Robert A. Paul's Mixed Messages: Cultural and Genetic Inheritance in the PDF

By Robert A. Paul

ISBN-10: 022624105X

ISBN-13: 9780226241050

As social and symbolic animals—animals with language and platforms of signs—humans are expert through other kinds of history, one organic, the opposite cultural. students have tended to check our genetic and symbolic lineages individually, yet lately a few have started to discover them jointly, supplying a “dual inheritance theory.” during this e-book, Robert A. Paul deals a completely new and unique attention of our twin inheritance so far, going deep inside of an intensive ethnographic checklist to stipulate a desirable dating among our genetic codes and symbolic systems.

Examining a big selection of cultures, Paul finds how the inherent tensions among those modes of transmission generate a number of the beneficial properties of human society, similar to marriage principles, initiation rituals, gender asymmetry, and sexual symbolism. Exploring modifications within the necessities, variety, and agendas of genetic and symbolic copy, he indicates correctly conceived twin inheritance version does a greater task of accounting for the precise personality of tangible human societies than both evolutionary or socio-cultural building theories can do by myself. eventually this e-book bargains a strong demand a synthesis of the traditions encouraged by means of Darwin, Durkheim, and Freud—one that's seriously useful if we're to boost our figuring out of human social lifestyles.

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Additional resources for Mixed Messages: Cultural and Genetic Inheritance in the Constitution of Human Society

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He thus ignited a second firestorm by declaring in his book The Social Conquest of Earth (2012) that while group selection was indeed rare, it had in fact occurred in evolution, and when it did occur it provided great selective advantages to its constituents. Among the beneficiaries of this process, he now held, were humans, whose forms of life seem self- evidently to be inherently social and cooperative (except of course when they aren’t). Ant colonies, termite societies, bee hives, and human societies could now also be seen for what they had appeared to be all along, that is, emergent superorganisms that act as units and have an organized existence over and above the organisms that populated them.

I have no objection to this argument, except that it addresses a non-problem, namely the supposed “opposition” of headhunting to genetic fitness which, as I have said, was never apparent in the first place.

1973b, 92) This perspective, which I find wholly compatible and remarkably prescient, and which I will develop in chapter 3, led Durham to view culture as a second system of inheritance in human life that may variously complement, oppose, or vary indifferently with respect to genetic 32 A B R I E F H I S TO R Y A N D O U T L I N E O F D UA L I N H E R I TA N C E T H E O R Y change. This means that the key empirical questions for him include these: “How do the processes of genetic and cultural evolution relate?

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Mixed Messages: Cultural and Genetic Inheritance in the Constitution of Human Society by Robert A. Paul

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