Kinship and Human Evolution

Author: Steen Bergendorff
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498524184
Format: PDF, ePub
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Kinship and Human Evolution: Making Culture, Becoming Human offers an exciting new explanation of human evolution. Based on insights from anthropology, it shows how humans became “cultured” beings capable of symbolic thought by developing kinship-based exchange relationships. Kinship was as an adaptive response to the harsh environment caused by the last major ice age. In the extreme ice age conditions, natural selection favored those groups that could forge and sustain such alliances, and the resulting relationships enabled them to share different food resources between groups. Kinship was a means of symbolically linking two or more groups, to the mutual reproductive advantage of both. From an evolutionary point of view, kinship freed humans from their dependence on their immediate environment, vastly expanding the niches they could occupy. If we take kinship to be the major factor in human evolution, networks and alliances must precede cultural units, becoming the defining element of localized cultures. Kinship and Human Evolution argues that it is living in networks that produces cultural differences and not culturally different groups that encounter one another; it shows that kinship both saved and created humanity as we know it, in all its cultural diversity.

Early Human Kinship

Author: Nicholas J. Allen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444338781
Format: PDF
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Early Human Kinship brings together original studies from leading figures in the biological sciences, social anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics to provide a major breakthrough in the debate over human evolution and the nature of society. A major new collaboration between specialists across the range of the human sciences including evolutionary biology and psychology; social/cultural anthropology; archaeology and linguistics Provides a ground-breaking set of original studies offering a new perspective on early human history Debates fundamental questions about early human society: Was there a connection between the beginnings of language and the beginnings of organized 'kinship and marriage'? How far did evolutionary selection favor gender and generation as principles for regulating social relations? Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in conjunction with the British Academy

Apes and Human Evolution

Author: Russell H. Tuttle
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674073169
Format: PDF, ePub
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Russell Tuttle synthesizes a vast literature in primate evolution and behavior to explain how apes and humans evolved in relation to one another and why humans became a bipedal, tool-making, culture-inventing species distinct from other hominoids. He refutes the theory that we are sophisticated, instinctively aggressive and destructive killer apes.

How Culture Makes Us Human

Author: Dwight W Read
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315427249
Format: PDF, ePub
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What separates modern humans from our primate cousins—are we a mere blink in the march of evolution, or does human culture represent the definitive evolutionary turn? Dwight Read explores the dilemma in this engaging, thought-provoking book, taking readers through an evolutionary odyssey from our primate beginnings through the development of culture and social organization. He assesses the two major trends in this field: one that sees us as a logical culmination of primate evolution, arguing that the rudiments of culture exist in primates and even magpies, and another that views the human transition as so radical that the primate model provides no foundation for understanding human dynamics. Expertly synthesizing a wide body of evidence from the anthropological and life sciences in accessible prose, Read’s book will interest a broad readership from experts to undergraduate students and the general public.

The Secret of Our Success

Author: Joseph Henrich
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400873290
Format: PDF
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Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains—on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations. Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory. Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.

Wired for Culture Origins of the Human Social Mind

Author: Mark Pagel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393065871
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An evolutionary biologist explores the concept of culture and how it influenced our collective human behaviors from the beginning of evolution through modern times and offers new insights on how art, morality and altruism and self-interest define being human. 20,000 first printing.

Kinship to Mastery

Author: Stephen R. Kellert
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597268905
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Kinship to Mastery is a fascinating and accessible exploration of the notion of biophilia -- the idea that humans, having evolved with the rest of creation, possess a biologically based attraction to nature and exhibit an innate affinity for life and lifelike processes. Stephen R. Kellert sets forth the idea that people exhibit different expressions of biophilia in different contexts, and demonstrates how our quality of life in the largest sense is dependent upon the richness of our connections with nature. While the natural world provides us with material necessities -- food, clothing, medicine, clean air, pure water -- it just as importantly plays a key role in other aspects of our lives, including intellectual capacity, emotional bonding, aesthetic attraction, creativity, imagination, and even the recognition of a just and purposeful existence. As Kellert explains, each expression of biophilia shows how our physical, material, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being is to a great extent dependent on our relationships with the natural world that surrounds us. Kinship to Mastery is a thought-provoking examination of a concept that, while not widely known, has a significant and direct effect on the lives of people everywhere. Because the full expression of biophilia is integral to our overall health, our ongoing destruction of the environment could have far more serious consequences than many people think. In a readable and compelling style, Kellert describes and explains the concept of biophilia, and demonstrates to a general audience the wide-ranging implications of environmental degradation. Kinship to Mastery continues the exploration of biophilia begun with Edward O. Wilson's landmark book Biophilia (Harvard University Press, 1984) and followed by The Biophilia Hypothesis (Island Press, 1993), co-edited by Wilson and Kellert, which brought together some of the most creative scientists of our time to explore Wilson's theory in depth.

The Character of Human Institutions

Author: Michael Egan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351485288
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This volume celebrates the life and work of Robin Fox and the idea of a biosocial science. From his early studies of kinship, primates, the brain, evolution, the incest taboo, and aggression, to his later work on literature, politics, civilization, law, the Bible, Shakespeare, and the history of ideas, Robin Fox inspired many with an evolutionary vision of humanity that goes beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries and embraces the universal history of mankind. Fox's work represents an independent biosocial science stream of thinking that accepts the Darwinian mandate while avoiding reductionism by recognizing culture as a natural phenomenon. The essays cover Fox's life and his contributions, and address topics as diverse as the meaning and function of laughter; the unforgiving discipline of writing popular anthropology; extreme drinking rituals among young men training for the British army; Darwin and close-cousin marriage; the universal essence of the epic form as a super-attractor; anthropologists' autobiographies; the conflict between science and anti-science; and the decline of British imperial education. This engaging collection on a mainstream maverick has been edited by Michael Egan. It includes essays by Sir Antony Jay, Lionel Tiger, Howard Bloom, Michael McGuire, Kate Fox, Melvin Konner, Alan Macfarlane, Adam Kuper, Dieter Steklis, Alexandra Maryanski, Bernard Chapais, Jonathan Turner, Linda Stone, Charles Macdonald, Anne Fox, David Jenkins, Frederick Turner, Robert Trivers, and an essay by Robin Fox himself.

Early Human Kinship

Author: Nicholas J. Allen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444338781
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Early Human Kinship brings together original studies from leading figures in the biological sciences, social anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics to provide a major breakthrough in the debate over human evolution and the nature of society. A major new collaboration between specialists across the range of the human sciences including evolutionary biology and psychology; social/cultural anthropology; archaeology and linguistics Provides a ground-breaking set of original studies offering a new perspective on early human history Debates fundamental questions about early human society: Was there a connection between the beginnings of language and the beginnings of organized 'kinship and marriage'? How far did evolutionary selection favor gender and generation as principles for regulating social relations? Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in conjunction with the British Academy