Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution by Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson

By Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson

People are a extraordinary anomaly within the wildlife. whereas we're just like different mammals in lots of methods, our habit units us aside. Our exceptional skill to evolve has allowed us to occupy almost each habitat in the world utilizing a tremendous number of instruments and subsistence suggestions. Our societies are higher, extra complicated, and extra cooperative than the other mammal's. during this wonderful exploration of human variation, Peter J. Richerson and Robert Boyd argue that just a Darwinian conception of cultural evolution can clarify those distinct characteristics.

Not via Genes Alone deals a thorough interpretation of human evolution, arguing that our ecological dominance and our singular social structures stem from a psychology uniquely tailored to create advanced tradition. Richerson and Boyd illustrate right here that tradition is neither superorganic nor the handmaiden of the genes. relatively, it really is necessary to human edition, as a lot part of human biology as bipedal locomotion. Drawing on paintings within the fields of anthropology, political technological know-how, sociology, and economics—and development their case with such interesting examples as kayaks, enterprises, shrewdpermanent knots, and yams that require twelve males to hold them—Richerson and Boyd convincingly show that tradition and biology are inextricably associated, they usually exhibit us find out how to take into consideration their interplay in a manner that yields a richer figuring out of human nature.

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

“I stay shocked through the variety of knowledgeable humans (many of them biologists) who imagine that providing factors for human habit by way of tradition someway disproves the advice that human habit will be defined in Darwinian evolutionary phrases. thankfully, we have a e-book to which they're directed for enlightenment . . . . it's a e-book choked with solid feel and the categories of highbrow rigor and readability of writing that we have got come to count on from the Boyd/Richerson stable.”—Robin Dunbar, Nature

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

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The most sweeping claims of this kind have been made by Michael Mannion, whose “mindshift hypothesis” asserts that the “shadow government,” whose members know about aliens, has been systematically “re-educating” the American public. According to Mannion, this campaign has touched virtually every area of popular culture, from films and television programs to the lyrics of popular songs. 18 Such views have been met with skepticism by some conspiracists, either because the use of motion pictures in this way would mean that too many people would know the “real truth,” thus making secrecy harder to maintain; or on the grounds that films have as much potential to mislead as to enlighten or indoctrinate.

In 1990, hundreds of her followers took to the shelters, only to emerge eventually into the same world they had left. These idiosyncratic combinations highlight the improvisational G&S Typesetters PDF proof 02-C2713 6/13/03 12:46 PM Page 19 M I L L E N N I A L I S M A N D S T I G M AT I Z E D K N O W L E D G E 19 style’s characteristic bricolage. Such odd conceptual structures are apt to contain elements from more than one religious tradition, together with ideas from the New Age, occultism, science, and radical politics.

26 If Conspiracy Theory implied that militia claims about black helicopters (discussed further in chapter 4) were grounded in reality, conspiratorial preoccupations were presented in a far more detailed and literal fashion in The X-Files motion picture. The film, which grossed $150 million worldwide, joined T-shirts and a veritable library of books and magazines as part of the industry generated by the original television series. While the film contains the expected quota of references to black helicopters and alien abduction, its most striking characteristic is its demonization of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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