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Culture Evolves

Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Christopher B. Stringer, and Kevin N. Laland


Culture — broadly defined as all we learn from others that endures for long enough to generate customs and traditions — shapes vast swathes of our lives and has allowed the human species to dominate the planet in an evolutionarily unique way. Culture and cultural evolution are uniquely significant phenomena in evolutionary biology: they are products of biological evolution, yet they supplement genetic transmission with social transmission, thus achieving a certain independence from natural selection. However, cultural evolution nevertheless expresses key Darwinian processes itself and also int ... More

Keywords: culture, cultural evolution, evolutionary biology, social transmission, natural selection, genetic evolution, Darwin

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199608966
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199608966.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew Whiten, editor
Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology, and Wardlaw Professor, University of St Andrews, UK

Robert A. Hinde, editor
Fellow, St. John's College, Cambridge, UK

Christopher B. Stringer, editor
Natural History Museum, UK

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Chapter 1 Introduction

Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Kevin N. Laland and Christopher B. Stringer

Chapter 3 From Fish to Fashion

Kevin N. Laland Nicola Atton Michael M. Webster

Chapter 8 Social Learning and Evolution

Carel P. van Schaik and Judith M. Burkart

Chapter 9 The Evolution of Primate General and Cultural Intelligence*

Simon M. Reader, Yfke Hager and Kevin N. Laland

Chapter 16 Language Evolution and Human History

Russell D. Gray, Quentin D. Atkinson, and Simon J. Greenhill

Chapter 19 How Copying Affects the Amount, Evenness and Persistence of Cultural Knowledge

Luke Rendell, Robert Boyd, Magnus Enquist, Marcus W. Feldman, Laurel Fogarty and Kevin N. Laland

Chapter 22 Natural Pedagogy as Evolutionary Adaptation

Gergely Csibra and György Gergely

Chapter 23 The Scope and Limits of Overimitation in the Transmission of Artefact Culture*

Derek E. Lyons, Diana H. Damrosch, Jennifer K. Lin, Deanna M. Macris and Frank C. Keil

Chapter 24 Social Learning Among Congo Basin Hunter–Gatherers*

Barry S. Hewlett, Hillary N. Fouts, Adam H. Boyette and Bonnie L. Hewlett

Chapter 25 Young Children’s Selective Trust in Informants

Paul L. Harris and Kathleen H. Corriveau

End Matter