EVOLUTION AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR by

EVOLUTION AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first half of this book by an anthropologist who has done field work in the U.S. and in West Africa is a concise summary of Darwinian evolution and contemporary genetics. It is written in the brisk and tempered style one is beginning to associate with the Natural History series. The second half introduces what is undoubtedly going to become a major field of inquiry in the next few decades: how to fit man's cultural behavior into the biological schemata of evolution. Alland points out that the grand figures of anthropology from Spencer to Morgan were guilty of a kind of hubris, setting culture apart from biology or neglecting environment. He proposes a systems analysis game-theoretic approach to link the two. Since contemporary societies are enormously complex, he would choose subsystems and study how effective certain behavioral adaptations, traits and traditions have been in achieving a balanced system--an individual as well as a group homeostasis--that essentially rests on biological needs and environmental feedback.

Pub Date: July 7th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday-Natural History Press