One of my most popular posts ever was on Cultural Evolution of Pants. The comments on old posts are off, but recently I got a new one through the “contact me” feature of my site. It was from a French reader named David; here’s the English translation: Hi Peter, I agr
One thing I love about Cultural Evolution is how it makes us look at ordinary things we do every day from a completely new angle. As an example, if you think about it, wearing pants, especially in warmer climates, is a very strange thing. It turns that there is a surprising explanatio
In the previous blog I wrote about the intellectual content of the meeting on evolutionary economics. But the setting was as remarkable as the content. The castle where we met is not open to the general public, and the only way you can gain entrance is by being invited to one of confe
High-heel, over-the-knee boots seem to be back in fashion. But you are highly unlikely to see a man wearing them – that is, unless you go to the new Broadway musical, Kinky Boots. Kinky Boots: Billy Porter as Lola, a drag performer, in this musical at the Al Hirschfeld Theater.
I recently was sent a link to this really wonderful video about birds of paradise. Watch the video, you won’t regret it. The birds of paradise are out of this world: (from Australian Geographic image source) (image source) But beautiful coloration and weird mating rituals are fo
Norbert Elias discusses an interesting case of cultural evolution in his opus magnum, The Civilizing Process. As we know, during the Middle Ages Europeans did not use forks. During meals they simply grabbed greasy pieces of meat from the serving dish with their fingers (or, at best, s
Part I here While classical Greece and Rome produced excellent heavy infantry (hoplites), their cavalry was really pathetic. Yes, some of them (usually, the wealthy) rode horses. Among the Romans the upper class was even called ‘knights’ – equites, from equus, the Latin word for horse
If you are in North America or Western Europe and look around, on any particular day, you will find most people wearing pants. But why is it the standard item of clothing for people, especially men belonging to the Western civilization. Why not a kilt, a robe, a tunic, a sarong, or a