Development: evolutionary ecology's midwife

Behav Brain Sci. 2010 Jun;33(2-3):105-6. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X1000021X. Epub 2010 Jun 15.


We agree with Henrich et al. that documenting cultural universality and variability provides an indispensable window into human nature. We want to stress the mediating role development plays between evolution and culture. Moving beyond the mere documentation of universality or variability, developmental approaches can provide mechanistic explanations, linking ecology to phenotype. Combining phylogeny and adaptationism, evolutionary approaches can explain the properties of developmental systems.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Culture
  • Humans
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Social Behavior