Not by genes alone

Has evolution led to humans with hard-wired decision algorithms, or is striking cooperative arrangements in human societies a consequence of cultural processes? This is the main struggle Richerson and Boyd (2005) deal with. Probably humans have derives hard-wired decision making processes when it lived like hunter-gatherers for many millenia. But the rapid changes in organization in the past 10,000 years can be better be explained by transmission of cultural mechanisms. Although Boyd and Richerson have performed a lot of formal modeling in the past, this book synthesize their work without any formal models. They provide a lot of interesting examples of how culture adapt and maladapt. They provide a convincing argument that to understand human societies we need to understand how culture and genes have co-evolved.

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