Two Zombie Papers in Human Behavioral Ecology

This is a box from an in-press book chapter that I wrote with Jeremy Koster. In it we comment on unscientific and counter-productive norms in our field. We also suggest constructive reforms. Since the chapter will be buried in a book, I’m reprinting the best bit here on my blog. The google books preview is here.

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Science and the Dumpster Fire

I’ve been in my current job since 2015. (previously) When I auditioned for this job, I said I would do it because it is a chance to work on research infrastructure and meta-science. I said the status quo is the biological and behavioral sciences is terrible. It makes little sense to invest in ambitious research projects when a typical researcher has no ability to define a non-null model of a phenomenon, to explore the implications of such a model, and to evaluate those implications with evidence. Success in the sciences does not, in the present day, depend upon those skills. But we should fix the foundations before wasting more public money.

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The Problem With Cultural Evolution

I will now roast myself and my scientific field. This is therapy designed to elicit self-criticism in myself and in my colleagues. The themes are real though. I have heard variations of them from diverse colleagues. This post coincides with this year’s annual Cultural Evolution Society meeting in Aarhus. I hope it incites some animated discussions.

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The Quality of Quantitative Analysis

I was asked by a colleague here in Leipzig to participate in a panel discussion of “What unites quantitative and qualitative research approaches?” I don’t have well-formed opinions on this topic, and I’ve never written about it. So naturally I immediately agreed to participate.

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Regression, Fire, and Dangerous Things (3/3)

Thinking Like a Probability Distribution

Hyakujō’s Fox is a classic Zen kōan attested from the year 1036 CE [link]. It is surely much older. It gives the story of a monk who is transformed into a fox, because he denies that an enlightened person is subject to cause and effect. He is later freed when he realizes his error.

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