Category Archives: Ethology

The Greatest Psychologist

Drum roll please…..and the winner is….. Charles Darwin! This is a fascinating argument, which I have seen made implicitly but never as directly and as comprehensively as this. After all, many of the pioneers of psychology and psychiatry (William … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Cognitive Science, Ethology, Nature of science | 1 Comment

Return of the Golden Fleece

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin used to hand out what he called the “Golden Fleece Awards” to ridicule perceived misuses of federal funds.  In the case of research funded by federal agencies, the projects … Continue reading

Posted in Ethology, Responsible Conduct of Research, Science and public discourse | Leave a comment

Embodied intelligence in slime molds…

More on this later: Slime molds remember where they’ve been using the slime they leave behind.  Ariadne’s thread, Hansel’s bread crumb, Physarum‘s slime.

Posted in Cognitive Science, Ethology, Evolution | Leave a comment

Evolution, spite, and ideological suicide bombs

11 October 2009 Recently we’ve seen allegations by a politician and a pundit that conservative leaders are being “spiteful” by taking positions that undermine their political foes (especially President Obama), even though these positions would seem to make them look … Continue reading

Posted in Ethology, Evolution, Religion, Science and public discourse | Leave a comment

Learning curves

Today, yet again, I heard the phrase “steep learning curve.” This has always bothered me. Every time I hear this (quite overused) term, I find myself momentarily confused about what is meant. The reason for my confusion is that my … Continue reading

Posted in Ethology, Jargon | Leave a comment

What is behavior?

I was going to entitle this entry “What is an Ethologist?” I decided, however, that this begs a question that is a bit more interesting, hence the title I selected. The conventional definition of “ethology” is “the scientific study of … Continue reading

Posted in Ethology | Leave a comment