Feb 5th, we will discuss “Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution” by Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd, a continuation of our discussion on the interaction of environment and genes, but more specifically for humans, culture and genes.
The idea that human culture helped to shape humans is important in understanding the range of human behavior that exists today. It leads into discussions of morality and consciousness. Even the books that are about how morality and consciousness evolved, and that don’t mention genes, are really saying the same thing – that over millennia the environment influences the genetic makeup of the animal. We accept Darwin’s theory of evolution, the process of natural selection, i.e. the interaction of environment and genes. All one needs to realize is that humans have been evolving for millennia, and their environment includes the social groups in which they live, i.e. their culture.