Odds and Ends

I promised this blog would not be exclusively photographic so I’ll kick off by drawing your attention to an intriguing short essay by Ian Tattersall, the eminent paleontogist. A short extract from his CV:  “Curator Emeritus in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Born in England and raised in East Africa, he has carried out both primatological and paleontological fieldwork in countries as diverse as Madagascar, Vietnam, Surinam, Yemen and Mauritius. Trained in archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge, and in geology and vertebrate paleontology at Yale, Tattersall has concentrated his recent research in three main areas: the analysis of the human fossil record and its integration with evolutionary theory, the origin of human cognition, and the study of the ecology and systematics of the lemurs of Madagascar.

 His basic claim is that multiple pre- human lineages existed before Homo sapiens emerged as the one and only. He draws the conclusion from the evolutionary process that our behaviour is remarkably unconstrained by selective forces, possibly in contradistinction to some current trends in Evolutionary Psychology. he feels this freedom from evolutionary constraints supports the idea of Free Will – a proposition which would certainly be challenged by the philosopher Daniel Dennett. I suspect much would hinge on how “free will” is defined. If you like good evolutionary sites I suggest also the following: Being Human and Why Evolution is True.

Now for photography. David Kramer has given us his blessing to use his music to do a show/film on the peoples of the rural Western Cape and the Karroo. I still have to think about it seriously but his music has been used in some of our shows to date and has always been a hit. It is an extremely exciting idea. I thought I would end this short blog

by  Two Zulu youthsTwo Zulu youths

enclosing this image from a recent visit to the Drakensberg. (remember by right-clicking you can open up a larger image in a separate window). Remember also it is copyrighted.

Mike Berger

One thought on “Odds and Ends”

  1. Thanks for the essay Mike. I take it you know what Richard Dawkins is reputed to have said when asked if he believed in free will – he is supposed to have said `i have no choice’

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