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Fall 2009
[1.9 MB PDF]

“Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Worst-case Scenario” Executive Summary

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Center for Human Evolution


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Workshop 5

“The Evolution of the Human Brain”

Convened March 19–20, 2005 | Foundation For the Future Building, Bellevue, Washington


Eight of North America’s leading experts on the human brain gathered at the Foundation For the Future to discuss “The Evolution of the Human Brain.” The eight scholars held professorial and research positions at university and research institutions. They addressed current scientific understandings of how the human brain evolved, whether and in what ways it is evolving at present, and what might be anticipated for the long-term future of human brain development. A Q&A session and round-table discussion followed each presentation, then the participants continued the conversation into key issues going forward.

Proceedings (3.9 MB PDF) of this workshop, including transcripts of all dialogic sessions, available for download.

Papers presented

“The Once and Future Brain,” Dr. William H. Calvin
“Erasing the Slate: Devolving toward Increased Complexity of Brain Function,” Dr. Terrence Deacon
“The Contribution of Paleoneurology to Our Understanding of Human Brain Evolution,”
Dr. Ralph L. Holloway
“The Origins of Human Creativity,” Dr. Richard G. Klein
“The Past, Present, and Future of Human Nature,” Dr. Steven Pinker
“Evolving Neurocognitive Programs as the Foundations of Cultural and Social Phenomena,”
Dr. John Tooby
“What Is Future?” Dr. Endel Tulving
“Explaining the Human Condition: Problems and Prospects,” Dr. Ajit Varki


William H. Calvin
Author and Neurobiologist
University of Washington
Seattle, WA USA

Terrence Deacon
Professor, Dept. of Anthropology
University of California
Berkeley, CA USA

Ralph L. Holloway
Professor, Dept. of Anthropology
Columbia University
New York, NY USA

Richard G. Klein
Professor, Program in Human Biology
Stanford University
Stanford, CA USA

Steven Pinker
Professor, Dept. of Psychology
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA

John Tooby
Professor and Co-founder, Center for Evolutionary Psychology
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA USA

Endel Tulving
Chair, Cognitive Neuroscience
Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Ontario, Canada

Ajit Varki
Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine
Co-director, Glycobiology Research and Training Center
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA USA