Homo sapiens: Clever But Seldom Wise

Our current existential dilemma – intimately intertwined over-population, over-consumption, and myriad environmental quagmires – can best be understood in the light of human behavioral characteristics that have arisen over evolutionary time.  Our most unique trait as a species, our clever brain, has gotten us into a lot of trouble.  I will argue that humans have a “brain problem” from which energy, resource, population, and climate disruption problems emerge.  Understanding and facing up to that reality will provide our best hope for securing a meaningful future.

The second part of this message will be delivered in May 2018.

Jane R. Shoup is Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Purdue University Calumet (now Purdue University Northwest), Hammond, IN, where she taught for 33 years.  She holds the AB in Biology from the University of Rochester, and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago.  Jane has offered a number of courses through the LIFE (Learning Is ForEver) program at UWSP on topics including “Darwin and His ‘Dangerous Idea’”, “The Limits to Growth”, “The Sixth Mass Extinction”, and “Living Within Limits”.