PSY BEH 100 Lecture 9: Week 9 PSB 100

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University of California - Irvine
Psychology and Social Behavior

FOOD AND DISEASE: Gene-culture coevolution: -dual inheritance → when a genetic adaptation leads to a cultural adaptation, that is cultural evolution -when the cultural adaptations developed feed back and change what we a genetically selected for Lactose Tolerance: An adaptation → emerged as a consequence of a domestication of animals Haplotype came under strong selection pressure 5-10KYA among Europeans Convergent evolution (cultural - domestication | adaptive - advantageous to be able to digest) independently arose at least once more in Sub Saharan Africa 2.7 - 6.8KYA Suggest pastoral history to Hadza hunter-gatherers (gene for lactose tolerance) The Prometheus Effect: Fire (2nd cultural innovation with massive impact) The man who brought fire (the bringing of agriculture and the arts) fire allowed us to have that brain growth -having the ability to control fire, led to a shrinkage of our guts because of what fire afforded us Phenotypic consequences of cooking: -changed our bodies -larger, more metabolically expensive brains -smaller teeth -smaller, less metabolically expensive digestive system (a lot of the energy became more available for other parts of our body - i.e. our brain) -increased cognitive control and delay of gratification The agricultural revolution: When? -a case of convergent cultural evolution - independently emerged in different places at different times -9000BC (1 KYA) Pre-evolutionary life: Before the agricultural revolution -the archaeological record -observe existing hunter-gatherer tribes -necessarily imperfect methods -the most opportune places to build civilization were along the coast; water levels rise and wipe away the archeological records -allows us to answer age old questions The natural state of man is: -hobbes: a crap life and we managed to improve with civilization -rousseau: the noble savage; civilization has made us a lot worse -life was like… -hunting/ scavenging game and fish (primarily by men) -gathering nuts, roots berries, other fruit (primarily by women) -gathering provided up to 80% of the calories -hunting... Lived in bands of 20 to 50 on average (no more than 150) -fiercely egalitarian and nonhierarchical (unlike the dominance hierarchies seen in our ape cousins) -it doesn’t makes sense for some people to have more than others (made more sense to share goods) -spent only 3 to 5 hours a day working -wasn’t solitary, wasn’t really poor (no real need to want things), not nasty (doing things we evolved to do); definitely brutish, short (debatable) The noble savage myth: -death due to warfare was much worse in hunter-gatherer tribes -archaeological analyses suggest that 15% of paleolithic humans died violently -among neolithic state societies the highest estimate is 5% -most violent during the modern West was 3% in Europe during the first half of the 20th century The transition to agriculture did not seem like much of an improvement -the agricultural revolution was history’s biggest fraud -made human life more abundant but not better -the wheat bargain -our domestication of wheat (or wheat domestication of us) was a blind cultural process
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