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Nigel Barber
Born in Ireland, Nigel Barber received his Ph.D. in Biopsychology from Hunter College, CUNY, and taught psychology at Bemidji State University and Birmingham Southern College. A prolific cross-national researcher, Barber accounts for societal differences in sexual and reproductive behavior, and crime, using an innovative evolutionary approach. His blog at Psychology Today is The Human Beast Books include Why Parents Matter, The Science of Romance, Encyclopedia of Ethics in Science and Technology, Kindness in a Cruel World, and The Myth of Culture: Why We Need a Genuine Natural Science of Societies. He recently returned to Alabama from Maine accompanied by wife Trudy and son David. Interests include politics, finance, organic gardening, and woodwork.

Entries by Nigel Barber

Guns Really Cause Police Shootings

(4) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 4:06 PM

Contrary to a well-worn slogan, it really is guns that shoot people. This principle is laid bare to a shocking extent by comparisons of police shootings between US and other developed countries.

US versus UK
In Europe, most citizens feel no need to carry handguns. That is just as...

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Local Food Won't Save The Planet

(1) Comments | Posted June 30, 2016 | 12:17 PM

We are all concerned about the environment and about what life will be like for generations yet unborn. So the idea of local sourcing is becoming very popular, particularly in respect to organically grown food.

Intuitively Obvious but Practically Wrong
The notion of local sourcing seems to make sense....

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Is Hillary Too Short To Beat Trump?

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 12:20 AM

Throughout history, the taller candidate has had an advantage in presidential elections. Why is that? Does the advantage of taller stature make it more difficult for women to win national elections given that any female candidate will likely be shorter than all of the male candidates?

Right off the bat,...

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Jesus Never Existed, After All

(9) Comments | Posted May 5, 2016 | 11:14 AM

In an earlier post, I argued that the historicity of Jesus was doubtful. Some religion scholars questioned one of my sources. Now, recent scholarship comes as close as possible to settling the issue.

Personally, I have no ax to grind so far as the historical existence of Jesus...

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예술은 섹스보다는 노동에 가깝다

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 1:56 AM

여성은 남성과 마찬가지로 창조적이지만 더 적은 작품을 생산한다. 왜 그럴까? 남성 록 스타들의 문란함은 전설적이고, 그들의 성적 매력은 열렬한 여성 파트너들을 끝도 없이 끌어들인다. 그러니 남성이 섹스 어필을 키우기 위해 창조 분야에 들어간다는 건 믿기 어렵지 않다. 그러나 예술이란 남성적 과시에 지나지 않는 것일까?

짝짓기 과시 관점의 문제

과학부터 시(詩)에...

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Art Is More About Work Than Sex

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2016 | 1:29 PM

Women are as creative as men but produce less art. Why? The sexual exploits of male rock stars is legendary and their sexual magnetism draws an endless supply of enthusiastic female partners. So it is not too hard to believe that men would enter creative fields as a way of...

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Are America's Best Days Over?

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2016 | 5:42 PM

In The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Robert Gordon argues that America's exceptional growth of the early 20th century is over and done. His thesis is that innovation ain't what it used to be.

More specifically, Gordon argues that innovations of the past, from...

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Solving the Health-Religion Puzzle

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 9:01 PM

Religion boosts health in the US. Yet, the most religious countries are the sickest. This paradox can be explained in terms of stress management.

Evidently, the health benefits of religion emerge here because religious people are better at managing stress. Why do residents of the most religious...

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섹스에 관한 남녀의 차이가 거의 없어지고 있다

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 1:49 PM

남성과 여성의 섹슈얼리티의 뚜렷한 차이에 대한 증거가 전세계에서 발견되곤 했다. 이런 차이가 선진국에서는 흐려지고 있다.

우리 종의 진화의 배경은 주로 남성과 여성이 짝을 이루어 육아를 함께 하고 책임을 나눠지는 영장류의 형태였다. 사회적인 다른 일부일처제 종들도 그렇듯, 성적인 부정이 어느 정도 존재했다. 남성은 육아를 돕지 않으면서도 아이를 낳을 수...

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Gender Differences in Sexuality Crumbling

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 12:52 PM

Marked differences between male and female sexuality was supported by solid evidence around the globe. Such distinctions are getting blurred in developed countries.

The evolutionary backdrop for our species is that of a mostly pair-bonded primate where males and females shared childcare and provisioning responsibilities. As is true of other...

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Why Countries Get Rich

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 12:41 PM

In A Farewell to Alms, economist Gregory Clark notes that the breathtaking increase in wealth in the modern world is due to steadily increasing wages that are tied to rising worker productivity. Astonishingly neither he nor any other economist knows why modern people work harder and produce more.

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Why Republicans Are Bad for Business

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 9:54 AM

Republican politicians bill themselves as pro-business, pro-growth, and pro-opportunity. Yet the financial facts say otherwise. Republican administrations bring hard times, for rich and poor alike. Why are their results so different from their aims? Perhaps Democrats are better at motivating workers.

Prosperity can be measured in many ways. Using the...

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Is Marriage the Cure for Poverty?

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 9:36 AM

Marriage is correlated with prosperity in the U.S. So many conservatives promote marriage as a financial elixir. Yet this perspective is scientifically flawed. It also suffers from too narrow a geographical focus on conditions in the U.S.

Marriage Causes Wealth or Wealth Causes Marriage?
There is no doubt that...

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New Insight on Climate and Work Effort

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 5:46 PM

Historians and economists point to favorable climate as an advantage enjoyed by Europeans so that these countries developed early, became wealthier, and dominated the globe through innovation, military aggression, and trade. I wondered whether unpleasant climate saps work motivation.

One way of analyzing this question is to look back in...

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Why Women May Make Better Investors

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

In a world that has a thousand beatings in store for you every day you get up -- as Wally Shawm's character memorably expressed it in the movie My Dinner with Andre -- you have two choices. Either you get seriously humble along with Shawm, or you get spectacularly lucky....

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Can Artificial Intelligence Make us Stupid

(9) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 12:21 PM

Changing technology stimulates the brain and increases intelligence. But that may only be true if the technology challenges us. In a world run by intelligent machines, our lives could get a lot simpler. Would that make us less intelligent?

The Age of Machines
After the Industrial Revolution,...

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Journalism Is Red in Tooth and Claw

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 12:52 PM

If it bleeds, it leads is a truism of news coverage. We all sympathize with the victims of senseless violence, and their families, because we know that it could have been us, and our families. Yet, our world has never been less violent - except in news media and entertainment....

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Francis, Don't Pontificate Environment!

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 10:17 AM

Pope Francis recently published his statement on global warming as a moral problem. The Pontiff may be the best liked public figure on the planet but his credibility on environmental issues is close to zero. More specifically, Catholic Church policies hurt both the poor, and the environment.


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Does Wealth Equal Happiness?

(25) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 3:36 PM

Yes, we all know that people are happier in wealthier countries, that a nation gets happier as its GDP grows, and that high income people report being happier than their less well paid counterparts. Yet, there is a certain hollowness to the wealth equals happiness equation that psychologist...

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Premarital Sex Rises With Economies

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 9:40 AM

I have been analyzing Pew data on acceptance of premarital sex around the globe to see whether it fits in with the ecology of modern life. Is acceptance of premarital sex higher in developed countries? What about the risks of pregnancy, and disease? What about female participation in...

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