Adaptive Origins: Evolution and Human Development by Peter LaFrenière

By Peter LaFrenière

In this text, students are invited to reconsider psychology via grounding it within the traditional sciences with the certainty that evolutionary and developmental techniques interact with tradition to resolve difficulties of human variation. those tactics are solid as interdependent: improvement can't be understood other than within the gentle of evolutionary idea, and the easiest evidence of evolution is the actual fact of improvement. for college students of evolutionary psychology, the entire important issues -- such as advanced psychological modules for conception of brain or language -- require an knowing of the developmental tactics that result in their expression. Genes, as vital as they're, are by no means the complete tale.

The role of organic elements is explored in chapters outlining evolution, improvement, genetics, human origins, hormones and the mind. Then, the integrative worth of this evolutionary/developmental imaginative and prescient in realizing key themes in psychology is illustrated via using it to standard sector of inquiry together with infancy and attachment, feelings and their expression, social family with friends, cognitive and language improvement, intercourse ameliorations, courtship and mating, violence and aggression, and cooperation and pageant.

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A tribe including many members who, possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, who were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection. (p. 500) In two sentences Darwin announces a fundamental problem of social life and provides for its solution in evolutionary terms. This quote is the starting point for most arguments in favor of multilevel selection theory.

Sociobiology builds directly on the foundations of the modern synthesis, which have not been seriously questioned by biologists since they were established by the work of Fischer, Haldane, and Wright before the mid20th century. This is not to say that evolutionary theory has not advanced. Indeed, many of the key theoretical advances that have been incorporated into 21st-century evolutionary thought were summarized by Wilson in 1975. In this brief account, I shall focus on four key concepts that were all part of the theoretical biologists’ toolkit 30 years before the advent of evolutionary psychology.

In historical terms, the answer is emphatically yes (1871–1965), emphatically no (1966–1996), and emphatically yes again (1997–present). See for example a recent article entitled “The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Group Selection” (Borrello, 2005). The full details of this dialectic are beyond the scope of this introductory text, but the interested reader can consult a brief historical treatment of this central issue in evolutionary biology written by two well-known scholars who helped shaped the debate over the past three decades, D.

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