More about Stephen

My research interests include the evolution of cooperation, the geography of trust, and human diet and health. In the area of cooperation, I considered the question of why cooperation is very rare in the animal kingdom. My work, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, suggests that the fundamental problem with animal cooperation is that it invariably breaks down in the earliest stages. In the area of trust, I considered the question of why some countries are more trusting than others in a paper published in Cross-Cultural Research. In the area of diet and health, I looked at the relationships between food, lifestyle, and health by examining the evolution of the human diet. My book on this topic was published by Picador USA and HarperCollins Canada. I recently discussed the allure of pho (Vietnamese noodles) in the Ottawa Citizen.

  • 1-Stephen Le Papua New Guinea



2 Comments Add yours

  1. A. L. Sinikka Dixon, Professor Emerita of Sociology says:

    Having read “Eat LIke Your Grandma” in Maclean’s February 8, issue I question your ancestral time frame. Quoted as one of “Le’s deceptively simple prescriptions… He argues that the adaptations humans have made to their environments in the 12,000 years since human settlement began means that the food that is healthiest for you may be tied to your particular cultural and genetic history.” Yet, he is also quoted as “tracing the history of eating from our predecessors’ insect-chowing days of 100 million years ago..” And “Trying to understand human nutrition and health without understanding evolution, ‘ he argues, “is like trying to eavesdrop on a snippet of conversation without knowing the context. It… can be very misleading.”
    Why not look for nutritional guidelines linked to the “12,000 time frame of human settlement” or close to it in another information source we have access to?
    The Bible says in Genesis 1:29 ” Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.'” There is more nutrition related information in the Bible, but this could be a starting point.

  2. Tatiana says:

    Hi Stephen
    I took the Genographic test to know the journey of my ancestors. I have 52% Central Europe, 18% Native American, 11% Southern Europe, 7% Arabia, 6% Eastern Asia, 2% Western and Central Africa and 0,9% Neanderthal. So, my question is what to do if my ancestors are diverse? The traditional Andean diet of the mountains is based on carbohydrates: potatoes, quinoa and corn. But I am from Lima (Peru) which is located in the desert near to the Pacific Ocean. The traditional diet of the desert consists of fish, different types of pumpkins and corn. I am little confused because my genetic is very mixed!

    Another question is what do you think about the medicinal herbs? Some scientists say that herbalism, is not science. What do you think about traditional medicines like Ayurveda which uses herb for healing?

    Cheers and thanks a lot for your time!!

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