Magazine Masthead

This View of Life


This View of Life is an online general interest magazine in which all of the content is from an evolutionary perspective. It includes content filtered from the internet, as well as new content generated by our staff of editors and contributing authors in eleven subject areas: biology, culture, health, arts, technology, religion, politics, mind, economy, environment, and education.

In addition to progress within the biological sciences, evolutionary science is expanding beyond biology to include all human-related subjects. This View of Life provides a way for the general public to grasp what Darwin meant when he said that “there is grandeur in this view of life.” It is a view that encompasses “endless forms most beautiful and wonderful,” a theoretical framework that explains how such abundant diversity could have emerged from the simplest beginnings.

The magazine provides an intellectual forum at the professional level. We will strive to portray science as it actually happens: not as a monolithic collection of facts, but as an ongoing process of constructive disagreement that gradually converts hypotheses into durable knowledge. Because our staff of editors consists largely of practicing evolutionists, we aim to achieve a higher level of discourse than most other science media outlets.

The magazine is built upon a foundation provided by two organizations: EvoS, a campus-wide evolutionary studies program that started at Binghamton University in 2003 and expanded into a multi-institution consortium with the help of NSF funding; and the Evolution Institute, founded in 2007 as the first think tank to approach public policy from an evolutionary perspective. We thank Binghamton University, the National Science Foundation, the Evolution Institute, and a number of private donors for providing the support to create This View of Life, which will remain closely associated with its parent organizations.

Please help us establish the success of This View of Life in the following ways:
  • Spread the word among your peers, colleagues, and friends (via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and join our own network by visiting the website.

  • If you are a journalist or blogger, please think about covering our launch and becoming a contributing author. We are not yet in a position to pay for material, but we can still help to publicize your work.

  • If you are an evolutionary scientist, please help us represent your subject area by bringing relevant material to our attention, and consider trying your own hand at science journalism.

  • If you belong to an evolution-related organization, please contact us to explore how we can work together for our mutual benefit.

  • Finally, if you would like to help support the magazine, please contact us to discuss possibilities.

There is no doubt that evolution will eventually play the same role for the basic and applied human-related sciences that it already plays for the biological sciences, but how fast this happens and how well the public will be informed are more uncertain. We view This View of Life as a catalyst of change, a way to accomplish in a matter of years what might otherwise require decades.


editor image

David Sloan Wilson is a distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. David is an evolutionist who studies all aspects of humanity in addition to the biological world. He manages a number of programs designed to expand the influence of evolutionary theory in higher education (EvoS), public policy (The Evolution Institute), community-based research (The Binghamton Neighborhood Project), and religion (Evolutionary Religious Studies).



editor image

Robert is hopeful that Evolution: This View of Life serves as a teaching tool for the public understanding of evolutionary science. He envisions the magazine as a bridge to unify academic disciplines within an evolutionary framework. He also served as Executive Assistant of The Evolution Institute, the first non-profit think tank that connects the world of evolutionary science to the world of public policy formulation.




editor image

Jiro Tanaka received his Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton (2002) and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard (1993). He has taught at Clark University and Vassar College, where he served as Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities. In 2008, he was a Visiting Scholar in UCLA’s program for Human Complex Systems. Dr. Tanaka has published widely on topics in literary theory, German intellectual history, second language acquisition, and “bio-cultural” approaches to the humanities.



editor image

Hadassah Head completed her Master's in System Science and a graduate certificate in Evolutionary Studies at Binghamton University. She also attended Binghamton as an undergraduate. She attained her Bachelors in Mathematics and a minor in Russian and Eastern European Studies. She studied Jewish studies at Pardes Institute of Jewish Learning. Her interests include community development, human factors, complexity, sustainability, organizational and group behavior, religion, networks and evolution. In addition to her work with the magazine she is also the Evolutionary Studies Coordinator at Binghamton University. She tweets as @Haddie.


Section Editors



editor image

Daniel Blumstein is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA, and a Professor in UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He received his PhD at UC Davis in animal behavior, and had postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Marburg (Germany), The University of Kansas, and Macquarie University (Australia). He is a behavioral ecologist broadly interested in the evolution of behavior and the application of behavioral and evolutionary principles to policy, health, and defense. He has studied the behavior and ecology of mammals (including humans), birds, fish, lizards, hermit crabs, and sea anenome and runs the 50+ year project studying the behavioral and evolutionary ecology of yellow-bellied marmots at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado. The author of over 200 scholarly works and five books, his most recent books include: "A Primer of Conservation Behavior" (Sinauer Associates, 2010, with Esteban Fernandez-Juricic), "The Failure of Environmental Education (And How We Can Fix It)" (University of California Press, 2011, with Charles Saylan), and "Eating Our Way to Civility: A Dinner Party Guide" (a Kindle and Apple e-book, 2011).



editor image

Richard Sosis is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Evolution, Cognition, and Culture Program at the University of Connecticut. His work has focused on the evolution of religion and cooperation, with particular interests in ritual, magic, religious cognition, and the dynamics of religious systems. To explore these issues, he has conducted fieldwork with remote cooperative fishers in the Federated States of Micronesia and with various communities throughout Israel. He is co-founder and co-editor of the journal Religion, Brain & Behavior, which publishes research on the biological study of religion.



editor image

Terry Burnham is an economist who studies the biological and evolutionary basis of human behavior. He is Associate Professor at Chapman University. He has a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University, a Masters from the MIT Sloan School with a concentration in finance. HIs undergraduate degree is in biophysics from the University of Michigan.Terry was a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, the University of Michigan, and the Harvard Business School. His non-academic experiences include working for Goldman, Sachs & Co., being the chief financial officer for Progenics Pharmaceuticals and being the director of Portfolio Management for Acadian Asset Management, a quantitative equity manager.



editor image

Dominic Johnson is Alistair Buchan Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. He received a D.Phil. from Oxford in evolutionary biology, and a Ph.D. from Geneva University in political science. Drawing on both disciplines, he is interested in how new research on evolution and human biology is challenging theories of international relations, conflict, and cooperation. For the 2012-2013 academic year, he is co-leading a project on evolution and human nature at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton.



editor image

Joe has three bachelors degrees in physics, mathematics, and interdisciplinary studies and a masters in atmospheric sciences. He is a complexity researcher, innovation strategist, experience designer, and serial social entrepreneur who brings a wealth of expertise to the adoption of sustainable solutions at the cultural scale. Among his notable achievements are the creation of an undergraduate degree program in Earth Systems, Environment and Society at the University of Illinois and design of new collaboration protocols for strategic communications among European NGO's with WWF-UK and Oxfam, Great Britain. He was an active member of the Center for Complex Systems Research from 2001 to 2005, where he studied pattern formation in self-organizing systems. He was a research fellow at the Rockridge Institute in 2007-08 analyzing political discourse in the United States. He contracted with the International Centre for Earth Simulation in Geneva in 2010-11 to help build a globally-focused high performance computing facility dedicated to holistic simulations of the dynamic Earth. His experiences as a social entrepreneur and cross-disciplinary scholar weave together a combination of skills dedicated to open collaboration, interactive design, and empowered civic action for catalyzing change toward greater resilience in our turbulent world.




editor image

Rafe Sagarin marine ecologist at the Institute of the Environment at University of Arizona. Rafe's research includes everything from the historical and current sizes of intertidal gastropods (snails) to developing better ideas for national security, based on natural security systems. He is particularly interested in the Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California, its ecological history, and the fascinating people past and present who have lived, worked, researched and journeyed there.



editor image

Gabrielle Principe is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Ursinus College. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. Her research has been federally funded by the National Institutes of Health and she has published her research in numerous scientific journals including Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, and Cognition and Development. She has a lifelong fascination with the implications of evolutionary ideas on cognitive development and a serious interest in translating the latest scientific research about human development into information that parents and teachers can use to better rear and educate children. She is the author of Your Brain on Childhood: The Unexpected Side Effects of Classrooms, Ballparks, Family Rooms, and the Minivan (Prometheus, 2011)..



editor image

Joon Yun received his A.B. at Harvard and medical degree at Duke. After completing his residency and fellowship in radiology at Stanford, he remained on the clinical faculty at Stanford in the department of radiology through 2005. Joon has served on the board of medical companies, is the president of Palo Alto Investors and has authored over 30 patents. In addition, Joon founded the Palo Alto Institute, a non-profit think tank.



editor image

The Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, New York, was founded in 1932 as an establishment committed to furthering basic research in paleontology. Over the past 80 plus years, PRI staff members have contributed new findings in the fields of evolutionary paleobiology, conservation, and macroevolution, focusing mainly on the faunas and formations of the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America. Today, PRI has expanded to include a vast research collection of fossil and Recent specimens, books and scientific journals under it’s own publishing brand, advanced research and educational facilities, a formal affiliation with nearby Cornell University, and two public venues: the Cayuga Nature Center and the Museum of the Earth, which offer exhibitions and educational programs for visitors of all ages. As Editor of This View of Life: Paleontology, PRI strives to bring our message “Everything is Paleontology” to a broad audience, using our unique combination of scientists, educators, students, and assets. Dr. Paula Mikkelsen, Associate Director for Science, oversees PRI’s contributions to TVOL.



editor image

Jonathan Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist and professor in the Business and Society Program at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He studies moral psychology, with a particular interest in the moral emotions, such as moral disgust and moral elevation. He is the author of two books – The Happiness Hypothesis, and The Righteous Mind. In his current work he is examining businesses as complex multi-level organisms that have cultural and institutional features that can be more or less hospitable to ethical and unethical behavior.



editor image

Robert Kurzban began his training with the co-founders of the field of evolutionary psychology, John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, and was the first PhD minted from the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is now at the forefront of the new generation of evolutionary psychologists and, in 2008, he won the inaugural Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES). In addition, he serves on the editorial board of HBES' flagship journal, Evolution and Human Behavior, and the journal, Evolutionary Psychology, as an Associate Editor. He sits on the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics.



editor image

Michael E. Price is Senior Lecturer in Psychology, and co-Director of the Centre for Culture and Evolutionary Psychology, at Brunel University, London. His research focuses mainly on the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs, and he has conducted studies among both Westerners and indigenous Amazonians (the Shuar and the Yanomamö). Michael maintains a blog at Psychology Today entitled ‘From Darwin to Eternity’, writes a regular column for the banking magazine Global Custodian entitled ‘Natural Law’, and serves on the editorial board for Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. He has a BA from Duke University and a PhD from the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at UC Santa Barbara.


Associate Editors





editor image

Kathryn Bowers writes about health, evolution, and biology. She’s the author (with Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D.) of Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (Knopf, 2012). She began her career in journalism as a staff editor of the Atlantic Monthly. She also worked with James Fallows, the Washington Editor of the Atlantic, and for CNN-International in London. Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and teaches a course on medical narrative at UCLA. She tweets as @kathrynsbowers and @zoobiquity.



editor image

Anthony C. Lopez received a Ph.D. from Brown University in Political Science and is Assistant Professor of International Relations and Political Psychology at Washington State University. His research investigates war as the product of an evolved coalitional psychology, and examines the relationship between inter-group conflict and intra-group cooperation from an adaptationist perspective. Anthony received training as a Research Affiliate with the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and he also maintains a blog that catalogues and discusses current research in these areas at www.evolutionary-politics.blogspot.com



editor image

Mark Sloan’s personal interest is in showing how understanding morality as an evolutionary adaptation can be culturally useful. His goal for TVOL’s Morality section is to promote a cross-disciplinary view of morality by presenting in one place literature from all the diverse disciplines required to first understand the science of morality and then to understand how that science could be culturally useful. He has degrees in engineering and physics and has had a career in the aerospace industry in the design of new aircraft ranging from commercial transports to vertical takeoff and landing fighter jets.



editor image

Michael Blume was born in 1976 in Filderstadt, Germany. He lectured Religious Studies at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, Leipzig and currently in Jena. His doctoral thesis focused on theories on religion in the brain sciences (the so-called "neurotheologies”). Dr. Blume then specialized on the reproductive potentials of religiosity - the complex workings of religious communities augmenting cooperation, birth and survival rates (and thus: evolutionary success) of religious people in comparison to their (more) secular neighbors.