Download Sense and Nonsense: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human by Kevin N. Laland, Gillian Brown PDF

By Kevin N. Laland, Gillian Brown

Evolutionary thought is among the so much wide-ranging and encouraging of medical rules. It bargains a battery of equipment that may be used to interpret human behaviour. however the legitimacy of this workout is on the centre of a heated controversy that has raged for over a century. Many evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists are confident that evolutionary ideas should be utilized to human behaviour, and feature provided evolutionary factors for a variety of human features, comparable to murder, faith and intercourse variations in behaviour. Others are sceptical of those interpretations. additionally, researchers disagree as to the easiest how you can use evolution to discover humanity, and a few colleges have emerged. feel and Nonsense presents an creation to the guidelines, tools and findings of 5 such colleges, specifically, sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, cultural evolution, and gene-culture co-evolution. during this revised and up-to-date version in their winning monograph, Laland and Brown supply a balanced, rigorous research that scrutinizes either the evolutionary arguments and the allegations of the critics, conscientiously guiding the reader in the course of the mire of complicated terminology, declare and counter-claim, and polemical statements. This readable and informative introductory ebook should be of use to undergraduate and postgraduate scholars (for instance, in psychology, anthropology and zoology), to specialists on one method who want to recognize extra in regards to the different views, and to lay-persons drawn to evolutionary causes of human behaviour. Having accomplished this publication, the reader should still believe greater positioned to evaluate the legitimacy of claims made approximately human behaviour below the identify of evolution, and to make decisions as to what's feel and what's nonsense.

Reviews:

"Lucid and balanced, experience and Nonsense will expectantly succeed in a huge viewers. may possibly it turn into assigned analyzing for reporters reporting in this area." --Sarah Hrdy

"Laland and Brown are incredible pilots for those treacherous waters. it really is an altogether first-class book." --Patrick Bateson

"A needs to learn for my undergraduate classes for the forseeable future."--Henry Plotkin

"What makes this publication stand proud of others attempting to conceal comparable topic is that during every one case there's a survey of the main attention-grabbing difficult learn performed in every one box. Laland and Brown's apolitical method of the subject material is helping to differentiate among groundbreaking examine and beguiling pseudo technology lumped jointly in well known debate, and provides the booklet a refreshingly balanced refreshingly balanced perspective."--Focus

"[A]n informative, completely documented publication analyzing ways in which evolutionary thought can assist clarify human social habit. ... The authors are gene-culture coevolutionists, yet they offer a well-balanced account of every of the ways and illustrate methods they are often integrated."--Choice

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Extra info for Sense and Nonsense: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour

Example text

He attacked this dichotomy from both sides, arguing that human beings had more brutish tendencies, and animals more elevated intelligence, than hitherto conceived. In the first part of The Descent of Man, Darwin documented the evidence that human beings have a number of behavioural characteristics in common with other animals, including ‘selfpreservation, sexual love, the love of the mother for her new-born offspring, and the power possessed by the latter for suckling’ (1871, p. 36). Similarly, in The Expression of the Emotions, Darwin catalogued an amazing array of equivalent facial expressions in humans and animals.

Genetic determinism is the belief that our genes contain blueprints for our behaviour that will always be followed and that constitutes our destiny. Such a belief would run contrary to much that is known about how human behaviour develops. Where researchers talk about genetic influences on human behaviour, they do not mean that the behaviour is completely determined by genetic effects, that no other factors play a role in our development, or that a single gene is responsible for each behaviour.

However, such methods require complex statistical procedures, based on a number of key assumptions, and, as we shall see in Chapter 7, they are contentious. SENSE AND NONSENSE 19 understanding of human behaviour will only result from us studying human beings as animals developing in a rich social environment and immersed in complex cultural traditions. Evolutionary perspectives on human behaviour The history of using evolutionary ideas to interpret human behaviour is no dry and dreary chronicle of academic ideas.

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