• Adam

Two minor questions asked during Club EvMed sessions

In the interests of keeping a comprehensive record, I'm uploading some minor contributions and questions I made on our weekly Evolutionary Medicine zoom meeting called 'Club EvMed'. Club EvMed is a weekly chance for the evolutionary medicine community to meet and discuss ideas, with a leader presenting on a particular topic, and open discussion afterwards. Anyone interested in evolutionary medicine or psychiatry should definitely check out the full list of uploaded meetings (I have so far attended every meeting and often conversed in the text chat boxes, which are visible beside the videos, but will only post about the times I make an on-screen appearance).

The first was in a discussion by Terence Taylor, who has been working on solving big global political and public health problems by taking lessons from evolutionary theory. I suggest applying the three principles necessary for evolution (variation, reproduction and differential selection) to this process, and wonder if we could optimise our social progress (or evolution) through this understanding. Terence assured me that some of the problems I worried about were less problematic than I assumed. The video is here, my question starts at 38:18.

The second was a shorter question to Randy Nesse, the father of the field, who gave a presentation on the complexity of emotions, our tendency to see them in specific categories which don't hold up to scrutiny. After thanking Randy for recommending I study at the University of Zurich (he had read a synopsis of my book and suggested I develop it within a PhD there), I ask about whether the complexity and vagueness which we see between emotions could not also apply to thoughts, and logic, and language. Where can we really draw the line? The video is here, my question starts at 49:25.

As long as is practical, I will use this 'content' page to keep posting every such appearance, no matter how minor, out of the interests of being thorough (and understanding that there may come a time this is extremely useful, to myself and others!). I might end up using a (minor) in the title to differentiate proper publications from such minor forms of content.