Adam Smith on Human Niche Construction

A recurring theme on this blog has been niche construction—the idea that in evolution a species does not solely adapt to exogenous changes in the environmental conditions of its niche, but rather can Continue reading


Looking Back From the Anthropocene

As the Anthropocene unfolds and becomes more manifest, will its inhabitants look back and blame their predecessors on Earth (us, and perhaps earlier generations as well) for bequeathing them a planet not fit for Continue reading

“A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1993. Trans. Roger D. Masters. In Collected Writings of Rousseau (Volume 3) . Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.
In this work Rousseau offers a conjectural history of humanity. It begins in the primeval “state of nature,” in which individuals lead Continue reading

A creation myth for the Anthropocene

Stephen’s post on Lynn White helped me focus on an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while: the need for a new creation myth suited to the Anthropocene.

White’s argument reminds us that creation myths derive their power from their status as fundamental texts within the religious tradition that underlies a society’s moral life; a key strategy for justifying a course of action is Continue reading