Researchers of cultural evolution may leverage this understanding to enable them to predict (and potentially intervene) in key domains of great global concern.
Cultural forces are far greater than genetic predisposition or geographic proximity in promoting cooperation with nonkin.
The theory of major transitions provides an all-encompassing framework to explore both the opportunities and challenges facing humanity in the Internet Age.
The fact that evolutionary selection pressures so often result in social pathologies might be hard to accept, but once faced squarely it can lead to an optimistic point of view.
Through a cultural multilevel selection perspective, seeing an individual “other” as human can shift the level of selection from within subgroups at a lower level to between groups at a higher level.
Since cultural evolution is fueled by the creative efforts of human minds which, by anyone’s definition, are conscious, it would seem that consciousness plays a central role in cultural evolution.
Companies are great at evaluating skills but inconsistent at evaluating temperament due to unconscious bias. These biases are, in part, a natural outcome of the human species evolving in small, homogenous groups. But new tools can help us overcome our innate biases to achieve cultural change.
Collective and sustainable behavior is partially dependent on maintaining higher levels of cooperation among those involved, from the boardroom to the global stage.
Storytelling may help to solve problems of co-ordination in hunter-gatherer societies in order to promote cooperation.
At the heart of Kevin Laland's new book is a “cultural drive” mechanism, whereby selection for accurate, efficient information transmission shaped the evolution of the primate brain and intelligence.
Join Dr. Amanda Glaze in this insightful and engaging webinar as she discusses her research on teaching and learning evolution in the South and hear the insightful stories she has collected along the way.
Creating a truly functional, equitable, stable and sustainable nation certainly won’t be easy but a “blueprint,” can be found in our evolutionary past. What will it take? Those with the most power recognizing the realities of white supremacy, finding what’s needed to upscale this blueprint, and having the courage and vision to do so.
The concept of niche construction stresses a dialectical relationship between organisms and their environments, rather than one being passively shaped by the other. It has deep roots in evolutionary thought but only now is resulting in a systematic research program. Join Gordon Burghardt and Kevin Laland as they take a deep dive into the subject.
Peter Turchin discusses his new book "Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth". Ultrasociety chronicles 10,000 years of human history from an evolutionary perspective, shows how warfare paradoxically caused us to become the greatest cooperators on earth, and begins to point the way toward a future without war.
In order for us to understand culture, it is in relation to our environments, both biological—as stressed by evolutionary psychology—and social—as stressed by cultural evolution. A well validated theoretical perspective can generate insights and explanations that lab experiments alone cannot provide.
To gain a holistic understanding of social evolution, we need to consider cumulative evidence, completing the puzzle one piece at a time. And to do that, we need to move back and forth between field and lab studies.
If field sites are cross-cultural, multi-method, and collaborative across disciplines, however, they can improve the quality of our field, and help us make major steps toward understanding the evolution of human behavior.
How might we create a field site concept for cultural evolution that provides depth and breadth but that is based on new data?
If sociologists come to recognize that sociality and group process underlie the evolution of our species and are inherent in our biology, the use of field sites will become not just a means of framing sociological research but a clarion call for transdisciplinary recognition of the centrality of our discipline.
Cultural evolution research faces many challenges in the years to come. One of the most fundamental, perhaps, is to establish the extent to which cultural evolution is Darwinian.
Together with commentaries by authors with diverse perspectives on field research, we hope to catalyze the formation of field sites for the study of cultural evolution around the world.
The human capacity to transmit large amounts of learned information across generations is now properly seen as both a product of genetic evolution and a process of evolution in its own right.
Citizen science is about regular people contributing to scientific discovery. Today’s burgeoning citizen science movement is aided and abetted by smartphone apps that precisely geolocate species observations. This “big data” citizen science is at the forefront of scientific methodologies today, but the roots of citizen science, and its basic purpose, hail back to Enlightenment impulses to understand God’s creation.
Dominic Johnson's new book present an new look at religion by suggesting that the same underlying scientific perspective—evolution and natural selection—can lead to a very different stance on religion from Richard Dawkins and other New Atheists.