COEVOLUTION GENES CULTURE AND HUMAN DIVERSITY

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Coevolution

Author : William H. Durham
ISBN : 0804721564
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 54.22 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

Humankind How Biology And Geography Shape Human Diversity

Author : Alexander H. Harcourt
ISBN : 9781605987859
Genre : Science
File Size : 87.25 MB
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An innovative and illuminating look at how the evolution of the human species has been shaped by the world around us, from anatomy and physiology, to cultural diversity and population density. Where did the human species originate? Why are tropical peoples much more diverse than those at polar latitudes? Why can only Japanese peoples digest seaweed? How are darker skin, sunlight, and fertility related? Did Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens ever interbreed? In Humankind, U. C. Davis professor Alexander Harcourt answers these questions and more, as he explains how the expansion of the human species around the globe and our interaction with our environment explains much about why humans differ from one region of the world to another, not only biologically, but culturally. What effects have other species had on the distribution of humans around the world, and we, in turn, on their distribution? And how have human populations affected each other’s geography, even existence? For the first time in a single book, Alexander Harcourt brings these topics together to help us understand why we are, what we are, where we are. It turns out that when one looks at humanity's expansion around the world, and in the biological explanations for our geographic diversity, we humans are often just another primate. Humanity's distribution around the world and the type of organism we are today has been shaped by the same biogeographical forces that shape other species.
Category: Science

Cultural Diversity Versus Economic Solidarity

Author : Philippe Van Parijs
ISBN : 280414660X
Genre : Science
File Size : 26.47 MB
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Du fait de l'immigration, la diversité culturelle et linguistique de nos sociétés a tendance à augmenter. Du fait d'interdépendances multiples, nous devons aussi de plus en plus fonctionner au niveau d'entités plurinationales, comme l'Union européenne, qui connaissent une diversité culturelle et linguistique sensiblement plus grande que chacune de leurs composantes. N'est-il pas d'autant plus difficile d'organiser durablement une solidarité généreuse au sein d'une population qu'elle est plus hétérogène culturellement et linguistiquement ? Si c'est le cas, les politiques dites " multiculturelles " sont-elle de nature à adoucir cette tension ou au contraire à l'exacerber ? C'est autour de ces questions que Philippe Van Parijs a rassemblé des chercheurs de divers horizons, mondialement réputés, pour deux jours de discussion intense. Ce livre reprend l'ensemble des communications et commentaires, suivi de conclusions personnelles par Brian Barry, Will Kymlicka et Philippe Van Parijs.
Category: Science

Cultural Diversity Among Twentieth Century Foragers

Author : Susan Kent
ISBN : 0521482372
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 35.12 MB
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This book examines variability within broadly defined African forager societies. Foragers have been seen as culturally similar as they all pursue a subsistence strategy emphasising hunting and gathering. However, new research suggests there may be more diversity among groups than has been acknowledged. Here, leading scholars contrast groups with in forager societies. Chapters range in scope from symbolic to ecological and behavioural, providing invaluable data on hunter-gatherer life for anyone concerned with past or present foragers.
Category: Social Science

Dawkins God

Author : Alister E. McGrath
ISBN : 9781118964798
Genre : Religion
File Size : 60.27 MB
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A fully updated new edition of a critically acclaimed examination of the theories and writings of Richard Dawkins by a world-renowned expert on the relation of science and religion Includes in-depth analysis of Dawkins’ landmark treatise The God Delusion (2006), as well as coverage of his later popular works The Magic of Reality (2011) and The Greatest Show on Earth (2011),and a new chapter on Dawkins as a popularizer of science Tackles Dawkins’ hostile and controversial views on religion, and examine the religious implications of his scientific ideas including a comprehensive investigation of the ‘selfish gene’ Written in an accessible and engaging style that will appeal to anyone interested in better understanding the interplay between science and religion
Category: Religion

From Equality To Inequality

Author : Csilla Dallos
ISBN : 9781442642225
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 85.66 MB
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The egalitarian society once enjoyed by the Lanoh hunter-gatherers of Peninsular Malaysia is quickly changing. Throughout a year of ethnographic fieldwork among the Lanoh, Csilla Dallos studied and interpreted social change in order to better understand the processes leading to inequality and the concurrent development of social complexity within a community. From Equality to Inequality provides rich empirical data on the factors within a community that significantly affect the development of inequality, including the effects of sedentism, integration, leadership competition, self-aggrandizement, marginalization, and feuding kinship groups. In this case study, Dallos argues that in order to understand emerging inequality, anthropologists and social scientists need to revisit current conceptions of politics in small-scale egalitarian societies. Offering a new model of developing social inequality that is congruent with the principles of complexity theory, From Equality to Inequality is a sterling example of how anthropological practice can further our general understanding of human behaviour.
Category: Social Science

Breaking The Spell

Author : Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN : 110121886X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 87.65 MB
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For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.
Category: Religion

The Measure Of Civilization

Author : Ian Morris
ISBN : 9781400844760
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 30.37 MB
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In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. The Measure of Civilization presents a brand-new way of investigating these questions and provides new tools for assessing the long-term growth of societies. Using a groundbreaking numerical index of social development that compares societies in different times and places, award-winning author Ian Morris sets forth a sweeping examination of Eastern and Western development across 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age. He offers surprising conclusions about when and why the West came to dominate the world and fresh perspectives for thinking about the twenty-first century. Adapting the United Nations' approach for measuring human development, Morris's index breaks social development into four traits--energy capture per capita, organization, information technology, and war-making capacity--and he uses archaeological, historical, and current government data to quantify patterns. Morris reveals that for 90 percent of the time since the last ice age, the world's most advanced region has been at the western end of Eurasia, but contrary to what many historians once believed, there were roughly 1,200 years--from about 550 to 1750 CE--when an East Asian region was more advanced. Only in the late eighteenth century CE, when northwest Europeans tapped into the energy trapped in fossil fuels, did the West leap ahead. Resolving some of the biggest debates in global history, The Measure of Civilization puts forth innovative tools for determining past, present, and future economic and social trends.
Category: Social Science

Human Social Evolution

Author : Kyle Summers
ISBN : 9780199339631
Genre : Science
File Size : 80.62 MB
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Richard D. Alexander is an accomplished entomologist who turned his attention to solving some of the most perplexing problems associated with the evolution of human social systems. Using impeccable Darwinian logic and elaborating, extending and adding to the classic theoretical contributions of pioneers of behavioral and evolutionary ecology like George Williams, William Hamilton and Robert Trivers, Alexander developed the most detailed and comprehensive vision of human social evolution of his era. His ideas and hypotheses have inspired countless biologists, anthropologists, psychologists and other social scientists to explore the evolution of human social behavior in ever greater detail, and many of his seminal ideas have stood the test of time and come to be pillars of our understanding of human social evolution. This volume presents classic papers or chapters by Dr. Alexander, each focused on an important theme from his work. Introductions by Dr. Alexander's former students and colleagues highlight the importance of his work to the field, describe more recent work on the topic, and discuss current issues of contention and interest.
Category: Science