evolution

Chomsky and the evolution of language

Noam Chomsky recently appeared on the Skeptically Speaking podcast to discuss the evolution of language. This got me thinking about the relationship, or lack thereof, between 'scepticism', 'new atheism' and radical politics which will follow in another blog post.

Mutual aid and the foraging mode of thought: Re-reading Kropotkin on the Khoisan - Alan Barnard

This paper utilizes Kropotkin's notion of ‘mutual aid’ and examines specifically Kropotkin's ideas on ‘mutual aid among savages’ and his comments on Khoisan Bushman social organization in light of later ethnographic findings.

Primitive communism and women's role in its emergence

Bushman Rock Art

How did human evolution give rise to a species whose very survival is based on mutual confidence and solidarity? More particularly, what was woman’s role in this process?

This is a review of Christophe Darmangeat's recent book, 'Primitive Communism is Not What it Was'.

On human nature

Arguments I see time and time again against left-wing politics include “human nature will get in the way” or “it ignores human nature”. Recently I’ve even seen this argument trotted out by people on the left, that any future system must “take human nature into account”. It’s fairly clear what is meant here without asking too many questions. Human beings are selfish. Human beings only work in their own self-interest and that this is natural. But I believe this to be wrong. This blog post will hopefully explain why.

'How Noam Chomsky’s World Works', by David Hawkes

How Noam Chomsky’s World Works

Noam Chomsky's political writings are extremely useful for any understanding of the crimes of US imperialism. But his scientific work, whose political implications Chomsky denies, have been coming under increasing criticism from the left.

Recently an academic Marxist author managed to get an interesting critique of Chomsky into The Times Literary Supplement. It raises some interesting concerns.

Engels was Right: Early Human Kinship was Matrilineal

Mother and baby, Hadza tribe, Tanzania

The earliest human institution was not the nuclear family. The latest research now indicates that it was the communistic, female-centred clan.

Engels argued this in 1884. After a century of establishment denial, including complicity by 'Marxists', it now turns out that he was right after all.

Science reading group: 'Ever Since Darwin'

Kickstarting a discussion on Stephen Jay Gould's first popular book form the late 70s, Ever Since Darwin.

Noam Chomsky: Politics or Science?

Noam Chomsky

For over fifty years, Noam Chomsky has been exposing the crimes of the United States military across the world. Less well known is the fact that throughout this time, he was working in an electronics laboratory funded primarily by that same military. This article investigates the paradox, arguing that the Pentagon’s institutional support for Chomsky’s scientific work explains the special passion driving his political stance.

Kropotkin and the scientific community in England in the 1870s and 80s

A short post on a small act of solidarity from a Nature editor in the 1870s.