Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:30 pm free
“Aging and Post-reproductive Life in a Traditional World: Behavior, Physiology and Theory” Hillard Kaplan Professor of Anthropology /Evolutionary Anthropology, University of New Mexico
This talk examines what we have learned about the aging process among Tsimane forager- horticulturalists, and the implications of our results for understanding human life history evolution. I review our latest findings on behavior, inter-generational transfers, physical function, immunocompetence and cardiovascular disease. Tsimane men and women continue to provide food for their children and grandchildren until about age 70, the modal age at death for traditional populations. Men and women adjust their time use as they age, adapting to physical decline. Cardiovascular disease is rare, and heart function remains preserved into the eight decade of life. Immunosenescence, along with functional declines, appears to be the major driver in the increasing risk of mortality with age. The lecture concludes with a discussion of the theory of human lifespan evolution, and important new directions for research. Hibben 105
Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:00 pm free
“Evolution and the human family” Laura Fortunato, Santa Fe Institute
Compared to other species, humans show a remarkable degree of variation in family organization. This talk presents recent advances in the application of evolutionary thinking to the study of the human family, focusing on the evolution of monogamous marriage.
Fortunato will present the results of a game-theoretic model investigating the co-evolution of marriage and wealth inheritance strategies. The analysis shows that where resources are transferred across generations, monogamous marriage may be advantageous because it "concentrates" wealth in a limited number of heirs. It may also be advantageous because a female may grant her husband higher probability of paternity if he marries monogamously, leading to exclusive investment of his resources in her offspring.
The results of two case studies testing specific predictions of the theoretical model will also be presented. In closing, Fortunato will discuss implications of these findings for understanding of the evolution of human family systems.
Laura Fortunato is an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. Her research aims to understand the evolution of human social and cultural behavior, focusing on human family systems, social complexity, and cultural evolution. See www.santafe.edu/~fortunato for further details. Hibben 105