ANT Lecture 26.txt
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ANT Lecture 26.txt
The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness?
African origins (>160,000 bp)
Homo evolved in a tropical climate
Small foraging groups
Present-day ecological mismatch
The Modern Western Diet?
Plenty of Calories
Inefficient consumption of micronutrients (iron, vitamins, antioxidants, folic acid).
Electrolytes (K, NaCl, Ca) easily obtained, high proportion of sodium
Carbs provide 50% of calories, high glycemic load
Protein (RDA 12% calories) consumed high in fat
Fat accounts for 40% total calories (mostly milk and meat)
Fiber is easily avoided (<1/2 paleolithic diet)
The Paleolithic Prescription?
High calorie intake and expenditure
Emphasis on micronutrient-rich fruits, nuts, roots
Minimal use of cereal grains
High consumption of potassium (vs. sodium)
Carbs from vegetables and fruits
Fat comprises 20% total calories
High protein consumption from lean animal sources
Lots and lots of fiber
The Modern Human Condition?
Are we zoologically superior?
Do we control our own destiny?
Have we transcended biological evolution?
Zoological Superiority: Whats the yardstick?
Species longevity----- NO
Species diversity----- NO
Control of Biosphere YES
If evolution is active, how do we explain maladaptive behaviors?
Short versus long term benefit
Inclusive fitness (sociobiology)
Primacy of cultural values (selection for reciprocal altruism)
Natural selection acts on genes that influence behavior
Social plasticity, language, nonreproductive sexuality, cooperative sexual division of labor are uniquely human
Territoriality, xenophobia, aggression, bravery, religion are positively selected
Dawkins The Selfish Gene?
The real competition in natural selection is among genes
Individuals are epiphenomenal
The meme is the new replicator
Selection of memes accounts for cultural innovation
Evolution of risk-aversion?
1. Cultural/psychological pathology
2. Miscalculated cost:benefit ratio
3. Seeking fitness benefit in social context
Human Behavioral Ecology (HBE)
evolutionary stable strategies
Evolutionary Psychology (EP)
environment of evolutionary adaptedness
no blank slate; evolved psychological mechanisms
Dual Inheritance Theory (DIT)
culture is unique but subject to evolutionary process
genes and culture must coevolve
viral replication of culture packets
memeplexes tangibly influence fitness
status-seeking for higher average fitness
anger, anxiety prime risk-taking
alleles damping risk aversion coevolve with cultural appetite for risk
risk meme an effective replicator