Can the patriarchy be matrilineal? An anthropologist calls for clarity

For over a century, anthropologists have attempted to describe human societies as “matrilineal” or “patrilineal” — emphasizing relatedness among women or men, respectively. A new paper by Laura Fortunato, an anthropologist at the University of Oxford and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, argues that it is time to confront the ambiguity at the heart of these terms.  

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Enroll now for Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos

SFI's free online course, Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos with College of the Atlantic professor David Feldman, begins Oct. 1. Topics to be covered include: phase space, bifurcations, chaos, the butterfly effect, strange attractors, and pattern formation.

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It’s not you, it’s the network

A new paper exploring social perception biases finds that the greatest perception biases emerge when majority and minority groups are disproportionate in size, and when nodes of the same group are highly connected to each other.

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In memoriam: Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel laureate who revealed symmetry and order in the world of subatomic particles and leveled his genius at complex mysteries of life and mind, died peacefully May 24, 2019. He was 89 years old.

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Group decisions: When more information isn't necessarily better

Modular — or cliquey — group structure isolates the flow of communication between individuals, which might seem counterproductive to survival. But for some animal groups, more information isn't necessarily better, according to new SFI research published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

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At last, acknowledging royal women's political power

Across the globe in a variety of societies, royal women found ways to advance the issues they cared about and advocate for the people important to them as detailed in a recent paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Research.

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Are you with me? New model explains origins of empathy

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute and the Santa Fe Institute have developed a new model to explain the evolutionary origins of empathy and other related phenomena, such as emotional contagion and contagious yawning. The model suggests that the origin of a broad range of empathetic responses lies in cognitive simulation.

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