Looking at Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein’s Book (2020) “A Hunter Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century” (Part 1 of 16)

0001 Twenty-two thousand years ago, during the maximum of the last ice age, people roamed (along with other large mammals) in a land that bridged modern-day Siberia and Alaska.  Glaciers on the eastern (or American) side prevented humans from advancing further.  Until they didn’t.

Humans found a way around the blockade.  By ten thousand years ago, humans occupy both American continents.

0002 The Siberian-Alaskan landmass displayed one type of ecology (some would call it a frozen wasteland).  Yet, Paleolithic people migrating into the Americas adapted to a large variety of ecologies (including the tropics).

0003 How could this be so?

The authors conclude that humans are adapted to niche switching.  Humans culturally adapt to novel ecological niches by operating as both generalists and specialists.  Humans are behaviorally flexible because they can oscillate between established traditions (which the authors call, “culture”) and problem-solving (which the authors call, “consciousness”). Consequently, humans can “switch” from one niche (such as ice-laden Beringia) to another niche (such as California’s San Joachim Valley).

0004 But, I wonder, “Are not traditions (‘cultures’) specialist oriented?  The specializations may not be wildly complicated, but meaningful enough.  For example, someone who does well at running with a lance might fit in to the specialty of hunting large game.  Someone who is good at identifying mushrooms may fit into the specialty of fungi forager.  So, everyone can be a generalist problem-solver, but also work as a specialist too.

“Plus, everyone, whether lance-bearer or mushroom-gatherer, must learn their craft, and must innovate in the face of new challenges.

“So, the human gift of ‘niche-switching’ indicates that humans can find ways to make a living in every ecology.  The recent territorial expansion of anatomically modern humans into the Americas serves as an outstanding example.”

0005 Okay, then what is a “niche”?

The authors are modern biologists.  When modern biologists hear the word, “niche”, they think “ecological or environmental conditions”.  But, there is another technical definition for the word, “niche”, that expands that narrow frame.

0006 What is a “niche”?

The Darwinian paradigm can be diagrammed by following A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form (by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues).

Here is a picture.

Figure 01

The normal context of natural selection3 brings the actuality of adaptation2 into relation with the potential of ‘something’1, which biologists label “niche1.


Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 1 of 17)

0001 Professor Gad Saad is an expert in applying evolutionary psychology to contemporary consumer behavior.  He publishes a book, titled, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.  The cover of the book is adorned with a graphic.  A hand holds one end of a thread that goes on to become a line drawing of the human neocortex.  Is the thread going into the head?  Or, is the thread (of common sense) coming out of the head?

I suppose I have to read the book to find out.

0002 Saad gets into the push-pull operation in chapter four, titled, “Anti-Science, Anti-Reason and Illiberal Movements”.  He lists four contemporary academic beings… er… parasites: postmodernism, social constructivism, radical feminism and transgender activism.  Each movement… er… parasite is founded on a demonstrable falsehood.  Each desires to be free from reality.

For these comments, I use gender as an example.

0003 In order to diagram these statements, I consult A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.  These primers, by Razie Mah, are available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  They are not long.  They are very informative.

0004 A parasite feeds off a host.

The host goes with the content-level.  The parasite places content in an alternate situation.

0005 I begin with the host.  The host takes the actuality of men and women2a, which emerges from a biological distinction (which, in turn is an actuality in another nested form)1a in the normal context of an orthodox view3a.  The term, biological distinction1a, is short for the potential of sexual dimorphism, as expressed in humans1a.  Roughly, “ortho” means “right” and “dox” means “doctrine”.

Figure 01

0006 Obviously, this content-level is scientifically, reasonably and liberally situated by cognitive psychology and its companion discipline, evolutionary psychology.  Evolutionary psychologists explain the findings of cognitive psychologists in terms of natural selection and genetics: adaptations and phenotypes.

0007 The social constuctivist approach runs opposition to cognitive (and evolutionary) psychology.  The social constructivist claims to situate the orthodox view, with the possibility that biological distinctions are irrelevant.  Instead, only the human will is relevant.  Gender is a personal choice.  Gender is an act of the will.

The resulting situation-level nested form looks like this.

Figure 02

Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 16 of 17)

0110 Even weirder, what if the organizational objective2aC of the postmodern academy3aC, arising from the righteousness of radical individualism, marxist worldviews, and big government (il)liberalism1aC, is, as Dr. Saad claims, a self-deceiving parasitic syndrome?

What if the organizational objective2aC triggers susceptible individuals to identify as “oppressed”(2b)2aC because the privileges(2c)2aC of social justice(3c)2aC coincide with what one expects from participating in harmonious social circles?

0111 Wouldn’t that be freaky?

It is like drinking the Flavor-Aid.

0112 These comment bring the arguments in Dr. Gad Saad’s book into a strange revelation.

The reason why Dr. Saad is the target of animosity from colleagues in the postmodern multiversity unites with his chosen topic of expertise, evolutionary psychology.

Evolutionary psychology applies lessons about the Lebenswelt that we evolved in to our current Lebenswelt.

In doing so, it raises post-postmodern questions concerning the adaptive natures of human will(1a)2aC, systems(1b)2aC and protection(1c)2aC and their maladaptive expressions in our current Lebenswelt.

Plus, none of these topics can be discussed in the College of Social Construction.

0113 My thanks to Professor Saad for his excellent work.


Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 17 of 17)

0114 Our curent Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Cheers for an expanded range of inquiry for evolutionary psychology.

The three masterworks of Razie Mah offer a treasure trove for those interested in human evolution: The Human Niche, An Archaeology of the Fall, and How To Define the Word “Religion”.

These are all available as electronic books.  Just search for the author’s name, Razie Mah, along with the title.

0115 A Course on the Human Niche is a series, available at smashwords and other e-book venues, containing the masterwork, a primer, and commentaries, including the following.

Comments on Clive Gamble, John Gowlett and Robin Dunbar’s Book (2014) Thinking Big

Comments on Steven Mithen’s Book (1996) The Prehistory of The Mind

Comments on Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky’s Book (2016) Why Only Us?

Comments on Derek Bickerton’s Book (2014) More Than Nature Needs

Any literate adult can conduct a seminar class that reads and discusses these works.

0116 Another series, titled Buttressing the Human Niche, contains comments on articles and books on the topic of human evolution.

Here is a sample.

Comments on David McNeill’s Book (2012) How Language Began

Comments on David Reich’s Book (2018) Who We Are and How We Got Here

Comments on Christ Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbols and Language”

Comments on Kim Sterelny’s Essay (2011) “From Hominins to Humans”

Comments on John Barrett and Krystalli Amilati’s Essay (2004) “Some Light on the Early Origins of Them All”

Comments on Stella Souvatzi, Adnan Baysal and Emma Baysal’s Essay (2019) “Is there Prehistory?”

These works may be purchased at smashwords and other e-book venues.  They explore topics and demonstrate the practice of association and implication.  They are ideal for throwing into an established study (or curriculum) on human evolution, in order to demonstrate the realness of triadic relations.  Triadic relations are real enough to constitute a niche.

 0117 Finally, the Razie Mah’s blog at www.raziemah.com looks at other publications.  Each “looking at” blog consists of one to twenty parts.  These may be used to spread the word, for enjoyment, discussion and erudition.

For example, the following appears in March 2021

Looking at Daniel Turbon’s Article (2020) “…Human Being in Evolution”

In May 2021

Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language”

0118 Currently, evolutionary psychology is narrowly practiced as an adjunct to cognitive psychology.  Evolutionary psychology attempts to explain findings, models and evidence from cognitive psychology in terms of natural selection in the environment of evolutionary adaptation.

Now comes the Course on the Human Niche, Buttressing of the Human Niche, and other productions by Razie Mah,proposing that the ultimate human niche is the potential of triadic relations.

Yes, humans also evolve into very many proximate niches.  But, all our proximate niches are bundled together by our ultimate niche.  Proximate niches are like the various wooden rods bound together in the ancient Roman artifact called “religio”.  This artifact serves as a metaphor for the human’s ultimate niche.  Our ultimate niche binds all adaptations into proximate niches together.

0119 Professor Gad Saad’s book takes the reader outside of a narrow and closed practice of evolutionary psychology.  However, since Saad does not know the hypothesis of the ultimate human niche, he cannot cross from complaining and demanding action to a wide-open practice of evolutionary psychology.  Thus, he cannot fully comprehend what he is encountering in postmodern academics and elsewhere.  He is moving towards a realization.  It is just around the corner.

A wide-open evolutionary psychology examines our current Lebenswelt through the lens of adaptations accrued in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

That revolution in thought begins with Razie Mah’s masterwork, The Human Niche.