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Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent by David J. Buller

By David J. Buller

Was once human nature designed by way of ordinary choice within the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was once -- that our mental diversifications have been designed tens of hundreds of thousands of years in the past to unravel difficulties confronted by way of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. during this provocative and vigorous e-book, David Buller examines intimately the key claims of evolutionary psychology -- the paradigm popularized by means of Steven Pinker within the clean Slate and by way of David Buss in The Evolution of wish -- and rejects all of them. this doesn't suggest that we can't practice evolutionary concept to human psychology, says Buller, yet that the traditional knowledge in evolutionary psychology is misguided.Evolutionary psychology employs a type of opposite engineering to give an explanation for the developed layout of the brain, realizing the adaptive difficulties our ancestors confronted after which inferring the mental diversifications that advanced to resolve them. within the conscientiously argued important chapters of Adapting Minds, Buller scrutinizes a number of of evolutionary psychology's so much hugely publicized "discoveries," together with "discriminative parental solicitude" (the concept that stepparents abuse their stepchildren at the next fee than genetic mom and dad abuse their organic children). Drawing on a variety of empirical examine, together with his personal large-scale research of kid abuse, he exhibits that none is admittedly supported by means of the evidence.Buller argues that our minds aren't tailored to the Pleistocene, yet, just like the immune method, are continuously adapting, over either evolutionary time and person lifetimes. We needs to flow past the reigning orthodoxy of evolutionary psychology to arrive a correct figuring out of how human psychology is prompted via evolution. once we do, Buller claims, we'll abandon not just the search for human nature however the very notion of human nature itself.

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Additional info for Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

Sample text

These genes, of course, will include the gene for the fitness-enhancing trait. And, as more copies of that gene get transmitted to the next generation, proportionately more of the population will develop the fitness-enhancing trait, and it will thereby increase in frequency in the population. This process is natural selection, and it changes the frequencies of genes in a population as a function of the phenotypic effects they produce, increasing in frequency those genes with fitnessenhancing phenotypic effects and decreasing in frequency those genes with fitness-reducing phenotypic effects.

These chapters will traverse some rugged theoretical and methodological terrain. But, although the ideas presented in the chapters to follow are intended to be challenging and provocative to researchers in the field of evolutionary psychology, my goal throughout is to present them in a way that is accessible to the same general audience that has been interested in the popular works written in support of Evolutionary Psychology. Indeed, the book is self-contained in the sense that every idea discussed in the book will be explained in the book.

5 percent aa, and 25 percent Aa, the offspring generation is 50 percent AA and 50 percent aa. Under the modern genetic definition of evolution, this also constitutes significant evolution. 24 Chapter 1 The kinds of evolution we have just considered can also produce changes across generations in the frequencies of phenotypes in a population. The reason is that genes regulate the synthesis of proteins, the stuff of which our bodies are made, and differences between bodies or between parts of the same body are a product of differences in the proteins of which they are made.

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