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Cultural group selection follows Darwin's classic syllogism for the operation of selection

The main objective of our target article was to sketch the empirical case for the importance of selection at the level of groups on cultural variation. Such variation is massive in humans, but modest or absent in other species. Group selection processes acting on this variation is a framework for developing explanations of the unusual level of cooperation between non-relatives found in our species. Our case for cultural group selection (CGS) followed Darwin’s classic syllogism regarding natural selection: If variation exists at the level of groups, if this variation is heritable, and if it plays a role in the success or failure of competing groups, then selection will operate at the level of groups. We outlined the relevant domains where such evidence can be sought and characterized the main conclusions of work in those domains. Most commentators agree that CGS plays some role in human evolution, although some were considerably more skeptical. Some contributed additional empirical cases. Some raised issues of the scope of CGS explanations versus competing ones.

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Bibtex:

@article{richerson_baldini_bell_demps_frost_hillis_mathew_newton_naar_newson_et al._2016, 
title={Cultural group selection follows Darwin's classic syllogism for the operation of selection}, 
volume={39}, DOI={10.1017/S0140525X15000606}, 
journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences}, 
publisher={Cambridge University Press}, 
author={Richerson, Peter and Baldini, Ryan and Bell, Adrian V. and Demps, Kathryn and Frost, Karl and Hillis, Vicken and Mathew, Sarah and Newton, Emily K. and Naar, Nicole and Newson, Lesley and et al.}, 
year={2016}}

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