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Genes, Mind, And Culture: The Coevolutionary Process [Hardcover]

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Item description for Genes, Mind, And Culture: The Coevolutionary Process by Charles J. Lumsden; Edward O Wilson...

Long considered one of the most provocative and demanding major works on human sociobiology, Genes, Mind, and Culture introduces the concept of gene-culture coevolution. It has been out of print for several years, and in this volume Lumsden and Wilson provide a much needed facsimile edition of their original work, together with a major review of progress in the discipline during the ensuing quarter century. They argue compellingly that human nature is neither arbitrary nor predetermined, and identify mechanisms that energize the upward translation from genes to culture. The authors also assess the properties of genetic evolution of mind within emergent cultural patterns. Lumsden and Wilson explore the rich and sophisticated data of developmental psychology and cognitive science in a fashion that, for the first time, aligns these disciplines with human sociobiology. The authors also draw on population genetics, cultural anthropology, and mathematical physics to set human sociobiology on a predictive base, and so trace the main steps that lead from the genes through human consciousness to culture.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Deluxe Edition
Studio: World Scientific Publishing Company
Pages   496
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.06" Height: 1.73"
Weight:   1.72 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 30, 2005
Publisher   World Scientific Publishing Company
ISBN  9812562745  
ISBN13  9789812562746  

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Medicine > Basic Science > Genetics
2Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Medical > Basic Sciences > Genetics
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > Biology
4Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Evolution > Genetics
5Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > General
6Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Biology
7Books > Subjects > Science > Evolution > General
8Books > Subjects > Science > Evolution > Genetics
9Books > Subjects > Science > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Genes, Mind, And Culture: The Coevolutionary Process?

Brilliant ideas, flawed analysis  Mar 8, 1999
It is difficult to decide whether to praise this book for its (at the time) innovative and novel approach to gene-culture coevolution or criticize it for its endless slurry of ad hoc models with groundless or unspecified assumptions. One can do both. The idea they present, that there is a positive feedback mechanism between biological and cultural evolution, is by far the best working hypothesis for why human society "took off" after millenea of paleolithic stasis. The theory central to the book is that genetic constraints shape culture, which in turn becomes the cultural environment in which an individual's Darwinian fitness is determined, forming a positive feedback between cultural and evolutionary change. This posits a specific mechanism for the role of genetic change in cultural evolution, going far beyond the intellectually vacuous "resolution" of the nature-nurture debate by those who say "it's both." However, none of the models they present can be regarded as anything but mathematical playthings, in few cases are any of the variables or parameters quantities that can actually be measured or therefore tested. Often, it is not entirely clear what the dependent variables in the system correspond to in nature. Worse still, some of the models are completely ad hoc: first positing a dynamical behavior, then presenting an apparently arbitrary dynamical system which exhibits the property as "proof" of the theory. In essence, an uneven work, but one which I think will be at the foundation for further work in the area, at least as a basis for concepts and theory (provided the specifics are taken with a large grain of salt).

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