Nicholas Christakis on The Evolutionary Origins of SocietyVote
Human societies are a product of our evolution as a social species. While many scientists have focused on the negative side of our evolved social life–especially our violent tendencies–that’s only half the story. Physician and social scientist, Dr. Nicholas Christakis argues that we also have an evolved tendency toward forming good societies where people flourish. In this interview, Dr. Christakis and I discuss this and related ideas from his 2019 book, “Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of A Good Society.”
Get a copy of “Blueprint”: https://www.amazon.com/Blueprint-Evolutionary-Origins-Good-Society/dp/0316230030
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University. His work is in the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics. He directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006; the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.
Dr. Christakis is the author of over 200 articles and several books. His influential book, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, documented how social networks affect our lives and was translated into twenty foreign languages. In 2009, Christakis was named by Time magazine to their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2009 and in 2010, he was listed by Foreign Policy magazine in their annual list of Top 100 Global Thinkers.
See more of Dr. Christakis’ writing and work by following him on Twitter @NAChristakis (https://twitter.com/NAChristakis)
Thumbnail Photo of Dr. Christakis Credit: Evan Mann
00:00 Human societies are a product of our evolution as a social species
01:55 Summary of Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas Christakis
05:38 A “good” society according to Dr Christakis
12:30 The Social Suite
15:39 The evolutionary psychology of individuality
19:02 Polygamy vs Monogamy
24:18 What are intentional societies? What is collective parenting?
28:50 Friendship, evolution, and morality
34:30 What are social networks?
38:57 In-group bias in social evolution
43:37 Is diversity always a strength?
53:05 Social Engineering
58:21 Wealth inequality and social cohesion
01:05:04 Nicholas Christakis on science communication
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About Sense of Mind
My goal: Give you an accurate and clear picture of how the brain and mind work at various levels of analysis. I do that by carefully reading and reporting the science as I understand it.