Culture Evolves

Hardcover | January 22, 2012

EditorAndrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Christopher B. Stringer

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Culture - broadly defined as all we learn from others that endures for long enough to generate customs and traditions - shapes vast swathes of our lives and has allowed the human species to dominate the planet in an evolutionarily unique way. Culture and cultural evolution are uniquelysignificant phenomena in evolutionary biology: they are products of biological evolution, yet they supplement genetic transmission with social transmission, thus achieving a certain independence from natural selection. However, cultural evolution nevertheless expresses key Darwinian processes itselfand also interacts with genetic evolution. Just how culture fits into the grander framework of evolution is a big issue though, yet one that has received relatively little scientific attention compared to, for example, genetic evolution. Our 'capacity for culture' appears so distinctive amonganimals that it is often thought to separate we cultural beings from the rest of nature and the Darwinian forces that shape it. Culture Evolves presents a different view arising from the recent discoveries of a diverse range of disciplines, that focus on evolutionary continuities. First, recent studies reveal that learning from others and the transmission of traditions are more widespread and significant across the animalkingdom than earlier recognized, helping us understand the evolutionary roots of culture. Second, archaeological discoveries have pushed back the origins of human culture to much more ancient times than traditionally thought. These developments together suggest important continuities between animaland human culture. A third new array of discoveries concerns the later diversification of human cultures, where the operations of Darwinian-like, cultural evolutionary processes are increasingly identified. Finally, surprising discoveries have been made about the imprint of cultural evolution inchildren's predisposition to acquire culture.The result of a major interdisciplinary meeting held by the Royal Society and the British Academy, this book presents the work of leading experts from the fields of ethology, behavioural ecology, primatology, comparative psychology, archaeology, anthropology, evolutionary biology and developmentalpsychology.

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Culture - broadly defined as all we learn from others that endures for long enough to generate customs and traditions - shapes vast swathes of our lives and has allowed the human species to dominate the planet in an evolutionarily unique way. Culture and cultural evolution are uniquelysignificant phenomena in evolutionary biology: they...

Andrew Whiten is Director of the Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution at the University of St Andrews and Director of the University's 'Living Links to Human Evolution' Research Centre in Edinburgh Zoo. His research interests are broadly in the evolution and development of social cognition, with a particular recent focus ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:504 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.98 inPublished:January 22, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199608962

ISBN - 13:9780199608966

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Table of Contents

Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Kevin N. Laland, and Christopher B. Stringer: IntroductionGuillaume Rieucau and Luc-Alain Giraldeau: Exploring the costs and benefits of social information use: an appraisal of current experimental evidenceK.N. Laland, N.Atton, and M.M. Webster: From fish to fashion: experimental and theoretical insights into the evolution of cultureTore Slagsvold and Karen L. Wiebe: Social learning in birds and its role in shaping a foraging niceAlex Thornton and Tim Clutton-Brock: Social learning and the development of individual and group behaviour in mammal societiesSusan Perry: Social traditions and social learning in capuchin monkeys (Cebus)Andrew Whiten: The scope of culture in chimpanzees, humans, and ancestral apesCarel P. van Schaik and Judith M. Burkart: Social learning and evolution: the cultural intelligence hypothesisSimon M. Reader, Yfke Hager, and Kevin N. Laland: The evolution of primate general and cultural intelligenceIgnacio de la Torre: The origins of stone tool technology in Africa: a historical perspectiveNaama Goren-Inbar: Culture and cognition in the Acheulian industry: a case study from Gesher Benot Ya'aqovDietrich Stout: Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognitionFrancesco d'Errico and Chris B. Stringer: Evolution, revolution or saltation scenario for the emergence of modern culturesStephen Shennan: Descent with modification and the archaeological recordR.A. Foley and M. Mirazon Lahr: The evolution of the diversity of culturesRussell D. Gray, Quentin D. Atkinson, and Simon J. Greenhill: Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makesAndreea S. Calude and Mark Pagel: How do we use language? Shared patters in the frequency of word use across 17 world languagesThomas E. Currie and Ruth Mace: Mode and tempo in the evolution of socio-political organization: reconciling 'Darwinian' and 'Spencerian' evolutionary approaches in anthropologyL. Rendell, R. Boyd, M. Enquist, M.W. Feldman, L. Fogarty, and K. N. Laland: How copying affects the amount, evenness, and persistence of cultural knowledge: insights from the social learning strategies tournamentMark Collard, Briggs Buchanan, Jesse Morin, and Andre Costopoulos: What drives the evolution of hunter gatherer subsistence technology? A reanalysis of the risk hypothesis with data from the Pacific NorthwestJoseph Henrich and James Broesch: On the nature of cultural transmission networks: evidence from Fijian villages for adaptive learning biasesGergely Csibra and Gyorgy Gergeley: Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptationDerek E. Lyons, Diana H. Damrosch, Jennifer K. Lin, Deanna M. Macris, and Frank C. Keil: The scope and limits of overimitation in the transmission of artefact cultureBarry S. Hewlett, Hillary N. Fouts, Adam H. Boyette, and Bonnie L. Hewlett: Social learning among Congo Basin hunter-gathersPaul L. Harris and Kathleen H. Corriveau: Young children's selective trust in informants