Anthropological Subjects in the New York Times Last Week

Razib Khan published an interesting article “Our Cats, Ourselves” about the evolution of the domestic cat. The article describes how domestication of felines over the last 10,000 years has resulted in a critter that is both biologically and socially adapted to live with humans. The genetic element has resulted in smaller cranial sizes, and so forth. The social part at the same time includes adaptation to human-created environments that came with the invention of agriculture, and the emergence of “domestic” rodents. Razib is pursuing a PhD in Genetics, but has a long history of blogging about a wide range of subjects, including history, anthropology, and general science.  Occasionally, he has commented here at ethnography.com.

The New York Times has had a good week with writing interesting and engaging op-ed about social scientific subjects. Here is a good meditation on the American Myth of the Individual, which traces its roots in the classical philosophy of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Emphasized is that very basis of sociology and anthropology which is that first and foremost humans are social beings, not biological beings. It is written by John Terrell, an anthropologist.