Yasha Hartberg is a lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University. He is an evolutionary biologist broadly interested in cultural inheritance systems. Specifically, his work has focused on the idea of cultural genomes, repositories of socially transmitted information that can be deferentially accessed and interpreted by groups in order to respond adaptively to changing social and environmental conditions. These repositories can take many forms ranging from institutional arrangements for sustainable management of natural resources to sacred texts that support the beliefs, behaviors and practices of religious communities.
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Grandmother Fish is a child’s first book of evolution. The book engages a young child’s imagination with sounds and motions that imitate animals, especially our direct ancestors. It’s our story of where we came from, told so simply that a preschooler can follow it.
From an evolutionary viewpoint, Wilson argues, altruism is inextricably linked to the functional organization of groups. “Groups that work” undeniably exist in nature and human society, although special conditions are required for their evolution.