Not by Genes Alone How Culture Transformed Human Evolution

ISBN-10: 0226712125

ISBN-13: 9780226712123

Edition: 2006

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Description: Humans are a striking anomaly in the natural world. While we are similar to other mammals in many ways, our behavior sets us apart. Our unparalleled ability to adapt has allowed us to occupy virtually every habitat on earth, and our societies are larger, more complex, and more cooperative than any other mammal’s. In Not by Genes Alone, Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd argue that only a Darwinian theory of cultural evolution can explain these unique characteristics.nbsp; Not by Genes Alone offers a radical interpretation of human evolution, arguing that our ecological dominance and our singular social systems stem from a psychology uniquely adapted to create complex culture. Richerson and Boyd consider culture to be essential to human adaptation, as much a part of human biology as bipedal locomotion. Drawing on work in the fields of anthropology, political science, sociology, and economics—and building their case with such fascinating examples as kayaks, clever knots, and yams that require twelve men to carry them—Richerson and Boyd convincingly demonstrate that culture and biology are inextricably linked.nbsp; In abandoning the nature-versus-nurture debate as fundamentally misconceived, Not by Genes Alone is a truly original and groundbreaking theory of the role of culture in evolution and a book to be reckoned with for generations to come. “Not by Genes Alone is a valuable and very readable synthesis of a still embryonic but very important subject straddling the sciences and humanities.”—E. O. Wilson, Harvard Universitynbsp;

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Book details

List price: $31.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 6/1/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 342
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Peter J. Richerson is professor of environmental science at the University of California, Davis. Robert Boyd is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prolific authors and editors, they coauthored Culture and the Evolutionary Process, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Acknowledgments
Culture Is Essential
Culture Exists
Culture Evolves
Culture Is an Adaptation
Culture Is Maladaptive
Culture and Genes Coevolve
Nothing About Culture Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution
Notes
References and Author Index
General Index
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