COEVOLUTION GENES CULTURE AND HUMAN DIVERSITY

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Coevolution

Author : William H. Durham
ISBN : 0804721564
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.42 MB
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Charles Darwin's "On the Origins of Species" had two principal goals: to show that species had not been separately created and to show that natural selection had been the main force behind their proliferation and descent from common ancestors. In "Coevolution," the author proposes a powerful new theory of cultural evolution--that is, of the descent with modification of the shared conceptual systems we call "cultures"--that is parallel in many ways to Darwin's theory of organic evolution. The author suggests that a process of cultural selection, or preservation by preference, driven chiefly by choice or imposition depending on the circumstances, has been the main but not exclusive force of cultural change. He shows that this process gives rise to five major patterns or "modes" in which cultural change is at odds with genetic change. Each of the five modes is discussed in some detail and its existence confirmed through one or more case studies chosen for their heuristic value, the robustness of their data, and their broader implications. But "Coevolution" predicts not simply the existence of the five modes of gene-culture relations; it also predicts their relative importance in the ongoing dynamics of cultural change in particular cases. The case studies themselves are lucid and innovative reexaminations of an array of oft-pondered anthropological topics--plural marriage, sickle-cell anemia, basic color terms, adult lactose absorption, incest taboos, headhunting, and cannibalism. In a general case, the author's goal is to demonstrate that an evolutionary analysis of both genes and culture has much to contribute to our understanding of human diversity, particularly behavioral diversity, and thus to the resolution of age-old questions about nature and nurture, genes and culture.
Category: Social Science

Coevolution

Author : William H. Durham
ISBN : 0804715378
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50.27 MB
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Presents the theory that cultural change is a process of selection based on choice or imposition, and examines the range of relationships between genes and culture in human populations. Five patterns of relationship between genes and culture are discussed, and their implications are explored in case studies of sickle-cell anemia in West Africa, marriage in Tibet, adult lactose absorption, evolution of incest taboos, and cultural reason and cannibalism. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Category: Social Science

The Dawn Of Human Culture

Author : Richard G. Klein
ISBN : 9780471449317
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43.40 MB
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A bold new theory on what sparked the "big bang" of human culture The abrupt emergence of human culture over a stunningly short period continues to be one of the great enigmas of human evolution. This compelling book introduces a bold new theory on this unsolved mystery. Author Richard Klein reexamines the archaeological evidence and brings in new discoveries in the study of the human brain. These studies detail the changes that enabled humans to think and behave in far more sophisticated ways than before, resulting in the incredibly rapid evolution of new skills. Richard Klein has been described as "the premier anthropologist in the country today" by Evolutionary Anthropology. Here, he and coauthor Blake Edgar shed new light on the full story of a truly fascinating period of evolution. Richard G. Klein, PhD (Palo Alto, CA), is a Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. He is the author of the definitive academic book on the subject of the origins of human culture, The Human Career. Blake Edgar (San Francisco, CA) is the coauthor of the very successful From Lucy to Language, with Dr. Donald Johanson. He has written extensively for Discover, GEO, and numerous other magazines.
Category: Social Science

Food Genes And Culture

Author : Gary Paul Nabhan
ISBN : 9781610914932
Genre : Health & Fitness
File Size : 75.81 MB
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Vegan, low fat, low carb, slow carb: Every diet seems to promise a one-size-fits-all solution to health. But they ignore the diversity of human genes and how they interact with what we eat. In Food, Genes, and Culture, renowned ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan shows why the perfect diet for one person could be disastrous for another. If your ancestors were herders in Northern Europe, milk might well provide you with important nutrients, whereas if you're Native American, you have a higher likelihood of lactose intolerance. If your roots lie in the Greek islands, the acclaimed Mediterranean diet might save your heart; if not, all that olive oil could just give you stomach cramps. Nabhan traces food traditions around the world, from Bali to Mexico, uncovering the links between ancestry and individual responses to food. The implications go well beyond personal taste. Today's widespread mismatch between diet and genes is leading to serious health conditions, including a dramatic growth over the last 50 years in auto-immune and inflammatory diseases. Readers will not only learn why diabetes is running rampant among indigenous peoples and heart disease has risen among those of northern European descent, but may find the path to their own perfect diet.
Category: Health & Fitness

Cultural Evolution

Author : Alex Mesoudi
ISBN : 9780226520452
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 68.92 MB
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Charles Darwin changed the course of scientific thinking by showing how evolution accounts for the stunning diversity and biological complexity of life on earth. Recently, there has also been increased interest in the social sciences in how Darwinian theory can explain human culture. Covering a wide range of topics, including fads, public policy, the spread of religion, and herd behavior in markets, Alex Mesoudi shows that human culture is itself an evolutionary process that exhibits the key Darwinian mechanisms of variation, competition, and inheritance. This cross-disciplinary volume focuses on the ways cultural phenomena can be studied scientifically—from theoretical modeling to lab experiments, archaeological fieldwork to ethnographic studies—and shows how apparently disparate methods can complement one another to the mutual benefit of the various social science disciplines. Along the way, the book reveals how new insights arise from looking at culture from an evolutionary angle. Cultural Evolution provides a thought-provoking argument that Darwinian evolutionary theory can both unify different branches of inquiry and enhance understanding of human behavior.
Category: Political Science

Darwin S Unfinished Symphony

Author : Kevin N. Laland
ISBN : 9781400884872
Genre : Science
File Size : 33.16 MB
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How culture transformed human evolution Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for cultural production, from the arts and language to science and technology. How did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin's Unfinished Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution. This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process. Kevin Laland shows how the learned and socially transmitted activities of our ancestors shaped our intellects through accelerating cycles of evolutionary feedback. The truly unique characteristics of our species—such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and cooperation—are not adaptive responses to predators, disease, or other external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, and bringing it to life with vivid natural history, Laland explains how animals imitate, innovate, and have remarkable traditions of their own. He traces our rise from scavenger apes in prehistory to modern humans able to design iPhones, dance the tango, and send astronauts into space. This book tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin's intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.
Category: Science

Principles Of Evolutionary Medicine

Author : Peter Gluckman
ISBN : 9780191083402
Genre : Science
File Size : 60.44 MB
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Evolutionary science is critical to an understanding of integrated human biology and is increasingly recognised as a core discipline by medical and public health professionals. Advances in the field of genomics, epigenetics, developmental biology, and epidemiology have led to the growing realisation that incorporating evolutionary thinking is essential for medicine to achieve its full potential. This revised and updated second edition of the first comprehensive textbook of evolutionary medicine explains the principles of evolutionary biology from a medical perspective and focuses on how medicine and public health might utilise evolutionary thinking. It is written to be accessible to a broad range of readers, whether or not they have had formal exposure to evolutionary science. The general structure of the second edition remains unchanged, with the initial six chapters providing a summary of the evolutionary theory relevant to understanding human health and disease, using examples specifically relevant to medicine. The second part of the book describes the application of evolutionary principles to understanding particular aspects of human medicine: in addition to updated chapters on reproduction, metabolism, and behaviour, there is an expanded chapter on our coexistence with micro-organisms and an entirely new chapter on cancer. The two parts are bridged by a chapter that details pathways by which evolutionary processes affect disease risk and symptoms, and how hypotheses in evolutionary medicine can be tested. The final two chapters of the volume are considerably expanded; they illustrate the application of evolutionary biology to medicine and public health, and consider the ethical and societal issues of an evolutionary perspective. A number of new clinical examples and historical illustrations are included. This second edition of a novel and popular textbook provides an updated resource for doctors and other health professionals, medical students and biomedical scientists, as well as anthropologists interested in human health, to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary processes underlying human health and disease.
Category: Science

Why Some Like It Hot

Author : Gary Paul Nabhan
ISBN : 9781610913577
Genre : Science
File Size : 62.99 MB
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Do your ears burn whenever you eat hot chile peppers? Does your face immediately flush when you drink alcohol? Does your stomach groan if you are exposed to raw milk or green fava beans? If so, you are probably among the one-third of the world's human population that is sensitive to certain foods due to your genes' interactions with them. Formerly misunderstood as "genetic disorders," many of these sensitivities are now considered to be adaptations that our ancestors evolved in response to the dietary choices and diseases they faced over millennia in particular landscapes. They are liabilities only when we are "out of place," on globalized diets depleted of certain chemicals that triggered adaptive responses in our ancestors. In Why Some Like It Hot, an award-winning natural historian takes us on a culinary odyssey to solve the puzzles posed by "the ghosts of evolution" hidden within every culture and its traditional cuisine. As we travel with Nabhan from Java and Bali to Crete and Sardinia, to Hawaii and Mexico, we learn how various ethnic cuisines formerly protected their traditional consumers from both infectious and nutrition-related diseases. We also bear witness to the tragic consequences of the loss of traditional foods, from adult-onset diabetes running rampant among 100 million indigenous peoples to the historic rise in heart disease among individuals of northern European descent. In this, the most insightful and far-reaching book of his career, Nabhan offers us a view of genes, diets, ethnicity, and place that will forever change the way we understand human health and cultural diversity. This book marks the dawning of evolutionary gastronomy in a way that may save and enrich millions of lives.
Category: Science

Rebuilding The Matrix

Author : Denis Alexander
ISBN : 0310250188
Genre : Religion
File Size : 90.90 MB
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Fresh thinking and new insights on the nature of science in relation to faith, showing particularly that (1) true science does not need to be and in fact is not hostile to religious faith, and (2) evangelical Christians in general need not be either fearful of nor hostile toward scientific endeavor.
Category: Religion

The Selfish Gene

Author : Richard Dawkins
ISBN : 0192860925
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 44.71 MB
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An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit
Category: Literary Criticism