Welcome
Questions?
But Always Me.
Who Are You?
A Glass Darkly
Without a Song
Can't Go Home
Man Myth Legend
Men of Honor
Mad With Power
To Deceive
Of Mice and Men
School Days
Love & Happiness
Strange Streets
Health & Fitness
Sports Fans
What Dreams
The Matrix
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"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer - German philosopher (1788 - 1860)

It is the hope of this web space to engage the reader in a fundamental, thoughtful and far reaching discussion ON HUMAN NATURE.  What began for us as an examination of health and fitness based on evolutionary theory and knowledge of ancestral ways has expanded greatly, well beyond its original intent, to include a search for an understanding of the very unique nature of man himself.  Along the way we have observed the aura of extraordinary and incredible contingencies that have led to the evolution of a mind with the ambition to analyze its own nature.  The question remains open, however, as to whether this exceptional mind has the objectivity and honesty to answer the questions of who we are and why.

One thing that has become apparent to us is that an honest and through examination, of all issues regarding human nature, is vitally important to solving man’s problems, be they health and fitness, psychological, spiritual, cultural or existential.  We have come to believe that the challenges and dilemmas facing modern man can only be met if we are able to adequately answer the question: Who are we, really?

As a starting point we wish to acknowledge the enormous contribution of Harvard Zoologist, Edward O. Wilson in his seminal work “On Human Nature.”  This book, more than any other on the subject, has inspired us to continue this investigation; and so we choose its title as our domain name.

Some problems cannot be handled within borders of a single intellectual discipline.  It would seem that human nature and the origin of humankind is one of these problems.  No matter which aspect of that subject interests you, you inevitably find yourself looking at everything - or so it seems. Owing to the enormity of this endeavor, readers will almost certainly be greeted with this symbol at the end of each chapter.

It is simply recognition that this study will obviously always be a work in progress, as we attempt to deliberate our way through the tangle of interrelated issues that define man.

A word of warning!  What we are about to undertake may be too revealing for some.  Not everyone may wish to be conscious of who we are and why evolution has played such a dominate role in shaping us.  Please be aware that although many notable researchers and writers in the area of evolution and evolutionary psychology may themselves be atheists, we do not understand evolution to be incompatible with the purposeful actions of a Creator.  Quite the contrary, we see the extraordinary and elegant mechanisms behind the process of natural selection as confirmation of an Intelligence that we can only begin to grasp.  Further, the evidence, of the highly improbable contingencies necessary for man’s ascendency through this process of evolution, argues all too powerfully that left to chance alone, it is against all odds.

As we move forward in a topic, we will identify our relative progress by means of a star rating - from one to five, indicating how far we believe we have proceeded.  These stars will be posted at the top of each subject area page, and in the description sections below, to help the reader determine how much progress we feel the project has made in that area.  Additionally, topic areas that have seen recent updated information will be identified with this update symbol.

 So let us begin our journey here and try to look back to a scene some many millenniums ago; to a place where time, evolution and some extraordinary contingencies resulted in Homo sapiens sapiens.

 

 
Questions?

Never was a subject so filled with “hot button” issues as the subject of human nature. Obviously, the closer one is to an issue, personally that is, the more difficult it is to view it clearly. Add to that, the political ideology, the religious connotations, and the threatening nature that innovative thinking has on academic authorities, and it is not surprising that this subject, more than any other, raises obstacles to pure inquiry unlike any other in the social science field.

But Always Me.

So as through a glass, and darkly

The age long strife I see

Where I fought in many guises,

Many names, but always me.

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY by Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

 

Who Are You?

Edward O. Wilson poses the question of just why is our brain architected the way it is and not in some other way?  He answers the question by postulating that its design “promotes the survival and multiplication of the genes that direct its assembly.”

But did nature design it to promote our wellbeing in the twenty-first century or in 20,000 BC?

          

A Glass Darkly

For now we see as through a glass, darkly

 but then face to face;

now I know in part,

but then I will know fully

just as I also have been fully known.

(1 Corinthians 13:12)

Without a Song

I'll never know what makes the rain to fall

I'll never know what makes the grass so tall

I only know there ain't no love at all

Without a song!!

Did music precede language in the development of the human species? What is music for, and why does every human culture have it?

       

You Can't Go Home Again

Within a few thousand years much of humanity had come to rely on a few starchy crops for the overwhelming bulk of their calories. The population expanded in areas given over to agricultural to the point that they could not be supported by a return to a nomadic hunter-gathering way of life.

Man, The Myth, The Legend

Why does myth and legend so domanate human existence?

How is narrative construction related to the human mind and its cognitive capacities?

We Are All Men of Honor

“In order to search for a new morality based upon a more truthful definition of man, it is necessary to look inward, to dissect the machinery of the mind and to retrace its evolutionary history...innate censors and motivators exist in the brain that deeply and unconsciously affect our ethical premises; from these roots, morality evolved as instinct.”

--Edward O. Wilson

Mad With Power

Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

Euripides (c. 480BC-406BC)

Other have said "Those whom God wishes to destroy, He first makes mad with power."

Why would power drive men mad?  Is power something foreign to our nature?

To Deceive

Did the knowledge of good and evil involve the ability to deceive, and did dishonesty confer upon our ancestors an advantage over more guileless cohorts who lost out in the evolutionary competition?

Why did self-deception take root in the human mind and is the propensity for self-deception probably part of our nature because it was so helpful to us in our dealings with one another?

Of Mice and Men

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.

From Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse, 1786

         

School Days

Is the modern day classroom the right environment for our children to learn and thrive?

Are young males especially incompatible with the traditional classroom?

Where did the classroom come from, and was it selected for the correct reasons as the best setting for learning?

   

Love & Happiness

Love and happiness

Wait a minute...
something's going wrong...

Make you do right...
love'll make you do wrong...

         

Strange Streets

Is life a city of many strange streets?

Was man with his stone age brain, evolved to meet the challenges of the ice age hunter-gather, meant to live in cities?

And once we accepted civilization, with its division of labor, its military power, its rulers, and yes, its tyranny, was there any way back to the old ways?

Health & Fitness

Yes, we should celebrate the magnificent animals that human beings are. No other animal can do the things humans can do. We live in more varied altitudes and climates than any other creature. We can run down a horse and kill or worship it. Climb a tree or swim a river. And we are more playful than the adult versions of other animals. Our minds are a gift beyond those of any other animal. I enjoy these gifts and celebrate them.

--Dr. Arthur De Vanny

Sports Fans

Just what is the obsession with team sports and why are sports fans primarily male? 

Do modern team sports mimic ancestral hunting activities? 

And if so, were such activities predominantly male?

What Dreams May Come

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil...

That undiscover'd country from whose bourne
No traveller returns, puzzles the will...

The Matrix

 Problem:

"We don't know what it is that we don't know."


There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
--Hamlet