Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution

Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution

Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson


people are a outstanding anomaly within the flora and fauna. whereas we're just like different mammals in lots of methods, our habit units us aside. Our unprecedented skill to evolve has allowed us to occupy almost each habitat in the world utilizing an immense number of instruments and subsistence ideas. Our societies are higher, extra complicated, and extra cooperative than the other mammal's. during this gorgeous exploration of human model, Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd argue that just a Darwinian conception of cultural evolution can clarify those exact characteristics.

Not via Genes Alone bargains a thorough interpretation of human evolution, arguing that our ecological dominance and our singular social platforms stem from a psychology uniquely tailored to create advanced tradition. Richerson and Boyd illustrate the following that tradition is neither superorganic nor the handmaiden of the genes. fairly, it truly is necessary to human model, as a lot part of human biology as bipedal locomotion. Drawing on paintings within the fields of anthropology, political technology, sociology, and economics—and development their case with such attention-grabbing examples as kayaks, businesses, shrewdpermanent knots, and yams that require twelve males to hold them—Richerson and Boyd convincingly reveal that tradition and biology are inextricably associated, and so they express us the way to take into consideration their interplay in a fashion that yields a richer knowing of human nature.

In forsaking the nature-versus-nurture debate as essentially misconceived, Not by way of Genes Alone is a very unique and groundbreaking thought of the function of tradition in evolution and a ebook to be reckoned with for generations to come.

“I stay stunned via the variety of trained humans (many of them biologists) who imagine that supplying factors for human habit by way of tradition one way or the other disproves the recommendation that human habit could be defined in Darwinian evolutionary phrases. thankfully, we've got a booklet to which they are directed for enlightenment . . . . it's a publication jam-packed with sturdy feel and the categories of highbrow rigor and readability of writing that we have got come to anticipate from the Boyd/Richerson stable.”—Robin Dunbar, Nature

Not by way of Genes Alone is a important and extremely readable synthesis of a nonetheless embryonic yet vitally important topic straddling the sciences and humanities.”—E. O. Wilson, Harvard University

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