A Note from Darcia
Volume 2, Number 7
Restoring Indigenous Wisdom That Sustained Our Ancestors 
Dear Evolved Nest Readers,

Nature connection used to be a central, taken-for-granted, aspect of human development and existence. Without awareness of the patterns in the weather and other-than-human entities in the landscape (e.g., animals, plants, waterways), our ancestors would have perished. But industrialized societies have “moved indoors,” away from wild nature, fearing and even exterminating much of it. More recently, personal media technologies have added to the disconnection from nature. Industrialized humans have pulled away from natural processes in all sorts of ways, often believing themselves above or apart from nature, a worldview that contrasts with that of indigenous sustainable societies. The indigenous worldview is one of partnership, apprehending the world as interconnected, sentient, sacred and moral. In contrast, the dominating worldview is that humanity is the pinnacle of development and should manipulate and extort for its own ends the rest of the world which is relatively “dumb,” fragmented, and amoral.

Differences in developmental experiences may be key to the loss of holistic sense and flexible attunement in industrialized peoples. Industrialization has moved to treat living things like commodities or even machines, including babies, who are highly immature at birth and require nurturing care to develop well. One of their most critical needs is the provision of the species typical nest. Every animal has a nest for optimizing development, including humans. But most industrialized societies do not provide the evolved nest. Instead, children have been increasingly deprived of what optimizes psychosocial neurobiological development and pushed to excel in only one human capacity, thinking, which is considered by many traditions to be dangerous without “heart.” Evolved nest provision fosters well-being, nature connection and peaceableness.

I gave a talk along these lines for the 2020 American Psychological Association, in the symposium, Toward an Ethically Sustainable World.

Darcia Narvaez, PhD
Read past newsletters in the press room
The Evolved Nest's YouTube Channel
Connecting to Nature: Indigenous Wisdom Meets Neurobiology, with Darcia Narvaez & Four Arrows
This show talks about connection to nature, with the show being inspired by Darcia Narvaez’s study, Indigenous Nature Connection : A 3-Week Intervention Increased Ecological Attachment. The study looked at whether specific interventions could get people to become more ecologically conscious and ecologically empathetic or more aware of conservation behaviors.  One way to connect with nature is to participate in the Eco Attachment Dance

New Paper
Ecocentrism: Resetting Baselines for Virtue Development

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, July 2020
From a planetary perspective, industrialized humans have become unvirtuous and holistically destructive in comparison to 99% of human genus existence. Why? This paper draws a transdisciplinary explanation. Humans are social mammals who are born particularly immature with a lengthy, decades-long maturational schedule and thus evolved an intensive nest for the young (soothing perinatal experience, responsive care, extensive breastfeeding, multiple responsive caregivers, positive social support, self-directed free play with multi-aged mates in the natural world). Neurosciences show that evolved nest components support normal development at all levels (e.g., neurobiological, social, psychological), laying the foundations for virtue.

Nest components are degraded in industrialized societies. Studies and accounts of societies that provide the nest, particularly nomadic foragers, the type of society in which humanity spent 99% of its genus history, indicate a more virtuous human nature than that industrialized societies think is normal or possible. Nest-supported human nature displays Darwin’s moral sense whereas unnested individuals show dysregulation and a degraded moral sense—a species-atypical human nature.

Original virtue is about flourishing—of self, human community and the more than human community—within all circles of life, based in a deep awareness of humanity’s dependence on the rest of nature to survive. The pillars of original virtue include relational attunement (engagement ethic), communal imagination, and respectful partnership with the natural world. All are apparent in human societies that provide the nest to their young, fostering connectedness throughout life. They maintain communal imagination through cultural practices that enhance ecological attachment and receptive intelligence to the natural world.

Eco Attachment Dance Invitation!
Eco Attachment Dance:
A 28 Day Invitation to Renew Your Nature Connection!

Take up the Eco Attachment Dance!

You, your children, your family are invited to discover ways to connect with nature, renew your ecological attachment, and restore your living connection to the Earth. 

Dr. Darcia Narvaez and her students did an experiment to increase ecological attachment—nature connection—through small daily practices. Each day participants practiced one activity that increased attention to and being grateful for the natural world. (See here for the press release about the study, published in EcoPsychology.)

Take up the Eco Attachment Dance to expand your own ecological attachment through an Instagram challenge. Each day for 28 days an activity will be posted for you to practice that day. Each activity takes about 5 minutes (though you can go longer).

If you would like to take the pretest (and later a posttest) you can see how your attitudes and behaviors change after participating in the Eco Attachment Dance.

Visit the website at www.EcoAttachment.Dance

Join the Instagram or Facebook prompts

Watch Dr. Narvaez's video invitation here .
Fresh Eyes On The Evolved Nest
Follow the Fresh Eyes Series to discover how the next generation perceives the Evolved Nest and relates to children, before they become parents...
A World Without Bugs

By Karli Siefker

In order to secure a healthy future for our children, we must introduce them to the natural world which sustains all life. Care must be fostered for even the smallest bug, and luckily, children are naturally filled with wonder at such creatures. By allowing children to explore this curiosity, we are not only providing them educational opportunities, but creating a foundation for a more ecologically-minded generation. 
If life on earth is going to continue to flourish, the relationship between the smallest and most basic members of the food chain and humans, the top of the food chain, needs to be realized. By providing children with the opportunity to learn of this relationship, we are providing the opportunity to mend this relationship and allow all life to grow. 

Book Review Podcast
Do Parenting Books Support the Evolved Nest?

In these book review podcasts, Darcia Narvaez and Mary Tarsha discuss books aimed at parents and how they align or not with humanity’s evolved nest and with child thriving. First a quick review of the evolved nest.

This first book review podcast in the series discusses The Science of Parenting , by Margot Sunderland. A thought-provoking introduction to the art of parenting furnishes practical parenting techniques, strategies, advice, and suggestions for every stage in a child's development, bringing together full-color photographs, real-life anecdotes, and tips to help insure a child's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.

July Blogs
Psychology Today's Moral Landscapes Blog
I write typically about research findings related to moral functioning and living a good life. Sometimes I muse on things that I puzzle about (politics). I am very concerned about how much our society doesn't seem to know about how to raise good, healthy and happy children, so I spend a great deal of time on parenting. I also write about things that I am working on myself--the endless quest for virtue! This is an opinion blog, not a set of research articles, intended for the public not scientists. For more nuanced and highly referenced work, look at my academic work.

How can we restore our heritages of nested, earth-centered living? Understanding humanity’s past (and alternative present) is one place to start.

We can all become dehumanizers, says David Livingstone Smith in his new book, "On Inhumanity."

Implicit associations are trained up by experiences. But there may be ways to guide your implicit mind.

We become human from our immersed experiences—whether social or in the natural world.

Support The Evolved Nest!
A Parent's Endorsement

"Darcia’s work is invaluable! Her research reveals human-nestedness is paramount to a worthwhile and wholesome existence, alongside, within and as-part-of nature. Our species’ ‘true’ societal norms are broken, as revealed through her research of the “Evolved Nest” or the evolved developmental niche. What’s needed is to realign modernity with our species’ typical biological nature. 

"As a biologist who sees all things in nature as animate, it is without a doubt what we’ve been missing and why we humans are experiencing so much unrest, prevalent and normalized psychosis in the form of depression, deep seated aggression, resentment, learning disabilities and so much more. 

"My conversations with Darcia have felt like the reunion of kindred spirits. Her research and words have pointed towards that innate truth I’ve worked hard to try to share with others. Our true human nature is so much more then we are experiencing in these times. We need to nest our children well, as naturally as we did for ten’ of thousands of years of our evolutionary and prehistoric past. 

"'Hope for humanity lies within restoration of our species’ evolved nest. As soon as humanity resumes it’s place, once again, within the niche in which we evolved, only then will we gain true sustainability and a better, more wholesome existence. 

"We owe our children and the future of humanity the nested-ness that is a part of who we really are."

The Evolved Nest is an educational initiative of the award-winning nonprofit Kindred World . Your tax-deductible donation helps us pay our team members for their contributions to our many outreach and educational efforts. Your donations also help us pay for our website as well as upcoming educational programs and materials.

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Find The Evolved Nest on Apple Music
You can now find The Evolved Nest podcast series on iTunes, now called Apple Music! There are currently 24 podcasts available, with more interviews and blog audios planned for the future.

Be sure to give us a great rating and share the podcasts with your friends.

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