Biological Anthropology, Hominid and Primate Paleontology, Osteology, Comparative Primate Anatomy
Over the past several years my interests have shifted from paleoanthropology and primatology into two new areas. One is natural philosophy which includes inputs from functional (molecular) biology and the epistemology of human thought. Currently the primary goal of this research is to provide a scientific but non-Darwinian explanation of human behavior that can be applied, by anthropologists, to the behavior of living humans. This explanatory model is based on a cybernetic perspective of functional biology and excludes adaptive explanations derived from evolutionary biology because the latter, although providing true and useful concepts, are non-empirical and statistical, rather than empirical and causal. Unlike the Darwinian view, the model explains the many human behaviors that make no sense from an evolutionary (adaptational) perspective as well as behaviors that do conform to fitness expectations. It is hoped that the causal model will also help to prevent the growing rift in anthropology between cultural anthropologists and physical anthropologists.
My second area of research concerns Vitamin D deficiency in modern and fossil humans living above the 35th latitude. Clinical, molecular, population and species level observations show that this deficiency pandemic has been the major health issue in humans living above the 35th latitude now and in the past and it provides an explanation for the extinction of the European Neanderthals and earlier fossil humans at high latitudes.