15 de outubro de 2012

Seminários Novos e Velhos Saberes na Acta12: Dr. Peter Richerson

Em outubro, durante a Acta 12, receberemos no Instituto de Biologia da UFBA, destacados pesquisadores, dentre eles, Dr. Peter Richerson (um dos proponentes da influente teoria da coevolução gene-cultura) , convidados do Projeto “Integrando níveis de organização em modelos ecológicos preditivos: Aportes da epistemologia, modelagem e investigação empírica” (INOMEP/PRONEX) e do Núcleo de Pesquisa em Ecologia e Conservação da Biodiversidade (Nupecbio).

Resumo: The thesis of this talk is that culture transformed human evolution.
Human culture constitutes an inheritance system with similarities to and
differences from the genetic inheritance system. Sometime during the
Pleistocene, human adaptations came to dominated by culturally transmitted
technologies and social institutions. Social learning is very common in
social animals, but non-human systems of social learning transmit relatively
few and relatively simple behaviors. Human cognition is adapted to acquire
large amounts of information from other individuals by social learning.
Accurate and comparatively rapid social learning allows an open-ended
process of cumulative evolution as individuals acquire complex ideas and
skills, modify them slightly, and teach them to new individuals in turn.
Cultural evolution is substantially guided by weak general purpose learning
and decision-making. Cultural adaptations arise by integrating many
individual innovations and adoption decisions, typically over many
generations. Natural selection also acts on cultural variation, but adding
evolutionary forces derived from decision-making greatly increases the rate
of cultural evolution compared to genetic evolution. Cultural adaptations
create novel environments that in turn generate selection on genes. The best
documented case is the evolution of adult lactase secretion in populations
in Western Eurasia and Africa that developed dairying. Genome wide scans for
genes that have undergone recent selective sweeps suggest that many more
examples will eventually be verified. The most controversial gene-culture
coevolution hypothesis is that human pro-social instincts, empathy,
patriotism, and the like, evolved when selection on cultural differences
between tribal scale social units favored institutions that exerted social
selection on our genes.