Animal Traditions: Behavioural Inheritance in Evolution
Eytan Avital, Eva Jablonka
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Despite its almost universal acclaim, the authors contend that evolutionary explanations must take into account the well-established fact that in mammals and birds, the transfer of learned information is both ubiquitous and indispensable. Animal Traditions maintains the assumption that selection of genes supplies both a sufficient explanation of evolution and a true description of its course. The introduction of the behavioral inheritance system into the Darwinian explanatory scheme enables the authors to offer new interpretations for common behaviors such as maternal behaviors, behavioral conflicts within families, adoption, and helping. This approach offers a richer view of heredity and evolution, integrates developmental and evolutionary processes, suggests new lines for research, and provides a constructive alternative to both the selfish gene and meme views of the world. This book will make stimulating reading for all those interested in evolutionary biology, sociobiology, behavioral ecology, and psychology.