I’m rarely excited or impressed by information presented on health & fitness blogs any longer; a key reason being that I’ve come to recognize that so much of what’s out there lacks scientific & evolutionary depth and therefore scores poorly in terms of its accuracy and durability. Every now and then though, I’m swept off my feet. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I’m thrilled, as I’ve come to learn that well-grounded & full-bodied informational items are far from a dime a dozen.
Typically, on the rare occasion when I come across such gems, I feel a need to let others know, so as to draw attention to the discovery. For example, quite recently, I put up a post here on the site in which I talked about a fascinating new paper on the human microbiome I’d stumbled across. A few years back, I also devoted an article to Art Ayers’ blog entitled Cooling Inflammation, which is truly remarkable with respects to its originality and the wealth of high-quality medical information it contains.
In today’s article, I thought I’d turn my attention to another blog – one that I dicovered a lot more recently. The blog, which has the great, alluring name Darwin’s Subterranean World, is authored by Glenn Geher, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at New Paltz. It’s published alongside other contents on Psychology Today, yet has a distinct, original feel to it.
The magnificence of evolutionary psychology
Not so long ago, I put up a comprehensive article about evolutionary psychology here on the site. In that piece, I stated that the mind can be understood via evolutionary thinking. This assertion may perhaps come across as being overly bold and provocative, at least to some. However, to others, it’ll likely resonate. I strongly suspect that one such person is Glenn Geher, based on the impression I’ve gotten of him off of his articles.
The following statement, derived from his blog, emphasises this point…
The Darwinian perspective on behavior has the capacity to shed light on all facets of the human experience.
Like me, Glenn is of the belief that we can learn a hell of a lot (excuse the language) about the human mind from looking back at the evolutionary journey that brought us to where we are today. The insights glaened from such a perspective can – and most certainly will – help us make sense of why we do what we do. Not only that, but it can help us make sense of how we should live our lives in order to attain a sense of fullfilment and satisfaction.
As for the latter inquiry, Geher posits that the key isn’t material or financial wealth, but rather the social connections and relationships one maintains and the things that one contributes to others and to the world, a view that strikes a chord with me. Needless to say, in the modern world, money is required to live. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wise to make one’s life a chase for more green dollar bills though. I’d challenge Gordon Gekko and say that greed is not good!
This statement may appear to go against Darwinian logic, but in reality it doesn’t. When looking back at human evolution, it quickly becomes clear that kindness, altriusm, and reciprocity have generally trumped greed and selfishness. After all, we’re social, gene-sharing creatures who depend on others for survival and reproduction.
The articles of Glenn Geher
Okay, with that being said, let’s jump in with some of Glenn Geher’s articles. Below, I’ve listed some of the ones I’ve explored and liked, listed by date (from most recent to oldest). If you want more, just drop by this page.
- Positive Evolutionary Psychology
- Don’t Ever Talk to Me Again
- Understanding Evolution Makes You Smarter
- The Dark Side of Cell Phones
- Darwin’s Bucket List
- Darwin’s Advice for Parents
- Evolutionary Mismatch Explained
Main picture: Background photo created by kjpargeter – www.freepik.com