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A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture

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A second inheritance system : the extension of biology through culture. / Whiten, Andrew.

In: Interface Focus, Vol. 7, No. 5, 20160142, 06.10.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Whiten, A 2017, 'A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture' Interface Focus, vol. 7, no. 5, 20160142. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2016.0142

APA

Whiten, A. (2017). A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture. Interface Focus, 7(5), [20160142]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2016.0142

Vancouver

Whiten A. A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture. Interface Focus. 2017 Oct 6;7(5). 20160142. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2016.0142

Author

Whiten, Andrew. / A second inheritance system : the extension of biology through culture. In: Interface Focus. 2017 ; Vol. 7, No. 5.

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@article{e0ba1e20965a4748b3e85a900cc3bc9e,
title = "A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture",
abstract = "By the mid-twentieth century (thus following the ‘Modern Synthesis’ in evolutionary biology), the behavioural sciences offered only the sketchy beginnings of a scientific literature documenting evidence for cultural inheritance in animals – the transmission of traditional behaviours via learning from others (social learning). By contrast, recent decades have seen a massive growth in the documentation of such cultural phenomena, driven by long-term field studies and complementary laboratory experiments. Here I review the burgeoning scope of discoveries in this field, which increasingly suggest that this ‘second inheritance system’, built on the shoulders of the primary genetic inheritance system, occurs widely amongst vertebrates and possibly in invertebrates too. Its novel characteristics suggest significant implications for our understanding of evolutionary biology. I assess the extent to which this second system extends the scope of evolution, both by echoing principal properties of the primary, organic evolutionary system, and going beyond it in significant ways. This is well established in human cultural evolution; here I address animal cultures more generally. The further major, and related, question concerns the extent to which the consequences of widespread animalcultural transmission interact with the primary, genetically based inheritance systems, shaping organic evolution.",
keywords = "Social learning, Traditions, Culture, Cultural evolution, Evolutionary biology, Gene-culture co-evolution",
author = "Andrew Whiten",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1098/rsfs.2016.0142",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
journal = "Interface Focus",
issn = "2042-8898",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC",
number = "5",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - A second inheritance system

T2 - Interface Focus

AU - Whiten, Andrew

PY - 2017/10/6

Y1 - 2017/10/6

N2 - By the mid-twentieth century (thus following the ‘Modern Synthesis’ in evolutionary biology), the behavioural sciences offered only the sketchy beginnings of a scientific literature documenting evidence for cultural inheritance in animals – the transmission of traditional behaviours via learning from others (social learning). By contrast, recent decades have seen a massive growth in the documentation of such cultural phenomena, driven by long-term field studies and complementary laboratory experiments. Here I review the burgeoning scope of discoveries in this field, which increasingly suggest that this ‘second inheritance system’, built on the shoulders of the primary genetic inheritance system, occurs widely amongst vertebrates and possibly in invertebrates too. Its novel characteristics suggest significant implications for our understanding of evolutionary biology. I assess the extent to which this second system extends the scope of evolution, both by echoing principal properties of the primary, organic evolutionary system, and going beyond it in significant ways. This is well established in human cultural evolution; here I address animal cultures more generally. The further major, and related, question concerns the extent to which the consequences of widespread animalcultural transmission interact with the primary, genetically based inheritance systems, shaping organic evolution.

AB - By the mid-twentieth century (thus following the ‘Modern Synthesis’ in evolutionary biology), the behavioural sciences offered only the sketchy beginnings of a scientific literature documenting evidence for cultural inheritance in animals – the transmission of traditional behaviours via learning from others (social learning). By contrast, recent decades have seen a massive growth in the documentation of such cultural phenomena, driven by long-term field studies and complementary laboratory experiments. Here I review the burgeoning scope of discoveries in this field, which increasingly suggest that this ‘second inheritance system’, built on the shoulders of the primary genetic inheritance system, occurs widely amongst vertebrates and possibly in invertebrates too. Its novel characteristics suggest significant implications for our understanding of evolutionary biology. I assess the extent to which this second system extends the scope of evolution, both by echoing principal properties of the primary, organic evolutionary system, and going beyond it in significant ways. This is well established in human cultural evolution; here I address animal cultures more generally. The further major, and related, question concerns the extent to which the consequences of widespread animalcultural transmission interact with the primary, genetically based inheritance systems, shaping organic evolution.

KW - Social learning

KW - Traditions

KW - Culture

KW - Cultural evolution

KW - Evolutionary biology

KW - Gene-culture co-evolution

U2 - 10.1098/rsfs.2016.0142

DO - 10.1098/rsfs.2016.0142

M3 - Article

VL - 7

JO - Interface Focus

JF - Interface Focus

SN - 2042-8898

IS - 5

M1 - 20160142

ER -

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ID: 250221380