Author Archives: J.V. Wylie

About J.V. Wylie

Retired psychiatrist, who is writing a book called "How We Became Human"on the origin of the human mind. My blog, "Apes, Ants, and Ancestors" - is a "laboratory" for the ideas in the book.

Emotional Fossils – II – “too harsh for a human being”

Having determined that the various mental illnesses were all reflective of evolved segments of normal emotion, and that the majority of these illness – the anxiety and depression disorders – reflected motivation by aversion to the fears of separation and … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Mental Illnesses as Emotional Fossils, I – Overview

After observing severe mental illness for 20 years, I concluded that they all represented different types of emotional hyperactivity that had escaped from regulation.  Illnesses that included symptoms of lethargy or lack of initiative, such as some forms of depression … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments


Let’s accept the premise, without understanding it exactly, that, by a mechanism similar to sexual selection, the dominance mentalities of 20-30 monogamously mated hominids began to be selected at the level of their group to select obedience to the essence … Continue reading

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Two Dimorphisms and an Ascension

To me, Charles Darwin’s discovery of sexual selection rivals that of natural selection. In natural selection, the selecting is done totally by nature and change is rendered through chance mutation of genes.  In sexual selection, a portion of the power … Continue reading

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Monogamy: Ardi and the Ants

Ardipithecus ramidus, nicknamed Ardi, is arguably the most significant fossil find in the history of paleoanthropology due to its completeness and antiquity – 4.4 M. years, just 1.6 M. years after the last common ancestor with Chimpanzees.  The theoretician of … Continue reading

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Sigmund Freud Meets Charles Darwin in Prison

While in my residency, Freudian psychoanalytic theory was still dominant. There are several cornerstones from my training that, through all the vicissitudes of my career, remained as foundations. First and foremost is the validity of the mind as a subject … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology | Tagged , | 1 Comment


PREMISE: The cause of the EXPLOSION OF HOMINID SPECIES IN THE FACE OF THE DECLINE OF APES, due to deteriorating climates 6 million years ago, WAS A MAJOR EVOLUTIONARY INNOVATION. It would logically follow that: 1. The single most important … Continue reading

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E. O Wilson Throws Down the Challenge.

My book, Apes, Ants, and Ancestors, is a response to this challenge by E. O. Wilson to draw a “new mythos” based on the facts of evolution. “For centuries the writ of empiricism has been spreading into the ancient domain … Continue reading

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Group Selection

The central thesis of this narrative of human evolution is quite simple.  The distinguishing feature of our 6 million year old hominin Family from the beginning is the common heritage of evolution by a unique mechanism resulting from a rare … Continue reading

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Lincoln God and History

Shortly before he was assassinated in his Second Inaugural Address , our greatest president offered up this meditation on the role of God in history: “If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the … Continue reading

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