Darwinism and ethology the role of natural selection in animals and humans

Acta Biotheoretica 45 (3-4) (1997)
Abstract
The role of behaviour in biological evolution is examined within the context of Darwinism. All Darwinian models are based on the distinction of two mechanisms: one that permits faithful transmission of a feature from one generation to another, and another that differentially regulates the degree of this transmission. Behaviour plays a minimal role as an agent of transmission in the greater part of the animal kingdom; by contrast, the forms it may assume strongly influence the mechanisms of selection regulating the different rates of transmission. We consider the decisive feature of the human species to be the existence of a phenotypical system of cultural coding characterized by precision and reliability which are the distinctive features of genetic coding in animals. We examine the consequences for the application of the Darwinian model to human history.
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