. I have given up there by the way, see the comments here.

Now there is a lot we can learn from that past, but we need to be careful. It is not only the danger of idealism, but also of naive scientific determinism. I have the Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology on the table beside me and it has some great material. However an evolutionary disposition, does not make a certain type of behaviour inevitable, it just makes it more likely with the right environmental trigger. It is the old nature/nurture argument again: nature creates dispositions, but nurture provides the stimulus, and therein lies our pragmatic responsibility.

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