William A Spriggs
July 4, 2002


Monday, June 17th, 2002.

Before I set off to the HBES conference that started on Wednesday June 19th, I took advantage of the proximity of my family tree to Newark airport to spend a few days with my one of my sisters, Mary Jane, who lives in Chatham; I also had the opportunity to visit with other relatives whom arrived later that evening for a BBQ.  Before I journeyed to my sister's, I decided to drive through my old home town where I grew up, Millburn New Jersey.  The home where I was raised no longer existed at 11 Holmes St.; It has been torn down, to be replaced --egads-- by a small parking lot and a muffin store.  Most of the town is still the way I remember it, except that there appears to be more traffic, more natural food stores, and an over presence per capita of exercise gyms.  It seems the Boulder, Colorado lifestyle of wealth and health has overtaken my old home town's leisure time culture (too bad that we can't get them to think as liberal Democrats like they are in Boulder, but miracles sometime take time). 

I went to my old high school and gave a quick once over of the parking lot; it seems that a good number of students were still driving outrageously expensive automobiles, as in 1963, the year I graduated; the cars then, as now, were way beyond their basic transportation needs.  Instead of Grand Prixs and Toranados, this time there was an excess of BMW and Mercedes station wagons – styles may have changed, but the necessity to display one's conspicuous consumption has not appeared to have changed at this particular high school.  I never could understand if the need to have high school students drive in expensive cars was the need of the parents to show off their excess income to the community, or the need of the children to display before their fellow students within school property. -- Perhaps it was mutual.

I spend Tuesday, June 18th, visiting my father at the assisted living home, Lutheran Village in East Stroudsburg, just across the border from New Jersey in Pennsylvania.  My mother is currently in the hospital located nearby since June 9th with a slight case of pneumonia and advanced dementia.  Her mental state has reached a severe level; she did not recognize me, and it now also appears that her body functions are slowing shutting down; she is not expected to live; they are both 91 years old.  Both my father and I spend most of the day at the hospital, and in the evening, we have supper together in the main dining hall before I leave.  It is a very nice home, and all of our family members agree that it is the perfect place for dad to spend his remaining days. (If we can afford it).  It was the saddest and most difficult day that I could remember in a long time.  I call and stay in touch with the family on a daily basis.

On the 19th, I head toward Rutgers and the HBES2002 conference. It was very difficult commute from the Newark area; the roads were jammed with what seem like people extremely inpatient to get from one point to the other; no wonder bad manners and aggressiveness is associated with the East Coast in general by persons out of the region. To get to New Brunswick, you have to take highway 24 east to Interstate 78 South, then south on The Garden State Parkway.  The problem with the Parkway is that once you are on this beast, it does not tell you that you really are on The Garden State Parkway -- just posted signs of exit numbers. So, you here you are, cruising at 65 miles an hour, witnessing names of unfamiliar towns pass you by for ten to fifteen minutes and  wondering all the while in a small panic if you really have taken the right road to travel. To make a long story short, I ended up in New Brunswick and actually found my motel, the Howard Johnson Express -- hidden away from route 18 on Highway 1 & 9.  It was all I needed; a bed, shower, toilet, a coffee maker, a TV, phone, and three towels -- and the price reflected the simplicity.

After settling in at the motel, I headed for Rutgers to attempt to orient myself; as for the University, there are two campuses, and naturally, I went to the wrong one.  I managed to find the college bookstore and get a map of the college campus, and a nice woman in the office helped me locate the Zimmerlie Art Gallery where there would be a reception in the evening.  I go back to the hotel to relax till 6:30, but problem was that I thought that the reception would also be the place where I would register for the conference. This is how it was done in London, and I assumed, incorrectly, that is how it would be done in New Jersey.  It seems that I neglected to read the registration area information on the HBES website before I left, and when I arrived at the Zimerlie Art Gallery, there was no registration process taking place. After quickly asking some people where to register, I had to go several blocks to the student union area and find the Brower commons. Even though the sign on the mall said that registration would be cut off at 1800 hours, two volunteers were still there handing out packets, and I was greatly relived. Since I was at a high level of anxiety about registering for the meeting and still exhausted from the trip, I decided to skip the social at the Art Gallery and get a fresh start on tomorrow.

Thursday, June 20

Let me fill you fill as to the nature of this particular conferences.  I have not added up the total registrants and divided them into the total talks given, but I would calculate that about 90% of the participants who are attending the conference were involved in giving some presentation.  In other words, there is very little interest from the outside general public (yet) in attending these particular conferences.  As a result, the conference is a close-knit community of scientists who pretty much know everyone else and the work that they are doing; along with this, add a new crop of graduate students who are on their way "up" the academic ladder.  There is a form of a hierarchy there, and to the best of my limited knowledge, here is what I could observe of this group: the officers and organizers of the conference are on top, followed by the keynote speaker (as for this conference, two speakers); these would then be followed by the plenary speakers, who earned the respect of their fellow colleagues by their work in the field; then by post-doctoral and doctoral talk presenters; non-doctoral speakers; the poster presenters (more on this later); staff and school undergraduate volunteers; then followed by the lowly tourist, such as myself, who is lucky to have the privilege to be allowed in any of the talks and discussions.

Upon registering, one is given a book-like listing of all the activities, (see photo above) plenary presentations, and smaller talks. . As you gathered from above, a plenary is a major talk on a particular subject; more importantly than that, the plenary is a form of display by, what the organizers of the conference consider to be, individuals who have made important contributions to the science, as such, they are held in high esteem.  A plenary is one hour long, and the smaller talks are restricted to twenty minutes.

Since I have now attended two conferences and both were structured in a similar manner, I am going to give you a general outline on how the conferences are planned each day, and then followed by the "module" talks that were presented, and then the individual talks that I attended.


·        Check-in and on-site registrations
·        7pm or earlier; some sort of reception with wine or cheese


·        7 to 8:30 am.  Breakfast.  This is for those who signed up for the meal plan and ate in the school cafeteria

·        8:30 to 9:30am  Morning plenary

·        9:35 to 10:00am   Refreshments. Coffee, decaf, tea; Good spread of mini- bagels and cream cheese, donuts, and mini-muffins.

·        10:00 to 12:00 Morning Sessions

·        12:00 to 13:15   Lunch

·        13:30 to 14:30   Afternoon Plenary

·        14:30 to 15:00   Refreshments

·        15:00 to 16:40   Early Afternoon sessions

·        16:40 to 16:55   Interlude

·        16:55 to 18:15   Late Afternoon Sessions

·        18:15 to 19:30   Dinner

 Generally, on Thursday evenings, the Poster Sessions are held.  Posters are exactly what they sound like.  These are presentations given, usually by pre-doctoral students, of a study that they, or a group, have conducted and they present them on posters for easy display (see the photo) in one common area; think Show and Tell for adults. It gets crowded and nosily, but the interaction between presenter and the person or persons interested is intimate, generally enthused, and casual.  The interesting part of all this is that it gives the presenters a golden opportunity to present their arguments on a one-to-basis -- a sort of social verbal grooming, and with any luck, be groomed back by the interested party who happens to come along. It's a  golden opportunity because a graduate student could be talking to a full professor or NGO head that is looking for new blood, and this gives them the opportunity to "strut their stuff."  On this Thursday, I think that there was a equal amount of females and males making the poster presentations, however, I did leave by 1930 hours. (I will list a few of the ones that caught my interest in detail later).


Same daily schedule as above, but on Fridays the Banquet is held in a large dinning hall.  It is semi-formal, as you will never get a group of scientists to all wear formal wear -- except if they are receiving the Nobel prize -- and is generally held from 18:45 hours to 20:30 hours.  After that, the Keynote address is given.


Same daily schedule as above, but on Saturdays the Barbecue is held at 19:00 hours.


Same daily schedule as above, but only a half day that ends with lunch from 12:00 to 13:15.  Also, before the morning plenary, the announcement of prize winners is made.  The competition is for papers entered in New Investigator, Post Doctoral presentations, and Poster presentations.

I will now record for you the individual “module" subjects that were presented in the morning and afternoon sessions.  Each module subject is chaired by someone responsible for organizing 5 presenters that give 20 minute talks each that sometimes are followed by questions.  I will then follow this section and list the modules, talks, and individuals giving those talks that I was present for.

Thursday, June 20

·        SEX DIFFERENCES; Chair: Anne M. Mcguire

·        SIGNALING; Chair: Holly Nelson

·        KIN INTERACTIONS; Chair: Debra Lieberman

·        LAW, POWER, AND MULTILEVEL SOCIETY; Chair: Owen D. Jones

·        THE DARK SIDE OF HUMAN MATING; Chairs: Joshua D. Duntley and David M. Buss

·        COOPERATION: NEW THEORY AND MODELS; Chair: Karthik Panchanathan


·        FORAGING AND FORAGERS OF VARIOUS KINDS; Chair: Lawrence Sugiyama

·        MALE ATTRACTIVENESS AND FEMALE CHOICE; Chair: John Marshall Townsend

·        COMMITMENT; Chairs: Randolph Nesse, Lynn O'Connor, and William Irons

·        COGNITIVE ARCHITECTURE I; Chair: Thomas E. Dickins

·        PSYCHOPATHOLOGY I; Chair: Charles Crawford


·        NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN BIOLOGY; Chair: Robert L. Trivers

·        REPRODUCTIVE STRATEGIES; Chair: Donna L. Leonetti



·        INTRASEXUAL COMPETITION; Chair: Dennis McBride

·        SYMMETRY; Chair: Steven W. Gangestad


·        PSYCHOPATHOLOGY II; Chair: Vivian A. Weekes-Shackelford



·        LOVE, JEALOUSY, BETRAYAL, AND RAPE; Chair: Helen Fisher

·        COALITIONS, COOPERATION, AND SHARING; Chair: Michael Gurven


·        ENDOCRINOLOGY; Chair: Peter Gray

·        MORALITY AND ETHICS; Chair: John Teehan

·        PERSONALITY; Chair: Maria g. Janicki


·        ADAPTATIONIST LITERARY STUDY; Chair: Joseph Carroll



·        MATHEMATICAL REASONING; Chair: Claudia Uller


·        MATE CHOICE: NEW THEORY AND DATA; Chair: Leif D. Nelson


·        FACES AND EMOTIONS; Chair: David Sloan Wilson

Plenary talks and Individual sub-module talks that I Attended


Morning plenary

 by Alice Eagly: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Behavior of Women and men: Implications for the Origins of Sex Differences. Introduced by Anne Mcguire.

Held in Brower Commons, room A, B, & C

10:00am       Paul H. Rubin, Emory U.          Human Evolution and Political Power.
10:20am       Megan Dwyer, Central Michigan U.     No-fault divorce Legislation and Reproductive Self-Interests of Lawmakers.
10:40am       Mikihiko Wada, Boston U., Hosei U.  Working out on your Fitness? Great...but how is our Law doing?.."LAW and BIOLOGY" analysis of Japanese Laws.
11:00am       Rick O'Gorman, SUNY-Binghamton.  Policing As A Group-Adaptive Mechanism To Facilitate Social Norms: An Agent-Based Model.
11:20am       Kevin M. Kniffin    SUNY-Binghamton         Applications of Multilevel Selection Theory to Human Business Organizations.
11:40am       Owen Jones, Arizona State U.   Prospects for a Biolegal History.

Thursday afternoon plenary
by Allan Mazur, Syracuse U.:
Biosociology of Dominance and Deference.
 Introduced by Ulrich Mueller.

From my standpoint, this was the best plenary of the conference.  Mr. Mazur gave many examples of dominance and deference examples by using film clips from popular movies that have become part of America’s culture.  Most of the clips came from The Sundance Kid. Now we have to get screen writers to learn evolutionary psychology and put them into the script.  Sigh…I am in much more of a hurry than evolution.


Multi-purpose Room B, Rutgers Center

3:00pm        Gilbert Roberts, U. of Newcastle        The Stakeholder theory of Altruism.
3:20pm        Karthik Panchanathan, UCLA.   Social Networks and the Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity.
3:40pm        John Tooby, U. of California, Santa Barbara           The Evolution of Collective Action: An adaptationist Dissection.
4:00pm        C. Athena Aktipis, Reed College/Portland State U.  Behavioral and Cognitive Pathways to the Evolution of Cooperation
4:20pm        Gerald Cory, Center for Behavioral Ecology and San Jose State U.     Hamilton's Rule, Evolved Brain structure, and Conflict Systems Neurobehavioral (CSN) Model: Linking Evolutionary Psychology and Evolutionary Neuroscience.

Multi-Purpose Room B, Rutgers Student Center

4:55pm        Randolph M. Nesse, U. of Michigan   Measuring Commitment: Methods, Importance and Correlates.
5:15pm        Lynn E. O'Connor, The Wright Institute.       Interpersonal guilt, Psychopathology and Anxious Temperament: An Evolutionary Perspective.
5:35pm        William Irons         The Unseen Order: How Religion works as a Hard-to-Fake Sign of Commitment.
5:55pm        Eric Bressler, McMaster U.       Cooperation and Commune Longevity: A Test of the Costly Signaling Theory of Religion.


Friday morning plenary
by Tim Birkhead, U. of Sheffield 
Post-copulatory sexual selection.
Introduced by Helen fisher.

10:00am       Christine e. Garver, U. of New Mexico         Women's Preferences For Male Behavioral displays Change Across The Cycle.
10:20am       Donna Leonetti, U. of Washington, Seattle    Cooperative Breeding Effects Among The Matrilineal Khasi of N.E. India.
10:40am       David P. Schmitt, Bradley U.     Patterns of Sociosexuality Across 52 Nations: Do Sex Ratios, Fertility Rates, Resource Levels, Pathogen Loads, and other Environmental Stressors Adaptively Moderate Human Reproductive Strategies?
11:00am Jelena Cvorovic, Arizona State U. A Pilot Study: Sexual and Reproductive Strategies Among Serbian Gypsies.
11:20am       Michelle Cristianim, U. of New Mexico         Female Adolescents' Strategic Behavior in Romantic Relationships.
11:40am       Schuyler Waynforth, U. of New Mexico       Minding the Baby and Demographic Transition.

Room 411, Rugers Student Center

3:00pm        Tom Speelman, UCSB    Evaluating Evolutionary Psychology: A Perspective From Contemporary Philosophy Of Science.
3:20pm        Kenneth West, U. of Colorado at Colorado Springs.        The use of Artificial Neural Networks to Find Human Nature.
3:40pm        Roger Koppl, Fairleigh Dickinson U.            What is Verstehen?
4:00pm        John J. Kaag, The Pennsylvania State U.       The Evolution of Philosophers: A Darwinian Perspective On Academics.
4:20pm        James C. Russell, Fordham U.            The Future of Human Evolution.

Multi-Purpose Room B, Rutgers Student Center

4:55pm        Charlotte DeBacker, U. of Ghent         Gossip As A Social Bonding And Control System
5:15pm        Mayuko Nakamaru, Shizuoka U., Princeton U.        Evolution and Rumor and its Role of Discriminating Defectors.
5:35pm        Hank Davis, U. of Guelph.        Woman Murders Baby & Eats Family Dog: An Evolutionary Perspective on Sensational News.


Banquet in Brower Commons. I had the 4oz beef strip.

Keynote speech by Robin Fox and Lionel Tiger: Sex, Sects, Guns, and Butter. 
 Introduced by William Irons



Morning plenary
by Wulf Schiefenhoevel:
Human Birth: Cultural and Evolutionary Perspectives.

Introduced by Percy Rohde.

An interesting talk.  And Schiefenhovel brought up an interesting point medically: The professor showed slides of a primitive tribe in New Guinea of the females giving birth on leaves and dirt floors.  All the babies come out healthy and strong; while in our “advanced” culture we place women in hospitals that may contain contagious diseases and God knows what else.

Multi-Purpose Room A, Rutgers Student Center

10:00am       Helen Fisher, Rutgers U.           The Neural Mechanisms of Mate Choice. My hero.  Greatly admire the work that she is doing.  She is continuing alone the lines of her past work discovering the brain mechanisms and chemistry involved in the Lust, Attraction, and Attachment triad. She is a great encouragement to all females entering the science; the almost 50-50 distribution of the two genders of the young graduate students attending the conference on the way up the hierarchy shows that diversity. The science owes her much.
10:20am       James K. Rilling, Princeton U.   Imaging the Neural Correlates of Mating Competition in Dominant Male Rhesus Monkeys.
10:40am       Michelle Garretson, Princeton U.         Gender, Attachment Style and Reactions To Imagined Betrayals Of Trust In Heterosexual Relationships.
11:00am       Stephen Forssell, U. of Denver  Jealousy in Homosexual and Heterosexual men and Women: Examining Evolution and Attachment.

It was at this time that I left this "module" and went to another.  It is permissible to leave or enter at any time, but it is considered impolite until there is a break between speakers.  This is very difficult to maintain as one talk may take longer to conclude and another, in another room, may end sooner than anticipated.  Overall, however, the conference was run very much to schedule, despite these talk length differences and technical glitches.

Multi-purpose Room B, Rutgers Student Center

11:20am       Carlos D. Navarrete, UCLA      Anxiety And Ethnocentrism: Coalition Psychology In Two Populations.
11:40am       Kai Hiraishi, U. of Tokyo          Can I Get My Share?: Extension Of The Wason Selection Task With The Sharing-Rule.

Afternoon plenary by Robery Hinde: The Bases of Moral Codes. Introduced by Linda Mealey.

Multi-Purpose Room A, Rutgers Student Center

3:00pm        Oliver Curry           A Cut-Out-And-Keep guide To The Naturalistic Fallacy
3:20pm        John Teehan          On the Naturalistic Fallacy: A Conceptual Basis for Evolutionary Ethics.
3:20pm        presenter was in Canada and was replaced by.....please forgive me...a young women from Belgium with her own paper....and I did not get her name.
4:00pm        Frans Roes, U. of Montpellier II         Belief in Moralizing Gods.

Due to the fact that I was on a calorie restricted diet, my metabolism was low; and because of the low temperatures in the meeting rooms, I decided to leave the conference and return to my motel to relax and warm up before the barbecue at 7pm.

Saturday evening activity: Barbecue, Voorhees Mall.  Nicely done.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie lasagna; plus of course, white and red wine, in addition to the American all-time favorite, beer.  A student jazz quartet was the entertainment.  Good but loud, thus making conversation almost impossible.  I sat at the table with Daniel J. Kruger, U. of Michigan & Jay (my aplogy Jay – but I have lost your last name and the email it was attached to), a New Jersey tourist similar to myself who was seeking the truth in life and was enjoying the camaraderie of the occasion.


Morning plenary
by Mark G. Frank: Not All Lies Are Created Equal: Human Lying and Lie Catching.
Introduced by Robert Kubey

After grabbing a small muffin, I decided to end my stay at the conference.  I was completely drained mentally by being overwhelmed by the multitude of material covered – I have enough material from the poster session alone to keep my busy for months.  So since I was cold, hungry, and I could no longer focus on the talks, I decided to get a head start on my return trip to Newark Airport and my eventual return flight to Denver later that afternoon.  I say my goodbyes to Jim Brody, who was in the lounge area for a poster presentation; we expanded our friendship that developed several years ago with the linkage of his website, Behavior Online, -- some of his photographs that he shot at the conference are presented on additional pages, and for that I owe him much. For additional photos taken by myself and Jim Brody, take this link, photos, but be advised that it may take a while to download.

Just before the final plenary talk, the announcement is made that Lincoln Nebraska has been chosen for the HBES2003


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