Dan Slater

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A Taliban fighter looks at Taliban flags and posters of leaders in Kabul on Aug. 25. (AP)

Taliban political leader Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Kabul after two decades in exile, promising to form a coalition government — one that the Taliban would almost certainly control. But the frantic efforts this week by foreigners and Afghans seeking to exit the country, and Thursday’s bombings at the Kabul airport, do little to suggest a calm transition to Taliban rule.

By seizing power through a military victory against an incumbent regime, the Taliban joins the ranks of dozens of other regimes over the past 75 years that formed after successful armed rebellion. Our research suggests the Taliban will confront an immediate hurdle: holding its ranks together before it can hope to consolidate control over Afghanistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

A couple of evolutionary psychologists recently published a book about human sexual behavior in prehistory called “Sex at Dawn.” Upon hearing of the project, one colleague, dubious that a modern scholar could hope to know anything about that period, asked them, “So what do you do, close your eyes and dream?”

Actually, it’s a little more involved. Evolutionary psychologists who study mating behavior often begin with a hypothesis about how modern humans mate: say, that men think about sex more than women do. Then they gather evidence — from studies, statistics and surveys — to support that assumption. Finally, and here’s where the leap occurs, they construct an evolutionary theory to explain why men think about sex more than women, where that gender difference came from, what adaptive purpose it served in antiquity, and why we’re stuck with the consequences today.…  Seguir leyendo »