David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Much human adaptation depends on the gradual accumulation of culturally transmitted knowledge and technology. Recent models of this process predict that large, well-connected populations will have more diverse and complex tool kits than small, isolated populations. While several examples of the loss of technology in small populations are consistent with this prediction, it found no support in two systematic quantitative tests. Both studies were based on data from continental populations in which contact rates were not available, and therefore these studies do not provide a test of the models. Here, we show that in Oceania, around the time of early European contact, islands with small populations had less complicated marine foraging technology. This ﬁnding suggests that explanations of existing cultural variation based on optimality models alone are incomplete because demography plays an important role in generating cumulative cultural adaptation. It also indicates that hominin populations with similar cognitive abilities may leave very different archaeological records, a conclusion that has important implications for our understanding of the origin of anatomically modern humans and their evolved psychology.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Mark Collard, Briggs Buchanan, April Ruttle & Michael J. O'Brien (2011). Niche Construction and the Toolkits of Hunter–Gatherers and Food Producers. Biological Theory 6 (3):251-259.
Derek Hodgson (2013). Cognitive Evolution, Population, Transmission, and Material Culture. Biological Theory 7 (3):237-246.
Similar books and articles
Peter Richerson, Homage to Malthus, Ricardo, and Boserup: Toward a General Theory of Population, Economic Growth, Environmental Deterioration, Wealth, and Poverty.
Manfred A. Pfeifer, Klaus Henle & Josef Settele (2007). Populations with Explicit Borders in Space and Time: Concept, Terminology, and Estimation of Characteristic Parameters. Acta Biotheoretica 55 (4).
Robert C. Richardson (2006). Chance and the Patterns of Drift: A Natural Experiment. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):642-654.
A. Lasotal, K. Loskot & M. C. Mackey (1991). Stability Properties of Proliferatively Coupled Cell Replication Models. Acta Biotheoretica 39 (1).
Peter Richerson, Tribal S Ocial Instin Cts a Nd the Cultural Evolution O F Institutions to Solv E Col Lecti Ve Action Problems.
Eva Sanchez, Pierre Auger & Rafael Bravo de la Parra (1997). Influence of Individual Aggressiveness on the Dynamics of Competitive Populations. Acta Biotheoretica 45 (3-4).
Luis Sanz & Rafael Bravo de la Parra (2002). The Reliability of Approximate Reduction Techniques in Population Models with Two Time Scales. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (4).
Jack P. Gibbs (2001). Deviant Cases in Tests of the Status Integration Theory. Sociological Theory 19 (3):271-291.
C. Pertoldi & S. Faurby (forthcoming). Consequences of Environmental Fluctuations on Taylor's Power Law and Implications for the Dynamics and Persistence of Populations. Acta Biotheoretica.
William Irons (2009). The Intertwined Roles of Genes and Culture in Human Evolution. Zygon 44 (2):347-354.
G. H. Walter (2008). Individuals, Populations and the Balance of Nature: The Question of Persistence in Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):417-438.
Peter Gildenhuys (2009). An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads2 ( #348,772 of 1,101,142 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #290,630 of 1,101,142 )
How can I increase my downloads?